For Crew and Country: The Inspirational True Story of Bravery and Sacrifice aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts

By John Wukovits
Foreword by Paul X. Rinn
Read by Robertson Dean

9.78 Hours 01/29/2013 unabridged
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John Wukovits tells of the most dramatic naval battle of the Pacific War and the incredible sacrifice of the USS Samuel B. Roberts. On October 25, 1944, the Samuel B. Roberts, along with the other twelve vessels comprising its unit, stood between Japan’s largest battleship force ever sent to sea and MacArthur’s transports inside Leyte Gulf. Faced with the surprise appearance of more than twenty Japanese battleships, cruisers, and destroyers—including the Yamato, at 70,000 tons the most potent battlewagon in the world—the 1,200-ton Samuel B. Roberts turned immediately to action with six other ships. Captain Copeland marked the occasion with one of the most poignant addresses ever given to men on the edge of battle: “Men,” he said over the intercom, “we are about to go into a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected.” The ship churned straight at the enemy in a near-suicidal attempt to deflect the more potent foe, allow the small aircraft carriers to escape, and buy time for MacArthur’s forces. Of 563 destroyers constructed during WWII, the Samuel B. Roberts was the only one sunk, going down with guns blazing in a duel reminiscent of the Spartans at Thermopylae or Davy Crockett’s Alamo defenders. The men who survived faced a horrifying three-day nightmare in the sea, where they battled a lack of food and water, scorching sun and numbing nighttime cold, and nature’s most feared adversary—sharks. The battle would go down as history’s greatest sea clash, the Battle of Samar—the dramatic climax of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

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Summary

Summary

John Wukovits tells of the most dramatic naval battle of the Pacific War and the incredible sacrifice of the USS Samuel B. Roberts.

On October 25, 1944, the Samuel B. Roberts, along with the other twelve vessels comprising its unit, stood between Japan’s largest battleship force ever sent to sea and MacArthur’s transports inside Leyte Gulf. Faced with the surprise appearance of more than twenty Japanese battleships, cruisers, and destroyers—including the Yamato, at 70,000 tons the most potent battlewagon in the world—the 1,200-ton Samuel B. Roberts turned immediately to action with six other ships. Captain Copeland marked the occasion with one of the most poignant addresses ever given to men on the edge of battle: “Men,” he said over the intercom, “we are about to go into a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected.”

The ship churned straight at the enemy in a near-suicidal attempt to deflect the more potent foe, allow the small aircraft carriers to escape, and buy time for MacArthur’s forces. Of 563 destroyers constructed during WWII, the Samuel B. Roberts was the only one sunk, going down with guns blazing in a duel reminiscent of the Spartans at Thermopylae or Davy Crockett’s Alamo defenders. The men who survived faced a horrifying three-day nightmare in the sea, where they battled a lack of food and water, scorching sun and numbing nighttime cold, and nature’s most feared adversary—sharks.

The battle would go down as history’s greatest sea clash, the Battle of Samar—the dramatic climax of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“This story of the brave and resourceful officers and crew of the gallant Samuel B. Roberts is one that should be read by every American who cares two cents about his country. It is a thrilling story of self-sacrifice, of David versus many Goliaths, of a little war vessel with a paper-thin hull saluting, stepping up, and making a charge to death and glory. After I finished reading, I wanted to stand up and cheer. I still do.” Homer Hickam, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Despite the US Navy’s huge contribution to allied victory in World War II, stories of individual ships and their crews have formed an oddly small niche in the American literature on the struggle. But if the niche is small, its quality glimmers with the works of authors like Edward Stafford and James Hornfischer. Now John Wukovits’s narrative of the Samuel B. Roberts joins this illustrious company. From the building yard to the agonies of survivors pitted against an unforgiving sea, this outstanding account is a loving tribute to an immortal vessel and her heroic crew.” Richard Frank, author of Guadalcanal
“On October 25, 1944, the USS Samuel B. Roberts took part in one of the most doomed naval battles in US history…Wukovits recounts the battle in harrowing detail, while providing intimate glimpses into the lives of the men on board.” Publishers Weekly
“World War II historian Wukovits commemorates the heroism and sacrifice on board the USS Samuel B. Roberts…A memorable account of training, service and heroism.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: John Wukovits

John Wukovits is a military expert specializing in the Pacific theater of World War II. He is the author of many books, including Eisenhower: A Biography, One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa, and American Commando: Evans Carlson, His WWII Marine Raiders, and America’s First Special Forces Mission. He has also written numerous articles for such publications as WWII History, Naval History, and World War II.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 9.78
Audience: Adult
Language: English