Last Stand Of The Tin Can Sailors

“This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.”

With these words, Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland addressed the crew of the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts on the morning of October 25, 1944, off the Philippine Island of Samar. On the horizon loomed the mightiest ships of the Japanese navy, a massive fleet that represented the last hope of a staggering empire. All that stood between it and Douglas MacArthur’ s vulnerable invasion force were the Roberts and the other small ships of a tiny American flotilla poised to charge into history.

In the tradition of the #1 New York Times bestseller Flags of Our Fathers, James D. Hornfischer paints an unprecedented portrait of the Battle of Samar, a naval engagement unlike any other in U.S. history—and captures with unforgettable intensity the men, the strategies, and the sacrifices that turned certain defeat into a legendary victory.

Just picked up the Book. More to follow.

I know the US' History channel did a story on them.


ToW Club President
Dec 20, 2005
just the name of the book sounds interesting, I'll be looking forward to your report on same......


MCVG-2 Sharpe

Feb 19, 2006
Ouote of the book so far....

?At close range the [uSS] Johnston?s entire chorus of weaponry came to bear on the small island [Kwajalein in the Marshal Island complex]. There was the sharp, ear ringing bark of the five-inchers, the rhythmic thumping of the twin mounted forty-millimeter machine guns, and the faster metallic chatter of the single barreled twenties. Men from the damage control party broke out rifles and made like Davy Crocket from the main deck. LT Welch took out his .45-caliber pistol, outstretched his arm, and enfiladed the distant enemy with the handgun.

From his perch the gun director, Lt Hagen spied a Japanese officer on the beach, weaving a saber, rallying his troops to the fight, and thought, Why not? He put the officer in the sights of his slewing device. The fire control computer clicked and whirled and zipped coordinates to the Johnston?s five main gun turrets. When Hagen closed the firing key, they all barked as one. The technology lived up to its brutal promise. The five-shell salvo obliterated the man.

?Mr Hagen, that was very good shooting called Captain Evans {CO of the USS Johnston} from the bridge. ?But in the future, try not to waste so much ammunition on one individual?.

Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, Page 56


MCVG-2 Bostimax

Jan 15, 2006
I wish there was a naval sim out there that would allow for the Controll of a Fletcher class Destroyer-I loved the Book and the Documentary



Aug 17, 2003
I think I have to pick up that book.

I have a friend who served on a Destroyer in WWII and the matter of fact way he tells his stories (the one's I can get out of him) is scary. He is almost completly deaf now from the guns.These guys had something that seems to lost on most of us now.



New member
Jun 11, 2007
Hi, this post is very informative; however I would like some specific information. If someone can help me then please send me a private message. Best Regards,