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70th Anniversary Battle off Samar

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by gq_johnnie, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. gq_johnnie

    gq_johnnie recruit

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    Today is the 70th anniversary of the Battle off Samar. For reasons I'll never understand the country is oblivious to this momentous occasion. Has there ever been more heroism displayed in a naval battle? I once asked James Hornfischer, author of Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailor, why Ernest E. Evans was not a household name. He said its because he didn't survive and so little is known about his life beyond his time at the US Naval Academy. Well like they say, for those that don't know nothing can be said, and those that know nothing needs to be said. God bless the brave souls that selflessly protected the US landings on the Leyte shores while Halsey was gallivanting around. It may take another 40 years before their recognition is more widespread but in the meantime there are those of us that carry that torch.
     
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  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I agree with all of what you said. The Battle off Samar has caught my attention as well. What the DEs and the jeep carriers did is nothing short of amazing. Taffy 3 deserves all the credit for what they did against the cream of the IJN. However, I think you're mistaken about the anniversary. I think it's 70 years, not 40.
     
  3. gq_johnnie

    gq_johnnie recruit

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    D'oh! Math was never my strong suit, thanks for the correction Graybeard!
     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    No problem. There are many good books on the battle, but I just finished Men of the Gambier Bay by Hoyt. If you've not already read it. I recommend it.
     
  5. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    but people kept telling me for years, "A battleship needs to get lucky only once!"
     
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Doesn't seem to hold here, though.
     
  7. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    not remembered as well because it was a 'small' battle of 'small' carriers in the larger battle....a 'defeat'/mistake for the US navy...
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Hardly a "small" battle...There were more planes on those CVEs that Kido Butai had at Pearl Harbor.

    Mistakes were made by both Halsey, Kinkaid, and Sprague. However, it is these mistakes that are remembered, rather than the fact that the series of battles was a resounding American success.
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    these were jeep carriers and DDs.....not like TKF58-38....and it was only one section of the 3 Taffys' jeep carriers....I would call a big battle BBs v BBS or CVs v CVs, or a combo of those.....maybe if it was all the Taffys v that specific IJN fleet, I'd call that big....maybe I should use the word ''grand''...the IJN did incur some significant damage/losses......but of course, it is one of my favorite battles to research.....[ ha, just turned on the tv, and In Harm's Way is on<>with the sailor-less ships!! ]
     
  10. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    do you count all the Taffys aircraft or just T3?
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    All Taffys. Taffy 3 did not fight the battle all on it's lonesome, aircraft from all of the Taffys participated in 3's defense.
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Only Taffy 3 came under shellfire from the opposing Japanese fleet, however, this does not mean that Taffy 1 & Taffy 2 did not lend their aircraft to Taffy 3's defense.

    VC-27 flying off of the USS Savo Island(Taffy 2) gave this account
    http://www.philcrowther.com/VC27/3_Samar.htm
     
  13. gq_johnnie

    gq_johnnie recruit

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    Hello all,
    I'm familiar with this action since my dear father, who passed away this past May, was steering the rudder of the Johnston following the destruction of her bridge. If we're calling this a small battle due to the size of the combatants, I would argue that (1) the Yamato is not small and (2) if you're only speaking of the US combatants then would it be even a lesser action if a few PT boats turned back the Japanese main fleet? I don't get the logic. I am frankly amazed that the average American is oblivious to this battle yet so familiar with Pearl Harbor, the Indianapolis, etc. where we were simply on the defensive. In my mind Ernest E. Evans should be lionized as an American saint and protector, but then again I suppose I am biased...
     
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  14. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    There may have been mistakes made, but I do not for one minute think that Ziggy Sprague was one those making them. In spite of the Kobayashi Maru-like circumstances he was placed in, he made sound decisions and produced a far more favorable outcome than could have been imagined, IMO. Think about it, could any prewar service school training ever address this scenario? Not likely.

    The DDs and DEs proved the old saying about the size of the fight in the dog. The crews of TF 77.4 and especially Taffy 3 have my utmost respect. They earned it the hard way.
     
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  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Forgive me for not clarifying, I was talking about Thomas Sprague, who was in overall command of Task Force 77.4, and not Clifton "Ziggy" Sprague, who was in command of Task Force 77.4.3(Taffy 3).
     
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  16. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    many Americans now are not really ''familiar'' with any WW2 battle...some don't even know where PHarbor is!
     
  17. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    I didn't think they had any CVEs pre-war, did they?? it was unimaginable,?any on the blocks?? you make a good point...while we're at it, what was the main reason Halsey took the BBs with him?? I've read numerous books on it.....he thought Kurita was hit hard enough, and last contact had K turning back..?and, refresh my memory, how did they sneak up on T3? was it dawn? what happened to air recon?
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Sad, but mostly true.

    Anecdotal evidence...Once, several years ago, I went to NYC to visit my sister. While she was at work, I had the day to kill, so I just walked around NYC. I stopped for a smoke, and began talking to an older gentlemen standing next to me. He asked me "Bet you don't know what this means?", pointing to his ballcap which read "I survived the 'Battle of the Bulge.'" Well, I inadvertently started laughing out loud, and this look came across his face as if I had just killed his puppy. I caught myself, and said to him, "Sir, I'm sorry, but you misunderstand. I am probably one of the few in this city that know exactly what that hat means, and if you have the time, I'd very much like to hear your story."

    One of the best times I've had in NYC, and I did nothing but listen to this gentleman's war stories.


    USS Long Island(APV-1, AVG-1, ACV-1, CVE-1)
    [​IMG]
    The short flight deck proved to be to cramped and it was extended some 77 feet in September, 1941.


    Off the top of my head...He knew that the hermaphrodite Japanese battleships Ise and Hyuga were with the Japanese carriers and he did not want them to accidentally "bump" into any of his carriers at night, as Halsey considered a night action with the Japanese carrier group a possibility, chasing down Japanese cripples was another reason.


    Kinkaid ordered a land-based "Black Cat" PBYs to search the strait on the overnight. Some of the planes never took off, and the others arrived, IIRC, early. Thus, the approaching Japanese fleet was missed, but Kinkaid never followed up on replacing the missing search planes, or ordering another search.

    Admiral Thomas Sprague(commander TF 77) ordered Admiral Felix Stump(commander TF 77.4.2 "Taffy 2") to launch a search of San Bernadino in the early morning hours. Admiral Stump detailed this task to the USS Ommaney Bay at 0500 hours. For whatever reasons, there were problems with the planes and this greatly delayed the launch, which did not take place until 0658 hours(2 hours later). Why there was no follow up, or detailing the air reconnaissance to another carrier, to my knowledge, has never been explained or even examined...It just "was."

    And, of course, guess what sight greeted the first Avenger not long after he was airborne...
     
  19. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    I thought I remember the Japanese had a recon plane that was 'late' taking off at the Midway battle, and that put a wrench into the 'plans'....??? very funny on the ''greeting'' wordage...
     
  20. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    I don't recall reading much about CVEs before 1943 in the Pacific....especially the 'big' battles.....
     

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