Commissioned 70 years ago 12/22/1946

Robert's Family

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In recognition of Samuel B Robert’s unselfish act, the Navy named a destroyer in his honor, designating it with the hull number DE-413. On the morning of October 25, 1944, off the coast of the Philippine island of Samar, Roberts and other similar sized vessels of the U.S. Navy encountered and repulsed the mightiest ships of the Japanese Imperial Navy. In so doing they insured the success of General Douglas McArthur’s Philippine invasion strategy. During that epic battle, which is detailed in the James D Hornfischer book, “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors,” several of the destroyers and destroyer escorts were sunk. USS Samuel B Roberts (DE-413) was one of these.

The third ship to bear the name is the USS Samuel B Roberts (FFG-58). This fast frigate was put in commission in April, 1986 under the command of Commander Paul X Rinn. The FFG-58 racked up numerous awards and commendations even before its first deployment. On April 18, 1988, the ship while on duty in the Persian Gulf struck an M-08 naval mine resulting in a 15’ hole in the hull. Only the heroics of the ship’s officers and crew kept her from sinking. The story of the FFG-58’s heroics is offered in the book “No Higher Honor” by Bradley Peniston. uss_sbr_ffg-58.jpeg

Two other ships that are part of the Roberts family include the USS Copeland (FFG-25), named after the Captain of the original Roberts and the USS Carr (FFG-52) named for GM3 Henry Carr who earned a posthumous Silver Star on the same vessel.


The 1998 painting below, by DE-413 crew member Don Young, honors the bravery of all the men who served on all the ships of the Samuel B Roberts family.

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We Are Part of a Great Tradition!

One additional ship should be considered part of the Roberts family, the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) William Fitzgerald served on the DD-823 during the early 60’s as a white hat. He ended up going to Annapolis and becoming a naval officer. While serving in Viet Nam in 1967, Mr. Fitzgerald was killed in action. For his heroic efforts, the Navy named the DDG-62 in his honor.

There is no web site for the Copeland but there are numerous web references to it and all the ships and men mentioned above.