67 Years Ago: Battle Off Samar

October 25th, 2011 by xformed


USS HEERMANN (DD-532) at the Battle off Samar (click for the larger image)

It is the last great sea battle to be fought. It demonstrated much of humanity, the determination of both sides in a massive world war, the individual bravery of men on small ships who charged head long into death, so that those they were tasked with escorting could complete their mission. The Japanese bravely pushed to wipe General MacArthur’s “I Have Returned” landing at Leyte Gulf back into the sea, using the remaining surface forces of battleships and cruisers, only to be defeated by a ambushes the night before in the inland seas of the Philippine Islands, and on the morning of this day, 67 years ago, the likes of CDR Evans, CDR Hathaway, LCDR Copeland and their crews, while aircraft from the escorted CVEs made runs from above, many without bombs and some without even gun ammunition.

Rather than rewrite the story today, I will refer you to the work I produced in 2004, on the 60th Anniversary of this battle.

As I studied this battle more, I came across two other famous battles in history. I discussed them here, as they all have a common thread and a common day.

Side note: I found someone who, as s tribute to a friend, built an 8′ replica of the HEERMANN out of legos! That’s some kind of dedication.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 at 10:14 am and is filed under History, Leadership, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 response about “67 Years Ago: Battle Off Samar”

  1. CG-23 Sailor said:

    Hornfischer’s “Last Stand…” has a most prominent place on my bookshelf, right along with “Clear The Bridge” by Dick O’Kane.

    After watching some behind the scenes “Making of” featurettes for the HBO miniseries “The Pacific” I found out that the reason they made the Pacific was because after one of the premieres of “Band of Brothers” where a lot of vets attended, Spielberg was approached by several Marines who asked him, “But what about us? We fought too you know”.

    That got me to thinking. “But what about the Navy?”

    Aside from Michael Bay’s abomination “Pearl Harbor”, and U-571 which rightly or wrongly gets panned for altering history (Some Brits just cannot grasp the concept of “historical Fiction”), there has not been a single modern film of the US navy of WW2. You have to look back to Das Boot (German) for any sort of good Naval film, or further back to Tora Tora Tora.

    I say they need to make a Modern film about the US Navy of WW2. The Battle Off Samar is the ideal subject matter and Hornfischer’s Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors the basis for the screenplay.

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