10/25/1944: The Last Great Naval Battle

October 25th, 2009 by xformed

I have posted many times about not only this specific day, but 10/25 in military history.

Let’s begin with my post the day the “Small Boys” put on full rudder, flank speed and headed into the midst of 4 Japanese battleships, 21 cruisers and many destroyers, including IJNS YAMATO, carrying the largest naval guns put to sea in all of history: 18.1″, at the Battle Off Samar. The largest US Naval guns there to oppose the Japanese force were 5″/38 caliber guns, firing a 54 lb projectile against massive steel plated ships. Lopsided as it was, the American sailors and their aviators overhead attacked back like they could win the day, and they did.

The best book I have read on this topic is appropriately named “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors” by James Hornfischer. Not only was it an excellent book, which brought many first person accounts to light, it is a well written report of the battle that day at the tactical and strategic levels.

I had the honor of spending an afternoon with Richard Rhode, who had been a Radioman aboard USS SAMUEL B ROBERTS (DE-413) a few years ago.

I had the honor of serving aboard a ship named for GM2 Paul Henry Carr, USN, the Mount Captain for MT 52 aboard the “Sammie B” that day. He died, fighting to the end, and he did give his last full measure.

Beyond the Battle Off Samar, I have found Oct 25th is a day across history of several significant battles, all connected to well known stories of heroism.

Please click on the links to my prior postings and read of a day when sailors did their duty and men rose to a challenge against odds that were impossible, and became a part of the history of the US Navy, the US Armed Forces and the spirit of those who serve the cause of freedom.

And don’t forget the heroes of today, who have also sacrified for us, as the sailors did on 10/25/1944 and please consider supporting the Soaldier’s Angels Project VALOur-IT. Details on how to donate, beginning 10/26/2009 are here. You can donate to the project through the widegt in the upper left of this blog, too (the one that looks like a big thermometer

Category: Charities, History, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy, Valour-IT | 2 Comments »

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