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Sampson II DD-394
Sampson II(DD-394: dp. 2,130, 1. 381'0", b. 36'2", dr. 10'4", s. 32 k.; cpl. 287; a. 8 5", 2 .50 cal. mg., 8 1.1", 12 21"tt.; cl. Somers)The second Sampson (DD-394) was laid down on 8 April 1936 by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; launched on 16 April 1938; sponsored by Mrs. Louisa Smith Thayer; and commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 19 August 1938, Comdr. W. Granat in command.Following shakedown in European waters in October and November, Sampson returned to Boston where she was assigned to the Battle Force of the United States Fleet.Sampson sailed from Boston on 8 March 1939 to take part in combined fleet maneuvers in waters off Cuba and Puerto Rico. She returned from this duty to Yorktown, Va., on 12 April and stood out from Hampton Roads on 20 April and headed for the United States west coast. She arrived at San Diego on 12 May 1939 and spent the next year in fleet tactics along the western seaboard from that base, taking part in the combined battle practice and maneuvers of the Battle Force off the Hawaiian Islands from 1 April to 20 June 1940. She cleared San Diego on 5 July to base her operations from Norfolk where she arrived on the 20th. She then cruised through the Caribbean Sea, from 14 November to 15 December, transporting a government mission which was compiling an economic survey of the British West Indies.Sampson then continued operations out of Norfolk, engaged in Neutrality Patrol along the eastern seaboard to various ports of the Caribbean Sea, and steamed as far north as Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. On 3 September 1941, she got underway from Boston Harbor to escort convoys and to search for enemy submarines in shipping lanes running from Newfoundland to Iceland. She arrived at HvalfJordur Fjord Iceland, on 16 September and cleared that port on 28 October in the escort screen of a merchant convoy which reached Boston on 4 November.With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States declaration of war, Sampson patrolled, with Warrington (DD-383) off Newport from 23 December 1941 to 12 January 1942 when the two destroyers set course for the Canal Zone. Sampson arrived at Balboa on 17 January to join the Southeast Pacific Forces based there. She took part in the search from 25 to 29 January, to locate submarine S-26 (SS-131) which had been sunk in 290 feet of water the night of 24 January by a surface collision with PC-460, 12 miles west of San Jose Island in Panama Bay.On 1 February, she sailed from Balboa in the escort for twelve troopships. On 12 February, she broke off from the convoy to inspect Marquesa Island. She arrived at Bora Bora, Society Islands, on 18 February and patrolled a station off Teavanui Harbor until 9 March when she set course, in company with cruiser Trenton, for Panama, and reached Balboa on 23 March. Sampson spent the next year in a series of coastal patrol sweeps from Balboa to waters off South America, making calls at such ports as Guayaquil, Equador; Valparaiso, Chile, and Callao, Peru. She varied this service with infrequent escort voyages from Balboa to the Society and Galapagos IslandsSampson returned from her last cruise along the South American coast to Balboa, on 7 May 1943, and cleared port on 23 May as one of the escorts for a troopship convoy which reached Great Roads, Noumea, New Caledonia, on 13 June. The next day, she sailed for Bora Bora, Society Islands, and returned to Noumea with a convoy of troopships on 8 July. Two days later, she set course for a point of rendezvous off Pago Pago, American Samoa; met destroyer Warrington; thence proceeded to Pearl Harbor where she arrived on the 20th.On 27 July, the two destroyers cleared Pearl Harbor escorting four Army troopships bound for Australia and reached Sydney on 8 August. She got underway the next day and arrived at Noumea, New Caledonia on 12 August 1943. During the following months, Sampson alternately based her operations at Noumea and Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands, and made frequent escort voyages to Guadalcanal, or Purvis Bay Florida, Solomon Islands. On the night of 2 and 3 October, while escorting a convoy from Noumea to Espiritu Santo, she fired at an enemy submarine and after that vessel submerged, dropped depth charges that produced a heavy oil slick.On 15 March 1944, Sampson cleared Espiritu Santo as one of four destroyers screening the escort carriers Natoma Bay (CVE-62) and Manila Bay (CVE-61). Later that day, four battleships and more destroyers joined the formation. This force struck Kavieng, New Ireland, and nearby airfields in an air-sea bombardment on 20 March while the 4th Marine Regiment made an unopposed landing to occupy Emirau Island, a base from which the north coast of New Ireland could be kept under surveillance. After guarding the escort carriers while they launched strikes against Kavieng and providing air cover for reinforcement convoys to Emirau, Sampson joined a convoy at Port Purvis Florida Island, and escorted it to Espiritu Santo. On 11 April, she received the armed guard crew from the merchant ship, Titan, stranded on Cook Reef and transferred them to Celtic in Havannah Harbor, Efate, New Hebrides.Sampson cleared Havannah Harbor on 17 April and, after escorting Atascosa to Kukum Beach, arrived off Tenaru Beach of Guadalcanal on the 20th, joining troopships which reached Borgen Bay, New Britain Island, on 25 April. After guarding one more convoy shuttling troops between Guadalcanal and Borgen Bay she touched at Purvis Bay; then steamed to Milne Bay, New Guinea, where she arrived on 11 May.There she joined the 7th Fleet; and, while at Cape Sudest, New Guinea, on 20 May became the flagship of Rear Admiral W. M. Fechteler, Commander, Task Force 77. She shifted to Humboldt Bay, Hollandia, New Guinea, on 22 May. Three days later, Major General Horace H. Fuller, the commander of the 41st United States Army Division, came on board Sampson with his staff. Rear Admiral Fechteler commanded the naval elements and the amphibious aspects of the landing to be made at Bosnik on Biak Island, Schouten Islands, while Major General Fuller directed the ground forces. The task force sailed that evening and Sampson arrived off Bosnik with her attack force before daybreak of 27 May.Following naval bombardment, the first wave of troops landed. Three cruisers sent 6-inch shells onto an enemy airstrip to the west of the beachhead while the destroyers took on targets near the landing area.In the late afternoon of 27 May, four twin-engined enemy planes came in and were taken under fire by antiaircraft guns, both afloat and ashore. Two burst into flames and crashed, and one flew off smoking badly. The pilot of a fourth enemy plane, which also trailed smoke, was attempting to crash into Sampson when antiaircraft fire knocked off a part of its wing. This raider passed over Sampson's bridge but hit the water with its wing tip and catapulted into SC-699. The submarine chaser was engulfed in flames, but soon had the fires under control. At 1707, Sampson departed Bosnik with eight LST's and several other ships and arrived in Humboldt Bay the next day.Sampson got underway from Cape Sudest on 5 June and touched the Samoan and Society Islands, en route to Cristobal, Canal Zone, where she reported for duty to the United States Atlantic Fleet on 25 June. Three days later, she sailed as the escort for troopship, General Tasker H. Bliss, and arrived at the New York Navy Yard on 4 July. She became flagship of Capt. H. T. Read, Commander, Task Force 63, on 19 July, and shifted to Hampton Roads, Va., on 21 July in preparation for transatlantic, convoy-escort duty. Three days later, she sailed as flagship of the escort for Convoy UGS-49 which reached Bizerte, Tunisia, on 13 August. She returned to New York, guarding a westward convoy, on 8 September 1944, and made four subsequent round trips to the Mediterranean, finally arriving at Boston on 19 May 1945.Sampson remained in the Boston Navy Yard until 1 July when she sailed for the Chesapeake. She arrived at Annapolis, Md., on 3 July to embark midshipmen for a training cruise, and put to sea on the 7th with a task group for battle practice off Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Virginia Capes until 30 July when she arrived at Hampton Roads. She again sailed from Norfolk on 19 August for training operations out of Guantanamo Bay and returned from this cruise to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on 16 September for inactivation overhaul. She was decommissioned on 1 November 1945 her name was struck from the Navy list on 28 November, and she was sold for scrap on 29 March 1946.Sampson earned one battle star for World War II service.
USS Sampson (DD 394)
Decommissioned 8 November 1945.
Stricken 28 November 1945.
Sold and broken up for scrap 29 March 1946.
Commands listed for USS Sampson (DD 394)
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|1||Cdr. William Granat, USN||19 Aug 1938||29 Jun 1940|
|2||Cdr. William Kearney Phillips, USN||29 Jun 1940||21 Dec 1940|
|3||Cdr. Lunsford Yandell Mason, Jr., USN||21 Dec 1940||5 Dec 1941|
|4||Lt.Cdr. Harman Brown Bell, Jr., USN||6 Dec 1941||4 Sep 1943|
|5||T/Cdr. Thomas Martin Fleck, USN||4 Sep 1943||9 Dec 1944|
|6||Samuel Oliver Rush, Jr., USN||9 Dec 1944||8 Nov 1945|
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Sampson được đặt lườn tại xưởng tàu của hãng Bath Iron Works ở Bath, Maine vào ngày 8 tháng 4 năm 1936. Nó được hạ thủy vào ngày 16 tháng 4 năm 1938 được đỡ đầu bởi bà Louisa Smith Thayer và được đưa ra hoạt động tại Xưởng hải quân Boston vào ngày 19 tháng 8 năm 1938 dưới quyền chỉ huy của Hạm trưởng, Trung tá Hải quân W. Granat.
Trước chiến tranh Sửa đổi
Sau chuyến đi chạy thử máy tại vùng biển Châu Âu trong tháng 10 và tháng 11 năm 1938, Sampson quay trở về Boston, Massachusetts, nơi nó được điều động về Lực lượng Chiến trận trực thuộc Hạm đội Hoa Kỳ. Nó khởi hành từ Boston vào ngày 8 tháng 3 năm 1939 để tham gia cuộc cơ động phối hợp hạm đội tại vùng biển ngoài khơi Cuba và Puerto Rico rồi quay trở về Yorktown, Virginia vào ngày 12 tháng 4, trước khi rời Hampton Roads vào ngày 20 tháng 4 để đi sang vùng bờ Tây Hoa Kỳ.
Sampson đi đến San Diego, California vào ngày 12 tháng 5 năm 1939 và trải qua một năm tiếp theo thực hành chiến thuật dọc theo bờ Tây từ cảng này, tham gia các cuộc thực hành chiến trận phối hợp và cơ động của Lực lượng Chiến trận ngoài khơi quần đảo Hawaii từ ngày 1 tháng 4 đến ngày 20 tháng 6 năm 1940. Nó rời San Diego vào ngày 5 tháng 7 để quay trở lại vùng bờ Đông Hoa Kỳ, đặt căn cứ tại Norfolk, Virginia nơi nó đến vào ngày 20 tháng 7. Sau đó nó di chuyển tại vùng biển Caribe từ ngày 14 tháng 11 đến ngày 15 tháng 12, đưa một phái đoàn chính phủ đi khảo sát kinh tế khu vực Tây Ấn thuộc Anh.
Sampson sau đó tiếp tục hoạt động từ Norfolk, tham gia các cuộc Tuần tra Trung lập dọc theo vùng bờ Đông và đến nhiều cảng thuộc vùng biển Caribe, di chuyển xa về phía Bắc đến tận vịnh Placentia, Newfoundland. Vào ngày 3 tháng 9 năm 1941, nó khởi hành từ Boston hộ tống các đoàn tàu vận tải và truy tìm tàu ngầm đối phương dọc theo các tuyến đường hàng hải giữa Newfoundland và Iceland. Nó đi đến Hvalfjordur Fjord, Iceland vào ngày 16 tháng 9 và rời cảng này vào ngày 23 tháng 10 hộ tống một đoàn tàu buôn vốn về đến Boston vào ngày 4 tháng 11.
Thế Chiến II Sửa đổi
1942-1943 Sửa đổi
Với việc Nhật Bản bất ngờ tấn công Trân Châu Cảng thúc đẩy Hoa Kỳ tham gia chiến tranh, Sampson tuần tra cùng với Warrington (DD-383) ngoài khơi Newport, Rhode Island từ ngày 23 tháng 12 năm 1941 đến ngày 12 tháng 1 năm 1942, khi cả hai chiếc tàu khu trục hướng đến vùng kênh đào Panama. Sampson đi đến Balboa vào ngày 17 tháng 1 để gia nhập Lực lượng Đông Nam Thái Bình Dương tại đây. Nó đã tham gia vào việc tìm kiếm từ ngày 25 đến ngày 29 tháng 1 chiếc tàu ngầm S-26 (SS-131), vốn bị đắm ở độ sâu 290 ft (88 m) trong đêm 24 tháng 1 do va chạm với chiếc PC-460 tại vị trí cách 12 nmi (22 km) về phía Tây đảo San José trong vịnh Panama.
Vào ngày 1 tháng 2, Sampson khởi hành từ Balboa hộ tống một đoàn tàu gồm 12 tàu chuyển quân và đến ngày 12 tháng 2, nó tách khỏi đoàn tàu để trinh sát đảo Marquesa. Nó đi đến Bora Bora thuộc quần đảo Society vào ngày 18 tháng 2, và tuần tra ngoài khơi cảng Teavanui cho đến ngày 9 tháng 3, khi nó lên đường cùng với tàu tuần dương Trenton để đi Panama, đi đến Balbao vào ngày 23 tháng 3. Chiếc tàu khu trục trải qua một năm tiếp theo trong một loạt các cuộc tuần tra và càn quét từ Balbao cho đến vùng biển ngoài khơi Nam Mỹ, ghé qua các cảng Guayaquil, Ecuador Valparaiso, Chile và Callao, Peru xen kẻ với các chuyến hộ tống không thường xuyên từ Balbao đến Society và quần đảo Galapagos.
Sampson quay trở về Balboa sau chuyến đi cuối cùng dọc bờ biển Nam Mỹ vào ngày 7 tháng 5 năm 1943 và đã rời cảng vào ngày 23 tháng 5 trong thành phần hộ tống một đoàn tàu chuyển quân đến Great Roads, Nouméa thuộc New Caledonia, đến nơi vào ngày 13 tháng 6. Ngày hôm sau, nó lên đường đi Bora Bora, quần đảo Society, quay trở lại Nouméa cùng một đoàn tàu vận tải chuyển quân vào ngày 8 tháng 7. Hai ngày sau, nó lên đường đi đến điểm gặp gỡ ngoài khơi Pago Pago, Samoa gặp gỡ tàu khu trục Warrington tại đây, rồi tiếp tục đi Trân Châu Cảng, đến nơi vào ngày 20 tháng 7.
Vào ngày 27 tháng 7, hai chiếc tàu khu trục rời Trân Châu Cảng hộ tống bốn tàu chuyển quân Lục quân hướng đi Australia, đi đến Sydney vào ngày 8 tháng 8. Nó khởi hành vào ngày hôm sau, và đi đến Nouméa, New Caledonia vào ngày 12 tháng 8 năm 1943. Trong những tháng tiếp theo, Sampson luân chuyển căn cứ hoạt động giữa Nouméa và Espiritu Santo thuộc quần đảo New Hebride, thường xuyên thực hiện các chuyến đi đến Guadalcanal hoặc vịnh Purvis, Florida tại quần đảo Solomon. Trong đêm 2-3 tháng 10, đang khi hộ tống một đoàn tàu vận tải đi từ Nouméa đến Espiritu Santo, nó đã bắn vào một tàu ngầm đối phương và sau khi đối thủ lặn xuống đã tiếp tục tấn công bằng mìn sâu, tạo ra một vệt dầu loang lớn.
1944 Sửa đổi
Vào ngày 15 tháng 3 năm 1944, Sampson rời Espiritu Santo trong thành phần một lực lượng bốn tàu khu trục bảo vệ cho các tàu sân bay hộ tống Natoma Bay (CVE-62) và Manila Bay (CVE-61). Cuối ngày hôm đó, có thêm bốn thiết giáp hạm và nhiều tàu khu trục cùng tham gia đội hình. Lực lượng này đã bắn phá Kavieng, New Ireland cùng các sân bay lân cận trong một cuộc bắn phá phối hợp không kích vào ngày 20 tháng 3, trong khi Trung đoàn 4 Thủy quân Lục chiến tiến hành đổ bộ mà không gặp kháng cự để chiếm đóng đảo Emirau, một căn cứ có thể giám sát rộng khắp bờ biển phía Bắc của New Ireland. Sau khi bảo vệ cho các tàu sân bay hộ tống trong khi chúng không kích xuống Kavieng và hỗ trợ trên không cho các đoàn tàu vận tải tăng viện đi đến Emirau, nó gia nhập một đoàn tàu vận tải tại cảng Purvis, đảo Florida để hộ tống chúng đi Espiritu Santo. Vào ngày 11 tháng 4, nó tiếp nhận thủy thủ đoàn vũ trang của chiếc tàu buôn Titan, bị mắc cạn tại dãi san hô Cook và chuyển họ đến Celtic thuộc cảng Havannah, Efate, New Hebrides.
Sampson rời cảng Havannah vào ngày 17 tháng 4, và sau khi hộ tống chiếc Ataseosa đi đến bãi Kukum, đã đi đến ngoài khơi Tenaru thuộc Guadalcanal vào ngày 20 tháng 4 gặp gỡ các tàu chở quân và đi đến vịnh Borgen thuộc đảo New Britain vào ngày 25 tháng 4. Sau khi hộ tống một đoàn tàu vận tải khác chuyển quân giữa Guadalcanal và vịnh Borgen, nó đi đến vịnh Purvis, rồi lên đường hướng đến vịnh Milne, New Guinea, đến nơi vào ngày 11 tháng 5. Tại đây, nó gia nhập Đệ thất Hạm đội, và đang khi ở tại mũi Sudest, New Guinea vào ngày 20 tháng 5, nó trở thành soái hạm của Chuẩn đô đốc W. M. Fechteler, Tư lệnh Lực lượng Đặc nhiệm 77. Nó chuyển đến vịnh Humboldt, Hollandia, New Guinea vào ngày 22 tháng 5. Ba ngày sau, Thiếu tướng Horace H. Fuller, Tư lệnh Sư đoàn 41 Bộ binh lên tàu cùng với ban tham mưu của ông. Đô đốc Fechteler chỉ huy các thành phần hải quân và lực lượng đổ bộ cho cuộc tấn công lên Bosnik ở đảo Biak thuộc quần đảo Schouten trong khi Thiếu tướng Fuller chỉ đạo các lực lượng trên bờ. Lực lượng đặc nhiệm lên đường chiều tối hôm đó, và Sampson cùng với lực lượng tấn công của nó đi đến ngoài khơi Bosnik trước bình minh ngày 27 tháng 5.
Sau cuộc bắn phá, lực lượng bắt đầu đổ bộ ba tàu tuần dương đã bắn đạn pháo 6-inch xuống một sân bay Nhật Bản về phía Tây bãi đổ bộ, trong khi các tàu khu trục nhắm vào các mục tiêu gần khu vực đổ bộ. Xế chiều ngày 27 tháng 5, bốn máy bay hai động cơ Nhật Bản xuất hiện, được tiếp đón bởi hỏa lực phòng không cả ngoài biển lẫn trên bờ. Hai chiếc đã bị bắn cháy và rơi, một chiếc khác bay khỏi sau khi bị bắn cháy. Phi công của chiếc thứ tư, sau khi bị bắn cháy, đã tìm cách đâm vào Sampson sau khi bị hỏa lực phòng không bắn mất một phần cánh nó sượt qua cầu tàu của Sampson, rồi đầu cánh của nó chạm xuống nước khi nó lao vào chiếc SC-699. Chiếc tàu săn tàu ngầm bốc cháy, nhưng đám cháy được kiểm soát không lâu sau đó. Đến 17 giờ 07 phút, Sampson rời Bosnik cùng tám tàu đổ bộ LST và nhiều tàu khác, và đi đến Humboldt vào ngày hôm sau.
Sampson khởi hành từ mũi Sudest vào ngày 5 tháng 6, ghé qua Samoa và quần đảo Society trên đường đi Cristóbal, Panama, nơi nó trình diện để phục vụ cùng Hạm đội Đại Tây Dương vào ngày 25 tháng 6. Ba ngày sau, nó lên đường trong thành phần hộ tống cho một tàu chở quân, và đi đến Xưởng hải quân New York vào ngày 4 tháng 7. Nó trở thành soái hạm của Đại tá Hải quân H. T. Read, Tư lệnh Lực lượng Đặc nhiệm 63 vào ngày 19 tháng 7, và chuyển đến Hampton Roads vào ngày 21 tháng 7 chuẩn bị cho nhiệm vụ hộ tống vượt Đại Tây Dương. Ba ngày sau, nó khởi hành như là soái hạm lực lượng hộ tống cho Đoàn tàu UGS-49, vốn đi đến Bizerte, Tunisia vào ngày 13 tháng 8. Nó quay trở về New York hộ tống một đoàn tàu đi sang hướng Tây vào ngày 8 tháng 9, rồi tiếp tục thực hiện bốn chuyến khứ hồi sang khu vực Địa Trung Hải, trước khi quay trở về Boston vào ngày 19 tháng 5 năm 1945.
1945 Sửa đổi
Sampson tiếp tục ở lại Xưởng hải quân Boston cho đến ngày 1 tháng 7, khi nó lên đường đi vịnh Chesapeake. Nó đi đến Annapolis, Maryland vào ngày 3 tháng 7, đón lên tàu học viên sĩ quan cho một chuyến đi huấn luyện, và ra khơi vào ngày 7 tháng 7 cùng một đội đặc nhiệm để tập trận ngoài khơi Cuba, Puerto Rico và Virginia Capes cho đến ngày 30 tháng 7, khi nó quay về Hampton Roads. Nó lại khởi hành từ Norfolk vào ngày 19 tháng 8 để hoạt động huấn luyện ngoài khơi vịnh Guantánamo, quay trở về Xưởng hải quân Philadelphia sau chuyến đi này vào ngày 16 tháng 9 để chuẩn bị ngừng hoạt động.
Sau chiến tranh Sửa đổi
Sampson được cho xuất biên chế vào ngày 1 tháng 11 năm 1945. Tên nó được rút khỏi danh sách Đăng bạ Hải quân vào ngày 28 tháng 11, và nó bị bán để tháo dỡ vào ngày 29 tháng 3 năm 1946.
Sampson được tặng thưởng một Ngôi sao Chiến trận do thành tích phục vụ trong Chiến tranh Thế giới thứ hai.
USS Sampson (DD-394)
Figure 1: USS Sampson (DD-394) photographed circa the later 1930s. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 2: USS Sampson (DD-394) tied up alongside a sister ship, circa the later 1930s. Courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia. Ted Stone Collection. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 3: USS Sampson (DD-394) steaming near USS Saratoga (CV-3), circa 1940. Note the safety net at the side of Saratoga's flight deck, and the TBD-1 torpedo planes parked nearby. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 4: USS Sampson (DD-394) underway at sea, circa 1939-1940. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 5: USS Sampson (DD-394) underway in the Gulf of Panama, 14 March 1943. Though the pattern is not visible in this photograph, Sampson is painted in the very pale pattern of Measure 16 (Thayer system) camouflage. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 6: USS Sampson (DD-394) underway in the Gulf of Panama, 14 March 1943. Halftone reproduction, published by the Division of Naval Intelligence in June 1943 for ship recognition purposes. Sampson is painted in the very pale pattern of Measure 16 (Thayer system) camouflage, which is faintly visible in this view. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 7: USS Sampson (DD-394) underway in the Gulf of Panama, 14 March 1943. Halftone reproduction, published by the Division of Naval Intelligence in June 1943 for ship recognition purposes. Sampson is painted in the very pale pattern of Measure 16 (Thayer system) camouflage. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 8: USS Sampson (DD-394) off the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, 27 September 1944. She is wearing Camouflage Design 3D, presumably in Measure 32. However, the darkest tone looks rather light to be the dull black of Measure 32 and might be Measure 33's navy blue. Official US Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 9: US Navy ships at Bora Bora, Society Islands. A destroyer and a light cruiser in Teavanui Harbor, February 1942. The cruiser (with four smokestacks) is probably USS Trenton (CL-11), and the destroyer is probably USS Sampson (DD-394). Note their camouflage: Measure 12 on the cruiser and the mottled pattern of Measure 12 (Modified) on the destroyer. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.
Named after Rear Admiral William T. Sampson (1840-1902), who was the victor of the Battle of Santiago de Cuba on 3 July 1898, the 2,130-ton USS Sampson (DD-394) was a Somers class destroyer that was built by the Bath Iron Works at Bath, Maine, and was commissioned on 19 August 1938. The ship was approximately 381 feet long and 36 feet wide, had a top speed of 32 knots, and had a crew of 287 officers and men. Sampson was armed with eight 5-inch guns, a variety of anti-aircraft guns, 12 21-inch torpedo tubes, and depth charges.
After completing her shakedown cruise in Europe, Sampson patrolled off the east coast of the United States and in the Caribbean until April 1939, when she was sent to the Pacific. Sampson spent the next two years participating in naval maneuvers off the Hawaiian Islands and off America’s west coast. The ship returned to the Atlantic at the end of 1940 and on 3 September 1941, Sampson left Boston, Massachusetts, to participate in Neutrality Patrols, escorting merchant ships between Newfoundland and Iceland. The destroyer reached Iceland on 16 September and then left on October 23 to escort a convoy that was headed back to Boston. Sampson and her brood of merchant ships reached Boston on 4 November 1941.
After America entered the war on 7 December 1941, Sampson went on anti-submarine patrols off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island, along with the destroyer USS Warrington (DD-383). She continued this assignment until 12 January 1942, when the two ships were sent to the Panama Canal. Sampson arrived at Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, on 17 January and was ordered to join the Southeast Pacific Forces that were based there. Throughout the next year, Sampson was assigned to patrol and escort duties along the western seaboard of Latin America and westward as far as the Society and Galapagos Islands. Beginning in May 1943, Sampson‘s convoy escort duties were extended to the southwest Pacific and she remained in that area until the beginning of August. Sampson was based at both Noumea, New Caledonia, and at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands. From both of these bases, Sampson escorted merchant ships and troop ships to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. On the night of 2-3 October 1943, while escorting a convoy from Nounea to Espiritu Santo, Sampson fired on a Japanese submarine. The submarine quickly submerged, but Sampson dropped depth charges over it, resulting in a heavy oil slick coming from where the submarine was thought to be.
On 15 March 1944, Sampson and four other destroyers left Espiritu Santo and escorted the carriers USS Natoma Bay (CVE-62) and USS Manila Bay (CVE-61). They were then joined by four battleships and several more destroyers, all coming together as one large task force. On 20 March, the ships attacked Kavieng in New Ireland in a major air-sea assault. While the ships bombarded the island, aircraft from the carriers pounded shore targets as well. At the same time, the Fourth Marine Regiment made an unopposed landing on Emirau Island, off the northern coast of New Ireland. Taking Emirau Island enabled the Marines to keep New Ireland under surveillance without having to actually occupy it. After escorting the carriers and providing anti-aircraft support for the troop transports that were bringing reinforcements to Emirau Island, Sampson escorted a convoy back to Espiritu Santo. Then in April 1944, Sampson joined the Seventh Fleet and participated in amphibious operations along the northern shore of New Guinea.
During the invasion of Biak Island in the Schouten Island chain, Sampson and the amphibious group she was escorting were attacked by four Japanese twin-engine bombers. Anti-aircraft fire from Sampson and the other escorts shot down two of the bombers and damaged another, which flew away with one of its engines on fire. The fourth enemy plane, which also was on fire, tried to crash into Sampson. But as the burning plane rapidly approached the destroyer, Sampson’s anti-aircraft gunners managed to knock off one of the bomber’s wings. The flaming aircraft passed directly over Sampson’s bridge and hit the water. What was left of the plane bounced off the surface of the water and slammed into a nearby American patrol boat, SC-699. The small ship was immediately engulfed in flames, but the stout little vessel managed to put out the fires and stay afloat.
Sampson returned to the Atlantic in June of 1944. She was used as a convoy escort and over the next eleven months made five round-trip voyages between the east coast of the United States and ports located in the Mediterranean. Sampson then was used as a training ship during the late summer of 1945 and was decommissioned on 1 November 1945 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. USS Sampson was sold for scrapping on 29 March 1946.
Sampson II DD-394 - History
A Tin Can Sailors
William T. Sampson served during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War and held some of the highest posts in the U.S. Navy. The DD-394 was the second destroyer to honor Admiral Sampson. She was launched on 16 April 1938 and was commissioned on 19 August 1938. She saw early service in the North Atlantic as a neutrality patrol ship along the East Coast and into the northern waters of Newfoundland and Iceland. Following service in the Caribbean, she was transferred to the West Coast where she was joined in San Diego by the SOMERS (DD-381) and WARRINGTON (DD-383). The SAMPSON, WARRINGTON, and MARYLAND (BB-46) steamed west for operations out of Pearl Harbor in April 1940, but by the end of June, she was headed back to the states and the Norfolk Navy Yard. She was in the Caribbean at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Following Pearl Harbor, she continued to patrol the Caribbean until July 1941 when she steamed north to Newport, Rhode Island. On 5 August, she and the AUGUSTA (CA-31), TUSCALOOSA (CA-37), McDOUGAL (DD-358), MOFFETT (DD-362), WINSLOW (DD-359), and MADISON (DD-425) escorted President Roosevelt to Argentia, Newfoundland, for the Atlantic Charter meeting. In September, her duties were more routine, as she escorted the convoy carrying the first troops and equipment to Iceland. On convoy duty again with the WARRINGTON in October, the SAMPSON patrolled off Newport, Rhode Island, and then steamed south, bound ultimately for the Pacific war zone. On 25 January 1942, the SAMPSON joined the search for survivors of the submarine S-26 (SS-131) sunk in 290 feet of water following a surface collision with PC-460 in Panama Bay. She then operated out of Balboa, patrolling the waters off South America.
By May 1943, she was escorting troop ship convoys to Noumea, New Caledonia, and again with the WARRINGTON put into Pearl Harbor on 20 July. The two destroyers cleared Pearl Harbor escorting army troop ships bound for Australia. In August, the SAMPSON began operating alternately out of Noumea and Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands. On the night of 2 and 3 October 1943, while on escort duty, she contacted an enemy submarine on the surface, forcing it to submerge with her gunfire. She then dropped depth charges that produced a heavy oil slick.
On 15 March 1944, the SAMPSON joined Task Force 37 cleared Espiritu Santo as part of the screen for the escort carriers NATOMA BAY (CVE-62) and MANILA BAY (CVE-61). The force, which included the NEW MEXICO (BB-40), MISSISSIPPI (BB-41), IDAHO (BB-42), TENNESSEE (BB-43), and the WARRINGTON, moved on for a strike against Kavieng, New Ireland, and to support the 4th Marine Regiment = s landing on Emirau Island on 19 and 20 March. She stayed with the NATOMA BAY, the STERETT (DD-407), and LANG (DD-399) off Emirau through the end of the month and then went on to escort a convoy to Espiritu Santo.
On 11 April, she picked up the armed guard from the merchant ship TITAN, which was stranded on Cook Reef and transferred them to the CELTIC in Efate, New Hebrides. She then headed for Port Purvis, Borgen Bay, New Britain, and, finally, Guadalcanal for five days on patrol off Lunga Point. Various escort missions took her up to 11 May, when she joined the 7th Fleet. Nine days later, she became the flagship of Rear Admiral W. M. Fechteler, Commander, Task Force 77. On 25 May, Major General Horace H. Fuller, commander of the 41st Army Division, boarded the SAMPSON, which then led her attack force to Biak Island for the landings at Bosnik.
The destroyer was on her way to the states by late June and arrived in Brooklyn on 4 July. On 24 July, she left Boston for Norfolk to pick up a convoy bound for Bizerte, Tunisia, and on 19 August, returned with a westbound convoy. The SAMPSON continued convoy escort duty crisscrossing the Atlantic from the East Coast to Bizerte, Palermo, Sicily, and finally, Oran, Algeria, where she ended the year. Three more convoys to Oran and back took her into May 1945, when she returned to Boston. She put to sea on 1 July, stopped at Annapolis on the 3rd, and then sailed for Guantanamo Bay, Gonaives, Haiti, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, with the SOMERS, SAVANNAH (CL-42), CINCINNATI (CL-6), RALEIGH (CL-7), and MARBLEHEAD (CL-12).
Samson ignores the rules of his Nazarite vows.
- He eats honeycomb out of the carcass of a dead lion he slew (Judges 14:9)
- He attends a wedding feast, where alcohol is present. Although the text does not indicate whether or not he drank, this article says he still sinned during that occasion when he kills 30 Philistines when his wife, Timnah, tricks him out of a wager (Judges 14). Whether killing them came from a sound mind or a mind under the influence of alcohol, he sinned.
- Later on, his wife cuts his hair, which causes him to lose his great strength he’d been renowned for (Judges 16:20).
Known for violent acts and a bent for revenge, Samson also ends up committing a number of other atrocities. He ties the tails of 300 foxes together, fastens ablaze torches to them, and sets them loose in Philistine fields (Judges 15:4-5).
When the Philistines retaliate and burn Samson’s wife and father in law, he attacks them viciously and kills many of them (Judges 15:7).
Later, he kills a thousand men with a donkey’s jawbone (Judges 15:16)
116TH AAA GUN BATTALION
Staff Sergeant Irving Locker served in the 116th AAA Gun Battalion during WWII. He commanded several 90mm gun batteries during his time in Europe. He landed at Utah Beach on June 6, 1944 during the allied invasion of Europe on D-Day. During his time in Europe, he liberated a concentration camp and has numerous encounters with German armor, aircraft, and personnel.
34TH INFANTRY DIVISION
In this action packed interview, WWII U.S. Army veteran Jim Davis shares his experiences while serving in the 34th Infantry Division during the war. He was shot in the leg while in Italy, and personally describes that dangerous encounter.
USS Sampson (DD 394) with an unidentified light cruiser at Bora Bora early in World War II.
The United States was allowed 150,000 tons of such ships, (Britain 150,000, Japan 100,450), of which &ldquonot more than sixteen percent . . . shall be employed in vessels of over 1,500 tons (1,524 metric tons) standard displacement: thus 13 (give or take fifty tons) 1,850-tonners.
A debate arose within the US Navy regarding what, if any, types of ship should be built on this displacement. In World War I, divisions of both British and German torpedo-boat destroyers had been led into battle by light cruisers or more heavily armed flotilla leaders, but the US Navy had not developed such ships that could play such a role.
Catholic Military Chaplains: America’s Forgotten Heroes
“War is Hell” General William Tecumseh Sherman once noted. Indeed there is nothing to celebrate about warfare however unfortunately it has been present with mankind in his fallen nature since departing from the Garden of Eden. War was a common affair throughout the Old Testament.
Saint Augustine understood the sometimes unfortunate necessity of war and as a result outlined the “Just War” clauses to allow moral principles to still be applied. Later in more modern periods Saint Joan of Arc was called to battle by Our Lord, and in the twentieth century Our Lady noted at Fatima that war was a “punishment for sin.” In other words man’s own sinfulness often leads to war due to a lack of God in society.
This helps us in our current age understand that at certain times war is necessary to defeat evil or in self defense. While often it is hard to tell throughout history whether a war was just or not, in the end it is truly left to the judgment of God.
However, regardless Catholic chaplains have served throughout history on the battlefield to serve those who have fought wars whether from a sense of duty, or simply being caught up in the times and circumstances.
Fr. Aloysius Paul McGonigal, a Chaplain of the U.S. Army holding the rank of Major.
In the U.S., military chaplains have also served since the Revolutionary War. The widespread use of Catholic chaplains did not begin until the Civil War after large populations of Catholic immigrants had changed the demographic of a previously Protestant dominated America.
Additionally, previous wars found Catholics still facing much prejudice in the military and their religious needs were not considered as much as those of Protestants.
However, since the Civil War, the Catholic chaplains of the U.S. military have provided comfort in war and peace.
Frequently many were and remain true Catholic heroes but, sadly are often forgotten. This article while not all inclusive will re-introduce some of the many forgotten Catholic chaplains throughout American military history, and also recommend some additional references for further reading.
The Mexican American War
Even before the Civil War during the Mexican American War of 1846-1848, Father Anthony Rey served in the army of General Zackary Taylor. Father Rey administered to American troops with Last Rites and care of the wounded. He was present at the Battle of Monterey in which he earned admiration for his bravery. Father Rey also ministered to local Mexican Catholics. He was warned by U.S. Army officers against this practice due to guerilla and bandit activity outside U.S. camps. However, Father Rey accepted the risk nonetheless for the good of souls. He would die doing the work of his Master in 1847 in the Mexican countryside being found dead of multiple lance pierces. A quick internet search will reveal more details and background on the life and mission of Father Rey. 1
During the U.S. Civil War from 1861-1865, Father William Corby became famous for his absolution of the Irish brigade at Gettysburg in 1863 as they went into battle. Shortly after this absolution many Irish soldiers would be cut down, but in the mercy of the Lord, they died with the sacramental comfort of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. This act is still commemorated by a statue of the absolution at Gettysburg National Battlefield. Father Corby later became president of Notre Dame and wrote a memoir of his three years in the Civil War which is still in print titled Memoirs of Chaplain Life: Three Years in the Irish Brigade with the Army of the Potomac. 2
Also during the Civil War, Father Peter Whelan was a Confederate Army Catholic chaplain who ministered to the Union prisoners at the infamous Andersonville Prisoner of War (POW) camp in Georgia. At Andersonville Union prisoners were subject to exposure at all times and seasons. The stream that flowed through the camp was the water source and latrine. Father Whelan administered to the prisoners in the hot, disease ridden, and filthy camp where thousands would die. Prisoners also suffered from gang violence committed by fellow prisoners. From dawn to dusk Father Whelan heard confessions, cared for the sick, and provided comfort including the Last Rites to the numerous dying.
In this camp of horror, Father Whelan saved thousands of lives and souls through his zeal for charity. Father Whelan cared for those seen as the Union “enemy” as he, like his Lord, saw all mankind first: as his brother not an enemy. Father Whelan would contract a lung disease from the disease ridden camp and die in 1871 going to his eternal reward after working in his Master’s vineyard. 3 A work titled The Prison Ministry of Father Peter Whelan: Georgia Priest and Confederate Chaplain was written in 1987 by Peter J. Meany, OSB. The small book can sometimes be obtained at old book stores and is quite inspirational and more detailed. 4
Following the Civil War, conflict was constant in the Western U.S. during the period known as the Indian Wars from 1865 to Wounded Knee in 1890. Father Eli Washington John Lindesmith ministered to the troops and families stationed on the lonely Western outposts. His readings are very interesting and well documented by author Monsignor James R. Kolp in his work The Amazing Father Lindesmith: Chaplain in Indian Country and noted as “worthwhile reading” by Father Benedict Groeschel CFR. 5
The Spanish American War of 1898 began with the explosion that destroyed the U.S.S. Maine in Cuba’s Havana harbor which was likely incorrectly thought to be the result of foul play from Spain.
Regardless, Father John P. Chidwick, Chaplain of the U.S.S. Maine, immediately gave a mass absolution, and then feverishly began rescuing and administering to the wounded. Last Rites were also given to the dying. Needless to say all these actions were done at great risk to his own life. One cadet noted that night Chaplain Chidwick was “everywhere.” Father Chidwick would also be one of the last to leave the stricken ship. 6
Fr. Francis Duffy in World War I trenches.
During World War I, Father John B. DeValles would become known as the “Angel of the Trenches.” This was due to his charity in deliberately entering “No Man’s Land” to look for wounded and dying soldiers Allied or German. The danger he risked in his zeal for souls made him a legend. Father DeValles was once even found unconscious due to breathing in mustard gas while trying to aid a wounded soldier. Father DeValles’ selfless charity would lead to early death from health problems connected to the war at age forty-one. 7
Father Francis Patrick Duffy was also a legend and known for his chaplaincy to the 69th “Fighting Irish” New York National Guard in World War I. Today, while not well known, a statue of Father Duffy can be found in the middle of Times Square as this author has visited. 8
The attack on Pearl Harbor brought about the first Catholic chaplain hero of World War II. Father Aloysius Schmitt was beginning preparations for Mass on the U.S.S. Oklahoma when Japanese torpedoes hit the battleship. The attack caused immediate flooding aboard the vessel. In one compartment, Father Schmitt helped push sailors through a small porthole to escape the incoming waters.
The last man to leave would have been Father Schmitt however, after realizing more sailors had arrived into the flooding compartment below him he went back and gave up attempts to save himself. Father Schmitt pushed another twelve men through before he drowned. Later in the war a destroyer would bear his name as the U.S.S. Schmitt. 9
In the following days, the Japanese attacks on the Philippines also brought out more Catholic priest heroes. Father William Cummings was one such chaplain who ministered to the victims of the attack on the Philippines. Eventually captured, Father Cummings would be one of the five priests who participated in the infamous Bataan Death March. Father Cummings would continue to minister to troops in the Prisoner of War (POW) camp and become known as the man “who never said no to anyone.” Father Cummings would go to his eternal award eight months before the war’s end dying on a Japanese POW ship. 10
Also on the Death March, the Japanese brutally murdered a Jesuit priest who until today is regarded as a martyr by the Filipino people. Father Juan Gaerlan, a chaplain to the Philippine Army (the Philippines was still an American colony,) after he escaped with other Filipino soldiers was later recaptured. In retaliation all were fastened with baling wire and bayoneted to death. 11
Additionally Father John E. Duffy would survive the Death March, being left for dead after Japanese guards bayoneted him three times. Rescued by Filipino guerillas he was later recaptured and sent to Japanese POW camps where he ministered to the prisoners. During his imprisonment Father Duffy was tortured, beaten with a baseball bat and subjected to high water pressure, all of which failed to get the priest to collaborate with the enemy in any way. This information in greater detail is available in a great work on Father Duffy But Deliver Us from Evil: Father Duffy and the Men of Bataan by Dan Murr in 2008. 12
Father Duffy was also with Father Matthias Zerfas who survived the Death March. While a prisoner he celebrated Mass and cared for the sick even though he was weak and himself literally starving to death. Father Zerfas even conducted convert classes and led night prayers and a daily rosary. Father Zerfas eventually died after being given Last Rites by Father Duffy when their POW ship moving them was mistakenly attacked by U.S. warplanes. 13
Father Carl Hausmann also ministered to POWs after surviving the Death March. Father Hausmann entered the army following the attack on the Philippines as he was already present in the islands as a priest ministering to the lepers at the Colion Leper Colony. One survivor noted that they felt unclean around Father Hausmann as he was so holy. One example of this holiness was his giving of food to other prisoners although he himself was dying of starvation, and another was how he worked for others while barely able to stand himself.
Father Hausmann also suffered a ten minute rifle butt beating by a Japanese guard for refusing to halt the consecration during Mass when an air raid began. Father Hausmann survived the beating and still completed the Holy Mass after the guard left. 14 Additionally, Father Duffy himself said Father Hausmann died partly because he gave his daily two spoonfuls of rice to other prisoners. 15 This author recommends the aforementioned book by Dan Murr for more detail on these great priests of Bataan and their resulting heroic charity in Japanese POW camps.
Holy Mass on Iwo Jima, 1945.
As the war continued, many Catholic chaplains entered military service and began to bring the sacraments so needed to soldiers in danger or on the verge of death. Many would give their lives or make other heroic sacrifices. In the Pacific War, Father Thomas Reardon suffered with the troops on Guadalcanal so much that he lost fifty pounds. Father Reardon wore the same clothes for eighty-five days and despite dealing with malaria rarely rested in order to minister to his “parish” on the beach for 125 days. Father Reardon was later evacuated unconscious and close to death from his overwork. 16
Author James Campbell in The Ghost Mountain Boys regarding the campaign in New Guinea discusses the role of Father Stephen Dzienis who accompanied the 32d Infantry Division as it crossed the Owen Stanley Mountains in a 130-mile march through thick jungle to attack the Japanese army at Buna. This march through the jungle decimated the 32d through disease and exhaustion, but they still went into immediate combat for two months with a determined Japanese enemy. Even in battle and despite jungle rot sores, Father Dzienis would provide Mass, comfort, and Last Rites. Soldiers of all faiths were known to shout “Chaplain Dzienis is here!” so important was his presence as he crawled to the front to visit “his parish.” 17
At Iwo Jima, Marine Chaplain Father Charles Suver celebrated Holy Mass shortly before the raising of the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi by the Marines. Debate has been inconclusive whether it was the first less known or the second more well known raising of the flag that is now immortalized in history. Regardless of which flag raising it was Father Suver could still hear Japanese voices in the nearby caves as he said the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! 18
Fr. Joseph O’Callahan ministers to an injured man aboard the USS Franklin, March, 1945.
At sea, Navy Chaplain Father Joseph T. O’Callahan received the Medal of Honor due to his bravery administering to the dead and wounded when the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Franklin was severely damaged and turned into a blazing inferno by a kamikaze attack off Japan in March 1945. Father O’Callahan additionally was credited with inspiring the crew to fight the fires despite the danger of flames and exploding American bombs set off by the fire. Father O’Callahan set an example of bravery and spiritual calmness which in turn helped inspire the crew. 19
In Europe, Catholic chaplains were no less brave and were present throughout the theater. Father Joseph Lacy spent much of D-Day in France providing Last Rites to Catholic soldiers and spiritual comfort to non-Catholic soldiers. 20 Father Francis L. Sampson became known as the “Parachute Padre” serving in the 501st parachute regiment. Father Sampson was captured at Normandy by the German SS and almost executed until saved by a German Catholic soldier. Father Sampson noted he was so nervous he kept repeating the Catholic grace prayer before a meal instead of an Act of Contrition.
Eventually freed by American troops and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Father Sampson would go on to survive the famous jump into the Arnhem pocket in Holland also known as “the bridge too far,” and was later recaptured by German troops during the Battle of the Bulge.
This time Father Samson would remain a POW in a Stalag until the end of the war, but remain busy aiding the sick and saying Mass. Father Sampson would survive to serve as a Chaplain in the Korean War and later become the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains from 1967-1971. 21 Father Sampson also wrote a memoir of his World War II experiences appropriately titled Look Out Below in 1958. 22 This memoir also gives great insight to Soviet actions in occupied areas of Eastern Europe after German defeat. Father Sampson was in a POW camp “liberated” by the Soviet army and he offers a good firsthand account of the horrors of life in the Soviet sector. If it can be acquired through an old book store it is a worthwhile read.
At sea in the Battle for the Atlantic with German submarines, Father John Washington is remembered as one of the four chaplains that gave away their lives after the troopship Dorchester was torpedoed by a German U-Boat off Greenland in 1943. Father Washington and the other three chaplains a rabbi, a Methodist, and a Dutch Reformed minister all gave away their life preservers and were last seen sinking with the ship praying with arms linked for the men’s safety. 23 There is a stained glass memorial to these four chaplains in the Pentagon. In concluding the World War II part of this article it must be mentioned that any reading about Catholic chaplains in World War II is not complete without Battlefield Chaplains: Catholic Priests in World War II by Donald F. Crosby, S.J.
Chaplain Harold O. Prudell hears a soldier’s confession on the front lines of Korea, June, 1951.
In the postwar era, Father William Menster would accompany the U.S. exploration mission Operation HighJump to the Antarctica. Father Menster would be the first clergy to set foot on Antarctica and also consecrated the continent through the Holy Mass. Father Menster wrote his memoirs in a work called Strong Men South in 1949. 24
In 1950, the Korean War would bring forward more sacrifice on the part of Catholic chaplains. Father Emil J. Kapaun who was declared a Servant of God in 1993 may one day be declared a saint. Father Kapaun worked tirelessly to aid and comfort POWs after he was captured and imprisoned by Chinese Communist troops. Father Kapaun despite abuse would also help the allied POWs refute communist propaganda with Catholic doctrine. Eventually communist abuse would take its toll and Father Kapaun would die of sickness, the denial of medical care, and starvation before the end of the war. Giving away his food to other POWs exasperated the problem. A great work on Father Emil Kapaun is A Shepherd in Combat Boots by William L. Maher. 25
During the war in Vietnam Father Vincent Robert Capodanno, a U.S. Navy Chaplain, ministered to U.S. troops and was killed while trying to rescue a wounded corpsman. Father Capodanno was into his second year after he volunteered to extend past a year in order to continue to administer to U.S. troops. This action would lead to the award of the Medal of Honor for Father Capodanno. Father Capodanno was named a Servant of God in 2002 and may likely become a saint. Grunt Padre by Father Daniel L. Mode is a great book on Father Capodanno. 26
U.S. Army Chaplain Father Aloysius Paul McGonigal during the Tet Offensive of 1968 volunteered to minister to troops in the urban battle for Hue city. The urban battle for Hue ranks with other great urban battles like Stalingrad and Manila during World War II in its intensity. Despite an order to not go into the city, Father McGonigal’s zeal for souls in danger was too great.
Fr. Charles Watters in Vietnam shortly before his death in November, 1967. Chaplain Watters was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery under fire.
Once he linked up with the Marines they told him to leave as it was too dangerous. Father McGonigal refused and ministered aid and Last Rites to the wounded and dying. He was killed on February 17, 1968 trying to rescue a wounded Marine. The Marines later dedicated a chapel at Camp Pendleton in his honor to the service he gave to the Marines at Hue. 27
In our own times, Father Tim Vakoc served in Bosnia where he told his sister he wanted to do God’s will even if it included being in the line of fire. Father Vakoc would eventually deploy to Iraq and drove in the dangerous convoys prone to Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks in order to minister to the troops. After returning from saying Holy Mass in the Mosul area in 2004, Father Vakoc was in a vehicle struck by an IED that caused him to loose an eye and suffer heavy brain damage. Father Vakoc suffered during his attempts of recovery and went to his eternal reward in June 2009 a true warrior of Christ.
While this brief article can only scratch the surface it is a reminder of the many Catholic heroes that have served as chaplains in our country’s history. The spiritual and physical benefits of the priest in service to the armed forces are incalculable. This author has seen firsthand the selfless service of priests in Iraq, and hopes all who read this have a new found appreciation for our wonderful Catholic chaplains past and present and will find the works mentioned beneficial for future reading and inspiration. Our Lord truly built his Holy Roman Catholic Church to bring us salvation and His comfort under the most trying of times in this world.
Sampson II DD-394 - History
Destroyers by Class(Classes are listed alphabetically, not chronologically.)
Class names are from Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships 1976, U. S. Destroyers 1982,
United States Destroyers of World War II, 1983, and American Naval History 1984.
Each lead page includes the names of all destroyers in that class. Some classes are dirivatives of other classes as noted
To access class, click on name in table below.
Chronological Order (Quantity built in Parentheses)
Bainbridge (9), Hopkins (2), Lawrence (2), Truxtun (3), Smith (3), Flusser (2), Paulding (4), Roe (9), Monaghan (7), Cassin (4), Aylwin (4), O'Brien (6),
Tucker (7), Sampson (5), Caldwell (6), Wickes (111), Rathburne (4), Lamberton (2), Tattnall (3), Little (5), Clemson (162), Belknap (2), Farragut (9),
Dale (3), Porter (8), Mahan (13), Somers (4), Gridley (8), Bagley (8), Craven (1), Sampson (5), Sampson DD-394 (1), Benham (11), Sims (12),
Benson (40), Gleaves (50), Livermore (1), Bristol (7), Fletcher (176), Allen M. Sumner (59), Robert H. Smith (11), Gering (101), Carpenter (2),
Mitscher (4), Forrest ShermanDD (11), Hull (5), Converted Forrest Sherman DDG (4), Charles F. Adams (23), Farragut/Coontz (10), Kidd (4),