The U.S.S. Roberts was part of the task force escorting the troop transports to the beaches for the invasion of the Philippines during WWII. She was a destroyer escort. One of the ships the sailors called “tin cans”. A thin skinned ship with 5 inch guns, a few torpedoes and some depth charges, her primary role was anti-submarine.
But on October 25th, 1944 she was called upon in ways no one could have envisioned. The main fleet under Admiral Halsey had gone north looking the Japanese Combined Fleet. A small task for of 3 escort carriers and a few destroyers and destroyer escorts had been left to watch over the transports. The Japanese Combined Fleet found them.
Lacking any hope, the destroyer escorts of Task Force Taffy were sent in to try to delay the Japanese long enough for the carriers to escape. 5 inch guns against battleships. What happens in the ensuing battle has been called “the U.S. Navy’s finest hour”. The Roberts was at the heart of it.
I just finished reading this, a history of the U.S.S. Roberts and the men who served on her. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to remember one of the most heroic events in a time filled with heroes.