From Battlefront – WWII: Road To Victory
Background on the 442nd at Wikipedia Includes their other achievements as well as action at the Gothic Line.
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is an infantry regiment of the United States Army, part of the Army Reserve. The regiment was a fighting unit composed almost entirely of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who fought in World War II. Most of the families of mainland Japanese Americans were confined to internment camps in the United States interior. Beginning in 1944, the regiment fought primarily in Europe during World War II, in particular Italy, southern France, and Germany.
The 442nd Regiment was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare. The 4,000 men who initially made up the unit in April 1943 had to be replaced nearly 2 times. In total, about 14,000 men served, earning 9,486 Purple Hearts. The unit was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations (five earned in one month).:201 Twenty-one of its members were awarded Medals of Honor. Its motto was “Go for Broke”.
President Truman salutes the colors of the combined 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, during the presentation of the seventh Presidential Unit Citation. The Regimental Combat Team (less the 552d Field Artillery Battalion) received the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding accomplishments in combat in the vicinty of Serravezza, Carrara, and Fosdinovo, Italy, from April 5 to April 14, 1945. Date – 12 July 1946
Obtaining the most appropriate material to remember our vets, in place of the usual fare, took more time than I had thought; which is why this is being posted at 0145 hrs on November 12th.
One of the most famous last stands of the Second World War. In the waters off Samar, 13 escort carriers, destroyers and destroyer escorts were the only elements of our fleet in place to defend the Leyte Gulf invasion forces.
October 25 1944:
The US Third Fleet, having fallen for a decoy operation, left the American Invasion beaches of Leyte Gulf all but defenseless, with the exception of a small group of escort carriers, destroyers, and destroyer escorts known as Taffy-3. For the better part of the day, Taffy-3 endured the full power of the Japanese counter-attack. Despite overwhelming odds, managed to stop the Japanese fleet, but at a price.
By the time the guns of the Battle off Samar fell silent five of Taffy 3’s 13 ships: USS Gambier Bay, USS St. Lo, USS Johnston, USS Hoel, and USS Samuel B Roberts had been sent to the bottom, along with 898 sailors, airmen and marines, many of whom would fall victim to shark attacks over the next two days.
When the War Got Personal: The Story of the Men of the USS Hoel
This video doesn’t actually start til 0:26; the essential part begins at 2:08. Made in 2015, these were some of the survivors of the Battle off Samar.
Published on May 21, 2015
In October 2014, twelve First Class Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (all History majors) attended the reunion of Taffy III in San Diego to conduct oral histories of those World War II survivors from the Battle off Samar. This documentary reflects part of that work.
USS Johnston Survivor’s Story Part I
Skip to 1:14:30 in this documentary; emphasis being the battle of Leyte Gulf, and the heroic stand by Taffy 3. Only four destroyer escorts, a few destroyers, and the slow, small, escort “jeep” carriers, with no armor, would find themselves taking on a large Japanese force of battleships, cruisers and destroyers.