Sampson, Philip Thomas, LTJG

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1944-1944, USS Harder (SS-257)
Service Years
1943 - 1944
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Lieutenant Junior Grade

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Sampson, Philip Thomas, LTJG.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Mound, MM
Last Address
Rt1, Box 830
Mound, MN
(Wife: Charlotte Marie Owen Sampson )

Casualty Date
Aug 24, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Lost At Sea-Unrecovered
Pacific Ocean
Submarine War Patrols
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Tablets of the Missing (cenotaph)

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
WW II Memorial National RegistryWorld War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2015, WW II Memorial National Registry
  2015, World War II Fallen
  2015, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2015, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Officer Badge
Submarine Combat Patrol Badge - 3 Patrols

 Duty Stations
USS Harder (SS-257)
  1944-1944, USS Harder (SS-257)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Submarine War Patrols
  1944-1944 World War II
  1944-1944 USS HARDER (SS-257) 4th War Patrol
  1944-1944 USS HARDER (SS-257) 5th War Patrol
 Colleges Attended 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  1939-1943, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Service Number
  Feb 18, 2015, General Photos1
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Battle of Dasol Bay
Early the next day, Harder and Haddo attacked and destroyed three coastal defense vessels off Bataan, Harder sinking frigates Matsuwa and Hiburi; then, joined by Hake that night, they headed for Caiman Point, Luzon. At dawn 23 August Haddo attacked and fatally damaged Asakaze off Cape Bolinao. Enemy trawlers towed the stricken destroyer to Dasol Bay, and Haddo, her torpedoes expended, informed Harder and Hake the following night of the attack and left the wolf-pack for replenishment at Biak.

Harder and Hake remained off Dasol Bay, searching for new targets. Before dawn 24 August they identified what they thought was a Japanese minesweeper and the three-stack Siamese destroyer Phra Ruang. It was later found out to be Kaibokan CD-22 and PB-102 (ex-USS Stewart (DD-224)). As Hake closed to attack, the destroyer turned away toward Dasol Bay. Hake broke off her approach, turned northward, and sighted Harder's periscope about 600–700 yards (550–640 m) dead ahead. Swinging southward, Hake then sighted the CD-22 about 2,000 yards (1,800 m) off her port quarter swinging toward them. To escape the charging escort, Hake started deep and rigged for silent running. At 07:28 she heard 15 rapid depth charges explode in the distance astern. She continued evasive action that morning, then returned to the general area of the attack shortly after noon. She swept the area at periscope depth but found only a ring of marker buoys covering a radius of one-half mile.

The vigorous depth charge attack had ended the career of Harder with all hands. The Japanese report of the attack concluded that "much oil, wood chips, and cork floated in the vicinity."

Dubbed "Hit 'Em Again, Harder," she had wreaked havoc among Japanese shipping. Her record of aggressive daring exploits became almost legendary. All six of her patrols were designated successful.

Harder received six battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation for World War II service. In accordance with Navy custom, the citation was presented to the second Harder upon commissioning.

Harder 's loss brought an end to the U.S. submarine force's happy time, and the demoralization of the submarine force boosted Japanese morale, confident that as a result of these, more U.S. submarines will be lost while Japanese shipbuilding would easily catch up with shipping losses, and thus returning the tide of the war in favour of the Japanese.

Despite the losses however, towards the end of the war U.S. submarines were actively penetrating through the Inland Sea, and the Japanese shipping losses continued, albeit at a slower rate.
Excerpt from USS Harder's log
SUBJECT : U.S.S. HARDER (SS257) - report of Fifth War Patrol.

June 9th (cont.)

Sighted another destroyer. - They were in line of bearing and patrolling the narrows on north-south, zig zag courses. Sounded "battle stations", submerged to radar depth and commenced the attack. The nearest destroyer, now at a range of 8000 yards, was chosen as the first target and his angle on the bow was about 20 degrees port. At 4000 yards, he headed directly for us but his actions were interpreted as a routine zig. Increased submergence to periscope depth. At 3000 yards, both destroyers zigged 30 degrees to their right (with the first presenting a 30 degree port track) and the picture became "just what the doctor ordered" for the HARDER. At a range of 1000 yards on the nearest target, both destroyers were overlapping, with a 100 degree port track showing. Gyros were near zero and torpedoes set for running at 6 feet.
Commenced firing the bow tubes. No. 1 appeared to pass just ahead of the first destroyer, No. 2 struck it near the bow, No. 3 hit just under the destroyer's bridge, and No. 4 passed astern of the near target. The sub was now swung hard right to avoid hitting the first destroyer and fire was withheld on remaining tubes until a new setup could be put into the T.D.C. for an attack on the second destroyer. About thirty seconds after turning, the second destroyer came into view just astern of what was left of the first one, then burning furiously. Just then No. 4 torpedo which had passed astern of the first target was heard and observed to hit the second target. - (No more torpedoes were needed for either.)
Meanwhile, a heavy explosion, believed to be caused by an exploding boiler on the first destroyer, went off and the sub (then about 400 yards away) was heeled over by the concussion. At almost the same time a blinding explosion took place on the second destroyer (probably his ammunition going off) and it took a quick nose dive. When last observed, by the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer, the tail of the second destroyer was straight in the air and the first destroyer had disappeared. "Sound" now reported, "No more screws."
The above listed pandemonium may not be in exact chronological order but is as accurate as the happenings over that eventful few minutes can be remembered.
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