I created this profile of Admiral Sample as part of my research of the Battle Off Samar. Sample was the Commander of Carrier Division 27 assigned to Task Unit 77.4.2 (Taffy II). The little escort carriers (CVEs) he commanded were an intergal part of winning the war in the Pacific.
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William Dodge Sample was born in Buffalo, New York, on 9 March 1898.
He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1918.
During World War 1 he served aboard duty in USS HENDERSON (AP-1). For meritorious service during a fire on board that ship he received a letter of commendation from the Secretary of the Navy. Detached in August 1918,he served on several destroyers based at Queenstown, Ireland.
He remained in the European Waters Detachment after the end of World War 1.
In December 1921 he was transferred to the gunboat PAMPANGA (PG-39), on the Asiatic Station.
Attended flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator on 23 June 1923.
Saw duty in several observation squadrons in the mid to late 1920s.
Served on board the carriers SARATOGA (CV-3) and LEXINGTON (CV-2), commanding VF-5 on the latter.
During 1938 and 1939, he served in RANGER (CV-4).
After the outbreak of World War II, he assisted in the conversion of SANTEE (CVE-29). Assuming command of that escort carrier on its commissioning, he was awarded a letter of commendation for service during Operation Torch; the invasion of North Africa.
On 19 April 1944, he assumed command of INTREPID (CV-11).
In May 1944 he was transferred to the command of HORNET (CV-12) and in the ensuing months participated in operations in the Marianas and in strikes against the Volcano Islands.
Promoted to Rear Admiral and successively commanded Carrier Divisions 22 and 27.
Listed as missing on 2 October 1945 after his plane failed to return from a familiarization flight near Wakayama, Japan. Rear Admiral Sample was officially declared dead on 3 October 1946.
William Dodge Sample was the youngest rear admiral in the Pacific theater.
USS SAMPLE (FF-1048) was commissioned on March 23, 1968.
Other Memories USS Pampanga (PG-39) was a schooner-rigged iron gunboat in the United States Navy during the Philippine-American War. She retained her Spanish name.
Pampanga was laid down for the Spanish Navy by the Manila Slip Company, Cavite, Philippine Islands, in March 1887; launched in February 1888; captured by the Army at Manila Bay in June 1898; commissioned in American service 18 June 1899; and turned over to the Navy at Cavite Navy Yard 9 November 1899, with Lieutenant F. R. Payne in command.
Assigned to patrol duty in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Pampanga operated in support of the Army engaged in fighting the Philippine insurrection, carrying troops and supplies, providing shore bombardment to forces ashore, and blockaded rebel towns. Moving on to the Cebu station in mid-1900, the gunboat continued cooperating with the Army there into 1901 and then switched to patrolling off Samar. She returned to Cavite to decommission on 18 June 1902 and recommissioned on 30 January 1904, continuing duty on the Philippine Station, basing out of Cavite until 1906. The warship then cruised the waters off Zamboanga and Borneo until returning to Cavite to decommission on 30 April 1907.
Pampanga was loaned to the Army for use as a patrol boat and ferry about Corregidor Island in Manila Bay on 31 December 1908 and was returned to the Navy on 11 November 1910. She recommissioned on 12 April 1911 and then sailed to cruise the Southern Philippines. On 24 September, the gunboat arrived off Semut, Basilan Island, and landed a detachment under Ensign Charles E. Hovey to take supplies to Army Camp Tabla inland. En route, the small party was attacked by natives, killing Ensign Hovey and injuring three of his men. Retaliatory action by the Army troops punished the attackers. The warship remained on patrol in the southern Philippines until decommissioning at Olongapo on 31 May 1915.
Once again commissioned on 3 January 1916 at Hong Kong, China, Pampanga was attached to the Asiatic Fleet and began duty on the South China Patrol station, investigating Chinese political conditions and offering assistance to Americans in danger or need. In the course of her service, she cruised the West River to Canton and beyond protecting American interests, especially in the period of heavy unrest in the middle 1920?s, and made frequent visits to Hong Kong, Swatow, and the other ports of the area in the performance of her duty. The warship remained on this station until decommissioned at Hong Kong on 6 November 1928, and on 21 November, was sunk by gunfire from Asheville and Sacramento off the China coast after being stripped of all usable gear.
As of 2006, no other ship has been named Pampanga.