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 Naval Air Station Pensacola or NAS Pensacola, "The Cradle of Naval Aviation", is a United States Navy base located in Warrington, Florida, a community southwest of the Pensacola city limits. It is best known as the primary training base for Navy and Marine aviators and as the home base for the Blue Angels precision-flying team.
NAS Pensacola contains Forrest Sherman Field , home of Training Air Wing Six which includes the Training Squadron 4 Warbucks, Training Squadron 10 Wildcats and Training Squadron 86 Sabrehawks squadrons (flying T-2 Buckeye, T-6A Texan II, T-39 Sabreliner and T-1A Jayhawk aircraft), the Blue Angels Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (flying F/A-18 Hornets), the 2nd German Air Force Training Squadron USA and the NAS Pensacola Search and Rescue detachment (flying UH-3H Sea King helicopters). A total of 131 aircraft operate out of Sherman Field generating 110,000 flight operations each year.
The National Museum of Naval Aviation, the Pensacola Naval Air Station Historic District, and historic Fort Barrancas are all located at NAS Pensacola.
The site now occupied by NAS Pensacola has a colorful background dating back to the 16th century when Spanish explorer Don Tristan de Luna founded a colony on the bluff where Fort Barrancas is now situated.
Navy Yard Realizing the advantages of the Pensacola harbor and the large timber reserves nearby for shipbuilding, in 1825 President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of the Navy Samuel Southard made arrangements to build a Navy yard on the southern tip of Escambia County, where the air station is today. Navy Captains William Bainbridge, Lewis Warrington, and James Biddle selected the site on Pensacola Bay.
Construction began in April 1826, and the Pensacola Navy Yard became one of the best equipped naval stations in the country. In its early years the base dealt mainly with the suppression of slave trade and piracy in the Gulf and Caribbean.
In the Civil War, when New Orleans was captured by Union forces in 1862, Confederate troops, fearing attack from the west, retreated from the Navy Yard and reduced most of the facilities to rubble.
After the war, the ruins at the yard were cleared away and work was begun to rebuild the base. Many of the present structures on the air station were built during this period, including the stately two- and three-story houses on North Avenue. In 1906, many of these newly rebuilt structures were destroyed by a great hurricane and tidal wave.
Naval Aeronautical Station Meanwhile, great strides were being made in aviation. The Wright Brothers and especially Glenn Curtiss were trying to prove to the Navy that the aircraft had a place in the fleet. The first aircraft carrier was built in January 1911, and a few weeks later, the seaplane made its first appearance. Then, civilian pilot Eugene Ely landed a frail craft aboard USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4) in San Francisco Bay, and the value of the aircraft to the Navy had been demonstrated.
The Navy Dept., now awakened to the possibilities of Naval Aviation through the efforts of Capt. Washington Irving Chambers, prevailed upon Congress to include in the Naval Appropriation Act enacted in 1911?12 a provision for aeronautical development. Chambers was ordered to devote all of his time to naval aviation.
In October 1913, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, appointed a board, with Capt. Chambers as chairman, to make a survey of aeronautical needs and to establish a policy to guide future development. One of the board's most important recommendations was the establishment of an aviation training station in Pensacola.
Upon entry into World War I, Pensacola, still the only naval air station, had 38 naval aviators, 163 enlisted men trained in aviation support, and 54 fixed-wing aircraft. Two years later, by the signing of the armistice in November 1918, the air station, with 438 officers and 5,538 enlisted men, had trained 1,000 naval aviators. At war's end, seaplanes, dirigibles, and free kite balloons were housed in steel and wooden hangars stretching a mile down the air station beach.
In the years following World War I, aviation training slowed down. From the 12-month flight course, an average of 100 pliots were graduating annually. This was before the day of aviation cadets; officers were accepted for the flight training program only after at least two years of sea duty. The majority were Annapolis graduates, although a few reserve officers and enlisted men also graduated. Thus, Naval Air Station Pensacola became known as the "Annapolis of the Air".
Naval Air Station With the inaugration of 1935 of the cadet training program, activity at Pensacola again expanded. When Pensacola's training facilities could no longer accommodate the ever increasing number of cadets accepted by the Navy, two more naval air stations were created?one in Jacksonville, Florida, and the other in Corpus Christi, Texas. In August 1940, a larger auxiliary base, Saufley Field, named for LT R.C. Saufley, Naval Aviator 14, was added to Pensacola's activities. In October 1941, a third field, named after LT T.G. Allicin, was commissioned.
As the nations of the world moved toward World War II, NAS Pensacola once again became the hub of air training activities. NAS Pensacola expanded again, training 1,100 cadets a month, 11 times the amount trained annually in the 1920s. The growth of NAS Pensacola from 10 tents to the world's greatest naval aviation center was emphasized by then-Senator Owen Brewster's statement: "The growth of naval aviation during World War II is one of the wonders of the modern world."
The Korean War presented problems as the military was caught in the midst of transition from propellers to jets, and the air station revised its courses and training techniques. Nonetheless, NAS produced 6,000 aviators from 1950 to 1953.
Forrest Sherman Field was opened in 1954 on the western side of NAS Pensacola. This jet airfield was named after the late Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, a former Chief of Naval Operations. Shortly thereafter the Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team relocated from NAS Corpus Christi, Texas.
Pilot training requirements shifted upward to meet the demands for the Vietnam War which occupied much of the 1960s and 1970s. Pilot production was as high as 2,552 (1968) and as low as 1,413 (1962).
Modern History In 1971, NAS was picked as the headquarters site for CNET (Chief of Naval Education and Training), a new command which combined direction and control of all Navy education and training. The Naval Air Basic Training Command was absorbed by the Naval Air Training Command, which moved to NAS Corpus Christi. In 2003, CNET was replaced by the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC).
Also located on board NAS Pensacola, is Naval Aviation Schools Command. This Command has the following subordinate schools:
Aviation Enlisted Aircrew Training School (AEATS) Aviation Training School Crew Resource Management Officer Candidate School As of 2005, Pensacola is commanded by Captain Peter Frano. The Pensacola Naval Complex in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel.
In the round of 2005 base closings, it was feared that NAS Pensacola would be closed, despite its naval hub status, due to the extensive damage done by Hurricane Ivan; nearly every building on the installation suffered heavy damage. The main barracks, Chevalier Hall, only opened in late January 2005, four months after the storm. When the list was released on 13 May 2005, it was revealed that NAS Pensacola, as well as the other bases hit by Ivan in Northwest Florida, were off the chopping block.
In May 2006, Navy construction crews unearthed a Spanish ship from underneath the Pensacola Naval Air Station, possibly dating back to the mid-16th Century. It was discovered during the rebuilding the base's swim rescue school which was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan.
On 17 May 2006 the USS Oriskany (CV-34) was scuttled 24 miles south of Pensacola creating the world's largest artificial reef. It is a popular site for scuba diving as the superstructure lies within recreational diving limits.