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.
New York Class Battleship: Displacement 27,000 Tons, Dimensions, 573' (oa) x 95' 3" x 29' 7" (Max). Armament 10x 14"/45 21 x 5"/51, 56 x 4 x 21" tt. Armor, 12" Belt, 14" Turrets, 3" Decks, 12" Conning Tower. Machinery, 28,100 IHP; Vertical, triple expansion engines, 2 screws
Speed, 21 Knots, Crew 1052.
Operational and Building Data: Laid down by New York Naval Ship Yard, September 11, 1911. Launched October 30, 1912. Commissioned April 15, 1914. Decommissioned August 29, 1946. Stricken July 13, 1948.
Fate: Target During Atomic Bomb Tests, Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. Sunk, 40 miles off Oahu, July 8, 1948, by Naval Gunfire and Aircraft.
Other Memories The fifth USS New York (BB-34) was a United States Navy battleship, the lead ship of her class of two (USS Texas (BB-35) being the other). Her keel was laid down 11 September 1911 by Brooklyn Navy Yard of New York City. She was launched on 30 October 1912 sponsored by Elsie Calder, and commissioned on 15 April 1914 with Captain Thomas S. Rodgers in command.
Ordered south soon after commissioning, New York was flagship for Rear Admiral Frank F. Fletcher, commanding the fleet occupying and blockading Veracruz until resolution of the crisis with Mexico in July 1914. New York then headed north for fleet operations along the Atlantic coast as war broke out in Europe.
Upon the entry of the United States into World War I, under the command of Captain Edward L. Beach, Sr., New York sailed as flagship with Battleship Division 9 commanded by Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman to strengthen the British Grand Fleet in the North Sea, arriving Scapa Flow 7 December 1917. Constituting a separate squadron in the Grand Fleet, the American ships joined in blockade and escort missions and by their very presence so weighted the Allies' preponderance of naval power as to inhibit the Germans from attempting any major fleet engagements. New York twice encountered U-boats.
During her World War I service, New York was frequently visited by royal and other high-ranking representatives of the Allies, and she was present for one of the most dramatic moments of the war, the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in the Firth of Forth 21 November 1918. As a last European mission, New York joined the ships escorting President Woodrow Wilson from an ocean rendezvous, to Brest en route the Versailles Peace Conference.
Returning to a program which alternated individual and fleet exercises with necessary maintenance, New York trained in the Caribbean in spring 1919, and that summer joined the Pacific Fleet at San Diego, her home port for the next 16 years. She trained off Hawaii and the West Coast, occasionally returning to the Atlantic and Caribbean for brief missions or overhauls. In 1937, carrying Admiral Hugh Rodman, the President's personal representative for the coronation of King George VI, New York sailed to take part in the Grand Naval Review of 20 May 1937 as sole U.S. Navy representative.
For much of the following three years, New York trained United States Naval Academy midshipmen and other prospective officers with cruises to Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean, and in mid-1941 she joined the Neutrality Patrol. She escorted troops to Iceland in July 1941, then served as station ship at Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland, protecting the new American base there. From America's entry into World War II, New York guarded Atlantic convoys to Iceland and Scotland when the U-boat menace was gravest, submarine contacts were numerous, but the convoys were brought to harbor intact.
New York brought her big guns to the invasion of North Africa, providing crucial gunfire support at Safi 8 November 1942. She then stood by at Casablanca and Fedhala before returning home for convoy duty escorting critically needed men and supplies to North Africa. She then took up important duty training gunners for battleships and destroyer escorts in Chesapeake Bay, rendering this vital service until 10 June 1944, when she began the first of three training cruises for the Naval Academy, voyaging to Trinidad on each.
New York sailed 21 November for the West Coast, arriving at San Pedro 6 December for gunnery training in preparation for amphibious operations. She departed from San Pedro 12 January 1945, called at Pearl Harbor, and was diverted to Eniwetok to survey screw damage. Nevertheless, despite impaired speed, she joined the Iwo Jima assault force in rehearsals at Saipan. She sailed well ahead of the main body to join in preinvasion bombardment at Iwo Jima 16 February. During the next 3 days, she fired more rounds than any other ship present; and, as if to show what an old-timer could do, made a spectacular direct 14 inch-hit on an enemy ammunition dump.
Leaving Iwo Jima, New York at last repaired her propellers at Manus, and had speed restored for the assault on Okinawa, which she reached 27 March to begin 76 consecutive days of action. She fired preinvasion and diversionary bombardments, covered landings, and gave days and nights of close support to troops advancing ashore. She did not go unscathed; a kamikaze grazed her 14 April, demolishing her spotting plane on its catapult. She left Okinawa 11 June to regun at Pearl Harbor.
New York prepared at Pearl Harbor for the planned invasion of Japan, and after war's end, made a voyage to the West Coast returning veterans and bringing out their replacements. She sailed from Pearl Harbor again 29 September with passengers for New York, arriving 19 October. Here she prepared to serve as target ship in Operation Crossroads, the Bikini atomic tests, sailing on 4 March 1946 for the West Coast. She left San Francisco on 1 May, and after calls in Pearl Harbor and Kwajalein, reached Bikini 15 June. Surviving the surface blast 1 July and the underwater explosion 25 July, she was taken into Kwajalein and decommissioned there 29 August 1946. Later towed to Pearl Harbor, she was studied during the next two years, and on 8 July 1948 was towed out to sea some 40 miles and there sunk after an 8-hour pounding by ships and planes carrying out full-scale battle maneuvers with new weapons.
New York received 3 battle stars for World War II service.