Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Robertses in:
 • National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
 • Honolulu
 • Honolulu County
 • Hawaii
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr
Birth: May 12, 1921
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA
Death: Sep. 28, 1942

Samuel Booker Roberts Jr. was born in San Francisco, California on May 12,
1921. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on April 13, 1939 at
Portland, Oregon and advanced to the rank of Coxswain. Mr. Roberts served
continuously until his death on September 28, 1942. He was posthumously awarded
the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism while serving on the crew of a
landing craft that, despite receiving intense enemy fire, rescued numerous
stranded marines from Guadalcanal.

The citation for the Navy Cross reads as follows:
"For extraordinary heroism as member of the crew of a Higgins boat
assisting in the rescue of a group of marines surrounded by enemy Japanese forces on
a beachhead on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on September 27, 1942.
Although he knew that his boat was to be used for the purpose of drawing enemy fire
away from other craft evacuating the trapped marines, Roberts, with utter
disregard for his own personal safety, volunteered as member of the crew,
with his lightly armored boat stationed in an exposed position, he gallantly
remained at his post until, at the close of operations, he was wounded by
enemy fire. By his great valor and fearless devotion to duty he contributed
directly to the success of his mission, saving the lives of many who otherwise
might have perished."
--
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_B._Roberts
Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr. (12 May 1921 27 September 1942) was a U.S.
Navy coxswain who was killed in the Battle of Guadalcanal, and became the
namesake of three U.S. Navy warships.
http://wwiimemorial.com/registry/wardept/pframe.asp?HonoreeID=1187322&
popcount=1&tcount=2
Coxswain Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr.
Branch of Service: U.S. Navy
Hometown: Portland, OR
Status: KIA
--
http://wwiimemorial.com/registry/cemetery/search/pframe.asp?HonoreeID=807755
&popcount=2&tcount=2
Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr. ID: 04143781
Entered the Service From: Oregon
Rank: Coxswain
Service: U.S. Navy, United States Navy
Died: Monday, September 28, 1942
Buried at: Honolulu Memorial
Location: Honolulu, HI, USA
Plot: C Grave: 25
Awards: Navy Cross
--
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060
B. Roberts
Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr., born in San Francisco, Calif., on 12 May 1921,
enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on 13 April 1939 at Portland,
Oreg. He advanced to the rank of Coxswain and served continuously until his
death on 28 September 1942. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for
extraordinary heroism while serving on the crew of a landing craft that,
despite intense enemy fire, rescued stranded marines from Guadalcanal.
--
http://www.navybook.com/no-higher-honor/timeline/coxswain-samuel-b-roberts/
Samuel Booker Roberts Jr. was born in San Francisco in 1921 to a pair of
Navy veterans. His father served as a machinist's mate during World War I and
later became a civil engineer in the War Department, while his mother served
as a Yeoman (F), one of the thousands of women brought into the naval
service to type and file and perform a hundred other largely clerical duties
during and immediately after the Great War. All three Roberts sons joined the
Navy when they became of age; only one would survive his service.

A good-looking kid with a cockeyed smile, Roberts Jr. enlisted in the Navy
Reserve in 1939 in Portland, Oregon, was called up the following year, and
was trained as a coxswain: a master of small boats.

After tours aboard the battleship California (BB 44) and destroyer tender
Heywood (AP 12), Roberts was assigned to the 8,000-ton amphibious cargo ship
amphibious cargo ship Bellatrix (AK 20) and given charge of one of its eight
LCVP transport craft. A wooden vessel whose bow-mounted loading ramp belied
its remarkable agility, the 36-foot LCVP could punch through surf to get a
platoon or a Jeep from ship to shore. Better known as Higgins boats after
their inventor, the sturdy craft had turned the concept of beachhead assault
into reality.

The U.S. Navy's June 1942 victory at Midway had stopped the Japanese
advance; to keep them on their heels, U.S. commanders planned their first major
offensive of the Pacific War: the invasion of Guadalcanal. Such a strike, on
the periphery of Japan's empire in the southern Solomon Islands was intended
to stretch Japanese forces and once victory was won, to allow U.S.
aircraft to strike the enemy stronghold at Rabaul, from whose airstrips Japanese
planes raided the entire region.

Bellatrix joined the 82-ship invasion force, and disgorged her share of the
19,000-strong First Marine Division onto the beach near Lunga Point on 7
August 1942. For two days, Roberts and the rest of the Higgins coxswains
ferried troops and equipment from ship to shore, supporting the Marines as they
drove inland. Then came a Japanese counterstrike, which sank four U.S.
cruisers in a night battle just 20 miles to the northwest off Savo Island.
Bellatrix and the rest of the cargo ships retreated, a good portion of their
supplies still in the holds, leaving the troops ashore with four days' ammunition,
little food, and no heavy construction equipment to improve their captured
airstrip. Roberts stayed behind with the Marines, joining a group of about
two dozen Navy and Coast Guard sailors based in a former coconut plantation
near Lunga Point.

For the next seven weeks, they piloted their Higgins boats along the coast,
delivering fresh men and supplies and moving wounded troops to safety. Like
the rest of the Americans, Roberts slogged through the miserable climate by
day and hunkered down by night, when the Japanese warships would come
sailing down The Slot to reinforce their own troops.

Early on 27 September, Roberts volunteered to help land several hundred
Marines a few miles north of Lunga Point; the legendary combat leader Lt. Col.
Chesty Puller was aiming to outflank a Japanese strongpoint. The Marines
piled into a dozen of the wooden boats and headed up to a beach near the
Matanikau River. But the troops met resistance, and as the Marines withdrew from
the beach later that day, Roberts was struck in the neck with a Japanese
machine gun bullet. He was evacuated but died in the night.

Roberts received the Navy Cross, and eventually, an honor far rarer: three
U.S. Navy ships were named for him: DE 413, a destroyer escort that helped
win the battle of Leyte Gulf; DD 823, a destroyer that took part in the first
air strikes from a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier; and USS Samuel B.
Roberts (FFG 58), the frigate that hit a mine during 1988's Operation Earnest
Will.
Samuel Booker Roberts Jr. was born in San Francisco, California on May 12,
1921. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on April 13, 1939 at
Portland, Oregon and advanced to the rank of Coxswain. Mr. Roberts served
continuously until his death on September 28, 1942. He was posthumously awarded
the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism while serving on the crew of a
landing craft that, despite receiving intense enemy fire, rescued numerous
stranded marines from Guadalcanal.

The citation for the Navy Cross reads as follows:
"For extraordinary heroism as member of the crew of a Higgins boat
assisting in the rescue of a group of marines surrounded by enemy Japanese forces on
a beachhead on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on September 27, 1942.
Although he knew that his boat was to be used for the purpose of drawing enemy fire
away from other craft evacuating the trapped marines, Roberts, with utter
disregard for his own personal safety, volunteered as member of the crew,
with his lightly armored boat stationed in an exposed position, he gallantly
remained at his post until, at the close of operations, he was wounded by
enemy fire. By his great valor and fearless devotion to duty he contributed
directly to the success of his mission, saving the lives of many who otherwise
might have perished."
--
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_B._Roberts
Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr. (12 May 1921 27 September 1942) was a U.S.
Navy coxswain who was killed in the Battle of Guadalcanal, and became the
namesake of three U.S. Navy warships.
Roberts was born in San Francisco, California, on May 12, 1921. He enlisted
in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1939 and was called to active duty in 1940.
Roberts served aboard the USS California (BB-44) and the transport USS Heywood
(AP-12), before being transferred to the cargo transport USS Bellatrix
(AK-20, later AKA-20).

In 1942, Bellatrix was assigned to Task Group Four and became part of the
Guadalcanal Assault Force. As a coxswain for the Bellatrix's assault boats,
Roberts helped ferry supplies from the transport ships to a tenuous beachhead.

After the ships withdrew in the face of Japanese attacks that began 7
August 1942, Roberts volunteered for duty on the island of Guadalcanal, where he
was attached to a beachmaster unit at Lunga Point. The unit, which included
Navy and United States Coast Guard sailors, transported Marines and their
supplies to beaches along the island's northern coast, and also evacuated
wounded Marines.

Early on the morning of 27 September 1942, Roberts volunteered for a rescue
mission to save a company-size unit of Marines that had been surrounded by
a larger Japanese force. The rescue group of several Higgins boats was taken
under heavy fire and was perilously close to failure. Roberts volunteered
to distract Japanese forces by guiding his boat directly in front of their
lines, drawing their fire. This decoy act was performed effectively until all
Marines had been evacuated. However, as he was about to withdraw from the
range of the Japanese guns, Roberts' boat was hit and he was mortally wounded.
His boatmates brought him back to base and he was flown out on a medical
evacuation flight, but died the next day.

Roberts was awarded the Navy Cross for his valor in the face of enemy fire.

Roberts' younger brother, Jack, served aboard DE-413 and was the "voice" of
the Samuel B. Roberts on the ship's intercom. He survived the ship's
sinking at Samar.
--
http://www.homeofheroes.com/members/02_NX/citations/03_wwii-nc/nc_06wwii_nav
yR.html

ROBERTS, SAMUEL BOOKER, JR.

This is to Certify that
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross
(Posthumously) to Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr., Coxswain, U.S. Navy
(Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving on board the
Cargo Ship U.S.S. BELLATRIX (AK-20), in action against the enemy as a
volunteer member of a Higgins Boat used in the evacuation of a group of Marines
from a beachhead on Guadalcanal in the British Solomon Islands, on 27
September 1942. Coxswain Roberts' conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest
traditions of the Navy of the United States. He gallantly gave his life for
his country.
Born: May 12, 1921 at San Francisco, California
Home Town: Portland, Oregon
-------

The coxswain is in charge of all personnel and equipment
in the boat. Subject to the orders of the Officer of the Deck
(OOD) and the senior line officer embarked, a coxswain
otherwise has full authority and is responsible for the boat's
appearance, safety, and efficient operation. The crew and
passengers (including embarked troops) are required to
cooperate fully with the coxswain. In fulfilling his or her
responsibilities, the coxswain must be familiar with all
details relating to the boat's care and handling. Equally
important, the coxswain must be able to instruct the
crew in all aspect of the general service and drills. The
coxswain is also responsible for the appearance and
behavior of the crew.

The Coxswain's Main Duty is particularly a ship's
navigation and steering.
 
Inscription:
Oregon, Cox U.S.N.R. WWII
 
Burial:
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Honolulu
Honolulu County
Hawaii, USA
Plot: C 257
 
Created by: BJK
Record added: Mar 19, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67143186
Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr
Added by: Patti Johnson
 
Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr
Added by: Patti Johnson
 
Samuel Booker Roberts, Jr
Added by: BJK
 
 
There are 2 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Thank you for serving your country and giving your life for it.
-Anonymous
 Added: Oct. 6, 2013
Just saw your story on the Military History Channel. Thank you for your heroism.
- Mildred Cecilia (Patterson) Ewer
 Added: Feb. 2, 2010
A hero who gave all.
- Wendell Edwards
 Added: Aug. 2, 2008
There is 1 more note not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
 
This page is sponsored by: W. R. L.

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service