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Dedicated to the men who manned the ships
and the embarked composite squadrons
of Task Unit 77.4.3 (Taffy III)
on October 25, 1944

 

Welcome shipmate!
You are visitor number

Online since June 4, 1996

BOSAMAR logo:  USS GAMBIER BAY (CVE 73)
takes a pounding 
from the IJN heavy cruiser CHIKUMA

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Please read the FAQs below... the answer to your question may be here....

  1. Who is bosamar.com Webmaster - Robert Jon Cox?
  2. Are you a survivor of the Battle Off Samar or Leyte Gulf?
  3. Is this an official site of Task Unit 77.4.3 or one of the ships of Taffy 3?
  4. Who pays for all of this....do you accept donations?
  5. Why did you part ways with the Escort Carrier Sailors & Airmen Association? Weren't you the ECSAA Webmaster?
  6. When will the History Channel documentary, "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" be shown again on TV?
  7. In the 20th Century Fox movie "Men of Honor", Robert DeNiro's character "Billy Sunday" mentions he was aboard the SAINT LO (CVE 63); is this true?
  8. My father was a survivor of the Battle Off Samar. Can you help him locate old shipmates?
  9. Why doesn't the information on your site display correctly in my browser?
  10. Where can I obtain photographs of U.S. Navy warships?
  11. Where can I obtain a copy of my official military service records?
  12. Shouldn't your web site be named "The Battle of Samar?"
  13. What is going on with your book?
  14. I don't see my question listed here....can you help?
questn.gif Who is bosamar.com Webmaster - Robert Jon Cox?
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As many of my guests know, I (Robert Jon Cox) am a Senior Chief Yeoman (Submarines) (U.S. Navy Retired).  I retired from the Navy on 1 May 2004.

helena.jpeg
USS HELENA (SSN 725) by YNCS(SS) Cox, 9/27/99  

My last boat....
USS HELENA (SSN 725)
Underway in Alaskan inland waters, near Ketchikan

"Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction...  I served in the United States Navy."

-John F. Kennedy  

My Navy bio is here.

Send website content email to:

Send website problem email to:

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questn.gif Are you a survivor of the Battle Off Samar or Leyte Gulf?
answer.gif No I am not.  My great-uncle Virgil Cox, S1c, USNR, was aboard the USS GAMBIER BAY (CVE 73) when she was sunk.  He survived. See "A note from the Author" for more insight.
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questn.gif Is this an official site of Task Unit 77.4.3 or one of the ships of Taffy 3?
answer.gif

No it is not. This site is solely the brainstorm and property of myself, Robert Jon Cox.  I am not a member of any Taffy 3 warship, composite squadron, or survivors association. I have been designated as the official TAFFY III - 77.4.3 - WW II, Inc. webmaster.... however.... this is not an official site of the aforementioned organization.... I am working on my own here and do have and maintain complete control over site content

I am supported by several of the official Taffy 3 survivor associations by one way or another which include:

President, TAFFY III - 77.4.3 - WW II, Inc.
USS SAINT LO (CVE 63) & VC-65 Association
USS KALININ BAY (CVE 68) & VC-3 Association
USS KITKUN BAY (CVE 71) & VC-5 Association
USS GAMBIER BAY (CVE 73) & VC-10 Association
USS JOHNSTON-HOEL Association
USS JOHN C. BUTLER (DE 339) Association
USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (DE 413) Association
and individual crew members of every ship and composite squadron of Taffy 3.

The support from the above organizations, associations, and individuals is mainly in the form of donated material..... allowing me to tell you their story directly from the source..... as posted and credited appropriately throughout my web site.

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questn.gif Who pays for all of this....do you accept donations?
answer.gif

I pay for website support out of my pocket and through donations.  All monies received are considered donations.

Anyone with a PC knows that they consume vast amounts of money over time.  I am forever purchasing new software programs to stay with the times.  $100 here and there adds up very quickly.  I estimate that since May 1996 when I started this web site I have easily spent over $10,000 on PC's, upgrades, software, printers, scanners, and the like.  My current PC was built by myself in February 2007.

If you are interested in donating to my cause, please contribute via the PayPal link below or mail me a check.  My mailing address is here.  I assure you that all monies received will go ONLY for web site related matters.

My want list is here.

And of course, you will make my wife very happy....

Also, I am currently searching for paying sponsors who desire to advertise on BOSAMAR.COM.  If you are interesting please contact me.

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questn.gif Why did you part ways with the Escort Carrier Sailors & Airmen Association? Weren't you the ECSAA Webmaster?
answer.gif

I am asked this question very often from ECSAA members.  ECSAA Founder Tony Potochniak contacted me in 1998 with a request that I build an ECSAA website.  Using my own resources and internet provider I built the original ECSAA website from scratch and piggy-backed it onto my BOSAMAR website.  During my tenure as ECSAA Webmaster I spent approximately 250 hours building and maintaining the ECSAA site over a two-year period.

I carried out my duties as ECSAA Webmaster as a personal favor to Tony Potochniak.  I never signed a contract for my services.  There was never any formal administration or document linking me to ECSAA.  No legal documents were signed attesting to this.  I was never paid one cent*....I would not accept any money.  I did it for the veterans.  Just me, doing what I thought was the right thing to do.

In January 1999 I went back to sea aboard the submarine HELENA.  In hind sight, this is where the problems began.  I was absent very often, and unable to make immediate updates to the ECSAA website.

In July 1999 I moved from Connecticut to California because of my active duty Navy commitments.  I then moved the ECSAA site to its own server and gave it the web address of www.escortcarriers.org (before you click on the link note that ECSAA has since let this URL go to the dogs).  At this time I also received permission from Tony to host my BOSAMAR web site at the ECSAA URL, free of charge.  My understanding was that as long as the ECSAA owed this URL, my BOSAMAR web site would have a permanent home.  No legal documents were signed attesting to this.  Between the period of September 1999 and June 2000 Tony and I worked hard to improve the ECSAA web site, adding a large amount of new material.

It was during this time that I knew there was some friction between Tony and some of the ECSAA Governors.  I was told by Tony that the current ECSAA Governors wanted to fire me. (my words, not theirs).  Tony told me, everything will be fine (my words, not Tony's).  I was never told what the concrete reasons were for the friction between Tony and the ECSAA Governors until much later.  I will not post those reasons here, as I consider them private and between Tony and the current ECSAA Board of Governors.

In June 2000 I departed for a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific. By the time I had returned on 13 December 2000, I had already been removed as ECSAA Webmaster by the current Board of Governors. 

First and foremost, I did not part ways with ECSAA on my own accord. I was removed without any notification by the 2000 Board of Governors, because I was not updating the ECSAA web site in a timely manner (my words, not theirs).  However in hindsight, it was because they wanted to dump ECSAA Founder Tony Potochniak.

In my opinion, I was removed as ECSAA Webmaster because I was controlled by then ECSAA Governor Tony Potochniak.  As everyone should know by now, Tony was removed from the board of ECSAA Governors by strong-arm tactics.  And in this lies the true reason for my demise with ECSAA.

I will not support the current ECSAA Board of Governors again unless they honor ECSAA Founder Tony Potochniak's contribution.  ECSAA Members:  Write to your Board of Governors and demand Tony be honored as Founder on the ECSAA website!

My loyalty has always remained with my dear friend, the late Tony Potochniak.  Tony has done more to assist me in my ventures than anyone else and for this I am very thankful to him.  Tony did not do these things for himself, he did them for you!

Tony crossed the bar on 2 June 2013.  He is sorely missed.  Prior to his death he passed his Our Old Navy to me.  I am the OON webmaster.

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questn.gif When will the History Channel documentary, "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" be shown again on TV?
answer.gif

The History ChannelThe documentary, "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" based on author Jim Hornfischer's award-winning book was first shown on History Channel on Veterans Day, November 11, 2005.

In April 2005 I was contacted by a representative of Lou Reda Productions, the creator of the documentary, for assistance in the development of this program.  I provided over 90 still black and white shots from BOSAMAR.COM, most of which are included in the film and I also provided comments and suggestions on the Intermediate Cut of the program.  My name and BOSAMAR.COM appear on line two of the credits.

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questn.gif In the 20th Century Fox movie "Men of Honor", Robert DeNiro's character "Billy Sunday" mentions he was aboard the SAINT LO (CVE 63); is this true?
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This is a very popular question.  My contact from the USS SAINT LO (CVE 63)/VC-65 Survivors Association, President Holly Crawforth, has assured me that:

quote "...there was no Billy Sunday on the SAINT LO.....  The incident that mentions the SAINT LO is pure fiction.  DeNiro's character (Billy Sunday) stated that the SAINT LO hung up on a reef on it's way down and he was trapped in a compartment five decks down in the fire room  (too many decks) and he rescued 6 men by leading them out through flooded compartments.  MacArthur supposedly was on the intercom when he was in the fire room and gave him his (MacArthur's) corn-cob pipe as a reward when he surfaced...." unquote. 

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questn.gif My father was a survivor of the Battle Off Samar. Can you help him locate old shipmates?
answer.gif

Each warship and composite Squadron of Task Unit 77.4.3 has an active survivors association. These folks run absolutely tight-knit organizations and they would be thrilled to be informed of a "lost shipmate". I no longer post association addresses.  As time moves on it gets harder and harder to keep good contacts.  However, several Taffy III associations still exist and some have excellent websites:

Gambier Bay
St Lo/Midway
Another St Lo/Midway web site
Kalinin Bay 
Johnston/Hoel
Samuel B. Roberts

I am very proud to state that my site has been responsible for reuniting several "lost shipmates" with their respective survivors association.

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questn.gif Why doesn't the information on your site display correctly in my browser?
answer.gif Check your browser version number.  For best results, you should use Microsoft Internet Explorer version 8.0 or higher.   My website was created using Live Site.  In addition, for optimum browsing, your monitor should be set at 1024 x 768 pixels and at least 16-bit color.
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questn.gif Where can I obtain photographs of U.S. Navy warships?
answer.gif

You may obtain 8x10 black and white or color photographs (if available) by contacting the:

Photo Service
U.S. Naval Institute
118 Maryland Avenue
Annapolis, MD  21402-5035
Fax (410) 269-7940

The USNI Online Photo Store is here.

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questn.gif Where can I obtain a copy of my official military service records?
answer.gif

Submit your request on Standard Form 180, "Request Pertaining to Military Records", available at most government offices such as the Veterans Administration.

The form is broken down by service...Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Army, and Navy. A list of custodians corresponding to your category of service (active, reserve, officer, enlisted, etc.) is provided with a specific mailing address to where your records are kept.

Information from records of military personnel is released subject to restrictions imposed by the military departments consistent with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act of 1974. A service person has access to almost any information contained in his own record. The Next of Kin may obtain the records if the veteran is deceased.

Precedence of Next of Kin is: unmarried widow or widower, eldest son or daughter, father or mother, eldest brother or sister.

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questn.gif Shouldn't your web site be named "The Battle of Samar?"
answer.gif

You would be surprised to find out how many people tell me that I've misspelled "off", as in "The Battle Off Samar."  Naval historians, not English Professors, have named the battle as follows...if you don't believe me....go to your library and do some research for yourself.

The Battle off Samar
The Battle of Samar
Samar

I like the first and have taken the liberty of capitalizing the "O" in "Off" when used on my web site. 

The battle took place off the island of Samar....as in off-shore oil platform....  To say "of Samar" just doesn't sound right to me.

My apologies to all of my English student guests.  You obviously came here for a lesson in Naval history.....not an English lesson.

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questn.gif What is going on with your book?
answer.gif

The 5th Edition of my book "The Battle Off Samar - Taffy III at Leyte Gulf" is now available for download for anyone who registers with bosamar.com 

My old internet-based books, "The Battle Off Samar - The Tragedy of Taffy III" and the Second Edition of my current book are no longer available online.  They have been replaced with my current effort which in the future will become the Sixth Edition of my book.    

In April 2012 I decided to update my Onlne book continuously.  Changes are now sometimes made daily.

I decided to place this book online for a few different reasons:

• So the survivors, their families, and enthusiasts would have unlimited access to this history.

• It's too good to just let it sit on my PC hard drive.

• To raise money via donations to keep BOSAMAR.COM self- supportive and online.

All chapters are now posted. 

I started writing this book in November 1992.  In August 1996 I decided to post the condensed version of what I had ready onto my web site under the tile "The Battle Off Samar - The Tragedy of Taffy III. Since then work continued on my book.....I gathered huge amounts of information concerning the battle via my web site.....and in its finished form, my book consisted of 14 chapters, 194 pages, 48 photographs, size 8½ x 11, soft cover (perfect-bind), on 70-pound acid-free paper....and it sold like hot cakes....

I sold the First Edition of this book to the general public from June to December 1998 via this web site.  My first run of books sold out very quickly.  Just as I was getting ready to have another run of books printed I received Permanent Change of Station orders to another submarine and those plans went out the window. 

I continued to conduct research and completed the Second Edition of my book in February 2001.  These additions consists of about six pages of additional material and corrected a few spelling, technical, and layout errors. 

In February 2001 I was contacted by the late John Ibe, Vice President of Task Unit 77.4.3 (aka Taffy III) Organization who then purchased 500 copies of the Second Edition of my book to support their venture in the Bob Hope Military Tribute in San Diego.

In March 2003 I completed the Third Edition of my book.  It was only available on CD-rom in PDF format (Adobe Acrobat) because I could not find a reasonably priced local printer for my book.

Due to modern technology and the advent of Print on Demand my book is once again available in printed format as of January 2006.  The Fourth Edition was available in soft cover (perfectbind) and hard cover (casewrap).

The Fifth Edition of my book, released in May 2010 is on sale in both soft and hard covers.  See Purchase My Book for more information.

As of March 2012 anyone who registers on BOSAMAR.COM can download a free PDF copy of the 5th edition of my book.

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questn.gif I don't see my question listed here....can you help?
answer.gif

You bet!  Send me an email now! 

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