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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

 

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Online since June 4, 1996

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

U.S. SEVENTH FLEET TASK UNIT 77.4.3 (TAFFY III)
REAR ADMIRAL CLIFTON A. F. "ZIGGY" SPRAGUE, USN

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Does anyone have a spare autograph from one of these heroes?

Posted by: DoubleEnvelopment on 03/14/2013 07:10 PM

I have to have one for my collection!

If anyone has the autograph of one of these American Legends please contact me at matthew.snihur@gmail.com

I would be willing to pay or trade another World War II veteran autograph.

If anyone knows of a Battle off Samar veteran that would be willing to sign an autograph for me that would be the best of all...

Thanks!
-Matt

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2 Comments
Added by Johnny G
June 11, 2013

I'm sorry, I have no photo's of these hero's. I only have something to add. I'm not sure I'm doing this correctly - but, my father John Gregory - his friends Joe Levy and Bruce Michaels worked on the West Coast divining codes from the Japanese for this particular invasion/attack for MacArthur. Coordinating it with Halsey and thus Mitscher. All of these men weren't able to go to war for reasons unexplainable here - but they did their part. Camping together at Timberland campground in western NY State they met a man who was on Gambier Bay. I was young and don't remember his name -but in my own knowledge of Japanese codes and their tactics and strategies 40 years later have come to understand the odd wonders of Admiral Kurita giving up when he was daunted by the courage of many men of the Taffy Squadrons. That the Yamato ran away with all it's vaunted "security" and thick armor was anathema to these men in a Time of accomplishments swept from the "Maw of Historical Demise" unto Total Victory. Taffy 3 with Admiral Sprague was most fortunate the Japanese didn't have access to better radar or the launching of supposed Yamato scout planes.(as at Midway also) This was a failure of Japanese tactics and ultimately their strategy. Relying on their Kamikaze forces to amend the incredulous destruction of their carriers at the hands of Halsey as their Ten-Go plan proceeded was too late and not enough. As the battle began the "flaming Technicolor" of the Japanese ships were drawn from my memory by a professor in college who was putting up a diagram and said he'd be doing it in "flaming Technicolor" also. It called forth this memory of American Courage. Just prior to my father passing I asked him of his friend's description. Only then did I know of the 40 meter high splashes from the Japanese huge guns in the sea of all colors. All zeroing in on Taffy 3's ships. "Little ones attack!" came the order from Sprague and they went forward charging the enemy. Not many of my generation know and understand the COURAGE these men took upon themselves. They went forth - "Smacked like a puppy" or not - these shells - much the same as a compact car these days - blew threw them without exploding. That men were fighting for Leyte Island under MacArthur seemed a World away - but they had to maintain against some serious odds facing the largest battleship ever to float on the Seas and others. Musashi, previously sunk, was no more - but that Yamato was fleeing from a mere torpedo attack was the greatest victory of the day! Any one of her shells impacting Taffy 3's other carriers could've shown Kurita he was winning and not facing Halsey's fast carriers or battleships. Although Kurita said later - per my father's friend - "I radioed Tokyo as to what to do about an American Carrier Task force. I knew I was out of time and that Admiral Halsey would press his attack after the demise of 2nd Force." It's odd that Ozawa had already told Tokyo he was engaged with Halsey - this after the destruction of Nishimura's and Shima's fleets - which attacked separately and it's demise Kurita stated later said was much more certain because those particular Admiral's hated one another over the death of a son and did not coordinate their debouchment from the Surigao Straight where Oldendorf destroyed them. Lack of coordination was more the hatred of the commanders than anything else. Only that the oil in Brunei was able to be burned in the boilers of these mighty ships and that this was transmitted by code to Nimitz and MacArthur/Halsey was there any warning of the 3 pronged attack. Our submarine forces especially - after the "torpedo incident" was resolved properly - sank so many oil tankers of the Japanese that the US - at that time unknowing Dutch East Indian oil could be used as fuel was determined by the Japanese and made the attack possible. The light crude burned well without refinement for ships, but not for aircraft of course, which had to be refined to a much greater degree and octane and was being savored by the Imperial Army Air Corps. Kurita himself mentioned the thick black smoke that was exhausted from his main battleships (subsequently used to paint the ships black to pass in the night) would alert any plane of the enemy fleet that he was coming from Brunei and the other from Japan after refueling there and coming from the west and around Palawan. Ozawa had to sortie without planes because of the prior attacks on Formosa destroying the extra air cover for Musashi and Yamato through the Philippines. The men on those "Tin Cans" saved MacArthur's landing from full bombardment of a substantial Japanese fleet no matter if it was the Second or Central forces. That Halsey was so obsessed can be written down in the annals of Naval History - but the determination of the men of Taffy 3 stopped what could've been a holocaust for the landings on Leyte. Many perished for the lack of tactics, but the might of the United States Navy - the Courage and secrets of much went - with Honor, Valor and Nobleness to the Sea where and which many desired to go should they need lay their lives on the mantle of Victory above all and everything.
Added by Andysr
December 29, 2013

Did you get your autograph? awinnegar@gmail.com
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