On April 16, 1945, the crewmen of the USS Laffey were battle hardened and prepared. But nothing could have prepared the crew for this moment --- an 80-minute ordeal in which the single small ship was targeted by no fewer than 22 Japanese suicide aircraft. Using scores of personal interviews with survivors, the memoirs of crew members, and the sailors' wartime correspondence, historian and author John Wukovits breathes life into the story of this nearly forgotten historic event.
On October 25, 1944, the Samuel B. Roberts, along with the other 12 vessels comprising its unit, stood between Japan's largest battleship force ever sent to sea and MacArthur’s transports inside Leyte Gulf. Of 563 destroyers constructed during World War II, the Samuel B. Roberts was the only one sunk, going down with guns blazing. The men who survived faced a horrifying three-day nightmare in the sea, where they battled a lack of food and water, scorching sun and numbing nighttime cold, and nature’s most feared adversary --- sharks.