Saturday, September 22, 2007

I Stand Corrected

Yesterday I identified the Navy ship tied up at the inner mole as the USS Laboon, FFG 58 home-ported in Norfolk, VA. An anonymous commenter corrected my identification and informed me that the ship is actually the USS Samuel B. Roberts, DDG 58, out of Mayport, FL. There was a time (50 years ago) when I was trained to distinguish a destroyer from a frigate. It seems that I've forgotten those lessons.

Here are the facts, and here's the official photo.

I thank the commenter for the correction. He or she says that "It is always nice to get one's facts straight before publishing", which is true. In my defense, I was viewing the ship from the Westin Marina, across Admiral's Cut from the inner mole, with a view of the stern. The photos of the Laboon were bow-on. The hull number, 58, was prominent and a Google search led me to the Laboon. Any way, my bad.

But I did learn something besides the need to fact-check. The current Roberts is the third Navy vessel named for Samuel Booker Roberts. The second was designated DD-823 and, in 1959, I served aboard a sister ship, the USS Johnston, DD-821, in Charleston, SC, leaving her in early November, 1960 just prior to the end of my enlistment. The Roberts name was familiar when I read it. I'm sure that I saw it -- the DD, not the DDG -- somewhere along the way.


mark finkel said...

The ship's name is clearly seen on it's stern.

mark finkel said...

Again, it is nice to get one's facts straight. The Samuel B. Roberts is an FFG not a DDG. It is an Perry class frigate.

Bob Kelly said...

The ship's name is clearly seen on it's stern.

Not from Admiral's Cut, not with these old eyes anyway.

But if it makes you feel good to nitpick, pick away.

Again, it is nice to get one's facts straight. The Samuel B. Roberts is an FFG not a DDG. It is an Perry class frigate.

Ah, yes, the Laboon is the DDG.

I read your underlying message.

Pick away!

Carrie said...

haham, and can't forget the cg58 phillipean sea.... recently the roberts and phllipean sea were docked beside each other, I spent over an hour waiting for my husband to get off the wrong ship.....

mark finkel said...

Nitpicking no. It's just that it's reasonable to check one's facts before publishing. I'm sorry that you feel that facts are just not very important. But hey, we're in Key West and you know what they say "When in Rome ..."
The more interesting ship is the one in front of the bow of the FFG 58. I can't say that I have seen one of them before.

Anonymous said...

The USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) is the frigate that hit an Iranian mine in the Persian Gulf in 1988. There's a book about it: "No Higher Honor".

Dick Rohde said...

Please let's not the ship that started all of this. It was the USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS, DE 413 which distinguished itself in the Battle off Samar in October 1944 as a part of Taffy 3. In that battle, the SAMUEL B. ROBERTS was sunk along with Destroyers HOEL and JOHNSTON and Escort Carriers GAMBIER BAY and ST LO. Taffy 3 engaged the main Japanese Fleet consisting of 4 battleships, 8 cruisers and 13 destroyers and succeeded in driving them off. We survivors of the DE 413 have our reunion in DC next week. Signed, Dick Rohde, RM 3/C, survivor.

mark finkel said...

Dear Mr. Rodhe,

Thank you for your information on the history of the Samuel B.
Roberts DE 413 in WWII. This country owes you and all who served and are serving a debt of gratitude for your sacrifices.

James said...

Just give NAS Key West public affairs a call anytime you want to know what ship is at the pier. I'll be glad to get the answer to you!

The phone number is 293-2425

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