Paul Henry Carr
During the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944, in the action off Samar, a series of events had allowed a powerful Japanese force to penetrate American defenses, and it was threatening both the landing forces on Leyte and several task groups of U.S. escort carriers supporting the amphibious assault on the eastern side of the Philippines. In one of the greatest displays of courage in naval history, a number of U.S. destroyers and destroyer escorts charged the enemy’s battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. U.S. forces pressed the attack so close that, at one point, the Japanese could not depress their guns low enough to fire on their diminutive attackers. The crews of these intrepid U.S. Navy ships managed to cause enough confusion that they bought valuable time for the fleeing carriers they had been tasked to protect.