On October 25, 1944, the Samuel B. Roberts, along with the other twelve vessels comprising its unit, Taffy 3, stood between Japan's largest battleship force ever sent to sea, and General Douglas MacArthur's transports inside Leyte Gulf. Faced with the surprise appearance of more than twenty Japanese battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, including the Yamato, at seventy thousand tons the most potent battlewagon in the world, the twelve-hundred-ton Samuel B. Roberts turned immediately into action with six other ships. The ship churned straight at the enemy in a near-suicidal attempt to deflect the more potent foe and buy time for MacArthur's forces. Of 563 destroyers constructed during World War II, the Samuel B. Roberts was the only one sunk, going down with guns blazing in a duel reminiscent of the Spartans at Thermopylae or Davy Crockett's Alamo defenders. The men who survived faced a horrifying three-day nightmare in the sea, where they battled a lack of food and water, scorching sun, numbing night time cold, and nature's most feared adversary - sharks. The battle would go down as history's greatest sea clash, the Battle of Samar - the dramatic climax of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.