JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The USS Samuel B. Roberts, after nearly 30 years of service, was decommissioned Friday morning at Mayport in Jacksonville.
The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate was named for Navy Coxswain Samuel B. Roberts Jr. Back in September 1942, Roberts volunteered for a rescue mission to save Marines that had been surrounded by a superior Japanese force, according to a press release.
The rescue group reportedly came under heavy fire and was almost destroyed. Roberts volunteered, selflessly, to distract the Japanese troops by drawing their fire away from the rescue group.
His plan worked - and all the Marines were able to be evacuated. Tragically, as he was making his escape, Roberts' boat was hit and he was mortally wounded. Roberts was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
The USS Samuel B. Roberts had a crew of 17 officers, 198 enlisted men, and could support a SH-60 helicopter or an MQ-8 UAV Fire Scout detachment.