USS Sampson
"Through Courage and Arms"
2nd USS Sampson
Second USS Sampson
The second USS Sampson (DD-394) was laid down on 8 April 1936 by the Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine, launched on 16 April 1938 and commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 19 August 1938 with Comdr. W. Granat as the commanding officer.

Following shakedown in October and November 1938, Sampson was assigned to the Battle Force of the United States Fleet.

Sampson sailed from Boston on 8 March 1939 to take part in combined fleet maneuvers in waters off Cuba and Puerto Rico. Sampson arrived at San Diego on 12 May 1939 and spent the next year in fleet tactics along the western seaboard. She took part in maneuvers of the Battle Force off the Hawaiian Islands from 1 April to 20 June 1940. She then cruised through the Caribbean Sea, from 14 November to 15 December.

In early 1941 Sampson performed Neutrality Patrol operations along the eastern seaboard. On 3 September 1941, she got underway to escort convoys and search for enemy submarines. She arrived at Hvalfjordur Fjord, Iceland, on 16 September and cleared that port of mines on 23 October.

With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States declaration of war, Sampson patrolled off Newport from 23 December 1941 to 12 January 1942. Sampson arrived on 17 January to join the Southeast Pacific Forces. On 1 February 1942 she participated in the escort of twelve troopships. Sampson spent the next year in a series of coastal patrol sweeps and escort voyages.

On 27 July 1943 the destroyer escorted four Army troopships bound for Australia and reached Sydney on 8 August. During the following months, Sampson alternately based her operations at Noumea and Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands, and made frequent escort voyages to Guadalcanal, or Purvis Bay, Florida, Solomon Islands. On the 2 October, while escorting a convoy from Noumea to Espiritu Santo, she fired at an enemy submarine and dropped depth charges that produced a heavy oil slick.

On 15 March 1944, Sampson cleared Espiritu Santo as one of four destroyers screening the escort carriers, Natoma Bay (CVE-62) and Manila Bay (CVE-61). Later that day, four battleships and more destroyers joined the formation. This force struck Kavieng, New Ireland, and nearby airfields in an air-sea bombardment on 20 March. After guarding the escort carriers while they launched strikes against Kavieng and providing air cover for reinforcement convoys to Emirau, Sampson joined a convoy and escorted it to Espiritu Santo. Sampson escorted Ataseosa to Kukum Beach, arrived off Tenaru Beach of Guadalcanal on 20 April. She continued to escort troops convoys until 11 May. On 20 May Sampson became the flagship of Rear Admiral W. M. Fechteler, Commander, Task Force 77. The task force sailed that evening and Sampson arrived off Bosnik with her attack force before daybreak of 27 May.

Sampson reported for duty to the United States Atlantic Fleet on 25 June. After providing troopship escort she became flagship of Capt. H. T. Read, Commander, Task Force 63, on 19 July. In August she sailed as flagship of the escort for Convoy UGS-49 and made many subsequent trips to the Mediterranean until arriving at Boston on 19 May 1945.

Sampson arrived at Annapolis, Md., on 3 July 1945 to embark midshipmen for a training cruise, and then put to sea on the 7th with for task group battle practice. She sailed again on 19 August for training operations and returned from the cruise to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on 16 September for inactivation overhaul. She was decommissioned on 1 November 1945, her name was struck from the Navy list on 28 November, and she was sold for scrap on 29 March 1946.

Sampson earned one battle star for World War II service.

For a more detailed account of the first USS Sampson see http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/s4/sampson-ii.htm.

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