Photos Navies Of All Nations

Flight I Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) launches a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) during a ballistic missile exercise in the Pacific. 25 October 2012
Casablanca-class escort carrier USS St. Lo (CVE-63) slows to a stop and she is abandoned in an orderly manner. Note the men going down the lines into the water, October 25, 1944.


Battle off Samar Island
St. Lo departed Seeadler Harbor on 12 October, to participate in the liberation of Leyte. Ordered to provide air coverage and close air support during the bombardment and amphibious landings, she arrived off Leyte on 18 October. She launched airstrikes in support of invasion operations at Tacloban, on the northeast coast of Leyte. Operating with Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague's escort carrier unit, "Taffy 3" (TU 77.4.3), which consisted of six escort carriers and a screen of three destroyers and four destroyer escorts, St. Lo steamed off the east coasts of Leyte and Samar and her aircraft sortied from 18 to 24 October, attacking enemy installations and airfields on Leyte and Samar islands.

Steaming about 60 mi (52 nmi; 97 km) east of Samar, before dawn of 25 October, St. Lo launched a four-aircraft anti-submarine patrol while the remaining carriers of Taffy 3 prepared for the day's initial airstrikes against the landing beaches. The Battle off Samar began at 06:47, when Ensign Bill Brooks—piloting one of the TBF Avengers from St. Lo—reported sighting a large Japanese force comprising four battleships, eight cruisers and twelve destroyers approaching from the west-northwest, only 17 mi (15 nmi; 27 km) away. At the same time, lookouts on St. Lo spotted the characteristic pagoda-like superstructures of Japanese battleships on the horizon. Rear Admiral Sprague ordered Taffy 3 to turn south at flank speed. Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita's force closed and by about 06:58 opened fire on the slow, outnumbered and outgunned ships of Taffy 3.

St. Lo and the other five escort carriers dodged in and out of rain squalls and managed to launch all available fighter and torpedo aircraft with whatever armament they had available. Pilots were ordered, "to attack the Japanese task force and proceed to Tacloban airstrip, Leyte, to rearm and refuel" as the carriers managed to dodge salvos from enemy cruisers and battleships.

By 08:00, the enemy cruisers, approaching from St. Lo's port quarter, had closed to within 14,000 yd (13,000 m). St. Lo responded with fire from her single 5 in (127 mm) gun, claiming three hits on a Tone-class cruiser.

For the next 90 minutes, Admiral Kurita's ships closed in on Taffy 3, with his nearest destroyers and cruisers firing from as close as 10,000 yd (9,100 m) on the port and starboard quarters of St. Lo. Many salvos straddled the ship, landed close aboard, or passed directly overhead. Throughout the battle, the carriers and their escorts used smoke screens that Admiral Sprague credited with degrading Japanese gun accuracy. More effective were the attacks by the destroyers and destroyer escorts against the Japanese ships. All the while, Kurita's force was under attack by Taffy 3 aircraft and aircraft from the two other U.S. carrier units to the south.

Under attack from the air and fire from American destroyers and destroyer escorts, the enemy cruisers broke off the action and turned north at 09:20. At 09:15, the enemy destroyers which had been kept at bay by the exploits of USS Johnston, USS Hoel and USS Samuel B. Roberts as well as the other units of Taffy 3—launched a premature torpedo attack from 10,500 yd (9,600 m). The torpedoes had nearly run out of fuel when they finally approached the escort carriers, broaching the surface. A St. Lo Avenger, piloted by Lieutenant, junior grade Tex Waldrop, strafed two torpedoes in the wake of USS Kalinin Bay.

At 10:50, the task unit came under a concentrated air attack by the Shikishima Special Attack Unit. During the forty-minute engagement with enemy kamikazes, all the escort carriers except USS Fanshaw Bay were damaged. One Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero—perhaps flown by Lieutenant Yukio Seki—crashed into the flight deck of St. Lo at 10:51. Seki was originally aiming to strike the carrier White Plains but damage from anti-aircraft fire made him change course to the St. Lo. Its bomb penetrated the flight deck and exploded on the port side of the hangar deck, where aircraft were in the process of being refueled and rearmed. A gasoline fire erupted, followed by secondary explosions, including detonations of the ship's torpedo and bomb magazine. St. Lo was engulfed in flame and sank 30 minutes later.

Of the 889 men aboard, 113 were killed or missing and approximately 30 others died of their wounds. The survivors were rescued from the water by USS Heermann, USS John C. Butler, USS Raymond and USS Dennis (which picked up 434 survivors)
New Zealand:
Lake-class inshore patrol boat HMNZS Pukaki (P3568), Protector-class offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago (P148) & multi-role vessel (MRV) HMNZS Canterbury (L421) in Lyttelton following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. 1 March 2011.
Forrestal class USS Forrestal (CV-59) steaming alongside the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in the Mediterranean, August 19, 1988

Iowa class battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) firing a Tomahawk during Operation Desert Storm, 17 January 1991
John C. Butler-class destroyer escort USS Shelton (DE-407) digs her bow into the Pacific swells, 24 July 1944. Shelton was sunk by torpedo on 3 October 1944 with the loss of 13 dead
SMS König Wilhelm, an armoured frigate in the Prussian (later German Imperial Navy). Launched in 1868 she was the most powerful Prussian naval unit in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). Later converted to an armoured cruiser & training ship, she was broken up in 1921

König Wilhelm infamously rammed and sank her sister ship Grosser Kurfürst in 1878, with the loss of 269 (or more) sailors.
Battlecruiser HMS Hood, with her guns trained to port and at a high elevation. Hood's Mark II twin 15-inch turrets were unique to her. Pre WW2
ROCN Fong Yang (FFG-934)( ex-USS Kirk FF-1087), a USN Knox class frigate acquired by Taiwan since 1993. Photoed at Keelung Harbor, Taiwan.
Project 1144 Orlan (NATO Kirov) class battlecruiser battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy transiting Suez canal, eraly 2000's
Battlecruiser HMS Hood on speed trials off the Isle of Arran, 1920
USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA guided missile destroyer leaving San Diego - March 28, 2023
Tirpitz firing a salvo in 1941

Tirpitz anchored at Kätjord, Norway in 1943

Battleship Nagato under the control of US Forces, 12 November 1945
Frigate HDMS Absalon passing Greenock, Scotland, 28 March 2019
Type 212A submarine from 1. Ubootgeschwader (1. UG) (1st Submarine Squadron) March 2023
USS Sterett (DDG 104) Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA guided missile destroyer leaving San Diego - March 29, 2023

USS Princeton (CG 59) Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser leaving San Diego - March 29, 2023