Home Again Reunions Stories Photos Clan Robbie


I was on board the USS. Robinson, DD562, on 14 June 1944, in convoy with a large task force of U.S. Navy warships headed for an assault on Saipan in the Marianas Islands. Being off-watch, I was topside, enjoying the cool breeze of the evening. It was a dark and moon-less night, as I recall.

At approximately 2330 we made radar contact with an object some 12 nautical miles ahead, which was soon proved to be a Japanese submarine.

Our captain, Commander Grantham, gave the order "Flank speed ahead" and set Condition. II - battle ready. The Robinson closed on the sub in 20 minutes or so, when our sonar contact showed it had dived to approximately 500'. Depth charges were set for that depth and we immediately made our first run, probably on a line from east to west. Then we made a run at 90 across the first, from north to south as I recall. I do not remember making a third run, but we may have.

In short order after our last charges were dropped, we could smell diesel oil and could also hear strange voices, some 100 yards or more away. Immediately after hearing the voices, our Skipper made this announcement: "Now hear this, men. This is your Captain speaking. We have been ordered to return to our position in convoy, so will not be picking up survivors. If any try to come on board, you have been issued a knife. Use it!"

We heard nothing further about the fate of the sub and crew until a month or two later we received on board a Navy News Bulletin stating that on 14 June 1944 the USS Robinson sank a Japanese submarine while cruising near Saipan, and that a destroyer behind the Robinson had picked up seven (7) survivors.

NOTE - An earlier report, stating that the Robinson had fired some star shells during the attack on the Japanese sub, I believe to be in error, because our 5" guns were not manned during this encounter.

Contributed by Curtis H. Castleman, EM1/c