Approximately 76 years ago, a naval battle took place off the coasts of the island of Samar, Philippines, which had deep impact on us. An American naval commander of Native American origin, commanding the USS Johnston, a small “tincan” destroyer, took on the entire might of the Japanese Imperial Navy.
The USS Johnston was facing a massive Japanese fleet, which was poised to pound the beaches of the Philippines, where hundreds of thousands of Allied troops were amassed. If Japanese fire power was concentrated there, the Allies would have suffered massive casualties. This was a result of a sophisticated Japanese deception technique that sent the entire Allied fleet on a wild goose chase, leaving the islands undefended.
Eventually the Japanese fleet turned away, largely in part due to the spirited fight put up by the USS Johnston, sparing the Allied troops of a massive loss. However it came with a price.
Lt. Cmdr Ernest E. Evans, the Commander of the USS Johnston died as the ship was sunk having drawn the bulk of the Japanese fire.