Samuel Leroy Cobb Posthumously Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal;

Ship named after him

Samuel Leroy Cobb, 43, was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and a ship was named after him, the Samuel L. Cobb, which is still in service in the Pacific as a transport tanker by the Navy.

Cobb served in the U.S. Merchant Marine. He was one of six men killed on April 16, 1942, when his steamer Alcoa Guide was sunk by the German submarine U-123.

USS Broome (DD-210) rescued 27 survivors of the sinking on April 19. The last survivor of the ship was not picked up until May 18.

In 1942, about 562 ships were sunk or damaged by Germany.

His next of kin is listed in West New York, N.J. He is survived by his wife Florenze Halpin Cobb, and a son, Raymond Bruce Cobb.

Raymond Cobb enlisted in the Air Force after receiving this news (lying about his age) and went on to serve a four-year tour as a gunner over the Rhineland to vindicate his father's death, over which he grieved for the rest of his life.

The President of the United States

takes Pleasure in Presenting

the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal to

Samuel L. Cobb*
Master of SS Alcoa Guide


For heroism and especially meritorious service under unusual hazards.

Though mortally wounded early in the action in which his ship was sunk by enemy submarine, he first endeavored to ram the attacker, and then ran through fire to his cabin to recover the Navy Code and other highly confidential papers which he cast overside in a weighted sack. He later died in a lifeboat from wounds and burns caused by these actions.

His extraordinary courage and fidelity to trust will be an enduring inspiration to seamen of the Unites States Merchant Marine everywhere.

For the President
Admiral Emory Scott Land


Clara L. Cobb, grand-daughter

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This Page Updated: January 25, 2019

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