Without a doubt, the Signing of the Documents of Surrender on Sept 2, 1945 filled the sailors on the Boston with satisfaction, closure and thoughts of returning Home.

From Frank Studenski’s War Diary:
September 4, 1945:    Today after the Peace treaty was signed a lot of the ships from the task groups were heading back home with “Homeward Bound” pennants flying.  We watched a lot of the ships leaving Tokyo Bay.

The crew of the Boston was not so lucky.  Going home was going to be back-burnered for a while.

OCCUPATION DUTY:  We received orders to form a task group for occupation duty.  The task unit composed of the Boston, two destroyers and an U.D.T., the unit is commanded by our captain.  Our duties were to move up and down the coast of Honshu, to inspect and insure demilitarization of Japanese coast defense, suicide boat bases and midget submarine bases . . .

We’ll talk more about this.  Some random pics from the Boston files at the National Archives:




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V J Day September 2, 1945


Not all Task Force ships could fit into Tokyo Bay for the historic day.  Many of the warships that had endured all those Battles and Campaigns were stacked up in Sagami Wan Bay outside of Tokyo Bay waiting for a “spot” to drop anchor and bear witness to the Signing of the Articles of Surrender.  The day was rife with politics and political decisions  – not the least of which was the presence of General MacArthur, the polarizing character who was a threat to run against Harry Truman in the next election.  The selection of the Battleship Missouri (the johnny-come-lately that entered the Pacific War just in time for Okinawa)  –  Harry Truman’s home state  . . .  and last, but not least, the British task group ships, who finally got around to go the Pacific and joined TF58  –  around the same time as the Missouri (mop-up duty).

No room for the Boston.

Putting politics aside, I smile as I transcribe Frank Studenski’s diary entries for the couple of days leading up to the 2nd:

August 31, 1945   Today is another normal day.  This bay is filled with the Pacific fleet.  This afternoon some of the ships weighed anchor and entered Tokyo Bay.
Anchored in Sagami Wan before entered Tokyo Bay [sic], the off duty watch had movies on the fantail at 1800 hours.  May watch was on Quad 5.  We were still on Condition Three and I was Gun Captain, I wanted to see the end of the movie and told the phone talker to stay awake, if air defense checks the quads.  I went back to se the end of the movie and about a half hour later my name was called over the P.A. and was told to report to the quarter deck on the double.  The phone talker fell asleep and air defense could not raise Quad 5.  I was given a deck court martial for violating General Order #5 (I shall not leave my post without being properly relieved.)  I was given ten days breqad and water with full rations every three days.  I’ll never forget those ten days.

September 1, 1945   Almost half the ships left here and are now anchored in Tokyo Bay.

September 2, 1945   Today is “V. J. Day” with the signing of the Peace Treaty.  I am looking forward to some liberty in Tokyo.


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Mid August, 1945


August 10, 1945    We met the carriers this morning, the water was a little choppy and while recovering our 4-SCI Seahawks, one of them cracked up, turned over and sank, we lost the pilot.  During the night while on mid-watch, I heard the first peace rumor.  It spread through all of the gun crews on watch and created a lot of excitement through out all of the gun mounts.  Everyone coming off watch was not able to sleep.

August 11, 1945     Bad weather held up our operations today, we did not hear any more news on the surrender.

August 12, 1945     Planes took off to hit northern Honshu, no Jap planes came out after us, a few planes were shot down over the target.

August 13, 1945    Planes took off to hit the Tokyo area this morning.  C.A.P. shot down several Jap planes.  Quite a few planes came out after us.  Peace rumors flew back and forth and we will retire from the area for a few days.

August 14, 1945    Today we moved out of the Tokyo area and will not launch any planes against Japan.  We have our C.A.P. on patrol and there are a lot of bogies in the area.

August 15, 1945     This morning we returned to the Tokyo area and the carriers had launched their planes for the first strike when we heard the final news of the Japanese surrender.  So the war ended for the U.S.S. Boston, 21 months after we left home port.

War Diary U.S.S. Boston CA69  by  Frank Studenski

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Souvenirs from the Ship


My dad did not have a Cruise Book.  Apparently, they are incredibly rare  –  a limited number were printed (once only – no reprints.)  The National Archives has a copy.  Some crewmembers” families possess one . . . a memento of their loved one’s service aboard the great ship.  While I knew of their existence, I had never seen one until I met Pat Fedele.  Pat has a copy.  None of the other plankowners I met had one.  After all those years (60+), no one seemed to remember who got them, how they got them, or why.  I was curious why my father didn’t have one . . .  (By the way, Pat, loaned me his book  –  let me take it home for a couple of weeks so I could scan the pages.  Another reason I love this guy.  He was willing to trust a stranger with that prized possession.)

Fast forward a couple of years.  I visited Frank Studenski in his home in N.C.  There on the wall was this great black and white etching of the Boston, framed with handles on the side.  I recognized it immediately.  One just like it hung in my room when I was a kid.  (It had long since disappeared.)  The protective glass on Frank’s copy was missing, but the right-angle handles were intact.  You see, it is a tea tray.

I asked Frank about the Cruise Book.  He didn’t have one.  I asked him about the “Boston Tea Tray” that was hanging on his wall and he said he wasn’t sure why, but some guys got a Cruise Book, and some guys got the picture.  A few years later Frank died.  In one of the strangest twists of fate that I have experienced, Frank’s tea tray (minus the handles) came into my possession.  I am humbled and honored to own this, but it came to me in a cloud of great sadness.

CA-69 line art etching inscribed: Frank Studenski S 1/C

Speaking of souvenirs from the ship . . .  Bob Knight told me that when they mustered off the ship all they could take with them was whatever fit inside their duffel bag.  Bob, like many others, had to leave behind many items that he had saved for his return to civilian life.

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Fourth of July, 1944

July 1, 2017

From George Pitts’ diary:

From Frank Studenski:

July 4, 1944:  This morning at 0500 our planes were launched to bomb the bases and air strips of Iwo Jima.  At 1530 hours the Boston, Canberra, San Juan, Santa Fe, Mobile and about 15 destroyers went in to bombard the island. We fired our 8″ and 5″ guns.  We got in close to fire 5″ shells.  We launched one of our catapult planes for spotting duty over the target.  We were hitting the southern airfield where almost seventy aircrafts were lined up.  We also hit gas storage tanks.  We were hitting all our assigned targets.  Looking through the binoculars, I could see a lot of planes on the field blowing up.  There was a lot of large fires and explosions.  The smoke was thousands of feet into the air.  A ship was sighted leaving the harbor, so we immediately opened fire on her, a destroyer went in to finish her off.  One of the planes from the Santa Fe that was spotting for us was shot by three Jap fighters.  The crew was picked up by one of our submarines.  All together this day 116 Jap planes were destroyed and five ships were sunk and several damaged.  This was a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July, killing Japs.

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