September 4, 1945:
Today after the Peace Treaty was signed a lot of the ships from the task groups were headin back home with “Homeward Bound” pennants flying. We watched a lot of ships leaving Tokyo Bay.
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 got underway from Tokyo Bay on September 8th for Katsuura, Sendai, Yokohoma, Kataura Ko, Inubo Zaki, Wakayama, Hiro, Kure, Nagoya on the east coast and inland sea of Honshu and Kogoahima, Nagasaki and Sasebo on Kyushu Island . . .
Occupation Duty is an “under-reported” part of the War.
Thanks to Frank Studenski who wrote his amazing War Diary of his days on the Boston. Without his diary, it would be hard to piece together anything more than a glimpse of what it was like to sail aboard CA-69.
Men left the Boston in three major departures: dates based on time served, hardships, etc.
. . . The ship remained in Japanese waters until January 28, 1946, when she left Kure Harbor for the return trip to the states. She arrived at San Francisco on February 190th and left for Puget Sound Ship Yard, Bremerton on April 3, 1946 and arrived on April 6, 1946 and went into the inactive fleet. On October 26, 1946 she went into the mothball fleet.
A while back, we got an email from May Koenig, telling us she has a picture of her grandfather, Clyde W. Day in uniform. She sent it in, and Bill added it to this site’s crewlist. I then asked her if she could tell us a little about him.
Her reply: “He was one of my favorite people ever. I am named after his sister. He was compassionate, honest, hard-working, and a great example to everyone in our family and beyond. He was an engineer after he left the Navy, and after retiring, he ran a clock repair business until he was 95! He volunteered thousands of hours with the local hospice and other organizations, and was a pillar of the community. Here is a link to his obituary if you’d care to read ithttp://www.kingsvillerecord.com/obituaries/clyde-wickliffe-day/article_08b26078-920d-11e9-9770-07e4c3e97d6c.html
While the ship was under repair in San Pedro, the men left on leaves – half gone for three weeks and the other half doing light duty on the ship (with plenty of leaves and down-time.)
Bob Knight: I had a twenty-one day leave and I came home. At that time, they had DC3’s. I spent most of the time on my flight home sitting on the coffee urn talking to the stewardesses. We stopped in Texas and another place or two on the way home.
After I went home, I headed back to San Pedro. One of my old girlfriends from high school was married and living in San Pedro. I visited her a couple of times.
My aunt had a cousin who lived in Hollywood, right next door to Walt Disney. I got to meet Walt and tour some of the studios. Jane Russell was just coming in at that time and I got a quick peek at her in the studio.
Frank Studenski: We had lots of leave. Me and a buddy from the division (his name was John Slade) met a couple of girls in Long Beach and we stayed with them for a couple of days and nights – dancing, drinking, you know . . . When it came time to leave, I said to Slade, “I’m going back to the ship – pretty soon we’ll be AOL.” Slade said, “I’ll have one more drink and catch up with you.”
I never saw him again. He never came back to the ship.
From Frank Studenski’s diary: Early this morning, I got my first look at the California coast line. We pulled into the Terminal Island Navy Yard flying our Homeward Bound pennant. While the N.O.B. Band played and Ginny Simms sang, “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” with a lot of brass and civilians on the pier. Just about all of the crew were on the port side. The first leave party left the ship this afternoon. We also got paid this morning and I got $630.00. I will buy my ticket tomorrow.
If you’re reading this and don’t understand the context: On March 6, 1945, after 16 months of continuous combat duty all over the Pacific, the USS Boston was ordered back to the states for major repairs: engine, boilers, etc and retrofit/upgrades to radar and communications equipment. The ship, having just left the Iwo Jima campaign, headed east as the Okinawa campaign started. After spending nine days in Pearl Harbor, the Boston made the four day trip to Los Angeles – the Navy shipyard at Terminal Island.
The Boston weighed anchor on June 1 and headed west back into the thick of things.
We’ve been having ongoing, seemingly impossible-to-resolve tech problems with this site. I’m gonna blame it on Covid. Anyway, hopefully we’re past the issues, and we can keep posting from time-to-time.
Let’s set the “WAY-BACK MACHINE”, Mr. Peabody, to March of 1945.
On March 6, The crew of CA-69 Bostom weighed anchor and pulled out of Ulithi Lagoon. The ship badly needed repairs. They began heading home (to San Pedro, CA) for major repairs and retrofits to radar and navigation systems. They would be docked in the Navy Yard at San Pedro until June 1st, at which time they weighed anchor and headed back to Japan.
March 11, 1945 This morning we entered Pearl Harbor, every member of the crew was in white uniform. We were at quarters streaming our pennant, tomorrow we will get liberty.
March 12-21, 1945 This morning two-thirds of the crew went on liberty, which was from 0900 to 1800 hours. We all came back feeling pretty good, some people feeling pretty bad, from too much drinking. We will be here for ten days. I am spending my liberty in Waikiki Beach, there are some good restaurants here. We also get dungaree liberty and go over to the sub base. They have a large ship, stores and restaurant over there. We also visit the ship stores at the Navy Yard. (Frank Studenski)
Every time I use entries from Frank’s incredible diary, I think about how little we would know about the ship, the action and the men without his diary. We’re forever grateful.