I was surprised when I was working on newly found records of the USS Boston Aviation unit, that when the Boston was pulled from duty in the Pacific after months of fighting, the Aviation unit was removed lock, stock and barrel when the ship arrived in San Francisco on the way to it’s retrofit in San Pedro. there were between 15 to 20 members of the unit, and many had been together from 4 months before the ship was commissioned. The Aviation unit was started in February of 1943 and the ship was commissioned in June of 1943.
On the 28th or March 1945, the entire Aviation Unit was transferred to the Alameda Naval Air Base in California. After the Boston was retrofitted, an entirely new crew was mustered in San Pedro to restart the unit.
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I came across this picture when I was looking at Photographs from NARA. Obviously this was censored because it showed the top secret radar installation on the destroyer next to the Boston.
When the Boston returned in Early 1945 to San Diego, the radar and fire control systems were upgraded. Radar was a huge factor in the War in the Pacific.
I came across this at the Smithsonian Aerospace Museum in Washington DC. This is the type of seaplane which saw service in WWII on the USS Boston.
From the Deck logs that you can read here: http://www.ca-69boston.org/Decklog-Month/jul43dl.pdf , after the ship was commissioned the regularity of leave caused some issues. A small percentage of sailors had trouble with arriving on time; this caused each that missed the deadline to be punished. A few sailors had trouble obeying direct orders and were punished. Some sailors were injured, one needed three stitches when he awoke a 3:30am and hit his mouth on the bunk, and another fell down a ladder. A few sailors came back from leave with badly injured hands.
Discipline metered out by the officers, looks particularly harsh compared with our current civilian standard. Typical were 5-7 day confinements on bread and water for 24 leave violations. A few summary court martials happened in the month for drunken brawls and resisting arrest; the punishment was dishonorable discharge, deferred if the sailor had good conduct for six months. Six months from now, these discharges would happen immediately, but to get the ship in better shape they represented a warning to the other sailors. Another all too typical matter was disciplining Stewarts Mates for insubordination, the underlying issue was Stewarts’s Mates were black (one of only two jobs blacks could hold on the Boston) and they had a disproportionate number of insubordination charges from their white officers across all navel vessels in World War II. Toward the end of the month, a huge increase in summary court Martials occurred for the many AOL’s that lasted for more than a few hours. Many sailors were given 15 to 30 day sentences of solitary confinement and bread and water with full rations every thirty days. There were two to three summary court martials for wearing ‘Clothing of another man’s possessions’ with sentences like ten days break and water and loss of pay.
Each night a shore patrol, made up of the crew, went on shore to ensure that the crew made it back on time, sometimes, like late in the month, they apprehended BOSTON sailors who had strayed from the Ship.
The ship undocked once this period, presumably for a voyage around Boston Harbor in which there are many Naval Photographs. Toward the end of the month, the Navajo Marine Telephone Talkers were instructed on communications, and the ship took on live ammunition.
Late in the Month one of a handful of deaths on the BOSTON during World War II occurred, Seaman 2nd Class J. A. Jeglieowski died of an apparent heart attack.