DEC 7, 1941


The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor minutes before 8 am on that Day of Infamy in 1941 awoke and galvanized our country.   We had been officially “neutral” until that moment, in spite of massive aid flowing from our Atlantic shores to England in the “lend-lease” program.   Pearl Harbor was the opening act of a broadly expansive and aggressive plan to expand the Empire of Japan.   The raid on Oahu was followed on that same day by attacks on such far-flung places as Singapore, the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island, Midway Island and Hong Kong.   The Japanese had gone “all in.”

The history of antagonism between the US and Japan (leading up to the Attack) is long and complex and can’t be looked at in this brief format. The US “spun its wheels” in the Pacific until Jan 1944, when we were finally able to set afloat hundreds of new warships through the Panama Canal.   The War in Europe had consumed all our resources until then.   When we did go on the offensive in the Central Pacific with the formation of Task Force 58, we went “all in”   –   forcing the Surrender of Japan a year and a half later.

The Japanese were every bit as aggressive, ruthless and feared in the Eastern Hemisphere as were the Nazis in the Western Hemisphere.   The US was the “wild card” in WWII  –   as a nation of determined people we were underestimated by both the Germans and their Axis counterparts — The Empire of Japan   –   who pursued their dreams of dominance with a very heavy cost.

Final World War II death estimates (combined civilian and military):

United States                                               400,000

Germany                                                         4,200,000

Japan                                                                   2,350,000

This of course , does not include Europe and Asia and The Mediterranean, and all the other places in the world that lost soldiers and civilians.





1943: The men spend their first Christmas aboard the Boston anchored in Pearl Harbor.

christmas turkey

1944: The ships of Task Force 38 spent the 19th and 20th of December searching for survivors of the terrible typhoon that claimed three destroyers and 800 men off the eastern shores of Luzon and Samar (Philippines).   Search planes launched from all the   ships continued searching for survivors as the ships reorganized into their task groups for more strikes against Luzon.   Because the ships were still being plagued by the typhoon, the airstrikes were cancelled that night.   The task groups then turned south and east and headed for the anchorage at Ulithi, where they would stay until Dec 30.   After arriving on the 22nd, the men celebrated Christmas in Ulithi Lagoon. While the ships were in anchorage, the Navy convened a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the facts surrounding Typhoon Cobra.

1945: The men still aboard the Boston on Occupation Duty spent their last Christmas together aboard the ship.


1943: December 1st was the last day of Liberty in San Francisco. The ship has been reprovisioned and has taken on some new crewmembers and marines hitching a ride to their first destination: Pearl Harbor. The Boston pulls out of San Francisco Bay on 12/2 heading west. On December 6, the day before the two-year anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Boston lines up with other ships waiting to enter P.H. When they enter, the men aboard see the devastation all around.   The Battleship Oklahoma is belly-up and on her side.   Oil is still spewing out. Then the Boston eases into it’s berth on Battleship Row, right next to the sunken Arizona, watery grave of   1,100 sailors. The men spent the next month and a half at Pearl Harbor; daily war exercises and drills with other ships in Hawaiian waters, and weekend liberty in Honolulu.

USS_Arizona_from_port_bow.jpg 500*337 pixels

USS Arizona

1944: After arriving in Seeadler Harbor (in the Admiralty Island of Manus north of New Guinea) the Boston, was in drydock for boiler repairs and a new paintjob from Nov 21 through Dec 9.   The war in and around the Philippine Archipelago raged on unabated while the men and their ship was away.

Image:Admiralty Islands Topography with labels.png - Wikipedia,

1945: After the Surrender of Japan, a Demilitarization Task Group was formed, with the Boston in command. The men spent the month of December ranging up and down the coasts of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, destroying suicide subs and boats and seizing weapons.