Back, hopefully

3/12/21

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.

The Boston, flying her 700-ft long “homeward bound” pennant, readies to leave Ulithi, March 6, 1945

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.

Steve

MARCH 9th ABOARD THE BOSTON

1944: The Boston, on it’s way to the South Pacific (to participate in Operation Reckless – the support of Gen. MacArthur’s invasion of Hollandia and other enemy strongholds on New Guinea), crosses the Equator for the first time and the men are inducted into the Realm of King Neptune – a centuries old Navy Initiation ritual.

This document graciously supplied by the family of Augustus Harris, S1C, CA-69

1945: The Boston is steaming home after being detached from it’s task group at the start of operations against Okinawa leading up to the Invasion on April 1.  On March 9, 1945, the Boston is sailing east toward Pearl Harbor.

1946:  The Boston sails north from San Francisco to the boneyard at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard  –  where she finishes her AMAZING Pacific Tour on March 12, 1946.

LATE JANUARY ON THE BOSTON

1944: On January 19th. The ships take turns leaving Pearl Harbor for the last time.  The Boston forms up with other ships in Task Group 58.4 and the rest of Task Force 58 as they accompany the Invasion Fleet – destination: the Marshall Islands.  It takes six days for the ships to reach striking distance of their objective. January 26 marks the beginning of the first Central Pacific offensive operation against Japan  – starting the attacks and simultaneous amphibious assault on targets spread all across the Marshall Islands – known as Operation Flintlock. The Boston’s task group bombarded and attacked the southeastern atolls through early February, concentrating on Wotje Atoll, Maleolap Atoll and Majuro Atoll.

1945:  After refueling on the 11thBoston’s Task Group 38.1 is joined by TG 38.2 and begins Operation Gratitude –  attacks on Japanese targets in Occupied Chinese territory.  The ships are in the South China Sea, the furthest west  American warships have been in the war.  Admiral Halsey is eager to find the Imperial Japanese Fleet – reported to be anchored in CamRahn Bay – and engage it in a great surface battle. (The Japanese Fleet had already departed.)  The next six days the ships rode out a typhoon – launching planes whenever possible against targets in Hong Kong, Canton, and IndoChina (Vietnam).  The ships come under attack while in the South China Sea. On January 20, the carrier planes are launched against targets on the huge enemy bases on Formosa (Taiwan). The ships begin heading for anchorage at Ulithi Atoll (south of the Marianas – which they reach on the 25th). On the drive-by, they attack targets in the Okinawa group of islands (Jan 22.).  The Boston is in anchorage from Jan 26 until Feb 10.

EARLY DECEMBER ABOARD THE BOSTON

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.