1943: After transiting the Panama Canal on Tuesday, Nov. 23, the Boston anchored at Balboa Harbor. The men were given afternoon liberty in Balboa City. They departed Balboa and headed north on the 24th. The men feasted on Thanksgiving Day off the coast of California on Thursday, the 25th. The ship entered San Francisco Bay on the 28th. The men had liberty in San Francisco through Dec 1.
1944: The Boston, a capital ship of Task Group 38.1 (under the command of William Halsey) spent most of November in constant combat off the Philippines. By then the ships were experiencing their first encounters with the Japanese “Special Attack Corps” – also known as “Devil Divers” or kamikazes (“Divine Wind”) – that would extract a murderous toll on the men and ships of the US Navy by war’s end. On Nov, 21 the Boston was ordered south to the Admiralty Islands into drydock for a quick overhaul of her boilers. She detached from her Task Group and headed south on the 22nd. The ship remained there for two weeks. Thanksgiving was celebrated in Seeadler Harbor, off Manus Island, at the naval-base in the Admiralty Islands. Manus Island is south of the Equator between New Guinea and the Caroline Islands.
1945: After the Surrender of Japan, a Demilitarization Task Group was formed, with the Boston in command. The men spent the month of November ranging up and down the coasts of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. They were tasked with seizing weapons and destroying suicide subs and boats. Thanksgiving was spent off the coast of Japan.
ABOARD THE BOSTON – NOVEMBER 1943
After returning to the city of Boston from a month-long Caribbean shakedown cruise, the Boston crewmembers continued final preparations before leaving for the Pacific through the first half of the month. On Nov 14, the ship left the Fore River Navy Yard in South Boston (Quincy, MA) for the last time, heading south for the Panama Canal. On the 23rd, they transited the Canal, reached the Pacific, and headed north to San Francisco. The men spent their first Thanksgiving Day together at sea, off the coast of California. Next day, they sailed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and began a few days Liberty in San Francisco.
ABOARD THE BOSTON – NOVEMBER 1944
After months of wild combat action ending with the Battle for Leyte Gulf (also called the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea) (Oct. 23-26), the Boston and the other ships of her Task Group anchored in the lagoon at Ulithi (north of Palau and south of Guam). On Nov 1, the ships left Ulithi and headed back to the action in and off the Philippines. And there was plenty of action! After 21 days of continual combat, the Boston was ordered south to the Admiralty Islands into dry-dock for a paintjob and quick overhaul of her boilers. (See picture above) She steamed out of the action, heading south on the 22nd. The ship remained there for two weeks. The men had liberty on the naval-base island of Manus Island.
ABOARD THE BOSTON – NOVEMBER 1945
After the Surrender of Japan, a Demilitarization Task Group was formed, with the Boston in command. The men spent the month of November ranging up and down the coast of Japan, seizing weapons and destroying suicide subs and boats. The first of three groups of sailors mustered out and headed home on Nov. 9th. The ship remained on Occupation Duty until the end of February, 1946. See the full size picture here.