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

Manus and Drydock

I found these sets of pictures from the USS Boston Cruise book:

manus header 550

Manus is an island in the Admiralty Island chain, just north of New Guinea.  There is an exceptional port called Seeadler Habor at it’s northeast corner.  It was here, after the japanese were defeated on the island, that the navy set up a floating drydock.  In late November, the USS Boston entered the drydock and her boilers were overhauled, she was painted stem to stern and she was relaunched by mid-December.

Here, she enters drydock:

entering drydock 550

The ship in drydock:

manus no1 550

Working on the ship:

manus drydock no2 550

All hands were required to help paint:

manus no3 550

Drydock at Manus Island

014112

Manus Island is a part of the Admiralty Islands off the coats of New Guinea.  In 1942, the Japanese established a military base on Manus island.  This base became a problem for the US, since it strategically interfered with shipping from the west coast of the US to Australia.  Operation BREWER (which the USS Boston did not participate in), attacked the Admiralty Islands on February 29th, 1944.  Manus Island was caputured and Seeadler Habor was established as a base by the US Navy.

The USS Boston arrived on November 21st at Seeadler Harbor on Manus Island to dry dock and repair her boilers.  Among the constant reminders of war seen by the men on the USS Boston, must have been the remains of the USS  Mount Hood.  On November 10th, just 11 days before the Bostron arrived at Seealer harbor, the USS Mount Hood exploded.  It was loaded with ammunition, and at 8:55am a small flash was noticed, followed by 3800 tons of ammunition exploding.  Only small fragments of the ship were left.  18 ships were damaged in the harbor and 378 people died and 372 were wounded in this tragic accident.

Later I’ll describe the Boston’s trip to Manus Island.

-Bill