New Website layout

With all the the people like me whose reading glasses are getting fatter and fatter each year, I thought I’d use an easier to read website layout.



1 and 1217 with 3022 sailors watching :-)

Tonight I have finished entering all the arrivals and departures of all the sailors of CA-69!  We have 3,022 sailor records, as of tonight all their arrival and departure information is complete along with all of their promotions!  Yeah!

So what’s with 1 and 1,217?  When I look at the data, we had two sailors attend the commissioning ceremony on June 30,1943 and they were re-assigned the next day!  They each spent 1 day on the Boston: They are Robert B Johnstone and Robert J Duren.  These are the shortest services on the Boston in my records.  On the other side, five sailors spent 1,217 days from Commissioning to Decommissioning on the Boston with only the normal leaves given to all sailors.  These five had no time off the ship in Hospital, or temporary duty.  They were Robert Earnest Lafavour, joined as a seaman second class, he was from the New Hampshire area, he was promoted to Seaman first class after nine months on board, 11 months later he was promoted to Coxswain, after 3 years and almost 4 months we and his other 4 sailors who spent the most time onboard, departed on the USS BALTIMORE.

Next is Marion Ray Shores, Marion came to the Boston as a Machinist Mate 2nd class having enlisted in January of 1941, Marion had experience coming into the Boston.  Marion was promoted the Machinist Mate 1st class after 11 months, and he left the Boston at this rank.

Ralph Sydney George is next, Ralph came to the Boston as an experienced sailor also enlisting in 1941, he was a ShipFitter.  He had a bit of a rough patch with a demotion on board, but he regained his rank over his long service on the Boston.

Robert Emile Haas, came to the Boston as a raw recruit, a Seaman Second Class.  He was promoted the Seaman first class after 14 months on board and he departed the ship as an Seaman 1st class.

Finally, Clifford Ross Jones fills out the longest serving Sailor.   Clifford also came as a raw recruit and was promoted to Ship’s Cook 3rd class and promoted again to Ship’s Cook 2nd class.

A few numbers: There are 3,022 sailor records, with 2,707 promotions.  The records include 6,476 individual transactions of sailors arriving and leaving for both temporary assignments and permanent transfers.  The most sailors onboard at any one time is 1,592 sailors May of 1945.  Over the next months and beyond I’ll be finishing the discipline records and working on notes and decklogs to bring interesting stories…


Promotions from Seaman 2nd Class

As I work with the data from the Sailor Database I have been noticing trends, It’s faster to be promoted as a Fireman 3rd class than to a Seaman 1st class. In fact if your selected to be a fireman, you’ll be promoted six times faster on the Boston in world war II as a fireman than to a Seaman 1st class. The promotion time from Seaman 1st Class to Coxswain is about twice as long as the path from Fireman 3rd class to Fireman 2nd class. So Seaman 2nd class sailors selected to be Firemen can have 4-6 promotions in 2 years, where sailors slotted for Seaman 1st class will have on average 1-2 promotions.


April 1st 1946: USS BOSTON in San Francisco

I’ve just finished updating the arrivals and departures for April 1st 1946. In March, the Ship was in San Francisco where Sailors were busy some arriving an most departing. The war officially ended in August, but the Navy needed to move lots of men and supplies around, so some Boston veterans departed in september, some in October and November, and many sailors in January to March. As of April 1st 1946, there were 650 sailors on board, at this point 2,980 sailors had spent between 1 day and 1,000 days on board. On this day April 1st, 77 sailors are still on board from the commissioning on June 30, 1943. About 1/3 to 1/2 of the boat’s sailors on April 1st, 1946 are new to the boston, added from January to March. About 200 sailors were added in November and December of 1945 in japan and they left the ship when it arrived in San Francisco in February and March. The ship is being prepared on this date to go to Washington State for it’s eventual decommission in the fall of 1946.

New: See Original Document!

In my long slog to make sailor records available, I’ve decided to link the records to original sources. This has the effect of double-checking, and ensuring that I ‘get it right’. Since a few months after I started to enter data, I added the source of the original documents, and I’ve recently uploaded over 1000 files of personnel records to the website.

When you look at an individual record, you can now see a link too ‘See Original Document’. This will link you to a picture file which is the source for the underlying record. This is both good news and bad news for the reader and for me 🙂 For the reader, you’ll see some truly bad records, out of focus, etc., for me it means if I get it wrong I hear from you! That’s actually OK! 🙂

Of the nearly 5000 individual records for sailors arriving and departing from the USS Boston that I currently have, only about 25 are ‘missing’. Records go missing for two basic reasons, first I screwed up and entered the wrong date by accident and I need to search through 1400 pictures of records to find the missing record, or more likely, the clerk (actually called a Yeoman :-)) on the ship missed a sailor who arrived, or recorded a sailor who failed to arrive. This makes the records really interesting like a huge puzzle, I get to ask questions like ‘this sailor is on the boat and yet he never arrived!’, or ‘When did this sailor leave? He never left and I have no other record but an arrival record, did he really exist on this boat?’. OK, so I have sort of a twisted definition of fun. 🙂

Please us the contact page if you find a records problem! And yes, I know that this process is not complete and I’m still adding sailors in december 1945. Next up for me is to review the roughly 400 promotions of 1943 and add record numbers so that they also display the original documents. I have about 850 total promotions, and probably about 2000 more to enter.

After I clean up the promotion records I want to clean up the discipline records. Discipline records are difficult, because some information is in the personnel records and more information is in the Deck log. The Deck log I have is in an incompatible picture format which will not convert (I get a completely black document). My plan is to return to NARA in Washington in December and re-potograph the deck log. I should them be able to upload it to the website and link records to it.