About a month ago, I got emails and a book order from Brian Fair. His grandfather served on the ship, and he wanted a set of “Baked Beans.”
I shipped them off and then he sent me a few pics of his grandfather, a copy of his discharge papers, and a “bio sheet” that his grandfather wrote about his service in the war and on the Boston.
Ok – so you can see that Cloyd served on several ships in the War.
I’ve transcribed his “bio sheet” :
Cloyd L. Fair
Born 1913 in Gordo AL. Enlisted U.S. Navy in 1940. Trained at Norfolk VA. Served aboard USS Arizona Dec. 1940 then transferred to USS Nevada Jan. 1941. Also served these vessels and stations: NTS. NOB, Norfolk, VA. USS Phoenix, USS Boston, USS Colorado, USS West Virginia, US NAVECSTA, NAVSTA, Seattle WA.
Serving with the Third Fleet, I slept late Sunday morning – slept 1 deck below barbershop. Missed breakfast- was sitting in barber shop drinking coffee and eating coffee cake, only with my shoes and skivvies on when the first Japanese plane flew over Dec. 7. The color guard was just raising the flag. I saw planes with the rising sun emblem. I realized it was a Jap attack. The barber shop had 2 portholes. I looked out – the USS Nevada was under heavy attack but just got underway. I closed the porthole then started to my 5 inch battery station. I never made it. I was climbing up the ladder – met a gunner’s mate coming down. He asked where I was going. I told him and he said don’t go up – there are a lot of people already trapped. Then a bomb hit in the Ammunition box. Lot of people killed where I was supposed to be. I joined the first aid station. We ran out of materials. I was told to rip bed covers and sheets for use later. Later the chief came down the hatch – his right leg was almost blown off. I never knew what happened to him.
I was transferred to USS Phoenix Dec. 10, 1941, serving until May 1943, then served on USS Boston during invasion of Marshall Islands. I was discharged as SSMB first class, Dec. 1946. Medals: American Defense, 1 star; Asiatic Pacific, 15 stars; Good Conduct; Victory Medal.
Note: Cloyd did not only serve on the Boston for the Marshalls campaign. He was a plankowner – mustered aboard with all the others on Commissioning Day (June 30, 1943), and he served all the way through the War until after the Surrender in September, 1945.