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.

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