Square That Hat!

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The Personnel Section of the USS Boston cruise book has this unforgettable image of the naval photographer from the 1940’s

Ulithi Atoll & Mog-Mog Island

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Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands was found by the US Navy to be an deep water lagoon that could hold up to 700 ships.  The Island of Mog-Mog in the lagoon was converted to a rest an relaxation station.  The USS Boston stopped by a few times and the rations delivered for the day was 2 Cheese sandwiches and 4 cans of Beer.  Must have been an interesting time with thousands of sailors each with their 4 beer allotment having some R&R.

How I found my Father’s Naval Records


Updated July 2012

Are you interested in seeing your father’s Naval Records?   You have to be the son, daughter or spouse of a person who served in the Navy.     I found this great website that takes you through the process of requesting his (or her) records.

My Father’s request came some 4 to 6 weeks later and it had about a ½ inch of information that I never knew.   It had his enlistment paperwork, including addresses and information about his parents, the records had his promotion records, his leave dates, and a VERY interesting summary of his service on the USS Boston.   The records list every conflict the ship was involved in while he was on board.   Other nuggets of information include when the ‘crossing the equator’ ceremony was held, of course presided over by Neptunus Rex!

The website is part of the National Archives, here is the link:  Service Record Link

Before you start this online process, you’ll need some information:

  • His Social Security Number – You’ll need some of his old records for this
  • His Date of Birth
  • His Service number – I have my records on this website organized by service number, so if you search for the sailor, in your browser window you’ll see ?id=7618027 for Eugene Kelly for example.  This is your sailors Navy ID number in World War II
  • his approximate departure date from the service (guess 1-2 months after he left the ship)
  • You may need a copy of the death certificate

You may be charged for this request, in the past people were charged up to $40.


November Aboard the USS Boston


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.


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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.


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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.

Steve Kelly