1944: The first day of February dawned on Task Force 58 ships engaged in the simultaneous attacks on atoll groups in the Marshall Islands (Operation Flintlock.) The Boston and sister cruiser Baltimore, along with several destroyers detached from the group during the night of Feb. 5 and steamed west. On Feb 6, they bombarded targets on Engebi Island (Eniwetok Atoll). Next day, the ships pull into Kwajalein lagoon, and anchor there while the Marines are still “mopping —up” entrenched enemy troops in the Atoll. The ships pull out on Feb 11 and begin Operation Catchpole — the capture of Eniwetok.
1945: The Boston is in anchorage at Ulithi Atoll until Feb 10. The Task Force is changed from TF38 back to TF58, under the over-all command of Raymond Spruance aboard the cruiser Indianapolis. The Boston forms up with group 58.2. Operational command of the ships is the responsibility of Marc Mitscher, aboard the heavy carrier Lexington. The group consists of the carriers: Lexington, Hancock and San Jacinto, the battleships Wisconsin and Missouri, cruisers Boston and San Francisco and nineteen destroyers (including DesRons52 and 53). They begin Operation Detachment (the invasion of Iwo Jima) by steaming north to attack airbases on the Bonin Islands and Operation Jamboree — bombing targets in and around Tokyo.
1946: The Boston has completed her Occupation Duties, and is heading back to the States to unload her crew prior to her retirement in Washington.
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 11th, Boston’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.