Obviously, not every man aboard the Boston celebrated Christmas. But among the roughly 1500 young sailors (18 year-olds, mostly); being so far from home was an emotional time. The ship was “at sea” for three Christmases.
1943: Having finally left Boston, transited the Panama Canal, visited San Francisco, and arrived at Pearl Harbor two years to the day after the Attack; the men spent Christmas anchored in Pearl Harbor (next to the sunken Arizona.)
1944: The men had been in constant battle for the entire year, and had spent six+ months in various Philippines operations. They had survived the 1st and 2nd Battles of the Philippine Sea. During refueling in mid December, the Task Force endured the terrifyingly dangerous Typhoon Cobra, during which more than 800 men perished. On Dec. 22nd, the ship dropped anchor in the Ulithi Lagoon, where the men celebrated Christmas.
1945: Even though the bitter war finally ended on August 15, 1945, the Boston and her crew were assigned to Occupation Duty. While hundreds of men were mustered off the ship in October and November, hundreds more were still aboard on Christmas Day.