Jesse E. Bohannan, S1c


Jesse Earl Bohannan

Jesse Bohannan (r) with shipmate pals aboard CA-69

Jesse Bohannan (r) with shipmate pals aboard CA-69

Jesse Bohannan reported aboard on 4/2/45, while the ship was under repair in San Pedro. He mustered off on May 14, 1946, after mothballing the ship in Bremerton, WA.  Son Steven Bohannan, who submitted these pictures, tells us his dad died on March 25, 2011.

(I included a picture of Jesse walking down an unidentified city street (Los Angeles?) in his whites in Baked Beans, Vol 3.   –  steve. )

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Clifford R. Jones, SC2c


jonesClifford Ross Jones, Ship’s Cook, 2nd Class

Cliff Jones was an original plankowner, mustering aboard the ship on Commissioning Day (6-30-43).  He left the ship on October 29, 1946, more than one year after the War ended and the men had Occupation Duty.

While in the Navy, Clifford served on the USS Boston CA-69 as a Ships Cook Second Class and later as a Commisary Man Second Class. In addition to the USS Boston, Clifford served aboard the USS Baltimore (CA-68), USS Oglala (CM-4) and USS Miami (CL-89).  After his discharge from the Navy on Aug 28, 1946, Clifford worked as a chef at the prestigious Harvard Military Academy in North Hollywood, California.  Clifford was married to Geneva Doris Robinson and had three children (Ross, Barry and Priscilla).  He passed away in Camarillo, California on June 23, 1994.

Submitted by Phillip W. DePauk, Jr (nephew)

(note:  this picture of Cliff is from my father’s photo album.  His picture also appears in A Bird’s Eye View  –  steve)

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Where was CA-69 when the bombs dropped?


Original crewmember and contributor to the Baked Beans books, Bob Knight, sent this comment in after the re-post of last year’s Hiroshima entry: Fascinating. I didn’t realize we were that involved. Where was the Ca69 at the time of the  bomb drop if our MC Capt was already in the inland sea.

That, of course, is a really good question.  When I first met CA-69 Marine Commander Norm Bayley and he told me about his secret recon mission to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I was troubled by the obvious:  the ship was “somewhat” near the Inland Sea on August 6 (1945), but was steaming north with the task group. In fact, on August 9, the Boston was part of a bombardment group hammering industrial targets in Northern Honshu, hundreds of miles away.  This seeming disparity is addressed in previous posts, as well as in Baked Beans, Vol. 3.

What happened was that Norm Bayley reported to the ship only a few days before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. An Admiral came aboard and asked him to take on the mission.  He left the ship and was transported by another destroyer and dropped off near Hiroshima.  He was later picked up by another destroyer and then rendezvoused with the Boston.  So when Norm first spoke of the “ship” and the “Captain,” I had assumed he was talking about the Boston and Capt. Kelley.  While Norm and his Japanese translator were gathering data at Hiroshima, and then at Nagasaki (where they arrived while the black fallout was still raining down), the Boston was steaming with the task force hundreds of miles away.

Last year, Norm’s grandson and I were working on Norm’s story together.  I did more research into how it would have been possible for a US Navy ship to slip into the Inland Sea and discharge two passengers.  I discovered that task force carrier strikes on July 28 pretty much destroyed every Japanese ship afloat in the inland sea around Kure, within eyesight of the city of Hiroshima.

The project has been put on hold.  Norm is 97 years old, and is no longer up revisiting his service.


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Tomorrow marks the 70th anniversary of the devastation unleashed by the United States upon the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Here is my post from last year:

August 6, 2014

Discussing the last days of the war, Pat Fedele says this: We were ordered to prepare for ship-to-ship battle with the Japanese. The Quincy, the Boston, the destroyers – not the carriers though, were going to go in and shoot shells at the Japanese Navy.  It got called off.  The very next day, we saw the flash in the sky.

Frank Studenski’s Diary entry for August 6:  The weather is getting better and we are on a course for the Jap mainland.

As the Atom Bomb detonated over Hiroshima a few minutes after 8 am, Captain Norman C. Bayley, USMC, commander of  CA-69’s Marine detachment, was aboard a captain’s skiff in the Inland Sea, along with his unwilling translator, the twice (or thrice) sunken destroyer captain who he calls Takai, headed for the shoreline. His top secret mission was to  provide an eyewitness account of details of the destruction of the first nuclear weapon unleashed in any war:  locate and identify “ground zero”  and record the extent of the damage.  When Norm arrived,  there was nothing to see except for a few buildings that did not evaporate, a few smokestacks still standing, and thousands of badly wounded and horribly burned people streaming toward him and away from the city.

Norm was equipped with a .45, two notebooks and a camera.  I have always assumed he was in civilian clothes – you know, inconspicuous (as inconspicuous as a white American could be in a Japanese industrial/military wartime city.)  In fact, he was in full uniform.  The reasoning was that if he were captured, he might stand a chance of surviving as a prisoner of war if he was in uniform.  If he was in civilian clothes, he would be tortured and executed as a spy.

The second part of his mission was to make his way from southern Honshu to the island of Kyushu and repeat the process for the second bomb, dropped on the 9th of August, over the industrial city of Nagasaki.

I met with Norm again a few weeks ago.  He is 96 years old.  He has not forgotten.


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William O. Plante, SK3c


wm plante{SK3c = StoreKeeper, 3rd class}  William enlisted in Providence, RI on March 11, 1943. After boot camp, he was assigned to the Boston. He was a plankowner, reporting aboard with the original crew on Commissioning Day (6-30-43).   He mustered off the ship on April 2, 1946, after the ship was mothballed at Bremerton, WA.

Photos submitted by William’s grandson, David Neff.

William Plante (l) with pal.

William Plante (l) with pal.


About submitting photos:  We are happy to share photos of your relative(s) who served aboard CA-69.  Please note:  there will be a delay, sometimes a LONG ONE, before your submission will appear on the site.  As we are able, we will also add your photo to the CREW RECORDS.  Please be patient.

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