Nicholas Zeoli, RdM3c

Memorial Day, 2017

Nick Zeoli (l) with his brother Gene

Nicholas Zeoli is a Boston plankowner, reporting aboard on Commissioning Day (June 30, 1943).  During his service on the ship, he was promoted to RadarMan, 3rd class.  Having been part of all the action on CA-69, he mustered off the ship on 12/26/45 and headed for Home.  (Best Christmas ever, Nick?)

One of our Facebook Group members, Marty Irons, pointed out that Nick was one of the Featured Veterans this last Saturday (5/27/17) in the Fair Haven, VT Memorial Day Parade.

Picture submitted by Nick’s son, Chris Zeoli. 

Happiest Memorial Day post since we started this website.



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Roland W Roberts, S1c


Roland was an original Boston crewmember.  He mustered aboard on Commissioning Day (6/30/43), and was a ship’s Plankowner.  He served through all the action, including post-war Occupation Duty.  He left the ship on January 20, 1946.  Picture submitted by his son, John Roberts.

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John A. Hartman, WT3c

May 2, 2017

John A. Hartman was a Boston Plankowner  –  an original crewmember who came aboard the ship on Commissioning Day – June 30, 1943.  He was still aboard the Boston after the ship returned to the states after Occupation Duty, mustering off on March 2, 1946.  Pics compliments of his son Dan.

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Catch-up Time

Knee surgery 7 weeks ago today.  Coming along nicely, but still at least a month before I can go back to work (ugh!).  Now, I realize this is all incredibly important news to the inhabitants of planet Earth . . .

Several more or less recent posts to our Facebook Group page  (you’re not a member, you say????) that should have made it onto this site, haven’t yet.  Let’s start here, with sad news from Dan Moore:

I’m very sorry to announce the passing of my grandfather, Richard “Hoppy” Hopkins. He died last Saturday, peacefully, at home, with his wife of 72 years and his family by his side.

Dick served aboard the USS Boston for 806 days—from June 30, 1942 (S2c), to November 6, 1945 (S1c). After his discharge from the Navy, he went on to serve for 23 years in the USAF, as a Deputy Sheriff near his home in Maine, as a Chief of Operations for Federal Protective Services, and as a branch manager for the FAA.

Most of my time spent with Gramps was during his retirement. He was a man beyond compare, and every Saturday I would take him to his American Legion post for drinks with his comrades. The oldest member by far, Gramps would sit there proudly in his CA-69 hat and give hell to the youngins.

A couple of years back, I bought him the set of “Baked Beans” books. He never talked about the war; he lost many friends and loved ones, including a brother in Normandy. But he did get a kick out of paging through those books!

I love you, Grampy. Rest in peace.…/richard-hopkins-192…


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March, 1946  –  A skeleton crew remains aboard the Boston, docked in the Navy Yard at Bremerton, WA.  They are in the process of salvaging and mothballing the ship.  The entire war-time crew, with a few exceptions, have headed home.

March 25, 1945:  Early this morning, I got my first look at the California coastline.  We pulled into the Terminal Island navy Yard flying our homeward-bound pennant.  While the N.O.B.Band played and Ginny Sims sang, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,”  with a lot of brass and civilians on the pier.  Just about all of the crew were on the port side.  The first leave party left the ship this afternoon.  We also got paid this morning and I got $630.00.  I will buy my ticket tomorrow.  *

March 25, 1944:   This morning we joined up with the rest of the task force.  We are heading northwest for a raid on Palau Island – a large island in the Western Carolines.  This is the furthest west a task force has ever gone. *

March 26, 1944:  Today everyone is tense and excited, we are getting closer to the islands.  There were no bogies in the area.  We were on Condition Three Watch except for sunset general quarters.  This was a short operation, but exciting because we had a chance to shoot at some Jap planes.     *Frank Studenski

March, 1943 –  Each week throughout late February, March and April, hundreds of new sailors reported to the Fargo Building in Boston.  They were in training and light duty, waiting for their brand-new Heavy Cruiser, CA-69 to be finished.  She was just south of Boston, in the Quincy MA, Fore River Shipyard (Bethlehem Steel), being worked on round-the-clock.  She had a war to join.


(proud owner of a titanium right knee)


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