Another year flying out the window

12-16-17

We have recently had several folks reach out with pictures of their Boston family member.  I will post those up when I can.  We also heard from Judith Armstrong.  She sent this picture of her dad and pals at the “Moana Surfrider.”  Anybody recognize any of these sailors?

(left) Arthur Armstrong, EM1c (electrician’s mate)

Task Force 58 website up and running, mostly done, will be tweaked from time to time.  Take a few minutes to check it out.  The Boston was a unit of Task Force 58 and 38, so her stories are always in the context of the Task Groups and Task Forces. www.taskforce58.org.

Baked Beans: After I finished the Baked Beans books, I started working on a “Boston in the broader context of Task Force 58” book  –  which has been sitting half-baked on the back burner ever since.  I am pushing to get it going again, which is why we went to work on the TF58 site.  However, because I am never satisfied and don’t always stay on task with laser-focus, all that activity kept reminding me of how, in retrospect, I needed/wanted to improve the Baked Beans trilogy.  When I wrote them, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.  (I still don’t know anything.  Just ask my kids.)

I can tell you that I am restructuring the books, adding some things, and re-arranging some things.  The basic reason for my dissatisfaction is simple:  I met some of the guys after Vol 1 was published.  And, I met Frank Studenski as I was just about done with Vol. 2.   I had access to his incredible diary all along, but I did not feel comfortable using his material until I looked him in the eye and asked for his blessing.  The revised books, when they are finished, will contain all of Frank’s diary entries across all three volumes.  This will flesh out the Boston story in remarkable detail and enhance any reader’s understanding of what life aboard the ship was like.

Having said that, I am reminded of how much I miss Frank.  And John Farkas.  And Norm Bayley.  And George Pitts.  All of this Boston activity in my life, by the way, because a copy of Frank’s diary came into my possession a few years before my father died.  I gave a copy to my dad, and after reading it, he still wouldn’t talk about the war with me.  After he died, I read Frank’s War Diary and filled with regret, I began my quest to find out what I could about his ship and his War.

The Posts of Christmas Past:  whether or not you celebrate Christmas, you might enjoy scrolling backwards (click through the “older posts” arrow at the bottom of each post  –  organized in in reverse order) and checking out the Holiday Feast menus  –  everything from turkey to cigarettes on the menu!  The guys didn’t have much to celebrate over their tenure in the Pacific . . .

Many of us celebrating our traditional holidays at this time of year.  To our old friends and new readers, Happy Holidays!

 

 

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Radar and The USS Boston

I came across this picture when I was looking at Photographs from NARA.  Obviously this was censored because it showed the top secret radar installation on the destroyer next to the Boston.

When the Boston returned in Early 1945 to San Diego, the radar and fire control systems were upgraded.  Radar was a huge factor in the War in the Pacific.

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Pics Occupation Duty

11-10-17

More looks at Occupation Duty:

 

Men from the USS Boston with confiscated munitions, at Sasagawa

Men from the USS Boston at suicide boat caves, Sasagawa

Men from the USS Boston, towing suicide boats to scuttle, Sendai

All photos from the National Archives, retrieved by Bill (with help from Rivka)

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More OCCUPATION DUTY

11-4-17

After the Signing of the Documents of Surrender, the next four months (Occupation Duty) seems anti-climactic somehow.  The Navy had the onerous task of getting millions of sailors home   –  a reverse order lottery –  during which time men who had served their required time got to go home, and newer arrivals did not.  By the time the ship left Japanese waters in early January 1946, about a third of the crew was still on board.  Most departed the ship when she arrived in San Francisco, but a skeleton crew rode her up to Bremerton, WA, where she was decommissioned.

Meanwhile, the ship’s crew was tasked with “demilitaization duty” on Eastern Honshu, in the general area of Tokyo Bay.  I have included below a sample from CA-69 Action Reports, retrieved from the National Archives by Bill.

steve

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OCCUPATION DUTY

10-21-17

Without a doubt, the Signing of the Documents of Surrender on Sept 2, 1945 filled the sailors on the Boston with satisfaction, closure and thoughts of returning Home.

From Frank Studenski’s War Diary:
September 4, 1945:    Today after the Peace treaty was signed a lot of the ships from the task groups were heading back home with “Homeward Bound” pennants flying.  We watched a lot of the ships leaving Tokyo Bay.

The crew of the Boston was not so lucky.  Going home was going to be back-burnered for a while.

OCCUPATION DUTY:  We received orders to form a task group for occupation duty.  The task unit composed of the Boston, two destroyers and an U.D.T., the unit is commanded by our captain.  Our duties were to move up and down the coast of Honshu, to inspect and insure demilitarization of Japanese coast defense, suicide boat bases and midget submarine bases . . .

We’ll talk more about this.  Some random pics from the Boston files at the National Archives:

Steve

 

 

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