USSBoxer

HISTORY OF USS BOXER (CVA-21)

The first Boxer was the HMS Boxer built in 1812. Captured off Maine by Enterprise, she was not taken into the United States Navy. CV-21: displacement; 27,100; length 888'; breadth 147'6"; draft 28'7"; s. 33 k.; complement 3448; armorment 12 5"; class Essex The fifth Boxer (CV-21) was launched 14 December 1944 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. Newport News, Va.; sponsored by Miss Ruth D. Overton daughter of the Senator from Louisiana and commissioned 16 April 1945, Captain D. F. Smith in command. Completed too late to take part in World War II, Boxer joined the Pacific Fleet at San Diego in August 1945. From September 1945 to 23 August 1946 she operated out of Guam as flagship of TF 77 in the Western Pacific. During this tour she visited Japan, Okinawa, the Philippines and China. She returned to San Francisco 10 September 1946 and operated off the west coast engaged in normal peacetime duty until departing for the Far East 11 January 1950. After service with the 7th Fleet in the Far East during the first half of 1950, she returned to San Diego, arriving 25 June. With the outbreak of the Korean conflict she was pressed into service to carry planes to the fighting. During 14-22 July 1950 she made a record crossing of the Pacific, 8 1/2 days, with 150 Air Force and Navy planes and a thousand troops. On her return trip (27 July-4 August), she cut the record to 7 days, 10 hours, and 36 minutes. After fast repairs she departed for the Far East 24 August, this time to join TF 77 in giving air support to the troops. Her planes supported the landing at Inchon (15 September 1950) and other ground action until November, when she departed for the west coast and overhaul. Boxer departed San Diego for her second Korean tour 2 March 1951. Again she operated with TF 77 supporting the ground troops. She returned to San Francisco 24 October 1951. Sailing 8 February 1952 for her third tour in Korea, Boxer again served with TF 77. During 23-24 June her planes took part in the heavy strikes against the North Korean hydro-electric complex and on 5 August she had nine men killed and two seriously injured in a fire which swept the hangar deck. After emergency repairs at Yokosuka, Japan (11-23 August), Boxer returned to duty off Korea. She arrived at San Francisco 25 September and underwent repairs until March 1953. The carrier departed for the Far East 30 March 1953 and went into action a month later. She took part in the final actions of the Korean conflict and remained in Asiatic waters until November. Since the end of the Korean fighting Boxer has cruised off the west coast and has made three cruises to the Far East. Boxer was reclassified CVA-21 in October 1952 and CVS-21, 15, Nov. 1955, and later yet to a LPH-4. The BOXER was scrapped on 3/13/71 Boxer received eight battle stars for her service off Korea.

BUD'S TIDBITS ON ESSEX CLASS CARRIERS

First off the cost of this vessel was estimated to be about $68,932,000, and it actually came to about $76,000,000. The specification for what was to become the largest single class of fleet carriers was first issued in June 1939. the original concept was that of a modified YORKTOWN Class, but while the design, finalized early in 1940, followed the same general outlines, it was for a much larger ship, with a standard displacement equal to the full load tonnage of the YORKTOWN Class. The additional weight was contributed to by the increase of the 5-in dual purpose armament from eight to 12 barrels, in four single mounts and four twin turrets-the latter mount fore and aft of the island-on the flight deck, thicker deck armor, more powerful propulsive machinery and the installation of flight deck machinery capable of handling heavier aircraft. More than 6300 tons of fuel oil and 690 tons of aviation gasoline gave a range of over 17,000 miles at 20 knots. About 220 tons of ammunition and aviation ordnance brought the full load tonnage up to between 34,200 and 36,000 tons. Eleven "CV-9" Class carriers were ordered in 1940 and subsequent programs added another 21 ships; six were cancelled in 1945 before they had been laid down and two other were cancelled prior to launch. The name-ship, ESSEX, was laid down on April 28,1941, launched on July 31, 1942, and completed exactly fifteen months later-15 months ahead of schedule. The shipyard concerned, Newport News, built eight of the 17 ships of the class completed before the end of the war, and one of the seven completed after 1945. The average building time of the eight wartime ships was 17 1/2 months. The BOXER (CV-21) was recategorized as a helicopter assault carrier, later designated Landing Platform, Helicopter (LPH). This minimal conversion of three (Princeton, Valley Forge) narrow-beam Essex craft filled a gap in the US Navy's amphibious capability until purpose-built vessels were commissioned in the late 1960's.

Information from Bud's tidbit notebook.
Bud Shortridge