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CV-21 U.S.S. Boxer - History

CV-21 U.S.S. Boxer - History


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CV-21 U.S.S. Boxer

Displacement: 27,100 tons length: 888 feet beam: width at flight deck: 1471⁄2 feet draft: 28 feet 7 inches speed: 33 knots complement: 3,448 crew armament: 12 5-inch guns 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. On 23 July 1950 she completed a record crossing of the Pacific from Alameda, Calif., to Yokosuka, Japan, in 81⁄2 days, carrying 145 P-51 Mustang and six L-5 aircraft for the Air Force, 19 Navy planes, 1,012 troops and 2,000 tons of supplies. 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. On 29 March, Carrier Air Wing 101 ó composed of Naval Reserve squadrons called to active duty from Dallas, Tex. ; Glenview, Ill. ; Memphis, Tenn. ; and, Olathe, Kans. ó flew its first combat mission from Boxer, the first carrier strikes by Naval Reserve units against North Korean forces. She returned to San Francisco 24 October 1951.

Sailing 8 February 1952 for her third tour in Korea, Boxer again served with TF 77. On 23 June, 35 AD Skyraiders and 35 F-9F2 Panther jets from Boxer, USS Princeton (CV 37) and USS Philippine Sea (CV 47), joined Air Force Thunderjets in an attack on the heavily defended hydroelectric power plant at Suiho, North Korea, the fourth largest such facility in the world. The plant was completely knocked out. The raid was part of a two-day aerial offensive against North Korea's 13 major power plants. On 5 August 1952, Boxer 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.

Boxer was reclassified CVA-21 on 1 October 1952 and CVS-21 on 1 February 1956.

On 2 October 1958, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, announced the formation of a new amphibious squadron, composed of Boxer and for LSDs equipped with helicopter platforms, which would provide a highly mobile unit capable of employing Marine Corps helicopters squadrons and combat troops in the fast-landing concept of vertical envelopment. The first permanent Marine Aviation Detachment afloat was activated on board Boxer on 10 November to provide supply, maintenance, and flight deck control functions necessary to support the Marine helicopter squadrons and troops. The ship was reclassified as LPH 4 on 30 January 1959.

Boxer and two LSDs arrived off the coast of Hispanola on 29 August 1964 to provide medical aid and helicopter evacuation services to people in areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic badly damaged by Hurricane Cleo. Boxer returned to the Dominican Republic on 27 April 1965, sending her Marines ashore while the embarked HMM-264 began an airlift in which over 1,000 U. S. nationals were evacuated to the naval task force off shore as a revolt in the country threatened their safety.

Boxer also participated in the U. space program. On 26 February 1966, the first unmanned spacecraft of the Apollo series, fired into suborbital flight by a Saturn 1B rocket from Cape Kennedy, Fla., was recovered in the southeast Atlantic Ocean, 200 miles east of Ascension Island by a helicopter from the ship. Boxer was decommissioned 1 December 1969, and stricken from the Navy List. She was sold for scrapping on 13 March 1971.

Boxer received eight battle stars for her service off Korea.


The table below contains the names of sailors who served aboard the USS Boxer (CV 21). Please keep in mind that this list does only include records of people who submitted their information for publication on this website. If you also served aboard and you remember one of the people below you can click on the name to send an email to the respective sailor. Would you like to have such a crew list on your website?

Looking for US Navy memorabilia? Try the Ship's Store.

There are 75 crew members registered for the USS Boxer (CV 21).

Select the period (starting by the reporting year): precomm &ndash 1952 | 1953 &ndash now

NameRank/RatePeriodDivisionRemarks/Photo
Taylor, William 1953 &ndash
Hollingworth, L.j.SN1953 &ndash 19556 thTwo trips on the "21 Boat" GREAT Ship !
Quipo, Pn3, Jacob (Jake)E-4 Personnel man1953 &ndash 1956X DivisionMy commanding Officer was Capt. William P. Woods, later on he was relieved by Capt. Frank B. Miller, with Cdr. E.S. Waring Jr. I used to work with Commander Waring's office, then I was transferred to Personnel Office.
Myers, DonANJan 1, 1953 &ndash Apr 1, 1955V-1 flight decki was transfered from Bairoko To Boxer right after it came out of repair for fire and did two tours in korea operating with F4F's and Banshee jet fighter planes
Gizzie, Richard (Gizzie)EM2Oct 4, 1953 &ndash Apr 5, 1956EGreat experience aboard the Boxer. An instrument of power being run by Kids. I grew up in the Navy
Frank Bennett, MootFn1Dec 2, 1953 &ndash Aug 1954ALooking for shipmate named Addis. sorry forgot first name however he was in steam heat gang.
Driver, Elvis D.AD-3Nov 1, 1954 &ndash Mar 10, 1955A
Bilyak, WilliamYN2May 1955 &ndash Jul 1957X
Langan, Richard/dickSH3Jul 1, 1955 &ndash Jun 1, 1957Ships Service
Holt, Richard (Dick)FT3Dec 23, 1955 &ndash Sep 1, 1957FOXI was very young, just out of "FT-A" school, spent over a month catching up with the Boxer. Went aboard the USS Rowan at SubicBay and transferred the next day to the Boxer - By high-line. I grew up and learned a lot during my time aboar
Stewart, GordonQM31956 &ndash 1959navigationwish I could go back and do it all over again. Stew
Foster, JosephE 1Mar 20, 1956 &ndash Sep 1958Engin RoomI was a young kid who grew up in the Ghetto of Dayton, Ohio. Joining the Navy was the best thing that happened to me. It started me on the journey to manhood. I had a great experience in the Navy on this beautiful Carrier.
Fury, WilliamADCJul 13, 1956 &ndash Feb 11, 1957HS-4First full helo squad. to embark, with 16 HSS-1 A/C, I was a Plane Capt of VO 7,as a ADAN /AD3. The crew was Great . Went through Some Big Typhons, She was a Good Feeder. Retired with 41yrs in the reserves as a ADC HM18/HM14
Eagle, Lawrence Bill, BillyC21Aug 29, 1956 &ndash Sep 11, 1959a
Cardinal, RonaldAB3Nov 1, 1956 &ndash Sep 1, 1957Flight DeckGot onboard while ship was in dry dock in Bremington, WA.
Cuthbert, ThomasRMSN - E31957 &ndash 1958Communications (Radio & Crypto)Operation Hardtack I
Moomey, ChuckFTL3Feb 22, 1957 &ndash Sep 22, 1959FoxI would like to here from anyone who served aboard the Boxer during Operation Hardtack. (2/58 to 8/58). Do you have any health problems that may be related to radiation exposure?
Bellmyer, ElmerfaMar 1957 &ndash Aug 1957mjoining the navy & going aboard the boxer was one the best thing that happened to me.
Klingele, Robert(Bob)phaaJun 1957 &ndash Nov 1957photoI was unlucky enough to go aboard during drydock, so schooling didn't matter, painting did. It was okay. the lucky side was transferred off to recon squadron b4 a-bomb test cruise to Bikini
Roach, Edwin (Tony)SIGNALMAN THIRDJan 5, 1958 &ndash Sep 19, 1961SIGNALI WAS A 17 YEAR OLD IMMATURE KID WITH NO FAMILY, WHO BEGAN THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF GROWING UP ON THE BOXER. IT WAS AN INVALUABLE EXPERIENCE I WOULD NOT WANT TO TRADE FOR ANYTHING. MANY FOND MEMORIES. PROUD TO HAVE SERVED.
Griffin, GaryseamanSep 1958 &ndash Jun 1960deck & Radar
Cieri, AnthonyME2Dec 12, 1958 &ndash Jan 22, 1960RThis is for my father Anthony J. Cieri, Jr. The Boxer was his third carrier. He was aboard for the conversion to LPH-4. This was a busy time for the crew. My Dad passed in May 1977, after 30 years of Naval Service. Robert M. Cieri
Stone, JamesMM2Jun 1959 &ndash May 1963MGood memories. Also LPH-4
Gour, JohnE 4May 5, 1960 &ndash Dec 28, 1964
Mozey, LeonardANMay 10, 1961 &ndash Apr 16, 1962Aviation Fuel
Jenkins, Richard W.EM/4Sep 1, 1961 &ndash Oct 1, 1962Aviation Engineering
Valeika, SamuelBT 3/CApr 22, 1963 &ndash Sep 2, 1966BBoxer was actually LPH-4 but I can't seem to get the hull number changed on the sign up page. Lots of great memories. If you haven't joined the Boxer Assoc. yet please consider it. They have some great reunions.
Cardona, John F.EMFNJun 1964 &ndash May 15, 1966 E- You may contact me at [email protected] I live in Clearwater, Florida now I am a retired High School and College Teacher.
Knight, WayneFTG3May 18, 1968 &ndash Oct 8, 1969FoxMy father HMCS H.P. Knight was the senior corpsman. He and his chief buddies got me drunk on more than one ocassion.
Chamberlain, Glennsm3Mar 1, 1994 &ndash Jun 1, 1996navigationLooking to get in touch with old co workers

Select the period (starting by the reporting year): precomm &ndash 1952 | 1953 &ndash now


CV-21 U.S.S. Boxer - History

The fifth USS Boxer (CV 21) was launched December 14, 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 April 16, 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 August 23, 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 September 10, 1946 and operated off the west coast engaged in normal peacetime duty until departing for the Far East January 11, 1950. After service with the 7th Fleet in the Far East during the first half of 1950, she returned to San Diego, arriving June 25th.

With the outbreak of the Korean conflict she was pressed into service to carry planes to the fighting. On July 23, 1950 she completed a record crossing of the Pacific from Alameda, Calif., to Yokosuka, Japan, in 8½ days, carrying 145 P-51 Mustang and six L-5 aircraft for the Air Force, 19 Navy planes, 1,012 troops and 2,000 tons of supplies. On her return trip (July 27- August 4), she cut the record to 7 days, 10 hours, and 36 minutes. After fast repairs she departed for the Far East August 24, this time to join TF 77 in giving air support to the troops. Her planes supported the landing at Inchon (September 15, 1950) and other ground action until November, when she departed for the west coast and overhaul.

USS Boxer (CV 21) departed San Diego for her second Korean tour March 2, 1951. Again she operated with TF 77 supporting the ground troops. On March 29, Carrier Air Wing 101, composed of Naval Reserve squadrons called to active duty from Dallas, Tex. Glenview, Ill. Memphis, Tenn. and, Olathe, Kans., flew its first combat mission from Boxer, the first carrier strikes by Naval Reserve units against North Korean forces. She returned to San Francisco October 24, 1951.

Sailing February 8, 1952 for her third tour in Korea, USS Boxer again served with TF 77. On June 23, 35 AD Skyraiders and 35 F-9F2 Panther jets from Boxer, USS Princeton (CV 37) and USS Philippine Sea (CV 47), joined Air Force Thunderjets in an attack on the heavily defended hydroelectric power plant at Suiho, North Korea, the fourth largest such facility in the world. The plant was completely knocked out. The raid was part of a two-day aerial offensive against North Korea's 13 major power plants.

On August 5, 1952, Boxer had nine men killed and two seriously injured in a fire which swept the hangar deck. After emergency repairs at Yokosuka, Japan (August 11-23rd), the carrier returned to duty off Korea. It arrived at San Francisco September 25 and underwent repairs until March 1953.

The carrier departed for the Far East March 30, 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.

USS Boxer was reclassified CVA 21 on October 1, 1952 and CVS 21 on February 1, 1956.

On October 2, 1958, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, announced the formation of a new amphibious squadron, composed of Boxer and for LSDs equipped with helicopter platforms, which would provide a highly mobile unit capable of employing Marine Corps helicopters squadrons and combat troops in the fast-landing concept of vertical envelopment. The first permanent Marine Aviation Detachment afloat was activated on board Boxer on November 10th to provide supply, maintenance, and flight deck control functions necessary to support the Marine helicopter squadrons and troops. The ship was reclassified as LPH 4 on January 30, 1959.

USS Boxer and two LSDs arrived off the coast of Hispanola on August 29, 1964 to provide medical aid and helicopter evacuation services to people in areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic badly damaged by Hurricane Cleo. Boxer returned to the Dominican Republic on April 27, 1965, sending her Marines ashore while the embarked HMM-264 began an airlift in which over 1,000 U.S. nationals were evacuated to the naval task force off shore as a revolt in the country threatened their safety.

Boxer also participated in the U.S. space program. On February 26, 1966, the first unmanned spacecraft of the Apollo series, fired into suborbital flight by a Saturn 1B rocket from Cape Kennedy, Fla., was recovered in the southeast Atlantic Ocean, 200 miles east of Ascension Island by a helicopter from the ship.

USS Boxer (LPH 4) was decommissioned December 1, 1969, and striken from the Navy List. She was sold for scrapping on March 13, 1971.


Early Service

Departing Norfolk, Boxer commenced shakedown and training operations in preparation for use in the Pacific Theater of World War II. As these initiatives were concluding, the conflict ended with Japan asking for a cessation of hostilities. Dispatched to the Pacific in August 1945, Boxer arrived at San Diego before departing for Guam the following month. Reaching that island, it became the flagship of Task Force 77. Supporting the occupation of Japan, the carrier remained abroad until August 1946 and also made calls in Okinawa, China, and the Philippines. Returning to San Francisco, Boxer embarked Carrier Air Group 19 which flew the new Grumman F8F Bearcat. As one of the US Navy's newest carriers, Boxer remained in commission as the service downsized from its wartime levels.

After conducting peacetime activities off California in 1947, the following year saw Boxer employed in jet aircraft testing. In this role, it launched the first jet fighter, a North American FJ-1 Fury, to fly from an American carrier on March 10. After spending two years employed in maneuvers and training jet pilots, Boxer departed for the Far East in January 1950. Making goodwill visits around the region as part of the 7th Fleet, the carrier also entertained South Korean President Syngman Rhee. Due for a maintenance overhaul, Boxer returned to San Diego on June 25 just as the Korean War was beginning.


BOXER LPH 4

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Ticonderoga Class Aircraft Carrier
    Keel Laid September 13 1943 - Launched December 14 1944

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

Postmarks

This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
 
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


CV-21 U.S.S. Boxer - History

USS Boxer (CV-21) – Aircraft Carrier

Description: History of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Boxer (CV-21) including information about asbestos exposure for workers.

The USS Boxer (CV-21) was ordered for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Her keel was laid down at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company on September 13, 1943. She was launched on December 14, 1944 and commissioned on April 16, 1945 under the command of Captain D.F. Smith.

USS Boxer was finished too late to take part in the fighting during World War II. After the war, she served as the flagship of Task Force 77, operating out of Guam. This tour of duty brought her to Japan, Okinawa, China, and the Philippines.

Returning to San Francisco on September 10, 1946, the USS Boxer took on normal peacetime duties along the West Coast. The FJ-1 Fury landed on the carrier on March 10, 1948, the first landing of a Navy jet aircraft aboard an aircraft carrier. She later served with the 7 th Fleet in the Far East from January until June of 1950 before returning home to San Diego.

When the Korean War began, USS Boxer carried 150 planes to the combat zone, crossing the Pacific in a record 8½ days from July 14 to July 20, 1950. Her return trip, beginning July 27, cut the record to 7 days, 10 hours, and 36 minutes.

After some quick repairs, the USS Boxer joined Task Force 77 to provide air support to American troops in Korea. She supported the troop landings at Inchon on September 15 and remained until November, when she sailed back to San Diego for an overhaul.

USS Boxer rejoined Task Force 77 for her second Korean tour of duty from March 2 until October 24, 1951. Her third tour of duty with Task Force 77 began on February 8, 1952. She conducted air strikes against the North Korean hydroelectric complex on June 23-24. A fire started aboard her hangar deck on August 5, which killed nine men and seriously injured two others. She received emergency repairs at Yokosuka from August 11 to August 23, and headed to San Francisco for permanent repairs from September 25 until March 1953. She was reclassified as CVA-21 in October 1952.

The USS Boxer served her last Korean tour of duty in the spring of 1953. After taking part in the final military actions, she remained in the area until November. The carrier returned to the west coast before making three cruises to the Far East.

USS Boxer was converted to an antisubmarine warfare carrier, CVS-21, early in 1956. In 1957, she then operated as an experimental assault helicopter carrier. In 1958, she served as the flagship for Operation Hardtack, a series of nuclear tests carried out in the South Pacific at Bikini Atoll, Eniwetok, and Johnston Island.

Late in 1958, USS Boxer was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet to serve as an interim amphibious assault ship. She was formally redesignated as LPH-4 on January 30, 1959. She served in this capacity for the next 10 years, participating in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the Dominican Republic intervention in 1965.

During the Vietnam War, the USS Boxer served as an aircraft transport, bringing over 200 Army helicopters and airplanes to Vietnam for the 1 st Cavalry Division. She later served as the prime recovery vessel for the first flight of the Apollo Command and Service Modules on February 26, 1966.

The USS Boxer was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on December 1, 1969. She was sold for scrap in February 1971. The aircraft carrier earned eight battle stars for her service in the Korean War.

Like all other ships built during World War II, USS Boxer was constructed using a number of asbestos-containing components. Prized for its resistance to heat, water, fire, and corrosion, the toxic substance asbestos could be found in virtually all areas of the ship and in the aircraft she carried. Anyone who served aboard the USS Boxer or participated in her repair and overhaul was put at risk of developing life-threatening asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma.

USS Boxer workers should monitor their health carefully, and consult a doctor if they experience any symptoms associated with mesothelioma. Anyone who worked on or around the USS Boxer, and is diagnosed with mesothelioma, should also consider contacting a lawyer to discuss their legal rights.


USS Boxer CV 21

Truce talks resulted in the signing of a cease fire agreement in Panmunjom on July 27, 1953, ending the Korean War 56 years ago. Today, saber rattling and missile launches by the North Korean government remind us of the Korean War “police action.”

This cover, with a cachet by George Sadworth also reminds us of this time with the cachet stating “For Korean Independence”. This was a generic design cachet but it certainly fit the occasion on this date! The cover was postmarked on the day of the truce signing, cancelled aboard the USS Boxer. A hand stamp was applied noting that the truce was signed that day and the emblem of the United Nations was also added using a hand stamp. On top of the UN emblem is a hand stamp reading Task Force 77. The cover is addressed to USCS member L. G. Dutcher, (1411).

The aircraft carrier USS Boxer, CV-21, was part of Task Force 77, the strike group of the Seventh Fleet. Task Force 77 maintained stations in the Sea of Japan and Yellow Sea, striking targets during the war. Boxer served four tours as part of TF 77 in these waters, earning 8 battle stars. Boxer was an Essex class carrier and was later converted to an Amphibious Assault Ship, and re-designated LHA-4.

Philatelic covers from the Korean War era are not too common, naval cover collecting was still trying to recover from the effect WWII had on collecting. I also have a cover marking the end of the war prepared by USCS member Chuck French (L-2603), postmarked aboard the USS Bairoko on the same date.


USS Boxer (CV-21)

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 had made three cruises to the Far East. BOXER was reclassified CVA-1 in October 1952 and CVS-21 15 November 1955.


CV-21 U.S.S. Boxer - History

STATUS:
Awarded:
December 15, 1941
Laid down: September 13, 1943
Launched: December 14, 1944
Commissioned: April 16, 1945
reclassified CVA 21 on October 1, 1952
reclassified CVS 21 on November 15, 1955
reclassified LPH 4 on January 30, 1959
Decommissioned: December 1, 1969
Fate: sold for scrap in February 1971 / finally scrapped at Kearny, New Jersey


USS Boxer (LPH 4) - 1964


USS Boxer (LPH 4) - 1960's


USS Boxer (LPH 4) - 1950's


USS Boxer (LPH 4) - 1959


Sikorsky HUS-1 Seahorse helicopters from Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron 262 (HMR-262) lift off the flight deck of USS Boxer (LPH 4)
during operations off Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, with the Tenth Provisional Marine Brigade, 8 March 1959



USS Boxer (CVS 21) - 1956


USS Boxer (CVS 21) - November 1955



USS Boxer (CVA 21) at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, California - February 1955


USS Boxer (CVA 21) at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, California - February 1955


USS Boxer (CVA 21) at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, California - February 1955


USS Boxer (CVA 21) at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, California - February 1955


USS Boxer (CVA 21) at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, California - February 1955


USS Boxer (CVA 21) at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, California - February 1955


USS Boxer (CVA 21) after regular overhaul - February 1955


USS Boxer (CVA 21) after regular overhaul - February 1955


USS Boxer (CVA 21) after regular overhaul - February 1955


USS Boxer (CVA 21) after regular overhaul - February 1955


USS Boxer (CVA 21) with Carrier Air Group 12 (CVG-12) embarked - 1954


USS Boxer (CVA 21) - January 1954


USS Boxer (CVA 21) - November 1953


USS Boxer (CVA 21) - November 1953


Officers and men of USS Boxer (CVA 21) assemble on the flight deck for a memorial service in commemoration of pilots and crewmembers
who gave their lives during the veteran carrier’s four tours of Korean combat duty - August 9, 1953


USS Boxer (CVA 21) with Air Task Group 1 (ATG-1) embarked - circa 1953


USS Boxer (CVA 21) with ATG-1 embarked - July 1953


USS Boxer (CVA 21) - January 1953


USS Boxer (CVA 21) - January 1953


USS Boxer (CVA 21) - January 1953


USS Boxer (CVA 21) - January 1953


USS Boxer (CV 21) with Carrier Air Group 101 (CVG-101) embarked - off Korea - September 1951


USS Boxer (CV 21) with Carrier Air Group 101 (CVG-101) embarked - off Korea - September 1951


USS Boxer (CV 21) with Carrier Air Group 101 (CVG-101) embarked - off Korea - September 1951
note the Sikorsky HO3S-1 Helicopter of HU-2 'Fleet Angels'


USS Boxer (CV 21) with Carrier Air Group 101 (CVG-101) embarked - off Korea - August 1951


USS Boxer (CV 21) - San Francisco Bay, California - November 1950


USS Boxer loads 146 US Air Force North American F-51D Mustang fighters aboard at Naval Air Station Alameda, California, for transportation to East Asia in July 1950.
On 14-22 July, the ship carried an emergency shipment of 170 Air Force and Navy aircraft, plus personnel and equipment, to the Korean War zone in a record 8 1/2 day trans-Pacific crossing.


USS Boxer (CV 21) with Carrier Air Group 19 (CVG-19) embarked - January 1950


USS Boxer (CV 21) with Carrier Air Group 19 (CVG-19) embarked - 1949-50


F9F-3 Panther (VF-52) during carrier qualifications - 1949


FJ-1 Fury (VF-5A / CVAG-5) has landed on the flight deck - March 1948


FJ-1 Fury (VF-5A / CVAG-5) on the flight deck - March 1948


FJ-1 Fury (VF-5A / CVAG-5) on the aircraft elevator - March 1948


USS Boxer (CV 21) - 1945


launching ceremony at Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Virginia - December 14, 1944

Enterprise, patrolling the New England coast to “protect the coasting trade to the eastward which has been so much interrupted by small cruisers of the enemy,” was searching the bay around Pemaquid Point when she discovered a brig getting underway that appeared to be a vessel of war, and immediately gave chase. Boxer, however, fired several rounds, and stood for the fight. Lieutenant Burrows, having identified the stranger’s strength and enemy character, ordered Enterprise to stand out to allow room to maneuver. Boxer gave chase, following Enterprise into open waters. At 3:00 that afternoon, Enterprise shortened sail and ran down, intending to draw in her enemy. At twenty minutes past three o’clock that afternoon with the ships within half pistol shot, both ships opened their batteries. The first broadside proved costly to both vessels: Captain Blyth fell almost immediately when a shot struck nearby. Not long after, Lieutenant Burrows fell mortally wounded by a cannon shot to the chest. The fighting raged for over an hour, with both ships exchanging volleys and suffering great damage. By 4:00 p.m., Boxer was a complete wreck, all of her braces and rigging shot away, her main topmast and topgallant mast hanging over the side, fore and main masts virtually gone, three feet of water in her hold, and no surgeon to tend to her wounded. As Enterprise maneuvered for a raking position, Lieutenant McCrery, having assumed command, conferred with his officers and decided to hail Enterprise and concede the battle. The ensigns, having been nailed to the masts by Captain Blyth, could not be hauled down.

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. On 23 July 1950 she completed a record crossing of the Pacific from Alameda, Calif., to Yokosuka, Japan, in 8 days, carrying 145 P-51 Mustang and six L-5 aircraft for the Air Force, 19 Navy planes, 1,012 troops and 2,000 tons of supplies. 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. On 29 March, Carrier Air Wing 101 composed of Naval Reserve squadrons called to active duty from Dallas, Tex. Glenview, Ill. Memphis, Tenn. and, Olathe, Kans. flew its first combat mission from Boxer, the first carrier strikes by Naval Reserve units against North Korean forces. She returned to San Francisco 24 October 1951.

Sailing 8 February 1952 for her third tour in Korea, Boxer again served with TF 77. On 23 June, 35 AD Skyraiders and 35 F-9F2 Panther jets from Boxer, USS Princeton (CV 37) and USS Philippine Sea (CV 47), joined Air Force Thunderjets in an attack on the heavily defended hydroelectric power plant at Suiho, North Korea, the fourth largest such facility in the world. The plant was completely knocked out. The raid was part of a two-day aerial offensive against North Korea's 13 major power plants.

On 5 August 1952, Boxer 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.

Boxer was reclassified CVA-21 on 1 October 1952 and CVS-21 on 1 February 1956.

On 2 October 1958, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, announced the formation of a new amphibious squadron, composed of Boxer and for LSDs equipped with helicopter platforms, which would provide a highly mobile unit capable of employing Marine Corps helicopters squadrons and combat troops in the fast-landing concept of vertical envelopment. The first permanent Marine Aviation Detachment afloat was activated on board Boxer on 10 November to provide supply, maintenance, and flight deck control functions necessary to support the Marine helicopter squadrons and troops. The ship was reclassified as LPH 4 on 30 January 1959.

Boxer and two LSDs arrived off the coast of Hispanola on 29 August 1964 to provide medical aid and helicopter evacuation services to people in areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic badly damaged by Hurricane Cleo. Boxer returned to the Dominican Republic on 27 April 1965, sending her Marines ashore while the embarked HMM-264 began an airlift in which over 1,000 U.S. nationals were evacuated to the naval task force off shore as a revolt in the country threatened their safety.

Boxer also participated in the U.S. space program. On 26 February 1966, the first unmanned spacecraft of the Apollo series, fired into suborbital flight by a Saturn 1B rocket from Cape Kennedy, Fla., was recovered in the southeast Atlantic Ocean, 200 miles east of Ascension Island by a helicopter from the ship.

Boxer was decommissioned 1 December 1969, and stricken from the Navy List. She was sold for scrapping on 13 March 1971.

Boxer received eight battle stars for her service off Korea.

The ship was one of the "long-hull" designs of the class, which had begun production after March 1943. This "long hull" variant involved lengthening the bow above the waterline into a "clipper" form. The increased rake and flare provided deck space for two quadruple 40 mm mounts these units also had the flight deck slightly shortened forward to provide better arcs of fire. Of the Essex-class ships laid down after 1942, only Bon Homme Richard followed the original "short bow" design. The later ships have been variously referred to as the "long-bow units", the "long-hull group", or the "Ticonderoga class". However, the U.S. Navy never maintained any institutional distinction between the long-hull and short-hull members of the Essex class, and postwar refits and upgrades were applied to both groups equally.

Like other "long-hull" Essex-class carriers, Boxer had a displacement of 27,100 tonnes (26,700 long tons 29,900 short tons). She had an overall length of 888 feet (271 m), a beam of 93 feet (28 m) and a draft of 28 feet (8.5 m). The ship was powered by eight 600 psi Babcock & Wilcox boilers, and Westinghouse geared steam turbines that developed 150,000 shaft horsepower (110,000 kW) that turned four propellers. Like other Essex-class carriers, she had a maximum speed of 33 knots (61 km/h 38 mph). The ship had a total crew complement of 3,448. Like other Essex-class ships, she could be armed with 12 5-inch (127 mm)/38 caliber guns arrayed in four pairs and four single emplacements, as well as eight quadruple Bofors 40 mm guns and 46 Oerlikon 20 mm cannons. However, unlike her sisters, Boxer was armed instead with 72 40 mm guns and 35 20 mm cannons.

Her keel was laid on 13 September 1943 by the Newport News Shipbuilding Company at its facility in Newport News, Virginia. She was the fifth ship of the US Navy to be named Boxer, after HMS Boxer, which had been captured by the U.S. during the War of 1812. The last ship to bear the name had been a training ship in 1905. The new carrier was launched on 14 December 1944 and she was christened by Ruth D. Overton, the daughter of U.S. Senator John H. Overton. The ship's cost is estimated at $68,000,000 to $78,000,000.


Service history:

Boxer was commissioned on 16 April 1945 under the command of Captain D. F. Smith. She subsequently began sea trials and a shakedown cruise. Before these were complete, the Empire of Japan surrendered on V-J Day, marking the end of World War II before Boxer could participate. She joined the Pacific Fleet at San Diego in August 1945 and the next month she steamed for Guam, becoming the flagship of Task Force 77, a position she held until 23 August 1946. During this tour, she visited Japan, Okinawa, the Philippines, and China.

She returned to San Francisco on 10 September 1946, embarked Carrier Air Group 19 flying the Grumman F8F Bearcat fighter. With this complement, Boxer began a series of peacetime patrols and training missions off the coast of California during a relatively uneventful period during 1947. In spite of manning difficulties brought on by the demobilization of the US military after World War II, Boxer remained active in Pacific readiness drills around the West Coast and Hawaii. In 1948, she conducted a number of short cruises with US Navy Reserve personnel. On 10 March 1948, a North American FJ-1 Fury launched from Boxer, the first such launch of an all-jet aircraft from an American carrier, which allowed subsequent tests of jet aircraft carrier doctrine. For the remainder of 1948 and 1949, she participated in numerous battle drills and acted as a training carrier for jet aircraft pilots.

She was dispatched to the Far East on another tour on 11 January 1950. She joined the 7th Fleet in the region, making a goodwill visit to South Korea and entertaining South Korean president Syngman Rhee and his wife Franziska Donner. and at the end of the tour returned to San Diego on 25 June 1950, the same day as the outbreak of the Korean War. At the time, she was overdue for a maintenance overhaul, but she did not have time to complete it before being dispatched again.

Korean War:
With the outbreak of the Korean War, the U.S. forces in the Far East had an urgent need for supplies and aircraft. The only aircraft carriers near Korea were USS Valley Forge and HMS Triumph. Boxer was ordered into service to ferry aircraft from California to the fighting on the Korean Peninsula. She made a record-breaking crossing of the Pacific Ocean, leaving Alameda, California on 14 July 1950 and arriving at Yokosuka, Japan on 23 July, a trip of 8 days and 7 hours. She carried one hundred forty-five North American P-51 Mustangs and six Stinson L-5 Sentinels of the United States Air Force destined for the Far East Air Force as well as 19 Navy aircraft, 1,012 Air Force support personnel, and 2,000 tonnes (2,000 long tons 2,200 short tons) of supplies for the United Nations troops fighting the North Korean invasion of South Korea, including crucially needed spare parts and ordnance. Much of this equipment had been taken from Air National Guard units in the United States because of a general shortage of materiel. She began her return trip from Yokosuka on 27 July and arrived back in California on 4 August, for a trip of 7 days, 10 hours and 36 minutes, again breaking the record for a trans-Pacific cruise. She carried no jet aircraft, though, because they were deemed too fuel inefficient for the initial defense mission in Korea. By the time Boxer arrived in Korea, the UN forces had established superiority in the air and sea.

After rapid repairs in California, Boxer embarked Carrier Air Group 2, flying the Vought F4U Corsair propeller driven fighter-bomber, and departed again for Korea on 24 August, this time in a combat role. She had 110 aircraft aboard, intended to complement the hundreds of aircraft already operating in Korea. En route to the peninsula, the carrier narrowly avoided Typhoon Kezia which slowed her trip. She was the fourth aircraft carrier to arrive in Korea to participate in the war, after Triumph and Valley Forge had arrived in June and USS Philippine Sea followed in early August. She arrived too late to participate in the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, but instead she was ordered to join a flotilla of 230 US ships which would participate in Operation Chromite, the UN counterattack at Inchon. On 15 September, she supported the landings by sending her aircraft in a close air support role, blocking North Korean reinforcements and communication to prevent them from countering the attack. However, early in the operation, her propulsion system was damaged when a reduction gear in the ship's engine broke, a casualty of her overdue maintenance. The ship's engineers worked around the problem to keep the carrier in operation, but she was limited to 26 knots.

She continued this role as the UN troops recaptured Seoul days later. Boxer continued this support as UN troops advanced north and into North Korea, but departed for the United States on 11 November for refit and overhaul. US military commanders believed the war in Korea was over, and had ordered a number of other carriers out of the area and were subsequently under-prepared at the beginning of the Chosin Reservoir Campaign when the Chinese People's Liberation Army entered the war against the UN. Battlefield commanders requested Boxer return to Korea as soon as possible, but she did not immediately return as commanders feared it might reduce the Navy's ability to respond if another conflict or emergency broke out elsewhere.

Boxer's propulsion problems required extensive repair so she returned to San Diego to conduct them. Upon arrival, she offloaded Air Group 2, which then embarked for Korea again aboard Valley Forge. After a repair and refit in California, Boxer was prepared for a second tour in Korea. She embarked Carrier Air Group 101. The group was composed of Navy Reserve squadrons from Dallas, Texas, Glenview, Illinois, Memphis, Tennessee and Olathe, Kansas, and most of its pilots were reservists who had been called to active duty. She rejoined Task Force 77, and began operations in Korea on 29 March 1951, and her squadrons were the first Naval Reserve pilots to launch strikes in Korea. Most of these missions were airstrikes against Chinese ground forces along the 38th parallel, and this duty lasted until 24 October 1951. During this time, the carrier operated around "Point Oboe", an area 125 miles (201 km) off the coast of Wonsan. They would withdraw another 50 miles (80 km) east when they needed replenishment or refueling. A large destroyer screen protected the carriers, though MiG-15 attacks against them did not occur.

After another period of rest and refits, Boxer departed California 8 February 1952 for her third tour in Korea, with Carrier Air Group 2 embarked, consisting of F9F in VF-24, F4U in VF 63 and VF-64, and AD in VF-65. Rejoining Task Force 77, her missions during this tour consisted primarily of strategic bombing against targets in North Korea, as the front lines in the war had largely solidified along the 38th Parallel. On 23 and 24 June, her planes conducted strikes against the Sui-ho hydro-electric complex in conjunction with Princeton, Bon Homme Richard and Philippine Sea.

On 5 August 1952, a fire broke out on the hangar deck of Boxer at 05:30 when a fuel tank of an aircraft caught fire while the ship was conducting combat operations in the Sea of Japan. The fire raged on the carrier's hangar deck for 4-5 hours before being extinguished. The final total of casualties was 8 dead, 1 missing, 1 critically injured, 1 seriously burned and some 70 overcome by smoke. Of the 63 who had gone over the side, all were rescued and returned to the ship. Eighteen aircraft, mostly Grumman F9F-2 Panthers, were damaged or destroyed. She steamed for Yokosuka for emergency repairs from 11 to 23 August. She returned to the Korean theatre, and from 28 August to 2 September she tested a new weapons system, with six radio guided Grumman F6F Hellcats loaded with 1,000-pound (450 kg) bombs guided to targets, resulting in two hits and one near miss. They are considered to be the first guided missiles to be launched from a carrier in combat. On 1 September her aircraft also took part in a large bombing mission of an oil refinery near Aoji, on the Manchurian border. She returned to San Francisco for more extensive repairs on 25 September. In October 1952, she was re-designated CVA-21, denoting an "attack aircraft carrier."

Following extensive repairs, she steamed for Korea again on 30 March 1953, and resumed operations a month later with her Corsairs embarked. Her missions around this time were generally strategic bombing missions, however the effectiveness of these final missions were mixed, with some failing to achieve strategic results. She also provided close air support for UN troops for the final weeks of the war before an armistice was reached at Panmunjom in July 1953, ending major combat operations in Korea. During this time, the two sides often conducted costly attacks in order to strengthen their bargaining positions at the negotiating table. Boxer remained in Korean waters until November 1953. She received eight battle stars for her service in Korea.

In 1951 she appears in the film Submarine Command, with William Bendix and William Holden, then carrying a complement of helicopters.

Post-Korea:
Following the Korean War, Boxer returned to the United States. She conducted a tour of the Pacific throughout 1954 which was relatively uneventful, followed by a rest in the United States and another tour in the Pacific in late 1955 and early 1956, which was similarly uneventful.

She was converted to an anti-submarine warfare carrier in early 1956, re-designated CVS-21. She completed another tour of the western Pacific in late 1956 and early 1957, which was her tenth and final deployment to the area. In late 1957, the navy began experimenting with the concept of a carrier operating entirely with attack helicopters, and Boxer was used to test the concept.

In 1958, Boxer was the flagship during Operation Hardtack, a series of nuclear weapons tests in the central Pacific. Later that year, she was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet, and became part of a new amphibious assault squadron with four Landing Ship Tank vessels equipped with helicopter platforms. The experimental concept would allow for rapid deployment of US Marine Corps personnel and helicopter squadrons. For the remainder of 1958 elements of this force were organized aboard Boxer and she was reclassified LPH-4, denoting a "Landing Platform Helicopter", on 30 January 1959.

For the next 10 years, Boxer operated mainly out of the Caribbean as an amphibious assault carrier. During this duty, she was on station during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1964, she undertook her first tour to the Mediterranean when she took part in Operation Steel Pike, the largest amphibious exercise in history.

With two LSD ships, Boxer was dispatched to Hispaniola on 29 August 1964 on a humanitarian mission to aid Haiti and the Dominican Republic whose infrastructure had been damaged by Hurricane Cleo. The ships provided medical aid and helped to evacuate civilians displaced by the storm. On 27 April 1965 Boxer returned to the Dominican Republic with Helicopter Squadron 264 and a complement of Marines. They evacuated about 1,000 US nationals from the country in the wake of a revolution in the country. It was a part of Operation Powerpack which would eventually see the US occupation of that country. Later in 1965, she was used as a transport vessel for the Vietnam War. The carrier transported 200 helicopters of the US Army's 1st Cavalry Division to South Vietnam. She made a second trip to Vietnam in early 1966 when she transported Marine Corps aircraft to South Vietnam. However, she did not participate in combat operations during that war.

On 26 February 1966, Boxer recovered AS-201, an unmanned test flight of the Apollo program which had launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida aboard a Saturn 1B rocket. The capsule had landed 200 miles (320 km) east of Ascension Island and one of Boxer's helicopters picked it up. From 16-17 March 1966, Boxer was the designated Atlantic prime recovery ship for Gemini 8, although USS Leonard F. Mason recovered the spacecraft and two crewmen after it encountered problems.

She was decommissioned on 1 December 1969 after 25 years of service, and she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. She was sold for scrap on 13 March 1971 and finally scrapped at Kearny, New Jersey.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

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 November 1955.


Watch the video: Boxer vs. Enterprise Battle (May 2022).