In looking at my grandfather Herman’s Report of Separation again over the weekend, I started to do some research on his service. He was enlisted in the US Navy from May 1944 to approximately June 1946. During this time, his records indicate he only served on one ship – the USS Boxer. He was a Stewards Mate 1st Class and I understand from my mother, that he had cooking responsibilities on the ship.
The USS Boxer was launched in December of 1944. It was the fifth ship to be named Boxer (CV-21) and it was an aircraft carrier. I found this wonderful picture of it’s launch on the US Naval Historical Center website of it being launched.
The ship’s first deployment was in September of 1945 and I don’t have any more specific details of my grandfather’s attachment date to the ship, but I would imagine he would have been on it by the time it went out to sea for the first time. Now, interestingly enough, I had always heard growing up that my grandfather had served in the Korean War, but now that I have his papers, I see that was not the case – he got out before the Korean War started (it started in 1950). I do know from the Dictionary of American Fighting Ships that from September 1945 – August 1946 the ship operated out of Guam and during this time went to Japan, Okinawa, the Phillipines and China. The ship returned home to the states to San Francisco in September 1946 and stayed there until deployed again in January of 1950.
We have this picture of Herman that was supposedly taken in Korea, however, I am trying to verify that the ship actually went to Korea during his service time.
More information on the USS Boxer can be found at Wikipedia. My grandfather’s Report of Separation also indicates that he had four medals. I need to do some research on those – that will be a post for another day.