Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
USS Boxer (CV-21)
|The USS Boxer in San Francisco Bay|
|Laid down:||13 September 1943|
|Launched:||14 December 1944|
|Commissioned:||16 April 1945|
|Decommissioned:||1 December 1969|
|Fate:||sold for scrap|
|Length:||872 ft (266 m)|
|Extreme Width:||147.5 ft (45 m)|
|Draft:||28.6 ft (8.7 m)|
|Complement:||3,448 officers and men|
|Armament:||12 x 5-inch (127 mm) guns|
She was launched 14 December 1944 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. Newport News, Virginia, sponsored by Ruth D. Overton (daughter of John H. Overton, 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 War 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 cruised off the west coast and has made three cruises to the Far East. Boxer was reclassified CVA-21 in October 1952.
Converted to an anti-submarine warfare aircraft carrier (CVS) in early 1956, she made a final Western Pacific tour in that role during 1956-57.
Later in 1957, Boxer operated briefly as an experimental assault helicopter aircraft carrier, an indication of things to come for her, the Navy and the Marine Corps. In 1958, she was flagship for Operation Hardtack, a nuclear weapons test program in the Central Pacific. Late in that year, she was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet as an "interim amphibious assault ship" and was formally redesignated LPH-4 on 30 January 1959.
For the next decade, Boxer and her "main battery"of Marines and transport helicopters were vital components of the United States' amphibious warfare capabilities. She mainly operated in the Caribbean area, including participation in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the 1965 Dominican Republic intervention. She deployed to European waters in late 1964 to participate in Operation Steel Pike . In mid-1965, Boxer served as an aircraft transport, carrying more than two hundred Army helicopters and airplanes to Vietnam as part of the deployment of the 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile). She was the prime recovery vessel for the AS-201 mission, the first flight of the Apollo Command and Service Modules, which was recovered February 26, 1966. The Boxer was also on station in the West Atlantic and scheduled to be the prime recovery vessel for the Gemini 8 mission in March, 1966. This opportunity was missed, however, when Gemini 8 had an in-flight emergency and landed in the Western Pacific instead. She then made a second trip to Vietnam, this time carrying Marine Corps aircraft.
Boxer received eight battle stars for her service in Korea.
- Displacement: 27,100 tons
- Length: 888 ft ( m)
- Beam: 147.5 ft ( m)
- Draft: 28.6 ft ( m)
- Speed: 33 knots
- Complement: 3,448 officers and men
- Armament: 12 x 5-inch (127 mm) guns
- Aircraft: ??
See USS Boxer for other Navy ships of the same name.
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