AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS BOXER CV-21, CVS-21, LDH-4, LPH-4, CVS, CVHA, CVA-21 1945-1969
The U.S. Navy has had 7 different ships in its history with the name of Boxer, and this book mentions each of them. But make no mistake about it: this book is primarily about the USS Boxer that was launched in December, 1944, as CV-21, later redesignated CVS-21 and finally became LPH-4.
Boxer joined the fleet too late to participate in WWII, but she was a key player in the Korean War, earning 8 battle stars. She carried badly-needed Air Force and Navy planes and personnel to the war zone in a record Pacific transit during July, then was quickly outfitted for combat service and spent September and October 1950 providing air support for United Nations' forces fighting ashore.
Boxer made three more Korean War cruises, in March-October 1951, March-September 1952 and May-November 1953. Her planes, along with those from other Task Force 77 carriers, hit transportation and infrastructure targets in North Korea and gave close air support to troops fighting on the front lines. On 5 August 1952, while engaged in combat operations, she suffered damage and casualties when a fire broke out in her hangar deck, but was able to return to duty off Korea after two weeks of repairs.
Following her last Korean War deployment, which extended into the post-Armistice period, Boxer served as a Seventh Fleet attack carrier (CVA) on two more cruises, in 1954 and in 1955-56. 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 First Cavalry Division (Air Mobile). After serving as a spacecraft recovery vessel in early 1966, she made a second trip to Vietnam, this time carrying Marine Corps aircraft. Boxer was decommissioned in December 1969 and was sold for scrap in February 1971.
This book was produced in conjunction with the USS Boxer Veterans Association. In addition to the ship's history, it contains superb photographs, interesting stories and remembrances from her veterans, including a roster and scores of brief bio's with then-and-now photos.
Library quality extra large "coffee table size" volume. Hardcover, adorned with a color photo of Boxer underway.
Click cover to enlarge