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USS BOXER

(LPH-4)

HONOR

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The USS BOXER (LPH-4), an Essex-class aircraft carrier, was commissioned on 16 APR 1945 as CV-21. Built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. in Newport News, VA, USS BOXER was too late to see action in the Pacific in WWII. Deploying to the Far East after the War, BOXER went to sea with the first all jet powered operation in 1948. The Korean War had BOXER performing what is known today as a "surge" deployment, ferrying aircraft into the war zone and then remaining to support the Inchon landing in September 1950. Repeatedly returning to Korean waters during the conflict, BOXER continued on with more routine cruises to the Far East after hostilities ended. Reclassified repeatedly as CVA-21 (Attack Carrier), then CVS-21 (Anti-submarine Carrier), then when shifted to the Atlantic Fleet in 1959, as LPH-4, an Amphibious Assault Ship. BOXER conducted intensive training in the use of helicopter-born Marines as an element of Amphibious Warfare. On Atlantic fleet duty she successively participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Dominican Republic Intervention and the recovery of Apollo spacecraft. The growing involvement of the US in Vietnam called BOXER to carry the US Army 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile) to Vietnam in 1965. USS BOXER served her country for 24 years, 7 months and 15 days, until decommissioned on 1 DEC 1969. The hulk of the BOXER was sold for scrap in 1971.

The USS BOXER (LPH-4) deployment history and significant events of her service career follow:

LPH-4 Deployments - Major Events

Add a LPH-4 Shellback Initiation Add a LPH-4 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
SEP 1943 Keel Date: 13 SEP 1943
at Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Newport News VA
DEC 1944 Launch Date: 14 DEC 1944
APR 1945 Commissioned: 16 APR 1945
OCT 1958 - OCT 1958 Panama Canal
DEC 1958 - JAN 1959 Dry Dock
JAN 1959 - JAN 1970 Mediterranean-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
JAN 1959 - FEB 1959 Caribbean
JUN 1959 - OCT 1959 Dry Dock
OCT 1959 - NOV 1959 Guantanamo Bay
JAN 1960 - FEB 1960 Caribbean
JUN 1960 - AUG 1960 Caribbean
SEP 1960 - NOV 1960 Guantanamo Bay
JAN 1961 - APR 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion
APR 1961 - Shellback Initiation - 17 APR 1961 - Atlantic Ocean
MAY 1961 - JUN 1961 Caribbean
AUG 1961 - FEB 1962 Norfolk Naval Ship Yard
FEB 1962 - APR 1962 Caribbean
FEB 1962 - FEB 1962 Amphibious Exercise 1-62 Onslow Beach North Carolina
APR 1962 - APR 1962 21 gun salute for president kennedy
MAY 1962 - MAY 1962 Guantanamo Bay
JUN 1962 - SEP 1962 Amphibious Exercise 2-62 (Caribbean)
AUG 1962 - AUG 1962 Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago
OCT 1962 - AUG 1965 Guantanamo Bay
OCT 1962 - OCT 1962 Cuban Missle Blockade
OCT 1962 - DEC 1962 Cuban Missle Blockade
FEB 1963 - MAR 1963 Santo Domingo Dominican Republic
APR 1963 - MAY 1963 Haiti
OCT 1964 - NOV 1964 Amphibious Operation \
OCT 1964 - NOV 1964 Amphibious Operation Steel Pike Coast of Spain
JAN 1965 - MAR 1966 West Pac-Viet Nam
APR 1965 - JUN 1965 Dominican Republic Crisis
MAY 1965 - AUG 1966 West Pac-Viet Nam
JAN 1966 - JAN 1966 Vietnam
FEB 1966 - Shellback Initiation - 9 FEB 1966 - Atlantic Ocean
FEB 1966 Shellback Initiation - 20 FEB 1966 - Atlantic Ocean
FEB 1966 - Shellback Initiation - 20 FEB 1966 - Atlantic Ocean
MAR 1966 - JUN 1966 West Pac-Viet Nam
APR 1966 - AUG 1966 West Pac-Viet Nam
AUG 1966 - NOV 1966 Caribbean
MAY 1967 - AUG 1967 Dry Dock
OCT 1968 - Shellback Initiation - 10 OCT 1968 - Atlantic Ocean
NOV 1968 - FEB 1969 Panama Canal
DEC 1968 - JAN 1969 Caribbean
JUN 1969 - JUL 1969 North Atlantic
DEC 1969 Decommissioned: 1 DEC 1969

LPH-4 General Specifications

Class: Essex-class aircraft carrier

Complement: 3448 Officers and Enlisted

Length: 888 feet

Draft: 28 feet 7 inches

Flank Speed: 33 knots

Final Disposition: Sold for scrapping in February 1971 and scrapped at Kearny



USS BOXER (LPH-4)



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.


Boxer received eight battle stars for her service off Korea.

[Note: The above USS BOXER (LPH-4) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS BOXER (LPH-4) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]