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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS BOXER   (CV-21)
(later CVA-21, CVS-21 and LPH-4)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - X-ray - Oscar - Papa

CLASS - ESSEX (Long Hull) AKA TICONDEROGA
Displacement 27,100 Tons, Dimensions, 888' (oa) x 93' x 28' 7" (Max)
Armament 12 x 5"/38AA, 32 x 40mm, 46 x 20mm, 82 Aircraft.
Armor, 4" Belt, 2 1/2" Hanger deck, 1 1/2" Deck, 1 1/2" Conning Tower.
Machinery, 150,000 SHP; Westinghouse Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 33 Knots, Crew 3448.

Operational and Building Data
Launched 14 December 1944 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.
Newport News, Va., and commissioned 16 April 1945. Reclassified CVA-21 in
October 1952 and CVS-21, 15 November 1955.

FATE Redesignated as an amphibious assault ship (LPH 4)
30 Jan 1959. FRAM II life extension FY 1962.
Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 1 Dec 1969.
Sold for scrapping 2/1971 and subsequently scrapped at the (then closed) Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Click On Image 
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
CV-21 Boxer
NS022118
167k

Boxer (CV-21) slides down the building ways, during launching ceremonies at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia, 14 December 1944. Note banner spread across the front of Boxer's flight deck, proclaiming: "Here We Go to Tokyo! Newport News Shipyard Workers' War Bonds Help to Sink the Rising Sun".

Courtesy of William H. Davis.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 56560).

NHC
CV-21 Boxer
NS022118a
146k

"Norfolk, Va. (Dec 12, 1944)—The aircraft carrier USS Boxer (CV-21) sits poised on the ways at Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. Yard. The Navy's newest carrier is shown ready for her launching on Thursday December 14th. The ship's sponsor will be Miss Ruth D. Overton of Alexandria, La., daughter of U.S. Senator John W. Overton, chairman of the Senate sub-committee on naval appropriations."

Robert M. Cieri
CV-21 Boxer
NS022151
28k

Captain Donald F. Smith, U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1921, was the first commanding officer of USS Boxer (CV-21), 16 April 1945–3 June 1946.

Brian Ward
CV-21 Boxer
NS022101
14k Undated starboard view (Small Image) USN
CV-21 Boxer
NS022102
86k Shown here, as completed, leaving Newport News Shipyard. USN
CV-21 Boxer
NS022132
160k

A rare view of USS Boxer (CV-21) with the starboard 40-mm gun sponsons added amidships. This photo appears to have been taken shortly after WW2. Note PBY Catalinas on flight deck, forward.

David Buell
CV-21 Boxer
NS022145
105k

Fire on deck, landing crash. Date and location unknown.

Rhonda Gross, daughter of C.E. "Red" Gorham Jr. (USN)
CV-21 Boxer
NS022134
174k

Entering San Francisco Bay, 1947.

(Digitally restored by Tom Kermen.)

Rhonda Gross, daughter of C.E. "Red" Gorham Jr. (USN)
CV-21 Boxer
NS022135
151k

Landing mishap, circa 1947. This appears to be an AD-1 Skyraider from VA-20A squadron.

Rhonda Gross, daughter of C.E. "Red" Gorham Jr. (USN)
CV-21 Boxer
NS022135a
154k
CV-21 Boxer
NS022112
80k

Taken in 1948 while entering SF Bay, from a JRF-5 (Grumman Goose) borrowed from NAS Alameda for the occasion.

Tim Leary PH1 USN Ret (1945 - 1965)
CV-21 Boxer
NS022114
91k

An excellent aerial view, circa 1948.

Dana White
CV-21 Boxer
NS022136
175k

This photo may have been taken in September 1949, when squadron VF-51 "Screaming Eagles" took the F9F-3 Panther aboard USS Boxer (CV-21) off San Diego, Calif.—the first operational landings of the new jet fighter.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-21 Boxer
NS022137
185k

Images and quotes from the March 1950 issue of All Hands magazine.

"Reinforcements have been sent the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet. Constituting a mobile force readily available to support national policy in the Far East, the roving Seventh has been bolstered by the addition of the mighty carrier USS Boxer (CV-21) and the destroyers USS Buck (DD-761) and USS John W. Thomason (DD-760). The addition of these ships brings the total combatant strength of the U.S. Seventh Fleet to one carrier, one heavy cruiser, six destroyers and one submarine."

The carrier and her escorting destroyers will serve as a stabilizing influence in the Western Pacific, the Navy said."

(NS022137)  "A giant crane swings an F8F Bearcat aboard USS Boxer (CV-21) at NAS Alameda as the 27,000-ton carrier prepares to sail to join the Seventh Fleet in Far Eastern waters."

(NS022137a)  "F8F Bearcat is hoisted to flight deck of USS Boxer." An AD Skyraider awaits its turn.

(NS022137b)  "Giant elevators are tested."

(NS022137c)  "OUTWARD BOUND—USS Boxer passes under the Golden Gate Bridge on her way to join the 7th Fleet."

Stan Svec
CV-21 Boxer
NS022137a
166k
CV-21 Boxer
NS022137b
177k
CV-21 Boxer
NS022137c
127k
CV-21 Boxer
NS022133
84k

View from the island of USS Boxer (CV-21) underway off the Korean Peninsula in company with another Essex-class carrier, possibly in the first half of 1950.

Robert Hurst
CV-21 Boxer
NS022130
43k

USS Boxer (CV-21) cruising off the Korean coast in the 1950s.

Robert Hurst
CV-21 Boxer
NS022146
23k

F4U-4 Corsairs on flight deck, circa 1950–1952.

Nicholas J. Ferrentino,
via R.J. Ferrentino
CV-21 Boxer
NS022120
83k

USS Boxer (CV-21) with her crew spelling out her name on the flight deck, steams past the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco Bay as she returns from her first Korean War deployment, November 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (photo # NH 97282).

NHC
CV-21 Boxer
NS022119
99k

Four F9F-2 Panther jet fighters roar past USS Boxer (CV-21), with dive brakes, landing gear and arresting hooks down, preparing to land on board after returning from a mission over North Korea, 23 June 1951. The planes and their pilots are from Fighter Squadron 721 (VF-721), a Naval Reserve squadron formerly based at Naval Air Station, Glenview, Illinois.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97281).

NHC

NS022106
171k

Vought F4U-4 Corsair (Bureau No. 81712), of Fighter Squadron 791 (VF-791) makes vapor rings with its propeller as it takes off from USS Boxer (CV-21) for a Korean War air strike. Photo is dated 6 July 1951. Note small bombs under the plane's wings and flight deck distance markings. The Corsair is just passing the 500-foot point.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-431289).

Scott Dyben

NS022106a
87k

A Grumman F9F Panther is fueled by crewmen on the flight deck of USS Boxer (CV-21), during Korean War operations. The original photograph was released by Commander Naval Forces Far East, under date of 6 July 1951.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the All Hands collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97061).

Gerd Matthes, Germany

NS022124
97k

"Deck Launch — Visible rings of vapor encircle a Corsair fighter as it turns up prior to being launched from the USS Boxer for a strike against communist targets in Korea. Hovering to the stern of the aircraft carrier, the every-present helicopter plane guard stands by to assist if any emergency arises." Photograph and caption were released in Washington, D.C., on 20 July 1951.

Planes are Vought F4U-4s. Helicopter is a Sikorski HO3S.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97286).

NHC

NS022107
82k

Two F4U-5N Corsair fighters of squadron VC-3 fly past the carrier, during combat operations off Korea. Photo is dated 4 September 1951. These planes are Bureau #s 124537 (left) and 124539. Their pilots are Lt. John D. Ely, USNR, and Lt(JG) J.G. Stranlund, USNR.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-433005).

Scott Dyben

NS022138
160k

Also dated 4 September 1951, official caption for this photo reads: "F4U's (Corsairs) returning from a combat mission over North Korea circle the USS Boxer as they wait for planes in the next strike to be launched from her flight deck—a helicopter hovers above the ship. September 4, 1951. (Navy) NARA FILE #: 080-G-433002 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 1414."

These planes are F4U-4's assigned to VF-884 "Bitter Birds," a reserve squadron called to active duty on 20 July 1950.

Bill Gonyo

NS022126
154k

Two more official US Navy photographs dated September 4, 1951. Carrier Air Group 101 (CVG-101), tail code "A," was aboard USS Boxer (CV-21) for her second deployment to Korea and WestPac, March 2 – October 24, 1951. Four reserve squadrons were called to active duty on July 20, 1950 and joined CVG-101 for this cruise, namely: VF-721 (with F9F-2B Panthers), VF-791 and VF-884 (F4U-4 Corsairs), and VA-702 (AD-2 and AD-4Q Skyraiders.)

If the photos were really taken on September 4, the coast in the background would probably be Korea — Boxer, however, had also been patroling the Formosa Straits, April 8–15.

(Photo NS022126a is US Navy photograph #USN-435061.)

Robert M. Cieri

NS022126a
189k

NS022108
100k

Ship's HO3S-1 helicopter (Bureau # 123134) landing after an air-sea rescue mission, during operations off Korea. Photo is dated 13 September 1951.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-430680).

Scott Dyben

NS022139
86k

"TRIO OF JETS [F9F-2B Panthers from VF-721 'Iron Angels'], back from a Korean strike, circle USS Boxer as men below prepare the flight deck to take them aboard." From All Hands magazine, November 1951 issue.

Stan Svec

NS022140
174k

"Men of USS Boxer take a unique way of showing they gave 2377 pints of blood during recent drive." From All Hands magazine, December 1951 issue.

Stan Svec

NS022109
111k

USS Boxer (CV-21) Hangar Deck Fire, 5 August 1952. Ordnancemen strip live 20mm ammunition from a damaged F9F Panther fighter, while firefighters bring the blaze under control. Boxer was then operating off Korea.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-445593).

Scott Dyben

NS022110
69k

Task Force 77 replenishing during operations off Korea. The carrier in the foreground is USS Boxer (CVA-21), taking on fuel from an oiler, which is also fueling a destroyer. Two other carriers, several destroyers and another replenishment ship are following. Photo is dated 2 June 1953.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-639487).

Scott Dyben

NS022111
133k

USS Boxer (CVA-21) operating off North Korea in July 1953. Her flight deck crew is respotting aircraft in preparation for recovery of her last strike. Another aircraft carrier and the battleship USS New Jersey (BB-62) are steaming ahead of Boxer.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-625876).

Scott Dyben

NS022125
174k

"Boxer Tribute — While Panther jets rest on the catapults in readiness, officers and men of the carrier USS Boxer (CVA-21) uncover to pay tribute to pilots and crewmembers of the ship who gave their lives during the Korean War." Photograph and caption were released by Commander Naval Forces Far East under date of 9 August 1953.

Plane on the port catapult is a Grumman F9F of Fighter Squadron 151 (VF-151).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97287).

NHC

NS022127
171k

Official US Navy photograph taken from the Golden Gate Bridge as USS Boxer (CVA-21) arrives home after her fourth and final Korean deployment, March 30 – November 28, 1953. Air Task Group 1 (ATG-1) was embarked — Air Task Groups were non-commissioned units formed with squadrons transferred from regular Carrier Air Groups.

Robert M. Cieri

NS022115
86k

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 67430).

Official caption reads: "USS Boxer (CVA-21) in port, 18 November 1953. Probably taken in San Francisco Bay, California, upon her return from the Far East."

Note: Official date for this photograph cannot be correct. There is a group of F9F-6 Cougars parked forward on the flight deck, but there were no Cougars aboard Boxer during her 1953 deployment, as former crewmembers recall and is documented in "United States Naval Aviation 1910-1995" (published by the Naval Aviation History Office), Appendix 25, page 699. On the other hand, the large "dish" of an SK-2 air search radar, clearly visible on the island, shows the photo was taken no later than 1954, since by early 1955 it had been replaced by an SPS-6B. Therefore, this picture was most likely taken during Boxer's 1954 deployment (March 3-October 11), with the Cougars of VF-121, part of CVG-12, aboard.

Special thanks go to the following people who helped in the research: Bob Brozovich, VF-151 (who pointed out the error in the first place); LCDR Alan Bedford, USNR (Ret.); Mr. Hill Goodspeed, Historian, National Museum of Naval Aviation; and ADM James L. Holloway III, USN (Ret.), who in 1953 was Commanding Officer, VF-52, aboard Boxer.

NHC

NS022141
219k

Official U.S. Navy photograph of USS Boxer (CVA-21) probably taken off Korea in 1954. Boxer and Carrier Air Group (CVG) 12 deployed to WestPac, March 3–October 11.

Robert M. Cieri

NS022154
162k

"USS Boxer (CVA-21) MANILA BAY, P.I. (5 October 1954) Change of Command Ceremony, Captain James H. Mills, Jr., USN relieved Captain B.E. Moore, USN. The Boxer was on her 6th Westpac deployment: 3 March 1954–11 October 1954, with Carrier Air Group 12 (Tailcode 'D') on board."

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, Commander Air Force, Pacific Fleet, U.S. Naval Air Station, North Island, San Diego 35, California.

CVG-12 consisted of VF-121 "Peacemakers" and VF-122 "Black Angels" flying F9F-6 Cougars; VF-124 flying F9F-2 Panthers; VA-125 "Rough Riders" flying AD-4B/4NA Skyraiders; a detachment from VC-61 "Eyes of the Fleet" flying F9F-6P Cougars; detachments from VC-35 "Night Hecklers" and VC-11, flying AD-4NL/4W Skyraiders; and a detachment from HU-1 "Pacific Fleet Angels" flying HO3S-1's.

Robert M. Cieri

NS022117
93k

USS Boxer steams past the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco Bay as she returns from a WestPac deployment, October 1954.

Frank Childs,
son of David R. Childs,
USS Boxer

NS022147
112k

USS Boxer (CVA-21) antenna arrangement, tilting transmitter whips forward starboard. San Francisco Naval Shipyard photo (#NY1-530-L-2-55), 24 February 1955.

Pieter Bakels

NS022147b
121k

USS Boxer (CVA-21) antenna arrangement, tilting transmitter whips aft starboard. San Francisco Naval Shipyard photo (#NY1-531-L-2-55), 24 February 1955.


NS022147c
131k

USS Boxer (CVA-21) antenna arrangement, looking forward from centerline of island. San Francisco Naval Shipyard photo (#NY1-532-L-2-55), 24 February 1955.


NS022147d
150k

USS Boxer (CVA-21) antenna arrangement, looking aft from port. San Francisco Naval Shipyard photo (#NY1-534-L-2-55), 24 February 1955.


NS022147a
138k

USS Boxer (CVA-21) antenna arrangement, looking to starboard and aft. San Francisco Naval Shipyard photo (#NY1-535-L-2-55), 24 February 1955.


NS022147e
138k

USS Boxer (CVA-21) antenna arrangement, starboard elevation. San Francisco Naval Shipyard photo (#NY1-537-L-2-55), 24 February 1955.

CVS-21 Boxer
NS022150
173k

USS Boxer (CVS-21), 1955–59.

Courtesy of ©Windjammer-Arts Naval Art & Aviation Art
CV-21 Boxer
NS022121
98k

Crewmembers spell out "Boxer 75,000 Landings" on the flight deck to commemorate reaching that milestone in the ship's career. The landing was made on November 19, 1955 by Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Charles R. Smith, and his crewman, Roland W. Parker, flying an AD Skyraider of Composite Squadron 35. The original photograph was released by Commander Naval Forces Far East on November 28, 1955.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (photo # NH 97283).

NHC

NS022103
126k Shown here in her 50's fit © James Brown,
USN/USAF

NS022104
58k As CVS-21 during the late 50's © James Brown,
USN/USAF

NS022105
144k USS Boxer (CVS-21) off the West coast in 1956. Our destroyer, USS Laws (DD-558), had just completed refueling from the carrier. © Dale C. Haskin

NS022128
161k

Two official US Navy photographs taken in 1956–1957, during Boxer's only deployment as an Antisubmarine Warfare Support Carrier (CVS). S2F-1 Trackers of VS-23 are parked aft, and HSS-1 Sea Bats of HS-4 are forward and amidships. It's obvious that this was a period of change-over between the old (glossy sea blue) and the new (light gull gray and glossy insignia white) paint schemes.

Robert M. Cieri

NS022128a
159k
The Men
CV-21 Boxer
NS022148
150k

C.E. "Red" Gorham Jr. throughout the Pacific, 1943–1947.

Rhonda Gross, daughter of C.E. "Red" Gorham Jr. (USN)
CV-21 Boxer
NS022144
158k

Nicholas J. Ferrentino was appointed a Boilerman Third Class on 16 April 1952.

Nicholas J. Ferrentino,
via R.J. Ferrentino
CV-21 Boxer
NS022152
41k

"Airdales," USS Boxer (CV-21). Charles E. Ward, Jr., is in these pictures; he was a Seaman (S/1c), USS Boxer, 1 June 1945–7 October 1947.

Left column lists names of men in the top row, left to right; and men in the second row from top.

Right column lists third row from top, and bottom row.

Brian Ward, son of Charles E. Ward, Jr.
CV-21 Boxer
NS022152a
127k
CV-21 Boxer
NS022152b
66k
CV-21 Boxer
NS022153
140k

Charles E. Ward, Jr. (left) and buddies.

Brian Ward, son of Charles E. Ward, Jr.
Memorabilia
CV-21 Boxer
NS022149
17.3M

Bark of the Boxer, (1 June 1945?), pages 4–5, 7–10.

Brian Ward
CV-21 Boxer
NS022123
206k

USS Boxer (CV-21) Christmas Card, 1946(?).

Maj Gen Leslie R. Sears, Jr., US Army.

Submitted by his son, L. Ray Sears, III
CV-21 Boxer
NS022123a
89k
CV-21 Boxer
NS022123b
83k
CV-21 Boxer
NS022142
36k

USS Boxer (CV-21) Christmas Card, circa 1950–1952.

Nicholas J. Ferrentino,
via R.J. Ferrentino
CV-21 Boxer
NS022143
278k

"USS Boxer CV 21 Oriental Cruise Jan–June 1950" (cover).

(Digitally enhanced by Tom Kermen.)

Nicholas J. Ferrentino,
via R.J. Ferrentino

NS022131
240k

Thanksgiving Menu, 1951.

Robert M. Cieri

NS022131a
126k

NS022131b
105k

NS022129
134k

Welcome Aboard Booklet for Scout Day, 12 February 1955. Held at the U.S. Naval Shipyard San Francisco, CA.

This is not an ordinary Welcome Aboard Booklet. This one was for a specific day only.

Robert M. Cieri

NS022129a
233k

NS022129b
167k

NS022129c
180k
USS Boxer in the Movies
CV-21 Boxer
NS022122a
38k

USS Boxer (CV-21) is seen for a few seconds in Submarine Command (1951. Starring William Holden, Nancy Olson, William Bendix and Don Taylor; directed by John Farrow), as the CO of the fictional submarine USS Tiger Shark is transferred from the boat to the aircraft carrier. (Thanks to jP, MTC(SS)).

Poster courtesy of WikipediA
CV-21 Boxer
NS022122
47k

USS Boxer (CVA-21) is seen for about 20" at the end of the film "Kiss Them for Me" (1957. Starring Cary Grant and Jayne Mansfield; directed by Stanley Donen). (Thanks to LTC Bob Koester).

Three Skyraiders assigned to Attack Squadron 125 (VA-125), "Rough Raiders," are seen taking off from the ship. VA-125 was part of Carrier Air Group 12 (CVG-12) and deployed aboard Boxer in 1954 — this footage must have been shot at that time.

Poster courtesy of amazon.com

For more photos and information about this ship, see:
Patches

NS022113
Contributed by Mike Smolinski
59Kb

USS BOXER CV-21 History
View This Vessels
DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact and Reunion Information Web Sites
U.S.Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association
USS Boxer Association

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
Korean Combat Action Reports located on the Naval Historical Center Web Site

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Last update: 19 January 2014