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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Boxer (LPH-4)
USS Boxer (CVS-21) (1955 - 1959)
USS Boxer (CVA-21) (1952 - 1955)
USS Boxer (CV-21) (1945 - 1952)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Oscar - Papa
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons - CV-21, CVA-21, CVS-21, LPH-4

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation (2)
Second Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Citation - Navy Battle Efficiency Ribbon - Navy Expeditionary Medal (Cuba)
Third Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Fourth Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Fifth Row - Korean Service Medal (8) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba, Dominican Republic) - Vietnam Service Medal (2)
Sixth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Essex Class Aircraft Carrier ("Long Hull" group, aka Ticonderoga Class) / Boxer Class Amphibious Assault Ship (Helicopter):
  • Laid down, 13 September 1943, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Corp, Newport News. VA.
  • Launched, 14 December 1944
  • Commissioned USS Boxer (CV-21), 15 April 1945, CAPT. D. F. Smith in command
  • Reclassified Attack Aircraft Carrier (CVA-21), 1 October 1952
  • Modified and Reclassified Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft Carrier (CVS-21), 15 November 1955
  • Modified and Reclassified Amphibious Assault Ship (Helicopter) (LPH-4), 30 January 1959
  • During the Vietnam War USS Boxer (LPH-4) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnam Defense
    9 to 17 September 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    20 to 23 May 1966
    10 to 12 June 1966

  • Decommissioned and Struck from the Naval Register, 1 December 1969
  • USS Boxer (LPH-4) earned two campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 13 March 1971, by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS), scrapped at Kearny. N.J.
    LPH Specifications:
    Displacement 26,556 t.(lt) 36,457 t.(fl)
    Length 888'
    Beam 138'
    Draft 30' (max.)
    Speed 33 kts.
    Complement 1,200
    Troop Capacity 1,450
    Aircraft 30 Helicopters
    four dual 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    eight 565psi boilers
    four steam turbines
    four propellers, 75,000shp

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    Size Image Description Contributed By
    Boxer 89k USS Boxer (LPH-4) under way with assault helicopters ranged on deck, apparently HUS Seahorses forward and HR2S Deuces aft, circa January-February 1959, probably off the coast of Cuba. Embarked units included 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines.
    Original Caption from AP Wire Service
    " WILL PUT IN AT GUANTANAMO, CUBA -- This is the USS Boxer which the U.S. Navy said today will put in at Guantanamo, Cuba, this weekend. About 1,500 Marines taking part in an amphibious group training in the Caribbean, will go ashore for rest and recreation. A spokesman said that the shore leave had been scheduled for several months. (U.S. Navy Photo via APWire photo."
    Robert Hurst
    Boxer 45k USS Boxer (LPH-4) under way, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Boxer 272k USS Boxer (LPH-4) under way, date and location unknown.  
    Boxer 48k USS Boxer (LPH-4) under way, date and location unknown. Joe Fyke
    Boxer 77k USS Boxer (LPH-4) under way during operations off Vieques Island with the Tenth Provisional Marine Brigade, 8 March 1959.
    US Navy photo
    Robert M. Cieri
    Boxer 124k U.S. Marine Corps HUS-1 helicopters lift off form USS Boxer (LPH-4)'s flight deck, during operations off Vieques Island with the Tenth Provisional Marine Brigade, 8 March 1959.
    Photograph by Grantham. US Navy photo # NH 97288
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Boxer 185k USS Boxer (LPH-4) slowly under way in September 1960, on maneuvers, at an unknown location.
    Life Magazine Archives, Ralph Morse photographer, shared by Peter DeForest.
    Mike Green
    Mosopelea 270k USS Boxer (LPH-4) and USS Intrepid (CVA-11) are in the background of this photo of USS Mosopelea (ATF-158) under way at NOB Norfolk, with the SERVLANT Salvage Barge in tow, circa 1961. Image courtesy of
    Larry Blumenthal, PH3, 1957-61.
    "US Navy Photos"
    Boxer 152k Stern view of USS Boxer (LPH-4) at anchor at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, early 1962. Bill Hart
    Boxer 148k USS Boxer (LPH-4) offshore, circa the mid-1960s, with six UH-34 Sea Horse helicopters flying in formation in the foreground, circa 1965. Note the Forrest Sherman class destroyer in the background.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo# NH 107671
    Mike Green
    Boxer 87k Marines of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, board helicopters on the flight deck of USS Boxer (LPH-4) on a practice assault off the coast of Haiti. Boxer is the lead ship of a US Navy task force standing by to help with the evacuation of Americans should violence erupt on the island.
    UPI Telephoto.
    Tommy Trampp
    Boxer 49k Stern view of USS Boxer (LPH-4) under way, date and location unknown. Note UH-34 Seahorse helicopters positioned fore and aft on her flight deck.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Boxer 149k August 1965, Mayport, Florida, USS Boxer (LPH-4) seen here just prior to departing for Vietnam with elements of the Army's First Cavalry Division on board. She carried 1200 personnel, 205 helicopters and 6 OV-1 airplanes to the combat zone. Aircraft on her flight deck include 6 OV-1 (dark colored-forward); 4 CH-54 (white-just forward of island); 56 CH-47 (dark colored-amidships and aft) and 36 UH-1 (white-amidships and forward). The remaining 109 helicopters are presumably stowed on Boxer's hangar deck.
    Official U.S. Army Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. US Navy photo # NH 97285
    US Naval Historical Center
    Boxer 271k October 1964, Steelpike I, USS Boxer (LPH-4) coming alongside the port side of USS Rigel (AF-58) Jim McCoy
    Boxer 257k October 1964, Steelpike I, USS Boxer (LPH-4) taking station along port side of USS Rigel (AF-58) Jim McCoy
    Boxer 202k October 1964, Steelpike I, unrep under way USS Boxer (LPH-4) taking on supplies for USS Rigel (AF-58) Jim McCoy
    Boxer 272k October 1964, Steelpike I, starboard bow of USS Boxer (LPH-4), unrep completed Boxer beginning to pull away from USS Rigel (AF-58) Jim McCoy
    Boxer 249k October 1964, Steelpike I, unrep completed and USS Boxer (LPH-4) pulls away from USS Rigel (AF-58) Jim McCoy
    Boxer 380k October 1964, Steelpike I, USS Boxer (LPH-4) approx. 1500 yards off USS Rigel (AF-58)'s port side Jim McCoy
    Boxer 136k USS Boxer (LPH-4) under way in the Caribbean Sea, circa 1965, possibly during the Dominican Republic Intervention. The airborne UH-34 Seahorse Helicopter and those on Boxer's deck belong to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264.
    US Navy photo.
    Juan M. Felix
    Boxer 128k USS Boxer (LPH-4) stands in readiness, 30 April 1965, off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic to evacuate American citizens and other nationals and land Marines.
    AP Wirephoto,
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Boxer 99k USS Boxer (LPH-4) at anchor off Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, 5 December 1966. H-34 Seahorse Helicopters of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365 line her flight deck.
    US Navy photo # USN-1125049 from the US Naval Photographic Center, Naval Station, Washington, DC.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Boxer 524k USS Boxer (LPH-4) under way, location unknown. Boxer parades her Marines, their light vehicles (near island), and helicopters.
    US Navy photo from "Aircraft Carriers" by Norman Polmar.
    Robert Hurst
    Boxer 606k Sikorsky HUS (H-34) and HR2S (H-37) helicopters on the flight deck of USS Boxer (LPH-4).
    US Navy photo from "Aircraft Carriers" by Norman Polmar.
    Robert Hurst
    Boxer 125k "Carib 1-68 Patrol" Caribbean Ready Group steams in formation as it patrols the Caribbean Sea. Commanded by Capt. J.B. Drachnik, USN, Commander Amphibious Squadron Four. Homeported in Norfolk, Va., are: (l-r) Attack Cargo Ship, USS Rankin (AKA-103); Dock Landing Ship, USS Fort Snelling (LSD-30); Amphibious Assault Ship, USS Boxer (LPH-4); Tank Landing Ship, USS Graham County (LST-1176); and High Speed Transport, USS Kirwin (APD-90). Photographed by PH2 A.P. Gonthier, Jr. US Navy photo # NH 97284. US Naval History and Heritage Command
    CVA-66 America 168k USS Boxer (LPH-4) right, moored across from the aircraft carrier USS America (CVA-66) at Pier No. 11, Naval Operating Base Norfolk, 1 October 1969. America had just completed a Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA) at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (since 24 January 1969). Boxer was decommissioned two months later, on 1 December 1969.
    Official U.S. Navy photograph, available from (id. DN-ST-88-04340).
    Robert M. Cieri
    Boxer 123k USS Boxer (LPH-4) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.

    There is no DANFS history record for USS Boxer (LPH-4) available at NavSource
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Parker Jr., Edwin Byron 11 August 1959 - 19 September 1960
    02CAPT. Stebbins, Edgar Erwin 19 September 1960 - February 1961
    03CAPT. Wallace, James Bruce February 1961 - January 1963
    04CAPT. Deacon, Edward Thorp January 1963 - January 1964
    05CAPT. Walline, Charles Sayer January 1964 - 8 January 1965
    06CAPT. Sessums, Walter Maurice 8 January 1965 - 30 December 1965
    07CAPT. Morton, Albert Oakes 30 December 1965 - 31 January 1967
    08CAPT. Cooke, Henry Joseph Hosmer 31 January 1967 - 31 January 1968
    09CAPT. Hunt, Robert Foster 31 January 1968 - 11 March 1969
    10CAPT. Lampman, Lester Boggess 11 March 1969 - 30 October 1969
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    For more photos and information about USS Boxer, see;
  • USS Boxer (LPH-4) Miscellaneous Memorabilia
  • USS Boxer Veterans Association

  • Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 1 February 2019