On the Boise, radar technician Vincent Langelo said several prayers, including the Lord’s Prayer and a reasonable facsimile of the 23rd Psalm. He observed, ‘All over the ship, the men braced themselves for action. They were like tigers,
crouched backward, ready to leap at their prey.
”  Night of October 11, 1942 off Cape Esperance Guadalcanal. (Morning Star, Midnight Sun, The Early Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign of World War II August-October 1942 by Jeffrey R.
Cox, Osprey Publishing 2018, at page 278)

Incandescent gases jetted from every aperture of the two foremost turrets, setting the forecastle afire and burning the men who had just emerged from turret one. ‘Smoke, debris, hot water and sparks flew up well above the level of the forward
directors’ and knocked the captain against a bulkhead. Scott feared Boise was lost. Moran, expecting his ship to disintegrate at any moment in one massive explosion, ordered the forward magazines flooded, but among those killed by the flames
were the men at the remote flooding panel. Two things saved Boise from destruction: the discipline of the men now dead in her forward magazines, whose faithful adherence to drills left only a minimum of exposed powder, and the rents in her
hull from the enemy shell and the resulting explosion, which admitted an inundation of water to the core of the fire before it could ignite tons of protectively stored powder.
” (Guadalcanal, The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle by
Richard B. Frank, Random House 1990, at page 305)

In 1880 the United States had no navy to speak of. A single Peruvian ironclad could have destroyed the entire United States Navy with ease. Since the American Civil War the USN had been shamefully over-looked by Congress and ancient steam
powered wooden ships were still in service with rusting, totally obsolete monitors of no combat vale, resting in reserve in various ports. Chester Arthur could be said to be the father of the modern USN steel navy. This product of the graft filled
Tammany Hall political machine had formerly been the revenue collector for the Port of New York, the plumpest plum in the patronage package. As the candidate for the Democratic Party, Arthur had been elected President. As President, Arthur saw
the deplorable state of the USN and it was under his administration that the USN was reborn like the Phoenix, to rise from the ashes of Civil War construction, to become not just a minor regional naval power but to become a global naval power.
At first it had to be baby steps in building a modern steel navy from scratch. Foreign designs were purchased and US naval architects had to learn their craft through trial and error. I series of bizarre protected cruisers of mediocre merit were
produced. When it came to battleships Congress still saw the battleship as a tool of imperialism and were stoutly against full fledged blue ocean battleship procurement. The
USS Maine was first designated as an armored cruiser and the Texas and
Indiana classes were designed as inferior coastal defense battleships to placate a wary Congress. It wasn’t until the design of the USS Iowa that a US battleship had the necessary freeboard to be considered a deep ocean first class battleship. Then
came a tremendous explosion of battleship designs given even further emphasis by the success of the USN in the Battles of Manila Bay and Santiago di Cuba in the Spanish-American War. By the dawn of the 20th Century the USN had become a global
naval power to match her status as the new Imperial Republic with new colonies in the Caribbean and Pacific acquired from Spain as the result of the war. The over-looked problem of having colonies is that they are vulnerable. Every Imperial power
has faced the same challenge, which was never really overcome. Just as Germany couldn’t defend her Pacific colonies in the First World War, so too the U.S., Great Britain, France or the Netherlands couldn’t defend their Pacific colonies/possessions
at the start of World War Two in the Pacific. However, they tried, with disastrous results.

For the first quarter of a century, the USN was unbalanced in composition. There was money for battleships, armored cruisers and destroyers but very little money was spent on scout cruisers. The battleships and armored cruisers were the muscle of
the fleet, accompanied by the flotillas of destroyers for torpedo attack on any enemy fleet but there was very little that could be used to acquire the location of a hostile fleet so that it could be engaged by the battle line. A boxer could be immensely
strong with a killer right punch but if that boxer was blind then the boxer wouldn’t be able to see where to land that punch. In other navies the light scout cruiser provided the eyes of the fleet. Their mission was to operate independently, far in advance
of the fleet, to locate and maintain contact with the enemy, until the battleline could close and engage. To mix metaphors, the lack of eyes for the fleet was the Achilles’ heel of the USN. In that first quarter century of growth, the USN built only three
scout cruisers. These were the ships of the
Birmingham Class. Displacing 3,750-tons and armed with two 5-inch/50, six 3-inch/50 and two 21-inch torpedo tubes, they were slow with a top speed of only 24-knots and didn’t have a very impressive
range. By 1916 even Congress had tumbled to this acute shortage of vital platforms and in the huge 1916 construction program had provided funds for scout cruisers. This would become the largest single order for cruisers of one class up to that
time, the
Omaha Class.

By 1920 there were only three types of cruisers, slow obsolete armored cruisers whose type had not been built since the early 1900s, the battle cruiser, which replaced the armored cruiser and were ranked as capital ships, and the light cruiser. Nobody
was building armored cruisers anymore and with the Washington Naval Treaty battle cruiser construction came to a quick halt. Only in the arena of the light cruisers could a naval power build as many ships as it could afford. The initial 8-inch gunned
Treaty cruisers were still called light cruisers until the London Treaty of 1930 created a sub-division of the heavy cruiser and light cruiser, marked by the gun size not displacement. Ships armed with 6.1-inch guns or smaller were designated light
cruisers while ships carrying 6.2-inch to 8-inch guns were designated heavy cruisers. The
Omaha Class remained in the light cruiser category but at the point of their design had a number of missions, including that of scout cruiser.
The genesis for the Omaha Class was a sketch design in 1917 for a scout cruiser with ten 6-inch guns in wing positions. As originally designed, the Omaha Class ships were provided only with eight 6-inch/53 casemate guns, providing only a four
gun broadside, as the open two wing guns amidships had been removed from the original sketch design. This was considered too light for ships of their size so in an afterthought, the design was reworked to include two twin 6-inch centerline turrets,
one fore and one aft. To call them turrets is really a misnomer as the gun houses had no armor and only provided splinter and weather protection. There was another problem with the design. The USN wanted very fast ships of 35-knots but also
wanted a good range of 10,000 nm at 10 knots. Given the displacement and technology available at the time, these two desires were incompatible. The machinery available to produce the high speeds required was inherently inefficient at lower speeds,
so the USN had to either lower the top speed of the design to keep the endurance requirement or reduce the endurance requirement to keep the top speed requirement. The USN chose to keep the speed at the expense of endurance. Range dropped to
6,500 nm at 10-knots, which greatly curtailed their use as scouts. The USN was willing to accept this sacrifice because it saw naval aviation taking over the role of scouts from ships. Although one can see the logic to the argument, naval aviation was
still not adequate at the time, as naval aviation was still in its infancy and couldn’t operate in bad weather. Even in bad weather, a scout cruiser could locate and maintain contact with an enemy.

With the Washington Treaty of 1922 the USN’s view on cruisers changed dramatically. It could have been a scene out of a movie with the CNO saying, “
We don’t need no stinking scout cruisers!” The USN wanted to build to the max with all
designs centered on the Treaty’s maximum cruiser characteristics of 10,000-tons displacement and 8-inch main guns. The Navy developed a huge program of class after class of 8-inch gun armed cruisers. As a result of the London Treaty of 1930,
the situation changed. This Treaty divided cruisers between heavy cruisers with up to 8-inch guns and light cruisers with guns up to 6-inches. Maximum displacement remained at 10,000-tons for both types. There was now a total maximum tonnage
per type. The USN had little tonnage left for heavy cruisers but a great amount available for light cruiser construction. There was examination in the concept of an aviation cruiser, which went against the light cruiser limits instead of against the aircraft
carrier limitations. They had settled for cruiser with twelve 6-inch guns mounted in four triple turrets, with good protection and displacing around 9,600-tons. Then in February 1933 the USN got wind of Japan’s construction of the
Mogami Class
light cruiser armed with fifteen 6-inch guns with the announcement of the characteristics of the class by Japan. All thoughts of the twelve gun cruiser went out the window. If Japan could pack fifteen guns into their cruiser with an announced
displacement of 8,500-tons, then the USN could do at least the same on 10,000-tons. On March 10, 1933 the USN requested designs for a cruiser with fifteen 6-inch guns in triple turrets or sixteen guns in four quadruple turrets on 10,000-tons. The
quadruple turret was considered risky to develop so the five triple gun turret design was selected. The starting point was the
New Orleans Class design. As designs were formulated it was discovered that by lengthening the hull from 578-feet as in
New Orleans to 600-feet a better design could be produced that would allow less water resistance and would allow the maximum speed of 32.5-knots on 93,500 horsepower instead of the 107,000 horsepower required with a shorter hull. The fifth
turret complicated the aircraft handling characteristics, which had always been placed amidship. The result was the
Brooklyn Class, which marked a number of firsts. She was armed with fifteen fast firing 6/47-inch guns Mk 16 in five turrets
arranged as in the
Mogami Class with the third turret capable of only broadside fire. This newly designed gun was capable of eight to ten rounds per minute, compared to the two rounds per minute of USN eight inch guns. The guns used a new super
heavy shell of 130 pounds (59kg), which had almost twice the penetration power of the older 6-inch gun with a 105 pound shell on the
Omaha Class. Range was 26,1000-yards at the maximum elevation of 47.5 degrees. Secondary guns were eight 5-
inch/25 dual purpose guns in open mounts and a light antiaircraft battery of eight .50 machine guns. Mk 34 directors were fitted for the main guns and Mk 33 directors for the secondary. The armor belt ranged from 5-inches to 3.25-inches. Turrets
had maximum armor of 6.5-inches and barbettes 6-inches. End internal armored bulkheads tied in with the belt armor were 5-inches thick. A 2-inch armored deck was fitted. Complement was initially 52 officers and 816 crewmen but by 1945 it had
swelled to 80 officers and 1,116 crewmen. The design was flush deck for the first time. Another first was to place the hangar underneath the quarterdeck with catapults at deck edge between the hangar opening and hull sides. This was a far superior
design to having the hangar and aircraft amidship where time after time it proved to be an extreme fire hazard. The tripod masts of earlier designs were replaced by light pole masts. The design proved to be excellent sea boats and were dry with a
smooth roll. The first four of the class were ordered on August 3, 1933 under FY1934.

USS Boise CL-47 was authorized in the 1935 Fiscal Year along with Phoenix and Honolulu. She was laid down on April 1, 1935 at Newport News, and launched on December 3, 1936. Standard displacement was 9,767-tons with a full load
displacement of 12,207-tons. Length was 608-feet 4-inches (185,4m) overall and 600-feet at waterline, with a beam of 61-feet 8-inches (18.8m) and draught of 21-feet 6-inches (6.9m).Eight Babcock and Wilcox boilers supplied steam to the engines,
which developed 101,800 horsepower at trials for a top speed of 33.7-knots. After commissioning on August 12, 1938 the
Boise underwent trials off west and south Africa and in February 1939 was assigned to CRUDIV 9 at San Pedro, California. In
November 1941 she was making cruises between Hawaii and the west coast but was then sent to escort a convoy to Manila, which was reached on December 4, 1941.
On December 7, 1941 the USS Boise was at Cavite. She was not officially part of Admiral Thomas Hart’s Asiatic Fleet, as she was still part of Admiral Kimmel’s Pacific Fleet based in Pearl Harbor. Boise was present just because she had been ordered to
the Philippines on a cruise, escorting a convoy to Manila.
Boise was ordered to stay in the Philippines and to report to Admiral Thomas Hart. Hart was overjoyed to get the Boise. Admiral Hart now had the powerful light cruiser to go with the USS
, USS Marblehead, USS Langley, twelve destroyers, 29 submarines, six gunboats, a squadron of PT boats, three submarine tenders, six minesweepers, two tankers, a rescue vessel and two yachts. As a bonus the Boise was the only ship with
the Asiatic Fleet to have radar. Admiral Glassford had just arrived with two of the gunboats. Glassford was angling to replace Hart as fleet commander and the two men did not work well together.
Boise’s first mission with the Asiatic Fleet was to join
Houston, destroyers Paul Jones and Barker, to escort the Langley and tankers, Pecos and Trinity out of Philippine waters to the Dutch East Indies. At sunset December 10 lookouts on Houston reported funnel smoke to the west. Glassford took the
Houston, Boise and the two destroyers towards the smoke and soon a Japanese cruiser and two destroyers were silhouetted in the setting sun. Glassford did not known what to do, as he had a paralysis of nerves. First he slowed to 10-knots, then sped
up to 20-knots, then slowed again. The
Boise was within 28,000 yards of the Japanese ships when Glassford made  his final decision to turn away, even though he outnumbered the Japanese. That certainly hurt his reputation in the force. “We just didn’t
have the same confidence in Admiral Glassford as we did in Admiral Hart. He didn’t have any fleet experience. That wasn’t his fault, but that was the situation.
” (Rising Sun, Falling Skies, The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War
, by Jeffrey R. Cox, Osprey Publishing 2014, at page 118) On January 15, 1942 with the information that the Japanese were concentrating in the northern Celebes at Kema, Hart took the opportunity to create Task Force Five commanded by Glassford
Boise as his flagship. He was to move south with Boise, Marblehead and four destroyers to attack the Japanese shipping concentration by Marblehead and the destroyers, covered by Boise. On January 17 it was learned that the Japanese
concentration had left Kema and Glassford headed for Kubang Bay at Timor Island to refuel at an oil depot located there. In the meantime Hart received information that a Japanese convoy of 16 transports, 12 destroyers and a light cruiser was at the
northern end of Makassar Strait and headed for oil rich Balikpapan.

On January 20, 1942
Boise was at Koepang in Kubang Bay and was the current flagship of Admiral Glassford commanding Task Force 5. With Boise Glassford had the Marblehead and six flushdeck destroyers, the Ford, Pope, Parrott, Pillsbury,
Bulmer and Paul Jones. Glassford learned of movements of Japanese troop convoys, heading for Balikpapan. Marblehead was running on only one turbine and had top speed of only 28-knots. The destroyers fueled from Marblehead before the ships
departed for Balikpapan. The plan has for five of the destroyers to reach Balikpapan at night in column, launch their torpedoes and then retire on
Marblehead, which could also go in and launch torpedoes. Boise and Bulmer would provide cover. As the
force was passing through the Sape Strait, which separated Flores and Soembawa on January 21, the
Bosie ran onto an uncharted rock off Kelepa Island. With her underwater damage of a 120-foot gash on her port side, Boise could no longer stay with
the force. To make matters worse, flooding damaged her machinery, water tanks were damaged and one of her condensers was filled with coral. Glassford transferred his flag to
Marblehead. He let the destroyers continue to Balikpapan, as he detached
both cruisers from the force. He then refueled the
Marblehead from Boise and then ordered Boise, escorted by Pillsbury, to Tjilatjap on Java’s southern coast for an initial evaluation of the damage to Boise. The attack on the Japanese at Balikpapan was
pared down to just four destroyers, which executed one of the very few successful attacks in the early portion of the war.

The evaluation showed that
Boise would require repairs back in the United States. Before leaving for home, Boise landed all of her 5-Inch shells for use by the Houston. Boise’s route back home took her to Ceylon and India, finally reaching Mare Island
in February. After the repairs
Boise’s first mission was to escort a convoy to New Zealand on June 22, 1942, followed by more convoy escort duties to Fiji and New Hebrides. The Boise was then sent to Guadalcanal and undertook fire support missions
from September 14 through 18,when she was part of TF 64. In the afternoon of October 11, 1942 a US B-17 spotted a Japanese force of two cruisers and six destroyers steaming southeast down the Slot. The actual strength was three cruisers and eight
destroyers. Rear Admiral Norman Scott commanding the USN forces had four cruisers,
San Francisco (flag), Salt Lake City, Boise and Helena, as well as five destroyers. While Boise had modern SG radar she was second in line behind the San
with older SC radar, followed by Salt Lake City with SC and Helena with SG, with three destroyers ahead of the cruisers and two aft. At 2228 the task force was off Cape Esperance headed towards Savo Island. First contact was made at
2325 by
Helena, which had the new SG radar. Range was 27,700 yards. Helena didn’t report the contact for another 15 minutes. Scott had deliberately had all SC radars turned off because he had intelligence that the Japanese could pin point SC
transmitters. At 2330 Scott decided to reverse course in column formation.
Helena had continued tracking the Japanese force and ten minutes after the countermarch, informed Scott for the first time. Boise made contact at 2338 and reported five
bogies, an unfortunate choice of words, as bogies meant aircraft not ships. With the reversal in course the three destroyers in the van had vanished in the darkness to starboard of the cruisers. Scott was concerned that the radar contacts might be the van
Helena reported that the enemy was visible to the naked eye at 5,000 yards and asked to open fire. Scott acknowledged receiving the signal with the word Roger, which unfortunately also meant Open Fire. Helena opened up with her 6-inch
and 5-inch batteries at 2346.The Japanese force under Admiral Gato was totally taken by surprise. After
Helena opened up Salt Lake City quickly followed. Boise’s main guns went after the Japanese cruiser, while her 5-inch guns fired on the destroyer
Hatsuyuki. San Francisco was the last to open up. Scott thought that the cruisers were firing at his van destroyers and ordered cease fire at 2347. Four minutes were wasted before Scott resumed firing. The destroyer Fubuki was caught in American
searchlights and all of Scott’s cruisers lit her up.
Fubuki sank at 2353 in a magazine explosion. Scott changed course to parallel the Japanese, during which time Boise had a couple of glancing hits. With Admiral Goto dying, Fubuki sunk and the Aoba
Furutaka on fire, things were looking good for Scott. Furutaka retired but sank 22 miles northwest of Savo Island. However, Kinugasa was untouched.
At midnight Scott ordered another cease fire but at the same time the undamaged Kinugasa and the Hatsuyuki unleashed their Long Lance torpedoes and opened fire at 8,000 yards. Torpedoes were sighted coming towards Boise and she turned to comb
their wakes.
Boise went back into column and her radar detected a ship to starboard. Boise turned on her searchlights and illuminated Aoba. Fire was opened and returned. Aoba made four quick hits on Boise and Kinugasa used Boise’s searchlight as an
aiming point. Captain Moran of
Boise later said of Kinugasa, “She straddled us repeatedly along the forward half of the forecastle, and made two known hits.” The Boise was on fire in a bad position when Salt Lake City came to Boise’s aid by
steaming between the
Boise and the Japanese cruisers. Boise was able to turn to port at 0012 and removed herself from the zone of fire thanks to Salt Lake City. From the air the crew of San Francisco’s float plane saw a huge orange flame erupt from
Boise and the pilot thought Boise was gone. One 8-inch shell had penetrated into the forward 6-inch turret while a second shell penetrated nine feet below the waterline to detonate the forward magazine. Captain Moran ordered the magazines flooded but
the crewmen who would do that were dead.
Boise was only saved by the fact that her bow had been penetrated so many times that inrushing seawater flooded the remaining magazines. Boise was still on fire forward but her machinery was undamaged
and she was able to retire at 20-knots. By 0240 all fires were out, shell holes were plugged, flooding was controlled and Boise slid in behind
San Francisco again. The Battle of Cape Esperance had cost Boise 107 men and 35 wounded. Boise with her
bow burnt out was ordered to Philadelphia for repairs. While the identities of the other ships in the battle were not named due to security, a journalist at Philadelphia nicknamed her as a “
one ship task force”. Her repairs at the Philadelphia Navy Yard
lasted from November 19, 1942 to March 20, 1943.

On June 8, 1943 after her repairs,
Boise received a change of pace and departed for the Mediterranean. Instead of going back to the Pacific where she had torn out her bottom but avoided the death trap of the Java Sea Campaign and Guadalcanal where
she came close to blowing up, the
Boise was assigned to support Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. The American Western Naval Task Force under Vice Admiral Hewitt was tasked to support George Patton’s landing on Sicily. TF 81 under Rear
Admiral Hall had responsibility to support the Dime Force of the 1st Infantry Division, a combat team from the 2nd Armored Division and a Ranger battalion at Gela.
Boise, sistership Savannah and 13 destroyers were to provide gunfire support. The
landings occurred on July 10, 1943.
Savannah and destroyer Shubrick were the gunfire support in the Gunfire Support Area No 1 on the west of the landing zones and Boise and destroyer Jeffers were the gunfire support in Gunfire Support Area No. 2
on the east side of the landing zones. At 0400 Admiral Hall ordered “
...to commence schedule of prearranged fires.”  (History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume IX Sicily-Salerno-Anzio by Samuel Eliot Morison, Little,
Brown and Company 1984, at page 100)
Boise and Jeffers were especially effective in their fire support. Both Boise and Savannah each  catapulted two SOCs for gunnery observation. Both of the Savannah’s aircraft were brought down by German
fighters. Lieutenant C. G. Lewis in a SOC from
Boise thought he was in store for similar treatment. “Two Messerschmitts on my tail, stand by to pick me up.” Then as the fighters turned back he radioed “Belay that, they’ve gone back for
” At 0900 Lewis spotted the tanks of the Italian Niscemi Mobile Group approaching the landing area and radioed coordinates to the Boise with a request for one turret salvos. Lewis was then chased away by two Messerschmitts. Boise
opened up at 0910 with one turret, firing as furiously as it could for two minutes. “
Had we only known what we were shooting at,” said Captain Thebaud, “we would have cut loose with the whole 15-gun battery.” However, the fire from the one
turret of
Boise was enough to stop the tank column in its tracks. With the tanks stopped, Boise closed to within 3,000 yards of the beach to take care of a shore battery that had enfilading fire on the beachhead. The guns were located behind a sand dune
Boise cut loose. Brigadier General Clift Andrus of the Army divisional artillery was only 500 yards of the battery and reported that the effects of Boise’s fire was terrific. On July 11 it was the turn of the Hermann Goering Panzer Division to attack
the allied beachhead at Gela. The Army called on naval gunfire against the German tanks.
Savannah was first to respond at 0830. Boise didn’t get a call for fire until 1040 when an ensign with a walkie talkie contacted the Boise. Boise fired 38 6-inch
rounds that devastated the German tanks. General Patton’s appreciation of the worth  of naval gunfire support dated from the results of
Boise in this fire mission. On the naval gunfire support General Eisenhower wrote in his dispatch, “So devastating in
its effectiveness, as to dispose finally of any doubts that naval guns are suitable for shore bombardment. Modern guns in cruisers and destroyers, are of high angle, capable of ranging on reverse slopes and on targets inland. The fire power of
vessels assigned to gunfire support exceeded that of the artillery landed in the assaults, and the mobility of the ships permitted a greater concentration of fire than artillery could achieve in the initial stages.
”  In General Patton’s Notes on Sicilian
Campaign he wrote, “
In daytime, Navy gunfire support is of immeasurable value, and the means now developed by the Navy for putting it on are extremely efficient.” (History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume IX
by Samuel Eliot Morison, Little, Brown and Company 1984, at page 118) On August 14 Boise was tasked with firing on the town of Milazzo to prepare for a leapfrog landing scheduled for the next day. However the Germans had
already cleared the town. Her concluding mission in Sicily was on the night of August 16-17 when along with
Philadelphia and four destroyers, Boise bombarded Palmi and Gioia Tauro.

Boise’s next mission was to have been to provide fire support at Salerno. As she was underway in a column of cruisers on September 7, Captain Thebaud of Boise received a command, “Return at once to Bizerta, report to Cincmed.” This change was
in response to the request of Admiral Cuninngham’s support needs for Operation Slapstick, the occupation of Taranto. Cunningham had told Eisenhower that is the US Army could supply the troops the Royal Navy could provide the ships. Eisenhower
agreed but when Cunningham assembled his ships, he discovered that some troops would have to be left behind. So
Boise was tasked to report to Cunningham. As soon as Boise reached Bizerta, Thebaud met with Cunningham and was brought up to
speed on Slapstick.
Boise embarked 788 troops. All the SOCs were landed so that the hangar and quarterdeck could be loaded with 60 to 70 Jeeps. The force sailed for Taranto on September 8. As the force approached Taranto in the afternoon of
September 9, they spotted two Italian battleships and three cruisers clearing the harbor. Cunningham had ordered the
HMS King George V and HMS Howe to support the operation so the British were prepared just in case the Italian Navy was going to
be a “
jolly nuisance”. After a few tense minutes it was discovered that the Italian ships were steaming out on the way to surrender in accordance with an Armistice. Italian pilots boarded the allied ships and in the evening they entered the harbor. The
pilot on
Boise suggested that Boise a particular mooring site but Thebaud declined in favor of a berth next to the mole. The fast minelayer HMS Abdiel took the berth, which Thebaud had declined and shortly after midnight a moored mine underneath
Abdiel blew up, sinking the Abdiel. Boise had dodged another bullet. After landing the troops Boise hurried to catch up with her buddies off Salerno. Boise was certainly needed as on September 11 the Savannah received a bomb hit on her third 6-inch
gun turret, which exploded in the handling room blowing a hole in the bottom, opening a seam in the side and whipping out the forward damage control party and turret personnel. On September 13 the
Boise too over the Savannah’s support duties and
immediately began firing on German tanks and gun positions.
Boise and Philadelphia then took turns in moving in close for fire support. On September 14 between 0844 and 1345 the Boise took on 18 targets and expended 600 rounds. More fire
missions came that evening and into the early morning of the 15th. At 0336 the shore fire control party for
Boise radioed, “Your firing has won our praise. It has Jerry puzzled. Well done. Will be back in 20 minutes for more.” At 0530 Boise ceased
fire after firing 893 shells during the night. On November 15, 1943
Boise was back in New York and received her orders to return to the Pacific. She arrived at New Guinea on December 31 to start the new year as part of MacArthur’s Navy.
In early 1944 the Boise was part of TF 75 in the Southwest Pacific Area, under Rear Admiral Russell S. Berkey, which also included two other Brooklyn Class Cruisers, the Nashville and Phoenix, along with a destroyer screen. As part of the Southwest
Pacific Force the
Boise was under the overall command of General Douglas MacArthur and would take part in his New Guinea campaign. Landings were scheduled for Dutch New Guinea at Arara on May 17, 1944 and at Wakde on May 18. At 0600 May
17 TF 75 opened fire on Wakde Island with the goal of neutralizing and Japanese artillery. Starting on the 18th it took two and a half days to seize the island. The next operation was to support the landings at Bosnik on the island of Biak. At 0629 on May
27 TF 75 opened fire at the three airfields at Bosnik. It the 45 minutes barrage the three
Brooklyn Class cruisers fired over 1,000 6-inch rounds on the airfields. Although the Japanese Army Command was willing to let the Biak garrison suffer its fate, the
Combined Fleet Command was not. On May 29 they came up with Operation Kon to reinforce Biak with 2,500 troops carried by warships. On June 3 the Japanese force was discovered by a submarine far from Biak and Operation Kon was cancelled. In
the meantime TF 75 along with
HMAS Australia were ordered to a position 25 miles north of Biak to destroy any attempt at reinforcement. The allied force was sighted and a small air strike was launched against it, resulting in minor damage to Nashville.
The Japanese organized a second attempt to reinforce Biak with six destroyers, some of which towed troop barges, and covered by
Aoba and Kinu. They left for Biak on June 7. Australia, Boise and Phoenix with 14 destroyers under the overall
command of Australian Admiral Crutchley were ordered to be on the northeast coast of Biak by 2200 on June 8. At 1400 Crutchley’s force was discovered by a Betty and at 2200 a PBY reported to Crutchley the presence of the Japanese relief force 60
miles NW of his position. Crutchley with
Boise and the other ships went to intercept. At 2330 Boise’s radar picked up a contact at 13 miles. Shortly after that the Japanese destroyers sighted the allied force. They cast off their troop barges, fired
torpedoes, and turned north to evade the allied force. At 2340 one of the Japanese torpedoes passed the stern of
Boise. Crutchley ordered the destroyers to pursue and followed with the cruisers at 29-knots. As the allied destroyers passed the troop laden
barges they shot them up. At 0100 Crutchley slowed as his cruisers could not catch the fleeing Japanese. The US destroyer pursuit went on longer and closed to 10,000 yards but it too had to be called off because they were about to enter a free fire zone
for allied aircraft.

General Douglas MacArthur seemed to have a preference for
Brooklyn Class cruisers. In the operations leading up to the invasion of Leyte Island, MacArthur’s flagship was USS Nashville, sistership to the Boise. Boise and the rest of Admiral Berkey’s
force went east with MacArthur for the invasion of Leyte. As the US detected the Japanese southern force,
Boise was among the ships gathered to meet them on the night of October 24. In Admiral Kinkaid’s force organized north of the Surigao Strait,
Berkey’s cruisers were divided into two groups one on each side of the battleship force. To the west were
Boise, Phoenix, HMAS Shropshire and six destroyers. To the east were Denver, Columbia, Minneapolis, Portland, Louisville and nine
destroyers. The
Nashville with General MacArthur aboard was left behind, contrary to the desires of MacArthur who wanted to be present at the sea battle aboard a warship. When the Captain of Nashville requested that MacArthur transfer from the ship
so that the
Nashville could join the battle, MacArthur responded, “No, I do not desire to leave your ship, Captain. I have never been able to witness a naval engagement and this is the opportunity of a lifetime. Proceed to the battle area when you
” When 7th Fleet commander, Admiral Kinkaid requested that MacArthur transfer to the Fleet flagshp USS Wasatch, MacArthur responded, “Transfer from a combatant ship to a noncombatant ship? Never!” After that Kinkaid ordered the
Nashville to stay at anchor in Leyte Gulf. Early in the morning it was the eastern cruiser force that was sent south through the strait to mop up Japanese survivors. However, Leyte was just the first course, as the big prize was the island of Luzon with
the capital of Manila. After Leyte was secure and the Japanese Navy eliminated as an effective force at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, it was time to plan for the invasion of Luzon.
MacArthur chose the same location as the Japanese had used, the Lingayen Gulf. It was time for the Big Boy to go to sea again but this time his flagship would be the Boise. Perhaps he had a grudge against the Captain of the Nashville and being left
behind from the Battle of Surigao Strait. The planned invasion day was January 9, 1945.
Boise was part of Admiral Berkey’s Close Covering Group of Boise, Phoenix, Montpelier and Denver. The total force left Leyte Gulf on January 4, 1945. The next
Boise was alerted by Phoenix, “Torpedoes on course south, headed toward you.Boise maneuvered to clear the torpedoes, which had been launched by a midget submarine. However, the Japanese, with their navy no longer able to mount a defense,
had their own plans, the kamikaze.  Early on January 6 a small force of 13 kamikazes took off for the allied fleet. That first day
California, New Mexico and Louisville were hit by kamikazes. In the days leading up to the invasion kamikazes struck or had
near misses on 30 warships. Of these hits three ships were sunk, fourteen heavily damages and thirteen lightly damaged. MacArthur remained on the
Boise and saw several of the attacks. The staff tried to coax the General below decks but MacArthur
refused. Leaning on the rail on the quarterdeck he smoked his pipe and watched the action. He felt safe on the
Boise and later described his sensation as a, “...blazing barrage of antiaircraft fire as every ship opened in a deafening blast of flak.
Twilight of the Gods, War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945, by Ian W. Holt, W.W. Norton & Company 2020, at page 433) MacArthur went ashore on January 13 after a beachhead was established and set up his headquarters at Dagupan on the
Gulf. However, when it was time to have a conference with his senior commanders on January 12, he chose the
Boise, anchored in the Gulf, as the conference site. On February 14 the Close Covering Group had worked its way south to the entrance of
Manila Bay.
Boise was ordered to undertake counter battery fire on shore batteries on Corregidor. On March 8 Boise and Phoenix bombarded Japanese positions on the Zamboanga Penninsula on the island of Mindanao. In early April it was time for Boise
to support the landings to take the island of Cebu across from Leyte. On May 1 the Covering Force with
Boise, Phoenix, HMAS Hobart and six destroyers had shifted from operations off the Philippines to operations off of Borneo. They fired on
Japanese positions right before the troops came ashore at Tarakan. On June 9 the “
Noisy Boise” was again the flagship for General MacArthur for the invasion of Brunei.

MacArthur was on the
Boise from June 3 to June 16, 1945 taking him between the Philippines and Borneo. She was then sent back to the west coast and reached Sn Pedro on July 7. On October 3 with the war over, Boise was transferred to the Atlantic
and arrived at New York on October 20. On July 1, 1946 she was decommissioned and placed in reserve.
USS Boise remained in reserve until January 11, 1951 when the cruiser was sold to Argentina and became the Nueve de Julio. In 1955 during the
Revolucion Libertadora, she shelled oil facilities and military facilities at the city of Mar del Plata on September 19, 1955. The next year the
Nueve de Julio was accidentally rammed by her sistership, General Belgrano, ex-USS Phoenix on March 15,
1956. In May 1971 the cruiser was removed from active service. For the next five years the
Nueve de Julio progressively decayed and became rat infested while moored at the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base. She took on a sinister role, marring her noble
past, in March 1976, when she started to be used as a secret detention center for disappeared persons. Some cabins were converted into cells in which prisoners were kept, awaiting torture sessions with the Naval Establishments Police. This lasted at
least into December 1976.
Nueve de Julio was struck on October 31, 1977. When she was sold on June 28, 1981 with a provision that she was to be taken to Brownsville, Texas to become a museum ship. Instead the Nueve de Julio, ex-USS Boise CL-
47, was towed to Japan for scraping in 1983.
(History from: The Battle of the Java Sea by David Thomas,Stein and Day, 1968; Cruisers of the US Navy 1922-1962, by Stefan Terzibaschitsch, Naval Institute Press 1984; The Lonely Ships, The Life and Death of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, by
Edwin P. Hoyt, David McKay Company 1976;
Rising Sun, Falling Skies, The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II, by Jeffrey R. Cox, Osprey Publishing 2014; Guadalcanal, The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle by
Richard B. Frank, Random House 1990;
History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume V The Struggle for Guadalcanal, Volume VIII New Guinea and the Marianas, Volume IX Sicily-Salerno-Anzio, Volume XIII
The Liberation of the Philippines
by Samuel Eliot Morison, Little, Brown and Company 1984; Morning Star, Midnight Sun, The Early Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign of World War II August-October 1942 by Jeffrey R. Cox, Osprey
Publishing 2018;
Twilight of the Gods, War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945, by Ian W. Holt, W.W. Norton & Company 2020; U.S. Cruisers, An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman, Naval Institute Press 1984; Warships After
London, The End of the Treaty Era in the five Major Fleets 1930-1936
by John Jordan, Naval Institute Press 2020)

The Niko Model 1:700 Scale USS Boise CL-47 - The Niko model of the Boise depicts her at the time of the Battle of Cape Esperance with a mix of 1.1-inch Chicago Pianos and 20mm Oerlikons as her light antiaircraft armament. Niko produces five
different 1:700 scale models of the ships of the
Brooklyn Class and the Boise is the one with the earliest fit. The kit comes with resin parts and a comprehensive photo-etch fret. The resin parts are cast in a cream colored resin. The quality of the Niko
casting is very high. The hull had no defects and no breakage. The splinter shields are admirably thin, and deck fittings are fine. There is minimal detail on the sides of the hull, as the
Brooklyn Class was a very clean design. The bow does have the
upward flare found in the class. The hull detail amounts to anchor hawse fittings ahead of a excellently thin cutwater and sponsons overhanging the deck edge at the secondary gun and catapult positions. However, there are plenty of side details for the
integral barbettes and integral superstructure. The second barbette has four long and curved ventilation tubes. Both the 2nd and 4th barbettes have bands near the top. The 01 and 02 levels of the superstructure are cast integral to the hull. Outstanding
detail is found on these surfaces. It features detailed doors, lockers, tubes, junction boxes, supports for the forward 5-inch gun positions, reinforcement ribbing for the aft superstructure splinter shielding, ready ammunition lockers, as well as the more
prosaic portholes.
Deck detail is also good. At the bow is a fitting for the jack staff and oval deck anchor hawse fittings, behind which are the windlass positions and fittings for entrance to the chain locker. There are also several deck access hatch coamings with hinge
and dog detail. Four very small but very fine mushroom ventilators are also located in this area. Locater rectangles are placed for the separate twin bollard fittings, as well as locater outlines for separate open chock fittings. Wooden plank detail is
excellent with fine seams between the planks and butt end detail. Four large mushroom ventilators as well as two more deck access coamings are clustered around the barbette for B turret. There are four locater plates on the wooden deck portion of
the forecastle but I could not find what parts are positioned on them in the instructions. On the 01 level of the superstructure are two finely detailed bases for the funnels. Has a sharply cast apron and the aft position has a couple of small lockers on
the sides. As mentioned earlier, the splinter shielding on top of the 01 and 02 levels is outstanding. There is another cluster of fittings around X barbette with mushroom ventilators and deck access fittings with hand wheels on the hatches. Two more
fine mushroom ventilators are on either side of Y barbette, closer to deck edge. Aft of X barbette is another cluster of fittings with one large and two small mushroom ventilators, two deck access fittings, and an ammunition locker. Just aft of this
cluster begins the runners in which the hangar lid slid. At the end of the wooden planked deck are the bases for the two catapults. The last portion of the quarterdeck was metal so the model reflects a smooth surface. At the very stern is the last
cluster of detail. This includes two medium and one small mushroom ventilator, gun pedestals for Oerlikons and thin splinter shielding for those Oerlikons. Lastly, there is a locater hole for the flag staff.

There are fourteen resin pieces cast separately. These are the five 6-inch gun turrets, the two funnels, three portions of the forward superstructure, the upper portion of the aft superstructure and the hangar top. All of the superstructure parts share
the same characteristics. Splinter shielding is very thin and small AA directors are cast integral to the pieces. Platforms have support gussets underneath. Detailed doors and port holes adorn the bulkheads. The signal deck has nice flag bag containers.
For the sliding lid for the hangar, the outer edges are sloped downward and there are strengthening fittings at the edge. The funnels have a moderate depth at their tops, fine top aprons and outstanding steam pipes and siren. The turrets are attractive
with good detail, which includes rear face access door and ventilator fittings, positions for director “ears” and a crown cupola. The two SOC float planes with fuselage a lower wings are separate parts. The SOCs have nice detail.
The smaller resin parts come on 33 runners. There is only a minuscule amount of flash on the runners. Eight of the runners have all or some of their parts devoted to armament. Two of them have nine 6-inch gun barrels on each runner, so you’ll
have three spare barrels. Two of the barrels had a very slight warp so the extra barrels came in handy. Some have plugs extending from the muzzles that will have to be removed. The barrels have blast bags at their bases. Ten detailed main gun turret
director “ears” are found on a fret. Three of the runners have the parts for the 5-inch/25 secondary guns. One runner has ten of the upper part of the mount, a detailed gun breach and mechanisms with barrels. The other two runners each have one
gun block/barrel part and five gun bases/cradles. The gun bases are very detailed with fuse setting positions and other gun mechanisms. Two other runners concentrate on the 1.1-inch Chicago Pianos. One runner has the gun bases with traversing
and elevation mechanisms and the other runner has five four barreled gun mounts with ammunition chutes and five AA directors for the 1.1-inch guns. Two runners round out the parts for the SOCs. One runner has the detailed upper wings. The
other runner has centerline and wing floats.

Six runners have various tubs of different sizes and shapes. One of the runners has five tubs for the 1.1-inch gun directors. Other tubs are for single or double Oerlikon positions. Other AA director tubs are also found on these runners. One runner
has the catapult turntables, aircraft crane base and catapult aircraft cradles with nice detail on all of these parts. The main and secondary directors, each with excellent detail, are on a runner. Some runners have a mixed bag of parts. One has SG
radar pole, sirens, lattice tower shack, crane fitting, large searchlights, radar dish and large flag bag containers. Another has a detailed searchlight tower shack, crane gear, crane tower, and support posts. This runner also has a part of cable reel,
which is cut to supply the center reel for the cable reel fittings. Five medium size searchlights for the searchlight tower and two signal lamps are on a runner. One runner with six parts has fittings for the main directors, a position between the
funnels, and ventilation louvers. Catapult piping and aft boat booms share a runner. Small bridge binocular, compass and navigational equipment are on one of the runners. Another three runners have an assortment of parts, including main mast
platform, platform aft of the aft funnel, depth charge racks, small amidship derrick, bridge deck access fitting and main mast fitting. Two runners have only twin bollard fittings. Two cabin launches are on a runner and two open boats are on another
runner. The model is clustered with detailed carley rafts, which are found on two runners.
The Niko Boise comes with a fairly large brass photo-etch fret with relief-etching. The largest part is the searchlight tower amidship. Coupled with this are two relief-etched searchlight platforms and platform braces. The boats get a flying boat
platform with boat cradles and separate skids with cradles for the cabin launches. You get the large aircraft crane with relief-etched gear detail and boat kingpost arm with relief-etching. Other parts with relief-etching include cable reel fittings,
Oerlikon gun shields, catapults, accommodation ladder platforms, anchors, kingpost base bulkhead, and bow reel. Other ship specific parts include the Oerlikons with shoulder rests, crane block and tackle, anchor flukes, funnel grates, yardarms
with foot ropes, propeller guards, hand wheels, small mast platforms, platform bracing, jack staff, radar arrays, other radar and director fittings, catapult platforms with safety railings, and davits. The SOCs get brass parts for the propellers, wing
struts and bottom strut. For generic brass parts there are two runs of anchor chain, two runs of vertical ladder and seven runs of deck railing. The two forward railings are curved to conform with the sheer of the bow. Of the other five runs of
railing, three are three bar with bottom gutter and two are two bar with bottom gutter.

The instructions are on two back-printed sheets. They are adequate but somewhat difficult to follow. Resin part numbers are in a circle and brass part numbers are in a square. Page one has a resin and brass parts laydown with each resin part
identified by a number. The brass parts are identified by their number on the fret. The second page crams 24 modules onto this page, which can create some confusion. The list of modules includes assemblies for the; main directors, secondary
directors, SG radar, main gun turret, 5-inch/25 guns, Chicago Pianos, anchors, cable reels, Oerlikons, funnels, catapults, aircraft crane, searchlight tower, flying boat skids, boat kingpost, main mast, gun tubs, SOCs, forward superstructure and aft
superstructure. Page three has three exploded drawings that cover attachment of parts on the bow and two for the admidships’ area. Page four has attachment of parts for the stern and a plan and profile of the Boise.
Boise was a lucky ship on many occasions. She was in the Philippines when the war broke out and the damage caused by running onto an uncharted rock caused her to avoid the deadly Java Sea Campaign. She came within seconds of blowing up at the
Battle of Cape Esperance and only by luck did she avoid having a mine explode beneath her keel at Taranto. You can stop the tanks of the Hermann Goering Panzer Division dead in their tracks at Gela to earn the admiration of Generals Eisehhower and
Patton. At the end of the war she was Douglas MacArthur’s flagship as he calmly smoked his pipe during kamikaze attacks. You too, can have the
Noisy Boise in your fleet with the multimedia 1:700 scale kit from Niko Model. Ike, Mad George, and Big
Mac will be pleased!        

Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama