PACIFIC OCEAN – A vintage newspaper found its way to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) while transiting through the 7th Fleet area of responsibility and just before a scheduled port visit to the Philippines.
“A company in Ohio contacted me about finding the effects of a 1940s sailor that served aboard the USS Boxer CV-21,” said Bruce Feitz, from the San Francisco Bay area USS Boxer veterans. “They were good enough to donate several scrap books to our group of veterans to enjoy viewing,”
Among those items was a ship’s newspaper from Feb. 1946 called “Bark of the Boxer” which he eagerly forwarded to the current USS Boxer.
Feitz knew the value of the piece to the Boxer crew. Because his veteran’s group is in close contact with the current Boxer, Feitz knew full well that the ship’s current newspaper shares the same moniker as USS Boxer (CV-21).
“Bark of the Boxer” is a name that was resurrected for the paper several years back.
“It’s an honor for our Media team to pay homage to our previous Boxer shipates,” said Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Steve Zurell, USS Boxer Public Affairs Officer.
The cover of the paper Feitz sent features a port visit to the Philippines, just after the close of the second World War. As luck would have it, at the time the current USS Boxer received the e-mail from Feitz, they were just preparing to visit Subic Bay, Philippines for a scheduled port visit.
“It’s interesting to see how Boxers then and now inform and entertain their crews,” said Boxer’s Command Master Chief Todd Gruchalla. “In a world of global connectivity and instant communication, it’s humbling to see the artistry and labor intensive effort that must have been involved to put out a publication in those days.
Gruchalla added that the vintage paper will be shared on the current Boxer’s Facebook page and published for Sailors in the next ‘Bark of the Boxer’, bringing a foreign port visit then and now full circle.
Launched Dec. 14, 1944, Boxer (CV-21) was the fifth ship to bear the name. Completed too late to take part in World War II, she saw several deployments during the Korean conflict and was decommissioned in 1969.
Boxer (LHD 4) is currently deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group.