USS Boxer (LHD 4) is the sixth US Navy ship to be named Boxer. Commissioned on 11 Feb 1995, Boxer has served in many exercises, deployments, operations and actions in her service to the US Navy. Operations of note the USS Boxer participated in were Operation Northern Watch, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom II. The Boxer also participated in humanitarian missions and an international anti-piracy task force where, as the flagship of Combined Task Force 151, USS Boxer played a key role in the rescue of the captain of U.S. flagged container ship MV Maersk Alabama who was held hostage by Somali pirates.
For more detailed history on the USS Boxer (LHD 4) visit the Navy Archive page at http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/b8/boxer.htm.
1st USS Boxer
The first official USS Boxer was a brig constructed and commissioned in 1815, with Lt. John Porter as the first Commanding Officer. That year the Boxer put to sea for the Mediterranean Sea with Mr. Thomas D. Anderson, the American consul to Tunis, emkarked. She delivered her passenger and then served briefly with Commodore William Bainbridge's Mediterranean Squadron before returning to the United States. In 1816, Boxer sailed south for New Orleans. She spent the remainder of her career cruising the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies protecting American trade in the area from West Indian pirates. She was lost at sea off Belize, British Honduras, on 25 October 1817, but her crew was saved.
2nd USS Boxer
The second USS Boxer was a 10-gun schooner, launched on 22 November 1831 by the Boston Navy Yard and commissioned sometime in 1832 with Lt. Benjamin Payne as the first Commanding Officer.
In 1832 and 1833 the Boxer cruised the Brazil Station and, in 1834 the West Indies Station. In 1835 to 1840 she had duty on the Pacific Station. The schooner went to sea between 1842 and 1844 with the Home Squadron and 1846 with the African Squadron with the primary mission of suppressing the slave trade. That assignment lasted until the summer of 1848 when she returned to the United States and was retired from service.
For more detailed history on the first USS Boxer visit the Navy Archive page at http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/b8/boxer-ii.htm.
3rd USS Boxer
The third Boxer was an English-built iron “side-wheeled” steamer and was originally known as the Tristam Shanty. It measured 222 feet in length and 23 feet in width. The Tristam Shanty was used by the Confederate military to run blockades the U.S. had established during the Civil War. She was captured by the USS Kansas May 15, 1864, then purchased by the Navy from the Boston Prize Court and commissioned into service as the USS Boxer Aug. 12, 1864.
4th USS Boxer
The fourth USS Boxer was an unarmed, brigantine-rigged, training ship launched at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard on 11 October 1904 and commissioned on 11 May 1905 with Lt. Hilary H. Royall as the first Commanding Officer. From commissioning to October 1912, Boxer was stationed at the Naval Training Station, Newport, R.I., cruising the waters of Narragansett Bay training boot bluejackets. On 20 October 1912, she reported for duty at Annapolis, Md., to serve as training vessel for Naval Academy midshipmen. That assignment lasted until 25 June 1914 at which time she headed back to Newport to resume her former duties with the Naval Training Station. Boxer remained so occupied for the next six years. On 14 May 1920, she was transferred to the Department of the Interior for use by the Bureau of Education in Alaska.
5th USS Boxer
The fifth USS Boxer (CV 21) was launched 14 December 1944 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va. and commissioned 16 April 1945 with Captain D. F. Smith as the first Commanding Officer.
Completed too late to take part in World War II, the USS Boxer joined the Pacific Fleet at San Diego in August 1945. The Boxer engaged in normal peacetime duty until the outbreak of the Korean conflict in 1950. She was pressed into service to carry planes to the fighting, provide air support for the troops. Her planes supported the landing at Inchon, took part in heavy strikes against North Korea and many other actions in the Korean conflict. Boxer was reclassified CVA 21, attack aircraft carrier, on October 1952. Boxer received eight battle stars for her service off Korea.
After the Korean conflict USS Boxer was converted to an anti-submarine warfare carrier and re-designated as CVS-21 on 15 November 1955. Boxer was one of the first “helicopter carriers” and was used to test many other amphibious warfare concepts as well. During the remainder of her service she participated in many major operations, exercises and humanitarian missions.
Boxer was decommissioned on 1 December 1969 and removed from the Navy listing on the same date.