The USS Boise CL-47 was put into commission on the 12th of August, 1938. She was constructed in Newport News, Virginia, and was a Brooklyn-class cruiser weighing 9700 tons. Her initial shakedown occurred in South Africa and Liberia. She then joined the United States Fleets Battle Force in the Pacific.
Action in World War II
She took part in operations and exercises around Hawaii and the West Coast for the next three years. When things began to escalate with Japan she helped to keep a convoy safe on the way to the Philippines, and stayed there when finished. She had to return to the United States for an overhaul after accidentally going aground on the 21st of January in 1942.
The Boise continued to help escort vessels to the south Pacific during June and August. She did a side mission near Japan during this time to help with a raid. She was then part of an operation that helped hold Guadalcanal from September to October. She needed a major overhaul after getting hit by Japanese shells and other ammunition at the Battle of Cape Esperance. From November of 1942 until March of 1943, she was laid up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in Pennsylvania. After being repaired, she was stationed in the Mediterranean and helped with the Sicily invasion in July-August as well as the landings in September in Salerno. At the end of the year, she returned to the southern Pacific.
The Boise then went to New Guinea in 1944, spending the first eight months of the year there. She helped with landings in April at Humboldt Bay, helped with more landings at Biak and Wakde-Toem in May and June and with even more landings through Cape Sansapor. She then went to Morotai and Leyte to help with invasions there in September and October. She was an integral part of the Leyte Operation where during the Battle of Surigao Strait she helped to defeat a surface force from Japan. She returned to the Philippines to help with operations in Mindoro in early December. For the rest of the first three months of 1945, the Boise was part of the liberations of Mindanao and Luzon. She was then deployed to help invade Borneo.
After the War
The USS Boise then returned to the United States for repairs and spent the rest of the war there on the West Coast. She then made her way to the other side of the U.S. to help bring soldiers home from Europe. The USS Boise was put out of commission in July 1946 and put in reserve. Argentina ended up buying her from the U.S. in 1951. For the next 27 years, under the name Nueve de Julio, she served the Argentine Navy. In 1981, she was finally sold for scrap.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, naval cruisers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.