USS Boyd DD-544 (1943-1969)
The USS Boyd was commissioned in May 1943. The Fletcher-class destroyer was named for Joseph Boyd, a Navy steward who enlisted in 1804. She had a displacement of 2,050 tons, reaching a top speed of 35 knots.
Action in World War II
The Boyd departed for Pearl Harbor from San Pedro, California in July of 1943, where she received additional training before taking part in the occupation of Baker Island in September. The Boyd then joined a Carrier Task Force for the raid against Wake Island, and the Gilbert Island landings.
She took part in the attacks against Nauru Island in December and was damaged during a rescue mission by Japanese shore defenses. She then traveled to Espiritu Santo for repairs before returning to Pearl Harbor in the spring of 1944, where she joined Task Force 58.
During 1944, the Boyd participated in the landings at Hollandia, the raid at Truk-Satawan-Ponape, landings at Saipan, four raids against the Bonin Islands, the battle of the Philippine Sea, the Invasion of Guam, the Morotai landings, the Palau-Yap-Ulithi raid, and the occupation of southern Palaus.
In October of 1944, the Boyd joined up with Task Force 38, and took part in the attacks against Okinawa, as well as battles in north Luzon, Formosa, and Luzon, in preparation for the Leyte landings. She then took part in the Battle for Leyte Gulf in late October, screening carriers in strikes against Luzon in November.
In January of 1945, the Boyd joined in the bombardment and occupation of Iwo Jima, then traveling to Okinawa in March to take up screening duty which would last until late June, when she joined the 3rd fleet for attacks against the Japanese main islands from July until August. Following the Japanese surrender, the Boyd returned to American waters and was overhauled at the Mare Island Navy Yard before heading to San Diego to be decommissioned in January of 1948.
Action in the Korean War
She was recommissioned in November 1950 and reported to the Pacific Fleet for training. She left for Korea in May of 1951, serving with TF 77 on patrol in the Formosa Strait. She participated in her second Korean tour during 1951 when she was part of amphibious demonstration near Kojo before returning to San Diego in early 1953. She continued to operate in the Far East after the end of Korean hostilities.
After the war
The Boyd was sold to the Turkish navy in 1969 where she served until 1981 when she was sold for scrap. For her heroic service in both World War II and the Korean War, she received 11 battle stars, recognizing her heavy involvement in both conflicts.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially during World War II, naval destroyers 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.