Spelunking, occupation edition

75 years ago today.

Official caption: “Japanese Kairyu Type Midget submarine outside its cave hideaway in a Japanese coastal hillside, 22 September 1945.”

The men alongside it are from the Baltimore-class heavy cruiser USS Boston (CA-69).

The sixth Boston was commissioned 30 June 1943 and left Pearl Harbor for points West on 6 December of the same year, going on to earn an impressive 10 battlestars for her WWII service. Following the Japanese surrender, Boston remained in the Far East on occupation duty until 28 February 1946 then headed home for mothballs.

Given a second lease on life, she was reworked as a guided-missile cruiser in 1955 and recommissioned as CAG-1, the country’s first warship carrying an impressive 144 RIM-2 Terrier missiles in her armored magazines for use on her two twin launchers– keep in mind today’s VLS-equipped Ticonderoga-class cruisers only carry a maximum of 122 SM-2/3s providing all of their Mk 41 cells are filled with them.

Aft launcher onboard USS Boston (CA 69) in 1969 off of Vietnam with a GMTRS simulator T-SAM. Note the shell powder cans coming aboard– an almost daily task when she worked the gun line. NARA Photo 80-G-379158

Boston however still got a lot of use out of her WWII-era big guns, firing thousands of rounds of eight and five-inch shells against targets in Vietnam in 1967-68.

She was decommissioned 5 May 1970 and scrapped five years later.

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