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Gillespie Godfrey Boyd (1909-1988)

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Gillespie Godfrey Boyd
October 18, 1909(1909-10-18)August 4, 1988 (age 78)
Gillespie Godfrey Boyd Capt USNR
G. G. Boyd as a young Lieutenant
Nickname Lep
Place of birth Cheraw, South Carolina
Place of death Georgetown, South Carolina
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch US Naval Reserve
Years of service 1926 – 1945 (including WWII)
1926 – 1945
Rank Captain
Unit United States Third Fleet
Commands Gunnery Officer - USS Guadalupe (AO-32) June 18, 1941;
Battles/wars Pacific Campaign

Captain Gillespie Godfrey Boyd (October 18, 1909August 4, 1988) was a newly married engineer and like many when World War II broke out, a heroic participant. He had been in the Georgetown Naval Reserve 4th Fleet Division since 1926. When he was activated in 1941 he took his US Naval Reserve unit from Georgetown, South Carolina to Norfolk, Virginia for training and they all returned when the war was over. To them and their families G. G. Boyd was a hero. He served with distinction three years through 1943 as gunnery and executive officer on USS Guadalupe and served as Commanding Officer on the USS Nemasket in 1944 and the USS Chikaskia in 1945 in the Pacific Theater under Admiral William F. Halsey.

Early YearsEdit

AncestryEdit

Gillespie Godfrey Boyd was a sixth generation South Carolinian, born in Cheraw, South Carolina on October 18, 1909. His father, Rev. Charles William Boyd, a 30 year old Episcopal preacher had 9 years earlier been ordained and assigned to the Old St David’s Parish in Cheraw, SC. His mother was Marion Godfrey, daughter of Samuel Gillespie and Harriett Elizabeth Powe Godfrey of Cheraw, South Carolina. Samuel’s knick-name was Lep.

Early ChildhoodEdit

Named for his Grand-father Samuel Gillespie Godfrey, Gillespie grew up as a child in the many towns in South Carolina that his father, Rev Charles William Boyd, took him. He attended school in Georgetown, South Carolina and graduated from Winyah High School with a State High School diploma.

Early Adult lifeEdit

He joined the Georgetown Naval Reserve on May 12, 1926 when he was 17 years old.

After he graduated high school, he took home study of Civil Engineering, specializing in Land Surveying, Highway Construction, and Geodetic Surveying. Beginning in October 1927 through May 1928, he was a Rod-man for the SC Highway Department.

In June 7, 1928 he was authorized to take an examination for the rank of Midshipman. He had been nominated as a candidate in 1927 when he was 18 years old and his parents had given his birth to be October 18, 1907, two years prior to his actual birth, in order for him to qualify as a 20 year old. He was required to submit proof of his age. [1] His DOB was not officially changed until later in 1935 when he sent another letter to the Bureau of Navigation respectfully requesting the change in DOB. [2] Finally his record was officially changed. [3]

From August 1928 through September 1930 he was an Office Clerk for the Atlantic Coastal Lumber Co. In September 1930 he again joined the SC highway Department as a Concrete Inspector where he specialized in concrete road paving. In December 1932 through January 1934 he was an Instrument man and County Engineer for the RFC, CWA, and ERA. With the Govt. Relief Agencies, he made project cost estimates and supervised work projects including Highway Construction, Pest Control Drainage, Sanitary Sewer Installation, and Airport and Park construction. In January 1934 he began working for the US Coastal & Geodetic Survey first as an engineer doing transit and level work and then in September was promoted to Chief of Survey Party for SC Local Controls Surveys. [4]

In October 1936 he began to work for Southern Craft Corporation and had approximately 20 engineers and inspectors reporting to him. As Chief of Survey Party, he was responsible for the layout and construction of two paper mills each costing $8M, through October 1940 when he went on active duty. [5]

He rose quickly in his Georgetown Naval Reserve Unit and was authorized in July 1935 to take a physical exam for the rank of Ensign and in November ordered to report on December 15, 1935 to the President of the Supervisory Board at Georgetown for a professional examination of his qualifications. [6]

After a long wait including an examination of his application by the Judge Advocate General and finally approval by the Secretary of the Navy, his promotion to Ensign was approved on June 16, 1936. [7] His promotion was followed shortly with his transfer from USNR Volunteer status to Fleet Naval Reserve to fill a vacancy in the Fourth Separate Fleet Division in Georgetown, SC. [8]

When he received his 2nd fitness report as an Ensign on June 30, 1937, G. G. Boyd had become employed by the Southern Craft Corporation, later a division of International Paper Company, as a Civil Engineer. [9]

By mid 1939, he had studied for 2 years to qualify for deck duties and on July 10, 1939 he requested that he be examined and approved. [10]

On August 13, 1939 he was ordered to receive a physical exam and if medically qualified to report to the President of the Supervisory Board Lt (jg) Joseph L Bull Jr. USNR at Georgetown for a examination in deck subjects to change designation from Ensign E-O, USNR to DE-O. He boarded the USS Goff on September 6, 1939 and evaluated. On December 20, 1939 he was formally approved for the change in class to DE-O. [11]

In mid 1940 G. G. Boyd requested that he be allowed to reenroll in a course on Steam Engineering, [12] which he completed on May 12, 1941. [13]

World War IIEdit

War in the PacificEdit

On October 22, 1940 he was given a physical examination and ordered to Active Duty with the US Naval Reserve in Georgetown. He requested and was granted a Leave of Absence from Southern Craft Corporation. [14]

He was ordered to report on May 15, 1941 to the Commanding Officer Naval Training Station. [15] On June 17, 1941, G. G. Boyd was detached from US Naval Training in Norfolk, Virginia and ordered to the USS Guadalupe in Baltimore Maryland where it was undergoing a conversion by Bethlehem Steel. He reported on August 11, 1941 according to H. R. Thurber, Commanding Officer, U. S. S. Guadalupe. [16]

On June 6, 1941 G. G. Boyd requested that he be examined for promotion to Lieutenant (jg), stating that he has been on Active Duty sine October 22, 1940. [17] He was give his physical on June 12, 1941 and found to be qualified but because of a clerical error his weight was reported to be 18 pounds less than actual. He was order to the Senior Medical Examiner in San Pedro California for an additional exam. [18] Following the examination Boyd submitted a detailed explanation of his weight stating that it had varied by no more than 2 – 4 pounds, and most of the variation had to do with whether or not he was weighed with or without clothing. [19]

On June 18, 1941 G. G. Boyd arrived aboard the USS Guadalupe at Norfolk Virginia. Six weeks of coastwise voyages carrying oil from Texas to New Jersey ended August 16, 1941 as USS Guadalupe docked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He and his ship were frequently chosen to perform experimental procedures by the Navy Department. One incident in August 1941 involved the transport of six PT boats to the Philippines. All ships letters were censored but in a letter dated July 28, 1941 to his wife, G. G. Boyd conveyed: “We are leaving here tomorrow night for Cavite Philippines Island via the Panama Canal and Pago Pago on a secret mission. . . . we’ll come right back but the round trip will take 2 ½ months.” The “secret mission” involved a stop in New York and receiving as deck cargo six PT boats later used to form the famous squadron Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three commanded by Lt. Commander John D. Bulkeley. The USS Guadalupe sailed from port under the cloak of night on August 14 for the western Pacific 3 days later. After discharging cargo and oil at Pearl Harbor, Manila, and Cavite, the tanker returned to Norfolk on November 13, 1941 via San Diego.

Effective January 8, 1942 G. G. Boyd was promoted to Lieutenant (jg). In January 1942 Guadalupe sailed to the Pacific, where she was to participate in virtually every major campaign of the long and bloody war. On May 13, 1943, Lt (jg) Boyd became restless and requested that he be reassigned from the USS Guadalupe to the Submarine Chaser Center in Miami or Charleston. He apparently wanted to be closer to home. His Commander endorsed his request but made it clear that as Gunner Officer for 15months and then as Damage Control Officer he was an invaluable asset and could leave only if a suitable replacement was provided. He sent a similar letter on November 6, after several months of silence. [20]

On September 6, 1943 Lt G. G. Boyd was awarded the USNR Medal for service. [21]

On January 29, 1944 G. G. Boyd was detached from the USS Gaudaloupe. He was sent to Savage, Minnesota where the USS Nemasket was being converted by Cargill Incorporated. When he arrived he sent the Commandant, Ninth Naval District, Great Lakes, Illinois a confirmation that he had reported for temporary duty in connection with the fitting out of the USS Nemasket (AOG 10) and duty on board when commissioned as commanding officer. [22] In April 15, 1944 G. G. Boyd was appointed by the President to Lt Commander (effective March 1, 1944). [23] After some delays in obtaining and installing essential gear for the ship it was tugged onto the Mississippi River. After more delays due to an extraordinary flooding of the River the ship was stalled in St Paul until the river’s level subsided. Finally, it steamed under its own power and arrived in New Orleans on May 25, 1944. The ship was commissioned June 16, 1944 at New Orleans, Louisiana, Lt. Comdr. Gillespie G. Boyd in command.

Shakedown commenced July 3, 1944 in the Chesapeake Bay and concluded on July 14, 1944 [24] The Nemasket then steamed to Aruba, Netherlands West Indies, to load gasoline.

She departed Aruba July 31, 1944 for Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal and San Diego, California. Arriving Pearl Harbor on August 24, 1944 she commenced transporting petroleum products to numerous Pacific islands.

The Nemasket reached Ulithi on November 12, 1944 but without G.G. Boyd. He had been detached from the USS Nemasket October 23, 1944. He thoroughly inspected the ship and the crew noting no defects and turned all unexecuted orders over to his relief, Lt. Clarence R. Hampton. [25]

He immediately assumed the responsibility as Staff Commander – Service Squadron Eight, Pearl Harbor for inspecting 200 ships for military worthiness. [26]

On November 14, 1944 G. G. Boyd was ordered to proceed immediately to the Co of the USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) for temporary additional duty in connection with experimental exercises at sea. [27] Again on January 8, 1945 Lt Commander Boyd received orders to proceed immediately to the CO of the USS Bucyrus Victory (AX-234) for temporary additional duty in connection with experimental exercises at sea. [28] These experimental exercised resulted in the perfection of the techniques for refueling two lager ships at the same time and improving the fleet’s efficiency. He held this position with Service Squadron Eight until detached in January 13, 1945 and assigned to the USS Chikaskia. He took command of the Chikaskia on February 3, 1945, relieving Lt Commander George Zimmerman, USNR. On May 11, 1945 Lt Commander G. G. Boyd was authorized to wear a Bronze Star on the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon for service on board the USS Chikaskia (AO-54) in supporting operations of the Iwo-Jima Campaign between February 15, and March 16, 1945.

On July 14, 1945, Admiral D. B. Beary, Commander Task Group 30.8 (50.8), (Commander Logistics Support Group) sent a letter to the Chief of Naval Personnel citing the performance of Lt Commander G. G. Boyd between February 15 and April 17, 1945. During this period the mission was to support Fleet Operations in and near the combat area at sea during the landing and capture of Iwo Jima and the areal strikes on Tokyo, Japan as well as during the capture and occupation of Okinawa and surrounding islands, supporting strikes on Kyusha, and strikes and bombardments on enemy positions on the Nansei Shoto. The USS Chikaskia was employed during these operations to shuttle oil from advanced island bases to the replenishment areas where she fueled and replenished various combat units. The expanded scope of logistic replenishment now furnished at sea to combat ships requires a high degree of coordination and efficiency on the part of fleet oilers who are called on to handle many items in addition to petroleum products. Lt Commander Boyd’s ship was smartly handled at all times. [29]

On September 12, 1945 William F. Halsey Jr. Commander Third Fleet, US Pacific Fleet, sent a Letter of Commendation to Lt Commander G. G. Boyd and several others. [30]

On December 9, 1945 Lt Commander G. G. Boyd was relieved of his command of the USS Chikaskia by Lt Commander John McLaughlin. [31]

Following the war Lt Commander G. G. Boyd continued his involvement with the USNR. He was commended in both 1953 and 1954 by the Sixth Naval District for perfect drill attendance. [32] Commander Boyd completed the National Resources Conference conducted by the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1956. [33]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ |Letter dated June 7, 1927 to G. G. Boyd from T. R. Kurtz, Acting Chief of Bureau, Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation
  2. ^ |Letter dated July 20, 1935 from G. G. Boyd to the Bureau of Navigation, endorsed by his commander H. Kaminski, Lt Comm. USNR, requesting that his service records be changed to reflect his DOB to be October 18, 1909.
  3. ^ |Letter dated August 8, 1935 to G. G. Boyd from Adolphus Andrews, Chief of Bureau Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation, endorsed by E. B. Fenner, Rear- Admiral, US Navy Commandant Sixth Naval District, Charleston, SC.
  4. ^ |Application for Commission in USNR dated June 24, 1935 from G. G. Boyd to the Chief of Bureau, Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation
  5. ^ |Form – Officer Qualifications Questionnaire, dated June 10, 1943, Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation
  6. ^ |Letter dated August 8, 1935 to G. G. Boyd from E. B. Fenner, Rear- Admiral, US Navy Commandant Sixth Naval District, Charleston, SC.
  7. ^ |Letter of Transmittal dated June 16, 1936 to Ensign G. G. Boyd from Adolphus Andrews, Chief of Bureau Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation.
  8. ^ |Letter dated July 22, 1936 to Ensign G. G. Boyd from Adolphus Andrews, Chief of Bureau Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation.
  9. ^ |Annual Fitness Report for the Year ended June 30, 1937.
  10. ^ |Letter dated July 10, 1939 from Ensign G. G. Boyd to Chief of Bureau of Navigation. Endorsed by J. L. Bull, Jr. Commanding Officer Organized Division Four, Georgetown, SC
  11. ^ |Letter dated December 20, 1939 to Ensign G. G. Boyd from Chester W. Nimitz Chief of Bureau, Bureau of Navigation Navy Department.
  12. ^ |Letter dated April 8, 1940 from Ensign G. G. Boyd to Commandant Sixth Naval District
  13. ^ |Letter dated May 12, 1941` from Harry D. Power to Commandant Sixth Naval District
  14. ^ |Letter dated April 17, 1941 from Ensign G. G. Boyd to W. S. Flenniken, Superintendent of the Power Plant, Southern Craft Corporation
  15. ^ |Letter dated July 18, 1941 to Ensign G. G. Boyd DE-O USNR from Chester W. Nimitz The Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, Navy Department.
  16. ^ |Letter dated July 24, 1941 to Ensign G. G. Boyd DE-O USNR from H. A. McClure Commanding Officer Norfolk Virginia
  17. ^ |Letter dated June 6, 1941 from Ensign G. G. Boyd to H. A. McClure Commanding Officer Norfolk Virginia
  18. ^ |Letter dated September 3, 1941 to Ensign G. G. Boyd from H. R. Thurber, Commanding Officer, U. S. S. Guadalupe.
  19. ^ |Letter dated September 9, 1941 from Ensign G. G. Boyd to The Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
  20. ^ |Letter – Request for Change of Duty, dated May 13, 1942 to the Chief of Naval Personnel.
  21. ^ |Letter – Award of Naval Reserve Medal , dated September 6, 1943 to Lt G. G. Boyd USS Guadalupe from the Chief of Naval Personnel.
  22. ^ |Letter – dated March 10, 1944 from Lt G. G. Boyd DE-V(G) to Commandant, Ninth Naval District, Great Lakes, Illinois.
  23. ^ |Letter – dated May 2, 1944 to Lt G. G. Boyd DE-V(G) from F. R. Stolz Assistant Supervisor of Shipbuilding Savage, Minnesota.
  24. ^ |Letter – dated July 8, 1944 to The Chief of Naval Personnel from John Meyer The Commander, Auxiliary Vessels Shakedown Group, US Atlantic Fleet. Lt G. G. Boyd DE-V(G)
  25. ^ |Letter – dated October 23, 1944 from Lt Commander G. G. Boyd DE-V(G) to Commander-in- Chief, United State Fleet.
  26. ^ |Letter – dated October 23, 1944 to Lt Commander G. G. Boyd DE-V(G) from H. E. Goldsmith Commander Service Squadron Eight.
  27. ^ |Letter – dated November 14, 1944 to Lt Commander G. G. Boyd DE-V(G) from A. H. Gray Commander Service Squadron Eight.
  28. ^ |Letter – dated January 8, 1945 to Lt Commander G. G. Boyd DE-V(G) from A. H. Gray Commander Service Squadron Eight.
  29. ^ |Letter – dated July 14, 1945, D. B. Beary, Commander Task Group 30.8 (50.8), (Commander Logistics Support Group) sent a letter to the Chief of Naval Personnel.
  30. ^ |Letter – dated September 12, 1945 W. F. Halsey Commander Third Fleet, US Pacific Fleet l.
  31. ^ |Letter – dated December 9, 1945, from Lt Commander G. G. Boyd to The Chief of Naval Operations, via Commander Service Force US Pacific Fleet and Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet.
  32. ^ |Citation Certificate.
  33. ^ |Completion Certificate.

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