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Lt. George W. G. Boyce (t-AK-251)

(T‑AK‑251: dp. 15,200 (f.); l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 29'; s. 15 k.; cpl. 49; a. none; T. VC2‑S‑AP2)

An Army name retained; 2d Lt. George W. G. Boyce, Jr., USA, sacrificed his life to save men of his platoon during intense ground fighting near Afua, New Guinea, 23 July 1944. While advancing to relieve a unit which was surrounded by superior enemy forces, the platoon under his command came under severe enemy fire. After a Japanese grenade dropped near his men, he threw himself upon the grenade and smothered the lethal blast with his own body, thus saving the lives of several comrades. Lt. Boyce was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Lt. George W. G. Boyce (T‑AK‑251) was laid down as Waterville Victory under Maritime Commission contract by Bethlehem‑Fairfield Shipyard, Inc., Baltimore, Md., 13 July 1945; launched 19 September 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Christine M. Roundy; and delivered to her operator, Parry Navigation Co., Baltimore, Md., 15 October 1945. Waterville Victory operated under the control of the War Shipping Administration until July 1946 when she was transferred to the Army Transportation Service and renamed Lt. George W. G. Boyce. She was inactivated in February 1950 and entered the Maritime Commission Reserve Fleet at Olympia, Wash.

Following the Communist invasion of South Korea in June 1950, Lt. George W. G. Boyce undewent reactivation. She was acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission 9 August and assigned to MSTS. Manned by a civilian crew, she departed Seattle 29 September and steamed to the Far East with vital military cargo. During much of the period of conflict in Korea, she bolstered the seaborne supply line between the United States and the Far East carrying supplies to ports in Japan, South Korea, Formosa, and Okinawa. In addition she supplied American bases in the Aleutian Islands.

On 25 January 1954 Lt. George W. G. Boyce departed Bangor, Wash., for MSTS duty in the Atlantic. She steamed via San Juan, P.R., to ports in West Germany and France, thence returned to New York 30 March. During May and June she expanded her scope of operations to include ports in the Mediterranean. Over the next 6 years she maintained a busy, wideranging schedule of supply runs in support of the defense of the United States and the free world. In addition to numerous transatlantic voyages to ports In western Europe, she operated from Greenland to the troubled Middle Fast. In August and September 1957 and again in 1958 she made logistics runs to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. And she operated in the eastern Mediterranean during the summer of 1958 following American peacekeeping operations in troubled Lebanon.

Departing New York 14 January 1900, Lt. George W. C. Boyce sailed on a 6‑month, round‑the‑world deployment which sent her via the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean to ports in South Vietnam, Formosa, South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. Thence, after touching American bases in the Marianas and the Marshalls, she returned to the East Coast 29 June and resumed transatlantic service. The veteran cargo ship made a second run to the Far East and back later that year, and from 22 April to 31 August 1961 she circumnavigated the earth for the second time in little more than a year.

During the next 2 years she cruised primarily to the Mediterranean and Europe with additional assignments sending her to the Caribbean and to the Pacific coast of the United States. From September 1963 to February 1964, she steamed via the west coast to the Far East and back to supply American forces in that unsettled area. She resumed transatlantic runs in April and In December deployed once again to the Far East.

Since 1964 Lt. George W. G. Boyce has alternated supply runs to European and Middle Eastern ports with logistics deployments in support of America's growing commitment to the defense of South Vietnam from external Communist aggression. Her role In the defense of the free world is truly worldwide in scope and she cruises wherever and whenever needed to support keeping‑the‑peace operations of the versatile and powerful U.S. Navy. Into 1969 she continues her support of American military form in Southeast Asia in general and South Vietnam in particular.

Lt. George W. G. Boyce received four battle stars for service during the Korean conflict.

Published: Wed Jul 29 11:44:39 EDT 2015