ELECTRICIAN'S MATE THIRD
CLASS JAMES DANIEL BOYD was born on July 25, 1923 to Bertha and William
G. Boyd Jr. He was their only child. As early as 1922 his parents lived
at 713 Clinton
Street in South Camden and were still there in 1940. Grandparents
William G. Sr. and Ada Boyd lived at 721 Clinton
long after the census was taken, William G. Boyd Jr. and family moved to
Maryland, eventually taking up residence at 1028 Lerew Way in
Daniel Boyd entered the United States Navy on March 18, 1943. After
basic training he was assigned to the destroyer USS ROSS DD-563. USS Ross (DD-563) was a U.S. Navy Fletcher class destroyer named for Captain David Ross, a former Continental Navy lieutenant. The Ross is the only ship in U.S. naval history to survive two underwater mine explosions.
The Ross was laid down on September 7, 1942 by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Seattle, Washington and launched on
September 10, 1943, sponsored by Mrs. William J. Malone. She was commissioned on
February 21, 1944, Commander Benjamin Coe commanding. James Daniel Boyd
at that time held the rank of Fireman, First Class. On July 1, 1944 he
was promoted to Electrician's Mate Third Class.
She completed shakedown off California in early May 1944 and on May 5 sailed for Pearl Harbor. On
May 29 she sortied with Task Force 52 (TF 52) for Eniwetok, whence the fleet sailed for Saipan and the beginning of the Marianas Campaign.
Attached to the carrier support group for the invasion of Saipan, Ross arrived on station in the operating area to the east of the island on
June 14. Through the landings on the 15th, and until the 19th, she remained in that area providing screening and plane guard services for the carriers. On
June 19, she headed east with Kalinin Bay (CVE-68) to rendezvous with replacement aircraft from Eniwetok. On the 25th, the two ships rejoined the Saipan support force. Ross remained in the vicinity of Saipan and Tinian well into July, interrupting duty there only at the beginning of the month to escort another replacement aircraft run.
On August 1, the destroyer returned to Eniwetok, then headed for the Solomons to rehearse the Palau operation. On
September 6 she departed Purvis Bay in Task Group 32.5 (TG 32.5), the Western Fire Support Group. Off Peleliu by dawn on
September 12, Ross screened the heavier ships as they began bombarding the proposed landing beaches. On the morning of the 13th, she closed White and Orange beaches to provide fire support for the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs) clearing the approaches of obstacles and through that day and the next she alternated between that mission and screening duty. On the night of
September 14-15, she shelled Ngesebus Island and conducted patrols to intercept enemy boat traffic. Then, prior to the 08:30 landings, she fired on enemy observation posts in the assault area. After the troops hit the beaches, she shifted to call fire support and until the 20th rotated that duty with night patrols and picket duty.
On August 20, Ross headed for Ulithi. Arriving the next day, she covered UDT operations on Asor, Falalop, and Sorlen. On the 23d, she covered the landings on Falalop and on the 24th she got underway to return to Peleliu.
En route Ross stopped in Kossol Roads to embark Major General Julian Smith, USMC, and his staff, whom she transported to Peleliu. Arriving on
August 26, she provided harassing fire, call fire, and illumination until the 29th, when she sailed for Manus to prepare for her last amphibious operation, the invasion of Leyte.
On October 12, Ross departed the Admiralties. Five days later she arrived off Dinagat Island. On the morning of the 18th, she covered landings there, on Black Beach 2, then joined Task Unit 77.2.6 (77.2.6) to provide cover for that minesweeping and hydrography unit. Her duty, however, ended abruptly less than 15 hours later.
At 01:33 on October 19, she struck a mine to port under the forward
engine room and fire room; and began to list to port. At 01:55 she struck a second mine in the vicinity of the after
engine room. The list increased to 14°. USS Chickasaw (ATF-83) and
USS Preserver (ARS-8) closed to render assistance.
Casualties from the mine explosions were three killed, 20 missing, nine injured.
Electrician's Mate James Daniel Boyd, Machinist's Mate First Class
Stanley Irvin Brown, and Machinist's Mate Engineman Third Class A.R.
Dyke were the three killed in action.
Soon after 02:10, Ross jettisoned six torpedoes, all port depth charges, and miscellaneous gear. Topside movable weights were shifted to starboard. The list began to decrease. At 03:15, her medical officer, the seriously injured, and the ship's funds were transferred to
Chickasaw. At 03:43, she was taken in tow by the ATF and 4 hours later anchored off Homonhon Island.
At 12:04 the anchorage was attacked by Japanese planes. Shrapnel injured two more from Ross' crew.
In the afternoon, the destroyer was towed to an anchorage south of Mariquitdaquit Island. At dawn on
October 20, that anchorage was attacked.
Salvage work on Ross began. Air attacks caused frequent interruptions, but the work continued. On
November 23, she was shifted to the Northern Transport Area anchorage and on the 24th, she was towed into San Pedro Bay and docked in floating
dry dock ARD-19. The frequent air raids continued, and on the 28th, Ross sustained further damage. A Nakajima Ki-44 "Tojo" crashed into the ARD, passed through the starboard wingwall, and caused gasoline-fed flames to encompass the dock basin deck. As firefighters went to work, another Japanese fighter began a strafing run, but was splashed by gunfire from Ross, the ARD and
Repairs to Ross were delayed as the ARD's crew repaired the dry dock, but on 13 December the destroyer was underway under tow, for Humboldt Bay. There, further repairs were made and her journey was continued. On March
2, 1945 she reached Mare Island.
Repairs complete, Ross moved down to San Diego at the end of June and in July she steamed for Pearl Harbor en route back to the Western Carolines. She arrived at Ulithi on
August 14, the day hostilities ended.
G. Boyd Jr., who had moved to Somerdale, New Jersey by 1956, applied for
a flat granite marker to memorialize his son to be placed at Harleigh
Cemetery in Camden, New Jersey.