Boffi, Francesco Verrznzio, MM1

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
MM-0000-Machinist's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Machinists Mate
Primary Unit
1952-1952, MM-0000, USS Heermann (DD-532)
Service Years
1942 - 1953
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MM-Machinists Mate
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 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Rhode Island
Rhode Island
Year of Birth
1922
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Boffi, Francesco Verrznzio (Bunko), MM1.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
2323 Pebble Beach Blvd
Orlando , FL 32826

Date of Passing
Jun 13, 2017
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified


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 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin


 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge


 Countries Deployed To or Visited

PO1 Frank Boffi (USN 1942-1953)

Svalbard Spain United States of America Antarctica South Georgia Falkland Islands Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia Venezuela Guyana Suriname French Guiana Brazil Paraguay Uruguay Argentina Chile Greenland Canada United States of America United States of America Israel Jordan Cyprus Qatar United Arab Emirates Oman Yemen Saudia Arabia Iraq Afghanistan Turkmenistan Iran Syria Singapore China Mongolia Papua New Guinea Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Malaysia Tiawan Philippines Vietnam Cambodia Laos Thailand Burma Bangladesh Sri Lanka India Bhutan Nepal Pakistan Afghanistan Turkmenistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Japan North Korea South Korea Russia Kazakhstan Russia Montenegro Portugal Azerbaijan Armenia Georgia Ukraine Moldova Belarus Romania Bulgaria Macedonia Serbia Bosonia & Herzegovina Turkey Greece Albania Croatia Hungary Slovakia Slovenia Malta Spain Portugal Spain France Italy Italy Austria Switzerland Belgium France Ireland United Kingdom Norway Sweden Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Russia Poland Czech Republic Germany Denmark The Netherlands Iceland El Salvador Guatemala Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua Honduras Belize Mexico Trinidad & Tobago Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Haiti Jamaica The Bahamas Cuba Vanuatu Australia Solomon Islands Fiji New Caledonia New Zealand Eritrea Ethiopia Djibouti Somalia Kenya Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Burundi Madagascar Namibia Botswana South Africa Lesotho Swaziland Zimbabwe Mozambique Malawi Zambia Angola Democratic Repbulic of Congo Republic of Congo Gabon Equatorial Guinea Central African Republic Cameroon Nigeria Togo Ghana Burkina Fassu Cote d'Ivoire Liberia Sierra Leone Guinea Guinea Bissau The Gambia Senegal Mali Mauritania Niger Western Sahara Sudan Chad Egypt Libya Tunisia Morocco Algeria


CubaHaitiIcelandItalyJapanLiberiaMoroccoMaltaUnited KingdomUnited States


 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1942, Recruit Training (Newport, RI), 404
 Duty Stations
School Assignments - StaffUS NavyNorfolk VA (Faculty Staff)USS Solace (AH-2)
Bureau of Medicine (BUMED)Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)Commander Navy Reserve Forces Command (COMNAVRESFORCOM)USS Brownson (DD-868)
USS Bearss (DD-654)USS Fiske (DD-842/DDR-842)USS Heermann (DD-532)
  1942-1943, MM-0000, Boston
  1943-1944, MM-0000, USS Bernadou (DD-153)
  1944-1944, MM-0000, Norfolk VA (Faculty Staff)
  1944-1945, MM-0000, USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774)
  1945-1945, MM-0000, USS Solace (AH-2)
  1945-1945, MM-0000, North Field, Tinian
  1945-1945, MM-0000, USS Crescent City (AP-40/APA-21)
  1945-1945, MM-0000, San Francisco
  1945-1945, MM-0000, Naval Hospital Farragut, ID
  1945-1945, MM-0000, Naval Special Hospital, Sun Valley, ID
  1945-1945, MM-0000, Boston
  1945-1948, MM-0000, Broken Service
  1948-1950, MM-0000, Providence RI
  1950-1951, MM-0000, USS Brownson (DD-868)
  1951-1951, MM-0000, USS Bearss (DD-654)
  1951-1952, MM-0000, USS Fiske (DD-842/DDR-842)
  1952-1952, MM-0000, USS Heermann (DD-532)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 Naples-Foggia Campaign (1943-44)/Operation Avalanche
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Sicily Campaign (1943)
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Anzio Campaign (1944)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
  1951-1951 Korean War/CCF Intervention (1950-51)
 Military Association Memberships
Post 2093, Orange County PostChapter 16Military Order of the Purple HeartUSS Brownson DD-868 Association
USS Fiske (DD / DDR 842) AssociationCentral Florida CouncilUSS Hadley DD-774 AssociationDepartment of Florida
National Association of Destroyer Veterans (Tin Can Sailors)
  1943, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 2093, Orange County Post (Member) (Orlando, Florida) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  1947, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Chapter 16 (Member) (Orlando, Florida) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  1966, Military Order of the Purple Heart [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1980, USS Brownson DD-868 Association [Verified]
  1980, USS Fiske (DD / DDR 842) Association [Verified]
  1980, Navy League of the United States, Central Florida Council (Member) (Orlando, Florida) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  1980, USS Hadley DD-774 Association
  1984, American Legion, Department of Florida (Member) (Orlando, Florida) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2001, National Association of Destroyer Veterans (Tin Can Sailors) [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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Reflections on PO1 Boffi's US Navy Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE NAVY.
Francesco Verrznzio Boffi (Bunko), MM1 - Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Navy.
Really I was not persuaded, I was inspired. It was July 4, 1934, I was 12. While watching a parade in my home town of Cranston, R.I. My best friend's brother was home on leave and marching in the parade. When I saw all those young sailors in the dress whites it made an impression on me. I told my friend, 'some day I will be wearing one of those uniforms.

On Dec. 6, 1941 my present wife and I were engaged to marry. The next day, 'a day of infamy' according to President Roosevelt; Pearl Harbor was attacked. Several months later, I was 20 years old and did not want to be drafted into the Army, so I went to enlist in the Navy. It was only 10 weeks after Stella and I married, on Aug 1, 1942. On October 15, 1942, I reported to Newport, RI for Boot training.
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?
I served two separate enlistments. For my first enlistment, my career path took me from 6 weeks of Boot training and then I was fortunate to be selected to attend Wentworth Institute in Boston, Mass. After 16 weeks of engineering school I graduated as a second class machinist mate,
Francesco Verrznzio Boffi (Bunko), MM1 - Whether you were in the service for several years or as a career, please describe the direction or path you took. What was your reason for leaving?
having finished in the top 3 percentile. consequently, I was offered an opportunity to submit my name for consideration to OCS. However, I got no further than the first interview with Commander Cavanaugh; I was rejected because I was married. In those days you could not go to OCS if you were married so off to the fleet I went.

The first ship I was assigned to was the USS Bearnadou DD-153, a 4 stacker that was launched Nov 7, 1917 in Philadelphia Navy Shipyard, commissioned in 1919, it was stationed in Charlestown, S.C. When I reported aboard in mid March I found out why destroyers are called tin cans - she was an old rust bucket!

On May 10, 1943 we were in a convoy on the way to the Mediterranean Sea. We had made 3 invasions with that ship in the Mediterranean Sea and managed to survive. We were underway in late May 1944 for England to be a part of the D-day Battle in Northern France. About one day out of Gibraltar we were ordered to turn West bound for Charlestown, SC. A couple of days after we arrived I received orders to take 10 days leave and then report to Norfolk, Va for 16 weeks of school for new construction. I was assigned to the USS Frank Knox, a 2200 ton destroyer being built in Bath, Maine.

During the 16 weeks I made a swap to a west coast-built ship, I finally ended up on the USS Hadley DD 774. The Hadley was a Sumner Class 2200 ton new ship. I reported to San Pedro, Ca. early October 1944 and watched the remainder of the construction of the ship as part of the skeleton crew. We were also responsible for checking aboard all the equipment assigned to the Engineering Division. After a lengthy shake down we left from Long Beach, California bound for Pearl Harbor where we became part of the Pacific Fleet. After about three months we were part of the invasion force at Okinawa on April 1, 1945.

The Hadley was my home until the fateful day, 11 May 1945, when we became a part of Pacific war history. I was honorably discharged on Nov 5, 1945. One point of note is that the Bridge from the Hadley is in the Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg, Tx. It is adorned with 25 Jap flags for the planes we shot down during that battle.

In October 1950, during my second enlistment, we were having night battle exercises with a mock invasion force when we were involved in a collision with the USS Roan. We were fortunate in that we had no casualties but we did lose about 38 ft of our bow. There were 4 fatalities and several injured sailors aboard the Roan. We sailed into Bermuda where they cut of the damaged bow and welded a piece of ½" flat steel to make it water tight. We then went to the Philadelphia Navy yard where we had a new bow installed. On April 1, 1950 we were sent to Iceland supposedly to quell some Russian activity that was suspected to threaten our air base there. After 10 days of no activity we sailed to Plymouth, England for R & R then onto the Med for a 6-months cruise. Unfortunately it was shortened in July when I was transferred to Chelsea Naval Hospital with a case of ulcers. After 4 weeks of treatment I was assigned to the USS Fiske DD-842 until Sept 1953 when I was discharged to civilian life again, ending my naval career.

IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN ANY MILITARY OPERATIONS, INCLUDING COMBAT, HUMANITARIAN AND PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH MADE A LASTING IMPACT ON YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY?
I participated in three invasions in the Med, one in Sicily and two in Italy. When I was assigned to USS Hadley we were involved in a history making air/sea battle in Okinawa, we lost the ship to three Kamikazes and two bombs.

When I was aboard the USS Bearnadou DD-153
Francesco Verrznzio Boffi (Bunko), MM1 - If you participated in any military operations, including combat, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, please describe those which made a lasting impact on you and, if life-changing, in what way?
we were sent on a chase of an alleged Sub attack of a US Merchant ship somewhere between Sicily and North Africa. To the best of my memory, we found only some debris and a couple of oil slicks. I'm not sure if it ever was confirmed as a sub attack. In 1943 we participated in "The Sicilian Campaign," where we shelled the beach during the landing of US Troops. For several days we were on anti-aircraft patrol but encountered nothing of any real consequence. We also participated in the 1943 invasion of Salerno, Italy. We shelled the beach during the landing of US Troops and performed anti-aircraft patrol.

On January 22, 1944, while still aboard the Bearnadou, we participated in the Invasion of Anzio Beach, Italy. This was an interesting venture as our military had no idea where the shore batteries were. Our squadron consisted of the USS Dallas, USS Cole and USS Bernadou and we were used as decoys to draw enemy fire. We approached the beach and at midnight we were ordered to turn on our search lights to draw enemy fire. Well, it wasn't very long before all hell broke loose. All three ships made a 180 and headed to the rear of the troop carriers and landing craft. We sustained a minor leak in the forward engine room when a riveted seam broke loose and water began seeping in. We were there for a couple of weeks and eventually got some day time liberty in Naples. As an added memory of this battle; we witnessed the bomb hit on the USS Savannah. We later escorted her to Malta for repairs in a British dry dock area. I had recently received a letter from my younger sister telling me that Louis Meschino, a friend of mine I had grown up with, was on the Savannah. I was granted permission to visit the ship and try to see him but I was informed that he was in the #1 gun mount that had taken a direct hit by an enemy bomb and did not survive.

In late May 1944 we were underway for Northern Europe to be a part of the D-day battle. When we were about one day out of Gibraltar we were ordered to turn West and report to Charlestown, SC. After a short leave I was ordered to report to Norfolk, VA for 16 weeks of "new construction" and following that I was assigned to the USS Hadley DD-774, a new ship.

While I was assigned to the Hadly we participated in the Battle of Okinawa. That was a history making campaign that earned the ship both the Presidential Unit Citation and the name of 'Champion Kamikaze Killer'. I also received my Purple Heart from this battle.

We were part of the invasion forces on Easter Sunday. April 1, 1945 where we were involved for several days in shore battery, a couple of convoys and then on the picket line.

On May 11, 1945 The Hadley was on picket station 15. Around 8:30 am the Hadley began fighting valiantly against waves of hostile suicide and dive-bombing planes plunging from all directions with the Hadley sending up relentless barrages of antiaircraft fire. During this fight the Hadley destroyed twenty three enemy planes. But unfortunately, the ship was crashed by two bombs and three suicide planes with devastating effect. It flooded the engineering spaces and started a fire amidships. The Officers and men of the Ship fought desperately and eventually brought the damage under control, enabling the ship to be towed to port and saved. However, the Hadley had been damaged beyond repair and was decommissioned.

It was in this battle that I was burned over 85% of my body. We ruptured a 600 PSI 490 degree steam line in the forward engine room, which was was my duty and battle station. I happened to be in the lower level helping with feed pump problems and therefore had to come up two levels through live steam to make it to the main deck. I was picked up by an un-known ship and transferred to the USS Solace, a Navy hospital ship. The next 4+ months were spent in naval hospitals for the burns I had received. I was initially at Tinian Island Tent-city hospital in the Mariana Islands and from there I was sent to the receiving hospital, San Francisco for further transfer to Cour D'Alene, Idaho at the Farragut Naval hospital. In mid-August I was sent to Sun Valley, Idaho Naval Convalescent Hospital to follow-on treatment. I was discharged on 5 November 1945 from the Fargo Barracks, Boston, MA to my home in Cranston, RI.
FROM YOUR ENTIRE MILITARY SERVICE, DESCRIBE ANY MEMORIES YOU STILL REFLECT BACK ON TO THIS DAY.
Francesco Verrznzio Boffi (Bunko), MM1 - From your entire military service, describe any memories you still reflect back on to this day.
I would have to say it was the 'big' battle of the USS Hadley on 11 May 1945. Seeing the Kamikazes coming right at me, when I was up on deck after we had to abandon the engine room was a feeling I couldn't begin to describe just as was seeing a torpedo running along the side of us. I had just come out of the engine room hatch and I heard the enunciator getting a signal. It was for an emergency astern for the starboard engine and flank ahead for the port engine. I looked over the side and about some 40/50 feet out I witnessed a torpedo running in the same direction we were traveling. We were extremely lucky that it was spotted in time for us to maneuver out of its path.
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
Paul W. Beaupre, also a first class MM, a shipmate from the USS Bernadou. We met in boot camp and became like brothers for the next 67 years. He was a little older and was my idol as a 'big brother.' He got me back to my faith and set many examples of how to treat people and to be an 'upright' person. We just lost him just a few months ago.
CAN YOU RECOUNT A PARTICULAR INCIDENT FROM YOUR SERVICE, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FUNNY AT THE TIME, BUT STILL MAKES YOU LAUGH?
It was in 1950 and I was assigned to the USS Brownson, we were in Western Italy at the time and during a port call I had the opportunity to meet with some extended family from my Mother's side. They were all farmers and it so happened that we
Francesco Verrznzio Boffi (Bunko), MM1 - Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time, but still makes you laugh?
were only about 10 miles from their location so I called to see if we could set up a meeting while I was there. In speaking with my uncle he relayed that his mother said there was no sense in making a long horse and buggy ride to meet with an American sailor, family or not, if they wouldn't even be able to understand each other! I started speaking Italian on the phone and would you believe that it was only a couple of hours before several family members had arrived to visit with me. One member of the group that came to visit me was a young girl, a cousin of mine and while we were visiting she kept touching my leg and I was amused by the way her Mother put a stop to that very quickly. She said "family or not, he's a US Sailor and you need to watch yourself around him!"

During those days it was customary for family to bring food for service members to cook for themselves and she was kind enough to bring a large cake, several dozen eggs and a big rooster that must have weighted at least 20 pounds. I didn't know what in the world I was going to do with that rooster but I finally decided to take it back to the ship and see if the Captain's Steward would cook him up. I went back to the ship with this rooster on a string, it was to big to carry, and so I had to keep booting in the back side to get it to walk up the gang plank. I saluted the colors and turned to the OOD and requsted to come aboard while standing there with this rooster on a string. He said "Boffi, what the hell have you got there?" I told him we need to get this thing to the Captain's steward and have a special meal tonight, which is exactly what we did. A big group of us dined on that rooster right there on the fantail!
WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?
Francesco Verrznzio Boffi (Bunko), MM1 - What profession did you follow after your military service and what are you doing now? If you are currently serving, what is your present occupational specialty?
I retired as a Boiler & Pressure Vessel inspector/ Certified Safety Professional for the insurance industry. In 1959 I passed the two day exam in NYC for my certification of the National Board of B&PV Inspectors and then in 1975 I passed the exam for my CSP designation. I worked mostly in the engineering field as a toolmaker and as a diagnostic engineer.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER? WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT YOUR TIME IN THE SERVICE?
It certainly was the major factor in the Career I pursued after the service and I feel certain it had a major impact on the life I lived and the person I would eventually become.
BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE NAVY?
I would tell anyone that asks that I sincerely love the Navy. I didn't stay in and make it a career for various family reasons but I always thing of my time in the Navy and how much it meant to me. I would advise anyone who is currently serving to think long and hard about all of your options before making a decision to move on out of the service. Don't take for granted the opportunities you have available to you, take advantage of every option you have while you can.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
As I've mentioned already, I love the Navy. While I'm relatively new to TWS I've really come to appreciate all that the site has to offer. I really appreciate and enjoy the ability to get connected with others that I served with, share my story, and stay connected to the Navy after all these years.


Published in TWS "Voices" July 1, 2010

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