Portland Press Herald - April 4, 1944
COOK, Boyd Francis, Seaman 2c,
USNR. Father, Mr. Cleon Ray Cook,
16 Millett St., Livermore Falls.
Boyd F. Cook
Seaman Second Class, U.S. Navy
United States Naval Reserve
Entered the Service From: Maine
Service #: 2090278
Date of Death: January 03, 1944
Wars or Conflicts:
World War II
Memorialized: Tablets of the Missing
East Coast Memorial
New York City, New York, USA
AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
Lewiston Dailey Sun - January 14, 1944
In mid-November, 1943 after conducting
anti-submarine warfare exercises in
Casco Bay, the destroyer U.S.S. Turner left
the waters of Maine and steamed south to
Norfolk, Virginia. It would be the last time
the ship would ever sail into Casco Bay.
Upon arriving at the Norfolk Naval
Shipyard, TURNER was ordered to escort
duty for its third trans-Atlantic convoy of the
war. Although it was TURNER’s third trip
across the Atlantic, for some of the crew it
was their first.
Among those of the ship’s company
making their first trip was 18 year-old
Seaman 2/c, Boyd F. Cook. S 2/c, Cook,
from Livermore Falls, was assigned to
TURNER at its commissioning on April
15, 1943, but transferred to the Naval
Radio School in Portland on June 23,
1943. He rejoined the ship on November
9, 1943 in New York, just a few days
before TURNER deployed to Casco Bay
for anti-submarine exercises.
On November 23, 1943, Seaman 2/c,
Boyd Cook departed with TURNER out of
the Norfolk Naval Yard, and sailed across
the Atlantic. After safely delivering the
convoy , TURNER returned to the east
coast of the United States. TURNER,
along with several other warships arrived
at Ambrose Lightship on January 3, 1944.
The Ambrose Lightship marked the
entrance to the Ambrose Channel, the
main shipping channel in and out of the
ports of New York and New Jersey. The
ships anchored in the vicinity of the
lightship at about 0300, with orders to
proceed to Brooklyn Naval Yard at 07:15.
The order was never carried out.
At 06:17, while the crew ate breakfast and
the ship prepared to get underway for New
York Harbor, TURNER was rocked by a
sudden explosion. The initial explosion
created an intense fire, causing a series
of additional explosions. The crew fought
valiantly to save the ship, but at 07:05 the
abandon ship order was given. At 07:50
the final and most violent explosion
occurred. The after boiler room exploded
and blew out the port side of the hull.
TURNER split in two and was gone at 08:
It was the opinion of a U.S. Naval Court
convened on January 23, 1944, “That
there is no obtainable evidence in any
form which would indicate the exact cause
of the first explosion in the U.S.S
TURNER.” The court also went on to state
that the explosion was not the result of
enemy action or sabotage.
There is much speculation that the
explosion was caused by faulty
ammunition, but no official confirmation.
What is certain, however, is 15 officers
and 124 crewmen were either killed or
Seaman 2/c, Boyd F. Cook was initially
reported missing and later listed as killed
in action. Boyd was the son of Mr. and Mrs.
Cleon Cook of Livermore Falls. He was
born August 31, 1925 in Livermore Falls.
He attended schools there, until his
enlistment in the Navy, January 8, 1943.
His body was never recovered, Semper