Man from Goshen County Witnessed Military Action in Navy and Army | News, Sports, Jobs
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GOSHEN – Thomas E. Boreman Sr. was 19 years old and had just graduated from high school in 1963 when he enlisted in the US Navy in June 1963.
He traveled around the world for four years aboard the USS Leary, a 390-foot destroyer that carried 367 crew members.
Boreman, 78, grew up in McMechen, Va., Near Wheeling, where he was his high school quarterback. He learned very early on to work hard, to make hay on the farm.
In fact, one of the most painful experiences of his life was when he was driving two horses on a road at the age of 8 and a milk truck drove past him. The driver honked, scaring the horses, causing them to race with Boreman holding the reins of both horses and being carried through the air down the road.
He survived with just a few bruises.
He received basic training in 1963, then went to radio electronics school at Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Maryland and was posted to USS Leary.
One of the most interesting features of the ship was that it had a landing pad for drones, which were operated by naval personnel. Boreman provided a photo of one of the drones, which looked a bit like the ones in use today.
When the drones first came out, they were used strictly for military purposes, according to the Percepto website.
Boreman’s job on the ship was to work with the engineers, who are responsible for the planning, maintenance and operation of the Navy’s machinery, vessels and facilities. He spent three years and two months at sea during his four years in the Navy, but a 1965 incident in the Dominican Republic near Cuba stands out.
Six Navy SEALs were deployed on a mission to determine if there were missiles in Cuba. The SEALs were deployed on a rubber raft. Before they were supposed to return to the ship, officials learned there was an SOS from the SEALs. They had requisitioned a patrol boat and three of the six escaped. The other three were killed.
Boreman was at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba at the time, and he was part of a team that went looking for the missing SEALs.
“We finally found them the next day. They were sending an SOS. They were using Russian equipment on the boat they took, ”Boreman said.
American sailors removed Russian equipment from the boat and detonated the boat.
Another time, while on shore in the Dominican Republic, he was “stranded” in an area where there was razor wire in place, but insurgents climbed over the wires and Boreman fired at them. he declared.
His unit was on the verge of running out of ammo, so Boreman got into a Jeep to get more. He passed through three secure US checkpoints to get to the ammunition and returned it to the Americans he served with, he said.
According to History.com, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent 22,000 American troops to the Dominican Republic in April 1965 in an attempt to “prevent” what Johnson believed to be a Communist dictatorship. It started as a civil war that many suspects of Cuban leader Fidel Castro were behind.
Civil war began in 1961 after the assassination of dictator Rafael Trujillo.
During Boreman’s other years in the Navy, the USS Leary sailed the Mediterranean Sea, near Vietnam and the North Sea, Boreman said. Once, the ship was in the middle of a pod of whales in the North Atlantic, and the ship struck one of the whales, Boreman said.
“It just lifted the entire stern of the ship,” Boreman said. “There was blood in the water in the back. The whales followed us. They pushed that dead whale to where we were crossing back to Norfolk (Va) where we came out. The whale was on the shore where they pushed it, ”Boreman said of the other whales.
“I don’t know why they did it. It’s crazy, isn’t it? ”He said.
Boreman also enlisted in the military in the 1980s after a friend told him he should return to the military and retire. Boreman remained in the military for three years.
He came to the Youngstown area in 2005 to work at the Chaparral Family Campground near Salem and worked there for 17 years.
Thomas E. Boreman Sr.
SERVICE BRANCH: US Navy, US Army
MILITARY HONORS: Various medals including Armed Forces Expedition Medal, Army Medal and Target Medal
OCCUPATION: retired ironworker, welder and boilermaker, working approximately 20 years for Weirton Steel in Weirton, W.Va.
FAMILY: Wife of 52, Sharon, deceased; two sons, Tom Jr. and Mark; daughter, Kelly