From Sisco Deen:
Plan to join members of the Booe/Deen family and other music lovers at the Flagler Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 18 for the Navy Band Southeast concert. The band will honor my great uncle James Brazier “Jim” Booe for his military service as a military band director in World War II. (The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 86 on Florida Park Drive in Palm Coast is the Jim Boo Chapter in Flagler County.)
Jim moved to St Johns, now Flagler County, with his parents and four bothers in 1913 when his father assumed the position as manager of the Haw Creek Farms which consisted of 1,973 acres in the Haw Creek area (Volusia County at the time).
He enlisted in the Navy, June 4, 1919, and went through boot training at Hampton Roads, Va. A story in the June 5, 1919 edition of the Flagler Tribune says: “James Booe of Haw Creek, this county, enlisted in the United States Navy at Jacksonville, being rated as a musician, entering the service immediately. James is the youngest son of Zeb E Booe, one of Flagler county’s most influential and progressive farmers.” He was in Bunnell on 19 days furlough from Hampton Roads on 16 Jun 1921 according to a story in the Flagler Tribune.
He loved music and continued his music study in the Navy; he was assigned to a band unit and sent to the Panama Canal, aboard the USS Birmingham. In 1922 the band was transferred to the USS Cleveland.
In the winter of 1925, he passed the examination for Band Master and began to serve as Assistant Bandmaster for the band stationed at Pensacola. In Nov 1927 he was transferred from the Pensacola NAS to the USS Wright (airplane tender) in port at Norfolk, VA, in March 1928 he was assigned to the carrier US S Lexington based at San Pedro, CA.
In March of 1928 he was back home to Bunnell for a visit while his ship, the new USS Lexington, naval plane carrier, was at Pensacola. He was to rejoin his ship after the visit in Bunnell which was expected to sail for the Pacific Coast.
In July 1928 he notified his parents in Bunnell of the Lexington’s record-breaking run from San Pedro, CA to Honolulu, Hawaii, a distance of 2,544 land miles in 72 1/2 hours, or an average of 35 miles per hour.
He was back in Pensacola in 1932 as he was injured in an accident west of the town on Saturday, 5 Mar 1932. He was returning from a trip to AL and about 40 miles west of Pensacola ran into the rear of a parked log truck.
In October 1934 he was promoted to Bandmaster and was serving aboard the USS California at Guantanamo, Cuba.
In Oct 1935 he was the Bandmaster on the USS Saratoga and was selected with his group of musicians to play aboard the cruiser USS Houston which was carrying President Roosevelt on his vacation tour. Later he was transferred to the battleship Oklahoma, where Booe was the bandmaster.
At daybreak, December 7, 1941, the band was assembling on the deck of the USS Oklahoma when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Chief Petty Officer Booe went down with his ship with 428 of his shipmates.
The Navy Band Southeast is performing two free concerts at Flagler Auditorium, 5500 State Road 100, Palm Coast, on Sunday, December 18, at 2 and 7 p.m. Patrons are limited to two tickets per person. Tickets are available now at Beach Front Grille in Flagler Beach, VFW Post 8696, and The Flagler Auditorium box office. Tickets for the general public are also available at Atlantic Benefit Consultants, Flagler Chrysler Dodge Jeep, and Granny Nannies in Palm Coast.
Linda H. says
This is one of the best Holiday concerts you will ever hear!