USS FRANKLIN (CV-13). Sure, we know the executive summary;
Before dawn on 19 March 1945 FRANKLIN who had maneuvered closer to the Japanese mainland than had any other U.S. carrier during the war, launched a fighter sweep against Honshu and later a strike against shipping in Kobe Harbor. Suddenly, a single enemy plane pierced the cloud cover and made a low level run on the gallant ship to drop two semi-armor piercing bombs. One struck the flight deck centerline, penetrating to the hangar deck, effecting destruction and igniting fires through the second and third decks, and knocking out the combat information center and airplot. The second hit aft, tearing through two decks and fanning fires which triggered ammunition, bombs and rockets.With each passing year, fewer and fewer of these men are with us.
FRANKLIN, within 50 miles of the Japanese mainland, lay dead in the water, took a 13° starboard list, lost all radio communications, and broiled under the heat from enveloping fires. Many of the crew were blown overboard, driven off by fire, killed or wounded, but the 106 officers and 604 enlisted who voluntarily remained saved their ship through sheer valor and tenacity. The casualties totaled 724 killed and 265 wounded, and would have far exceeded this number except for the heroic work of many survivors. Among these were Medal of Honor winners, Lt. Cmdr. Joseph T. O'Callahan, S. J., USNR, the ship's chaplain, who administered the last rites organized and directed firefighting and rescue parties and led men below to wet down magazines that threatened to explode, and Lt. (j.g.) Donald Gary who discovered 300 men trapped in a blackened mess compartment, and finding an exit returned repeatedly to lead groups to safety. USS SANTA FE (CL 60) similarly rendered vital assistance in rescuing crewmen from the sea and closing FRANKLIN to take off the numerous wounded.
I'm stealing the rest from xformed.
The crew of the USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) will hold their 2010 reunion from the 18th to the 21st of March, in Branson, MO.
Specific location: Lodge of the Ozarks.
Special event: Memorial service morning of 19 March. This will be held on the 65th anniversary of the attack off the coast ofJapan.
Registration closes 1 March, 2010.
Contact for Questions:
Sam Rhodes 772-334-0366 or
Beth Conard Rowland (daughter of crewman) 740-524-0024 (please leave message)