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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"The Ship That Wouldn't Die" - USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) Reunion – 18-21 March, 2010

As noted here:
"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 of Japan.

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)

These men who went to war, preformed well, suffered a horrible blow, yet sailed their ship home may not be around much longer to share their stories. If you’re close by, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind a visitor or two who would thank them and listen to a story of two for history’s sake. Take your camera and notepad and post the things you learn!"
In the photo above, Franklin limps into New York for repairs after crossing the Pacific, transiting the Panama Canal and up the U.S. east coast:
USS Franklin, a 27,100 ton Essex class aircraft carrier, was built at Newport News, Virginia. Commissioned at the end of January 1944, she arrived in the Pacific in time to participate in later stages of the Marianas operation. From late June into September, her planes conducted strikes on enemy targets in the Bonins, Marianas, Palaus and Carolines. In October, after supporting the September landings in the Palaus, she took part in the Third Fleet's raids in the Western Pacific and in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She was lightly damaged by a Japanese bomb on 15 October, and was hit by a suicide plane on 30 October. The latter caused serious damage and killed 56 of her crew, necessitating a trip back to the United States for repairs.

Franklin returned to the war zone in mid-March 1945 and joined the Fifth fleet for strikes on the Japanese home islands. On the morning of 19 March, while her flight and hangar decks were crowded with fully armed and fueled planes preparing to take off to attack the enemy, a Japanese plane approached undetected and hit the carrier with two bombs. The resulting inferno badly damaged the ship and resulted in the deaths of 724 of her crew. Heroic work by the survivors, assisted by nearby ships, brought the fires and flooding under control. After a brief period under tow, Franklin's engineers again had her steaming on her own.

The badly damaged carrier crossed the Pacific, transited the Panama Canal and in late April arrived at the New York Navy Yard for repairs. These were completed shortly after the end of the Pacific War, and Franklin saw no further active flight service. She decommissioned in February 1947.
See also here.

Naval historians and those who wish to honor a brave ship and crew are invited to attend.

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