Perhaps you've had a tough week?
Here's a tale to help put that into perspective:
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 semiarmor piercing bombs. One struck the flight deck centerline, penetrating to the hanger deck, effecting destruction and igniting fires throughout 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. Franklin, within 50 miles of the Japanese mainland, lay dead in the water, took a 13 degree starboard list, lost all radio communications, and broiled under the heat form 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 recipients, Lieutenant Commander 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 Lieutenant (junior grade) Donald Gary who discovered 300 men trapped in a blackened mess compartment, and finding an exit returned repeatedly to lead groups to safety. Santa Fe (CL-60) similarly rendered vital assistance in rescuing crewmen from the sea and closing Franklin to take off the numerous wounded.From the folks at PeriscopeFilm.
Franklin was taken in tow by Pittsburgh until she managed to churn up speed of 14 knots and proceed to Pearl Harbor where a cleanup job permitted her to sail under her own power to Brooklyn, N.Y., arriving on 28 April. Following the end of the war, Franklin was opened to the public for Navy Day celebrations and on 17 February 1947 was placed out of commission at Bayonne, N.J. On 15 May 1949 she was reclassified AVT-8.
My uncle was aboard the Franklin. He was only 18 at the time. I could never get him to talk about his experience, but I have memorabilia from his days in the Navy, including some news clips and paperwork that he had kept.ReplyDelete