March 2020 Pensacola Reunion Postponed

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Hello again Franklin Family,

After much more consideration, and in light of recent developments, we must inform you that we have decided to postpone the reunion next week in Pensacola. We definitely plan to reschedule it there sometime this summer or fall. But we have to wait to see what happens before we can make any definite plans. Please be sure to cancel your hotel rooms and other travel plans. The Pensacola Grand Hotel phone number is 850-433-3336.  At this point we have made financial commitments and paid out money for deposits and pins & keychains. So we would like to hold on to the registration fees for the new dates. If this does not work for you please let us know. We are very sorry for the late notice. We really wanted to pull this off on the anniversary date but unfortunately it is just not possible. We hope everyone will be able to attend on the new dates. Again please contact April at aprilhomko@gmail.com or 815-685-9298 with any questions. Please stay healthy and safe.

Tips on researching the USS Franklin, CV-13

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There have been several inquiries regarding how to best research information on a crew member through the Franklin social media channels. These are the best online resources to help start your search that I have found. Please feel free to send suggestions to franklin@ussfranklin.org. I will try to keep this list updated.

Facebook: The USS Franklin Museum Association maintains a group called Survivors, Family, and Friends of the USS Franklin CV-13, click here for access: https://www.facebook.com/groups/107402169285997/?ref=bookmarks

There are also other USS Franklin groups as well as many World War II groups to explore.
Facebook is the top recommended resource for sharing USS Franklin information as many relatives of crew members regularly visit and contribute to these pages.

www.USSFranklin.org website: This is the main website for the USS Franklin CV-13 Museum Association. The content found on this website includes the bi-annual Newsletter, Reunion information, and Obituaries. Inquiries can be sent to franklin@ussfranklin.org, the main website email address.

USS Franklin Cruise Book, Big Ben the Flat Top: For more information, click below.
www.ussfranklin.org/?p=901

USS Franklin Muster Rolls. http://www.ussfranklin.org/?p=1306 The Muster Rolls are a large collection of PDF files available for download. These documents were kept by the Navy to record who was aboard the ship at all times.

www.Ancestry.com: This is a pay website, but we have found there to be a lot of detailed information, including muster rolls and draft cards. If you are looking to research a specific individual, this might be a great resource.

USS Franklin Muster Roll

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USS Franklin Muster Roll H Selection 1/31/1944

For USS Franklin researchers, I have obtained a copy of the USS Franklin muster roll copied from microfilm records of the US Navy.  This muster roll contains records of the ships company as the sailors moved onto and off of the ship.  This is not a complete account of all the ships transfers.  Specifically, this does not include information on the Marine and Air groups on board the Franklin.  The file is very large- at 2GB in size and may take some time to download from google drive.  You must “Unzip” the file to reveal all of the individual pages in .jpg picture format.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzBtohmaZ_nSbFVzM0ZRNHNoSTA

This is very similar if not the same information available at www.ancestry.com.

 

Inscribed bricks offered at the USS Franklin Memorial in Stuart Florida

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You may recall the USS Franklin’s own Sam Rhodes efforts to establish a USS Franklin Memorial in Stuart Florida published in an article on this site in November 2013.  See the article below.

USS Franklin plaques to be dedicated in Memorial Park in Stuart Florida on Veterans Day.

Mr. Ed Maxwell of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1041 in Stuart Florida reports that their Memorial Brick Program is open to any and all veterans and is installing customized bricks in the Stuart Veterans Memorial Park.  Bricks can be customized for $25 and $75 dollars.  Make sure you mention your USS Franklin connection so the bricks can be located accordingly in the park.  Click the image of the brick below for an application.

Harry Smeltzer Brick USS Franklin Memorial Stuart Florida

https://ussfranklin310144520.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/bricks.pdf

You can also get a brick application at the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1041 website here:

http://www.vva1041.org/#!about2/c1et

 

Memorial Service, Sunday Morning 25 March 1945

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70 Years ago, on Sunday Morning 25 March 1945, in the aftermath of the USS Franklin Bombing, Protestant Chaplain G. Weldon Gatlin delivered the sermon below at a memorial service for the fallen crew aboard the USS Franklin.

Franklin Memorial Service Page 1

Franklin Memorial Service Page 1

Please click the image above to access the 4 page document. The PDF Document is approximately 5MB so it may take a minute to download.

Obituary, David Wilkinson Leonard

David Wilkinson Leonard, 93, of Mocksville, died on Feb. 16, 2020 after a lengthy battle with dementia.

He was born July 30, 1926 in Forsyth County, a son of the late Stahle Hartman Leonard and Edna Wilkinson Leonard of Rowan County.

He was also preceded in death by his sister, Edna Rae Sidwell.

He served his country in the US Navy during World War II on board the carrier USS Ben Franklin CV13 and was on board March 19, 1945, when the attack on his ship claimed more than 700 lives. After his service, he attended Pfeiffer College and later retired from Bell South Telephone after 34 years in cable repair.

Survivors: his son and daughter-in-law, David and Uka Leonard of Mocksville; his brother, Stahle H. Leonard and nephew Richard Leonard of Albemarle; grandson, Justin Kyle Leonard; and 2 great-granddaughters, Kahli and Marley Leonard.

Visitation was 6:30- 8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24 at Davie Funeral Service. A graveside service was held at Salisbury National Cemetery at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, with his brother, Stahle H. Leonard officiating.

Condolences: http://www.daviefuneralservice.com.

Obituary, Martin Roy

Mr. Martin Roy, 105, of Manchester, formerly of Suncook, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at Villa Crest Nursing Home in Manchester.

Born on Nov. 11, 1914, in Armagh, Canada, he was the son of the late Napoleon and Adelia (Boutin) Roy.

Martin moved to New Hampshire when he was 12 and attended local schools. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy until 1945. He was the former owner of Roy’s Grocery on Main Street in Suncook during the 1960s, worked in the textile mills in Manchester for 33 years and later as a thoroughbred horse racer for 13 years before his retirement. He also enjoyed gardening and held a part-time job during his retirement at a local bank, which he enjoyed.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife Louise (Boutin) Roy as well as his 10 siblings.

He is survived by his children, Paul Roy and his wife Diane of Manchester and Cecile Fitts of Weare; grandsons, Henry Fitts, Jr. and Pattie of N.J., Richard Fitts of Weare and Michael Fitts and his wife Tracey of Weare; great-grandchildren, Virginia, Jacob, Madeline, Lucas, Amanda and Michael Pinizzotto, great-great-granddaughter, Abigail as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family would like to thank the staff at Villa Crest for the wonderful care that was given to Martin while he was there.

SERVICES: Calling hours will be held on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Petit-Roan Funeral Home, 167 Main Street, Pembroke. A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday, Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. in St. John the Baptist Church, Allenstown. Interment with military honors will be held in the spring at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, Boscawen.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Martin’s memory to Villa Crest Nursing Home, 1276 Hanover St. Manchester, NH 03104.

Obituary, Walter J. DeVoss Sr.

DeVoss, Walter J. Sr. COLONIE Walter J. DeVoss Sr., 94, passed away peacefully on February 20, 2020, after a brief illness. Born in Burlington, Vt., he was the son of the late Philip and Cora (Gokey) DeVoss. Walter served in the United States Navy and was a proud World War II veteran having served in the Pacific Theatre. He often told stories of his experiences on the USS Santa Fe, a CL 60 Light Cruiser, where he and several others rescued fellow sailors off the USS Franklin after it was bombed. He worked over 25 years as a tractor trailer driver for Iroquois Millwork, retiring in 1987. Walter was a long-time member of the Zaloga Post #1520, where he spent time enjoying the activities and friendships that he developed there. He was also a past member and volunteer at the Sheehy-Palmer VFW Post #6776 for many years. Walter and his wife Jayne lived in Leesburg, Fla. for 10 years during their retirement where they enjoyed their home, golf and many good times with friends and neighbors. Walter was predeceased by his loving wife of 66 years, Jayne M. (DiBella) DeVoss; his son Walter “Buddy” DeVoss; and his siblings, Pearl Dumas, Fern Westervelt, Margaret Hatin, Marion Spaulding and Phillip DeVoss. He is survived by his cherished daughter, Patricia (Michael) Panucci of Halfmoon. Grandfather of Jason (Beth) Panucci and Christopher Panucci, Tiffany and Nicholas DeVoss, and Jennifer (Robert) Samson. He is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to Beth Lee, Peter and Doug of Community Hospice for their amazing kindness and loving care of Walter. Relatives and friends are invited to visit the family on Wednesday, February 26, from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Daniel Keenan Funeral Home, 490 Delaware Ave., Albany. Funeral services for Walter will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at the conclusion of the visitation in the funeral home. Interment will follow in the Saratoga National Cemetery, Schuylerville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Walter’s name to the Community Hospice Foundation, 310 S. Manning Blvd., Albany, NY, 12208. Online condolences may be offered to the family at danielkeenandfuneralhome.com.