The spring 2019 newsletter can be found at this link here:
The spring 2019 newsletter can be found at this link here:
Hello USS Franklin crew, family & friends! We are pleased to announce the 2019 USS Franklin Reunion will be hosted in Nashville Tennessee! The reunion will be held Thursday July 11th through Sunday July 14th at the Embassy Suites Vanderbilt in Nashville.
We would like to extend an invitation to the veterans of the USS O’Callahan and USS Gary. These two ships continued the legacy of the USS Franklin by virtue of their namesakes. The USS O’Callahan was named after Chaplain Lieutenant Commander Joseph T. O’Callahan, and the USS Gary was named after Commander Donald A. Gary, both Medal of Honor recipients for their rescue of crewmen on the USS Franklin.
There are a limited number of rooms reserved at the USS Franklin rate of $199 per night plus tax. To book your room for the reunion please contact the hotel directly as soon as possible.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville at Vanderbilt
1811 Broadway Nashville, Tennessee 37203
Please tell the booking agent that you are with the USS Franklin reunion to get our group rate.
The registration PDF document can be found at the link below:
The hotel reservation deadline and the reunion reservation deadline are both May 31, 2019.
We look forward to seeing you all in July!
Sincerely your hosts the Hamm and Engelhard families.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com, the main website email address.
USS Franklin Cruise Book, Big Ben the Flat Top: For more information, click below.
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.
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.
This is very similar if not the same information available at www.ancestry.com.
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.
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.
You can also get a brick application at the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1041 website here:
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.
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.
Big Ben The Flat Top, The Story of the USS Franklin cruise book is available free online in its electronic format at the link below. I encourage everybody that reads this to download and distribute this PDF document copy of the original 1946 USS Franklin cruise book.
Henry K. Willard, II (Age 92)
Died peacefully at his home in Shepherdstown, WV on December 23, 2018.
Henry (Harry) was born in Washington, DC on August 11, 1926 the son of Henry A. Willard, II and Abby Hooker Willard. A fourth generation Washingtonian, he was the great grandson of Henry A. Willard the founder of the city’s storied Willard Hotel.
A veteran of World War II, Harry served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Franklin as a young seaman and survived one of the deadliest attacks on a U.S. warship during the war. Returning from the Pacific theatre he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and began a long career as an executive with American Security and Trust Co. (now Bank of America). In 1971 he was appointed by President Richard Nixon to the District of Columbia City Council at a time when the city was transitioning to home rule and served on the board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority as the early phases of the city’s new Metro system were being planned and constructed. He served on the board of numerous cultural and civic organizations in Washington.
He retired to Shepherdstown, WV in 1979 actively managing his beloved farm property and enjoying a quieter life in the country. He had a lifelong passion for the lore and history of the U.S. railroad industry and a keen interest and knowledge of American history particularly concerning the Civil War.
He graduated from the Choate School and Yale University. Harry was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, Shepherdstown, the Chevy Chase Club and Metropolitan Club in Washington, DC and the Nantucket Yacht Club, Nantucket, MA where the family maintained a summer home for generations.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Louise Brooks Willard, his sister Abby Willard Northrop and brother James E. F. Willard. He is survived by two sons: Henry A. Willard, III (Jeffrey Greer) of Shepherdstown, WV and John Brooks Willard (Inci) of Waverly, GA.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Hospice of the Panhandle, Trinity Episcopal Church, Shepherdstown or The National Humane Education Society.
A graveside service and interment at the Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown will be announced later.
Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 30, 2018
Fredrick ‘Doug’ LaMear
July 27, 1925 – Jan. 7, 2019
Fredrick Douglas LaMear was born July 27, 1925 to Fred and Dorothy LaMear. He passed peacefully Jan. 7, 2019. Doug attended Benson High and Univ. of Portland. At the age of 16, he met Patty, the love of his life, while record shopping at Meier & Frank. Doug served on CV13 in the Pacific in WWII surviving a devastating enemy airstrike that killed 1100 shipmates. Doug returned home to marry Patty in 1945, they raised Douglas Michael and Diane Shannon. Doug chose his career after being interviewed on radio about his war experience. This led to an enviable career in radio and TV where Doug became known as the best on the air as KGW’s sports director. Doug’s love of sports and the outdoors was a natural outcome of his youth in a sports-minded family that embraced everything about Oregon’s outdoors. Doug was an excellent golfer, skater, water skier and fisherman. Both on and off the air, Doug traveled to all corners of the state creating lifelong friendships and admirers. Off air he fished and played cards with a close knit group of friends with card games lasting till the wee morning hours. And on LaMear’s Outdoors he cuddled purring cougar cubs and was up close with massive birds of prey. Doug was known as harmlessly gruff but never mean spirited. Those who knew him well also knew he had a heart of gold and was there for you in good times and bad.
Doug was preceded in death by Patty; and is survived by Douglas (Nancy), Diane (Britt); grandchildren, Michelle, Shannon, Colin, Kera; and six beautiful great-grandchildren.
Services have been held. The family suggests donations to Oregon Jr Golf.
Please sign the online guest book at http://www.oregonlive.com/obits
Published in The Oregonian from Jan. 18 to Jan. 20, 2019
DAHLGREN, Harvey W. April 24, 1926 March 2, 2019 Harvey W. Dahlgren, founder of Epic Products International and printing industry visionary, passed away on March 2, 2019 at the age of 92. Dahlgren was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1926. He attended Murphy High School in Mobile and after graduating joined the U.S. Navy. He survived the bombing of the USS Franklin, which in 1945 nearly sunk off the Japanese coast. In 1951, he married Mary Hunter. He joined his brother, Harold at Dahlgren Manufacturing and subsequently founded Epic Products with his wife in 1977. In 2013, Harvey was honored with PIA MidAmerica’s Lifetime Achievement Award. A true innovator and adventurer, Harvey earned his pilot’s multi-engine instrument rating at age 76. He and his wife also explored the far corners of North and Central America in his RV. Harvey is survived by his sons, Tyler and Max, his daughter-in-laws Kimberly and Mary Barnes and two grandchildren Kathleen and Ben and scores of Epic Product employees, who are grateful to the positive impact he made upon their lives. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2019 from 3:30 to 6:00pm, Embassy Suites 13131 North Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75243.
Published in Dallas Morning News on Mar. 19, 2019
Billy J Callaway
BRANDON, MS — On Sunday December 23, 2018, the Lord called his son, CMSgt. Billy James Callaway, home to Heaven. He was born on December 20, 1926 in Simms (Bowie County), Texas to Violet Busic Callaway and Bill M. Callaway. When he was nine years old, his father left to join the East Texas Oil Boom, and Billy went with him to live in Longview, Texas. Billy graduated in 1944 from Pine Tree High School in Longview, Texas.
Upon graduation, he joined the United States Navy and served on the USS Franklin during World War II and served in the Korean War as well. He retired from the Navy and worked as a bank teller for a few years.
In 1947, he married the love of his life, Doris Jean Stanley. They were married for 68 years until her death in 2015. He joined the United States Air Force in 1952 and served during the Vietnam War. He spent 20 years in the Air Force, retiring in 1972 after assignments in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, South Korea, Illinois, Georgia, and Texas. His final assignment was serving as the US Air Force advisor to the Mississippi Air National Guard in Jackson, Ms.
Upon his retirement, he was employed by Becknell Construction as Job Site Manager at Packard Electric in Clinton, Ms. Mr. H. A. Becknell and his family became close friends with Billy and Doris. You could find them together at horse shows and other equine events in Mississippi. He also worked for Nickles and Wells Construction Company at Packard Electric Jobs in Clinton and Brookhaven. He served as their warehouse and fleet manager which included outfitting each job from start to finish. It was during his employment at Nickles and Wells that he made lifelong friends with Charles Nickles (who knew him as “Sarge”) and Gene Adams. These men had a great impact in his life.
Other than his family and the Lord, Billy enjoyed his horses and his service to his country. Although he never showed horses in competition, he loved raising American Quarter horses and enjoyed the friendships he made in the horse industry, including Tommy Kennedy of Brandon. Billy enjoyed his time at his barn caring for his horses and attending some of the major shows such as the Dixie National Quarter Horse Show, Quarter Horse Congress, AQHA World Show, and the National Cutting Horse Futurity with his wife, Doris. In his eyes, watching a good horse work was a thing of beauty.
Billy was a charter member of Crossgates Baptist Church in Brandon where he formed his friendship with his best buddy, Gerald Adams, who spent many hours listening to Billy’s war stories and visiting faithfully after his wife’s death. Billy was also a Master Mason since 1953 with membership at the Harlandale Lodge # 1213 in San Antonio, Texas.
Billy was preceded in death by his infant daughter (Cathi Jane Callaway), mother (Violet Busic Callaway Smart), his father (Bill M. Callaway), step-mother (Evelyn Perdue Callaway), step-father (Ross Smart), brother (Van Callaway), sister (Doris White), and grandson (Kevin James White).
He is survived by his daughters, Patti Wilson (Ray) of Puckett, MS, and Jamie White (Ronnie) of Brandon, Ms. He is also survived by three grandchildren; Chris White, Brandon, Ms., Scott Wilson, Puckett, Ms., Sara Wilson, Mize, Ms. and four great grandchildren, SPC Chance White, Cash White, Lou Ellen Grace Wilson, and Steely Ray Jordan. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends, who he loved dearly.
A special thank you to Dean Floyd, who cared for him daily until his death. Also a special thank you to Linda Logan and staff at Assisting Angels, Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland, Ms. and all the healthcare providers who cared for him throughout his life.
Visitation will be Sunday, December 30th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at Ott and Lee Funeral Home in Brandon, Ms and Monday, December 31st from 9:00 to 10:00 am. Service will be Monday December 31st at 10:00 am at Ott and Lee – Brandon, Ms, with graveside service to follow at Brandon Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be made to Crossgates Baptist Church, 8 Crosswoods Dr., Brandon, Ms. 39042 and Harlandale Lodge # 113, P. O. Box 190095, San Antonio, Texas 78220.
Published Dec. 28, 2018
Hello, The fall 2018 Newsletter can be found at the link below. Thank You!