USS Franklin Store


Just in time for the gift buying season, you will notice that a link has been added to the top of the website for the USS Franklin Store.  The link is located just below the banner photo at the top of the page.  We currently have items with the two designs you see here posted for sale on Cafe Press.  20 percent of the proceeds will go to offsetting the costs of the upcoming Milwaukee Wi and future reunions.  Put a USS Franklin Tee or Mug under your tree this year!uss_franklin_1_tshirt

Obituary, Berdel Edwin Winke

MARCH 30, 1925 – NOVEMBER 6, 2014
Berdel Edwin (Del) Winke, 89 years old, was born March 30, 1925 in San Diego, California to Dorothy Marie (Berdel) Winke and Edwin Holter Winke. He was preceded in death by both parents.
Berdel is survived by his wife of fifty years, Dorothy Candlish Winke and three daughters, Rena Cecelia Childs-Weatherford and her husband Keith Weatherford of Modesto, Kara Lynn-Marie Winke of Vancouver, WA and Laura Louise Morgan of Mukilteo, WA. Three grandchildren, Laura Lynn Childs and Paul Matthew Childs of Modesto and Jade Elise Morgan of Mukilteo,  WA. Five great grandchildren, Willow Paige Sedore, Tristen Wade Scott, Eric Richard Scott, Raelyn Marie Scott and Joeb Matthew Childs, all of Modesto.
Berdel graduated from Hoover High School in San Diego in January of 1944 and immediately joined the Marine Corps. He served as gunner and mechanic with the Marine 3rd Air Wing in the South Pacific. He was stationed in Hawaii and aboard the air craft carriers USS Hancock  and USS Franklin.
After discharge in 1946 he went to college for two years and then to work for Electrical Supplies Distributors in San Diego until 1964. He then worked with Bryant Electric as a manufactures representative, until moving to Modesto in 1966 to operate Winke’s Liquors in Ceres and Sav-On  Liquors on Paradise Road in Modesto. In 1978 the family moved to Vancouver, WA. where Del worked for Consolidated Electrical Distributors of Portland, OR. Later he was the manager of  the CED Vancouver store. After his retirement in 1990, he and Dorothy moved back to Modesto.  Berdel had a mischievous sense of humor, a quick wit and a nickname for just about everyone.  He treasured his friends and kept in touch with his high school chums till they passed. He called  favored ex co-workers on their birthdays even after twenty five years of retirement. Del had the pleasure of attending his 70th high school reunion in September.
His interests included camping, hunting, fishing, bowling, soft ball and traveling. Berdel  particularly enjoyed twice touring in Alaska and the Yukon and a three week stay in Washington  D.C. visiting all the museums and the World War 11 Memorial. Several trips with a 5th Wheel  trailer covered most of the states west of the Mississippi, he was especially fond of the red rock country of the Southwest.
Berdel was a former member of the Modesto Elks Lodge and SIRS.
As per his wishes, there will not be a funeral, a ‘celebration of life’ will be held at a later date..  Remembrances may be made to the American

or donor’s favorite charity.
– See more at:

Obituary, Ridgley Radney

Ridgley Dexter Radney, age 93, passed away on November 1, 2014, at his home in Dickinson, Texas. He was born October 21, 1921 in Roswell, New Mexico and graduated from Gladewater High School in 1939. He attended Kilgore Junior College for several years after high school completing his basic studies.
After World War II broke out, Ridgley joined the Navy in 1941 and entered flight school in Corpus Christi, Texas where he earned his wings. Just after this, he would marry the love of his life, JoAnn Carlton. With the war effort requiring his presence, he was then assigned to the carriers U.S.S. Franklin and later the U.S.S. Yorktown to fly the SBD Douglas Dauntless dive-bomber as a part of Bombing Squadron Five (VB-5) in the Pacific. He would earn the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal and two Air Medals for his heroic achievements as a pilot. He was discharged from the Navy as Lieutenant Commander in July 1947. Over the next 50 years, he and JoAnn would very much enjoy their association with other retired military personnel at the “Squadron Reunions” held all across the United States.
Ridge, as he was called by his friends, would reenter college after the war at Southern Methodist University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Radio Television. He finished his training at the New York School of Broadcasting where he learned the practical aspects of television direction and production. After graduation, he was hired by WFAA in Dallas as a television director. He would later accept the position of Production Manager at KPRC in Houston and later still the same position at KHFI in Austin. It was during these time periods that he and JoAnn would raise their family as loving parents. Ridge had a special place in his heart for his family and enjoyed activities together such as sports, carpentry, traveling and church. He had a love for coaching little league football where he used motivation and hard work as a coaching technique to develop an almost undefeated record. He had a special love for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved to talk about them with anyone that would listen. He was a member of the Clear Lake Masonic Lodge No. 1417 and was very proud of his association with this service organization and its members who befriended him in the later years of life. He was very active in the Methodist Church as a church trustee, stewardship committees, usher and various mission projects. His relationship with our savior Jesus Christ was a close one which gave him a great deal of joy and comfort during his lifetime and in his final days. His family will remember him as a loving husband, father and grandfather who had a kind and gentle soul with a good sense of humor and a joy for helping others.
Ridge is survived by JoAnn, his loving wife of 67 years; by his brother, Hugh Radney and his wife Keechie Radney; by his son, Larry Radney and his wife Lou Radney; his grandchildren, Travis Radney, Erin Radney and her husband, Ben Gaete; Derek Radney and his wife, Sally; Kenneth Priesmeyer and Logan Shannon; his great-grandchildren, Evelyn Radney, Calvin Radney, Owen Gaete and Rhett Gaete. He is preceded in death by his parents; James Pearson Radney and Lola White Radney; by his son, James Radney; by his daughter, Kelly Radney.
The Radney family wishes to extend their gratitude to pastors, Tony McCollum and Paula Kirby, many members of Seabrook United Methodist church and caregivers, AnnMarie and Jeri for all their prayers and support.
A Life Celebration Visitation will be held on Sunday, November 9, 2014 at Crowder Funeral Home, 111 E. Medical Center Blvd, Webster, Texas. A private family burial service will be held in Austin on Veteran’s Day November 11, 2014.
Any desired donations can be made to the Building Fund at Seabrook United Methodist Church, 3300 Lakeside Drive, Seabrook, Texas 77586. – See more at:

Fall 2014 Newsletter

Hello Friends,

For those of you that did not receive the paper copy, the Fall 2014 USS Franklin Museum Association newsletter was delivered a few weeks back.  I am posting the electronic version at the link here:  Franklin Newsletter Fall 2014.  We did announce that the 2015 reunion will be held in Milwaukee Wisconsin the weekend of July 17,18, and 19th 2015.  I will post more information as it becomes available.


Darren Hamm