PDF Document is located here: USS Franklin Reunion Press Release JULY 4, 2019
USS FRANKLIN CV-13 REUNION IN NASHVILLE TENNESSEE
JULY 11-14, 2019.
Reunion of The Ship That Wouldn’t Die.
Nashville, TN, July 11-14, 2019 – 6 surviving crew of the storied WWII Navy Aircraft Carrier, USS Franklin CV-13 (www.ussfranklin.org), along with 62 friends and family members will be converging on the Embassy Suites by Hilton at Vanderbilt, Nashville for a weekend of fun, fellowship, and memorial.
The public and press are invited to join the USS Franklin Reunion for a Memorial Friday July 12th 10:30AM – 12:00PM at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville at Vanderbilt, 1811 Broadway, Nashville, TN, 37203, where USS Franklin Crew member David Baruch GM3/c 6th.-Div. Maj. USAF Ret. will be our guest speaker. Mr. Baruch regularly speaks to school children and to community groups about his experiences on board the USS Franklin.
The USS Franklin, named after founding father Benjamin Franklin, is often also attributed to the Civil War Battle of Franklin, TN.
About the March 19, 1945 bombing
“Before dawn on 19 March 1945 the U.S.S. 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 semi-armor piercing bombs. One struck the flight deck centerline, penetrating to the hangar deck, effecting destruction and igniting fires through 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. The Franklin, within 50 miles of the Japanese mainland, lay dead in the water, took a 13° starboard list, lost all radio communications, and broiled under the heat from 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 winners, 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. The U.S.S. Santa Fe (CL-60) similarly rendered vital assistance in rescuing crewmen from the sea and closing the Franklin to take off the numerous wounded.
The Franklin was taken in tow by the U.S.S. Pittsburgh until she managed to churn up speed to 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, the 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 1959 she was reclassified AVT 8.
The U.S.S. Franklin received four battle stars for World War II service.”
From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. II, 1977, pp. 443-444
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