Hello All, the complete 2022 Fall Newsletter and Reunion Registration can be found at this link: Fall 2022 Newsletter
The 2023 Reunion Registration can be found at this link: 2023 Reunion Registration Link
2022 Reunion in Fredericksburg, Texas
Thank you Kent and Amy Hathaway for hosting an outstanding 2022 reunion in Fredericksburg, Texas in the heart of Texas Hill Country. The reunion was another great success!
Fredericksburg is a charming town, with a mix of German heritage and Texas pride. Wineries abound in this area of Texas, so reunion goers had lots of options when wanting to “cool off” from the Texas heat. There were even German Beer Halls with live music and a year round Christmas shop!
Fredericksburg is the boyhood home of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and is home to the National Museum of the Pacific War. We had a wonderful ceremony at the museum honoring those that served on the USS Franklin CV-13, followed by placing the wreath next to the USS Franklin plaque. There are two USS Franklin plaques in the Memorial Courtyard and the reunion attendees were given the opportunity to explore the courtyard before having lunch in a private room, upstairs.
After lunch, we had Docent guided tours through the George H.W. Bush Gallery of the museum. The interactive presentations and displays provide an interesting history of the global conflicts and political climate leading up to the War in the Pacific and walks the museum attendees through the entirety of the pacific campaign and beyond. It was a fascinating tour and a beautifully curated museum. If you were unable to attend, you should consider a trip to Fredericksburg, Texas.
The dinner and dance was fantastic, complete with a live band that offered a delightful collection of songs for the reunion goers. It was wonderful being able to gather again with the Franklin family and connect with some first time attendees.
The reunion closed out with the 8 O’Clock Report, honoring the crew that had passed since our last reunion. We had 2 crew members attend the 2022 reunion, Walt Gallagher and Jack Hensel.
One of our first time attendees, Angel Barnes, offered to host the 2023 reunion in Corpus Christi, Texas at the USS Lexington CV-16 to celebrate both the 80th birthday of the USS Lexington and a permanent home for some of the USS Franklin CV-13 memorabilia.
Farewell to the USS Franklin Museum Association
You may recall that in 2021, The USS Franklin Museum Association stopped collecting dues. During the 2022 USS Franklin Museum Association board meeting in Fredericksburg, the board voted to donate the assets that it has collected over the years to go to organizations that will help preserve the legacy of the USS Franklin and serve the mission of education on the subject of World War 2. During the Fredericksburg reunion, a donation was made to the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg and another donation was made to the film maker Andy Clark to advance the work that he has been doing on his USS Franklin Documentary.
Donations are in process for the USS Yorktown CV-10 Museum in Charleston, South Carolina; USS Lexington CV-16 in Corpus Christi, Texas; and the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. After the assets have been distributed, the Museum Association will be dissolved.
Many of the physical artifacts in the “Tote” that follows the USS Franklin Reunion will be donated to the USS Lexington during the 2023 Reunion in Corpus Christi.
Though the USS Franklin Museum Association was present at the reunions all these years, it should be noted that the Museum Association does not run the reunions, and the reunions can continue on should individuals continue to volunteer to coordinate these events.
Darren and Susan Hamm will continue to maintain the website USSFranklin.org to share USS Franklin information.
Thank you to all of the USS Franklin Museum Association Board members throughout the years, especially the crew who served on the board. Sam Rhodes and Jack Hensel played an integral part in this decision and it was not made lightly. The Board has served many years as advocates for USS Franklin, keeping the legacy, history and story of this ship and her crew alive. We hope that these donations will help continue to reach generations to come through the displays at these museums and through Andy’s documentary.
2023 Reunion at the USS LEXINGTON
Corpus Christi, Texas
USS Franklin CV-13 Reunion at the USS Lexington CV-16
February 16-19, 2023
Hotel: SpringHill Suites Corpus Christi, Texas
4331 South Padre Island Drive
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411
The Barnes family is thrilled to be hosting the 2023 USS Franklin reunion in honor of the USS Franklin CV-13 crew member Gerald Ahniwake “Ahni” Ray. Registration includes all of the activities listed below. Send a note in the registration if you have any food allergies or you would like to borrow a wheelchair for the weekend so we can plan accordingly. Please contact the SpringHill Suites hotel to reserve your room with the USS Franklin Group rate of $104 per night.
Many of the activities planned will be aboard the USS Lexington. Transportation is arranged to and from the hotel to planned activity locations as needed for those without transportation.
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Day: Registration will begin at noon in the hotel lobby.
Evening 5-9pm: Meet and Greet in the hotel conference room with light food fare.
Friday, February 17, 2023
Day: Complimentary breakfast available at the hotel. Free day to explore Corpus Christi.
Evening, Dinner/ Dance Time: 6pm-10pm Location: On board the USS Lexington
The USS Lexington 80th birthday celebration with introduction of the USS Franklin CV-13. Evening dance with big band music, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. You are invited and encouraged to dress for the 1940’s era.
*Rides to the USS Lexington will be available for those needed
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Day: Complimentary breakfast is available at the hotel.
12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch aboard the USS Lexington.
1:45pm-4:45pm Private tour of the USS Lexington. Elevators available for access as needed.
Evening: Free time.
Sunday February 19, 2023
Complimentary breakfast is available at the hotel.
7:45am: 8 o’clock report (Hotel conference room, begins at 8am sharp). Veterans Memorial High School Eagle Scout Troop to present colors. Farewells.
Send completed registration form (below) & check payable to Angel Barnes by January 21, 2023
Address: Angel Barnes
7534 Rancho Vista Blvd
Corpus Christi, TX 78414
If electronic payment is preferred, please send through Venmo or Zelle to the below:
Registration is $190 per person.
Please see the website http://www.ussfranklin.org for up to the date detailed reunion information.
A link to a printable version of the registration link can be found here:
2023 USS FRANKLIN REUNION REGISTRATION
USS Franklin Plaques and Andy Clark’s USS Franklin Documentary
In 2004, USS Franklin crewman Ray Bailey donated to the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California a set of granite plaques commemorating the two USS Franklin Medal of Honor recipients, Donald Gary and Joseph O’Callahan, and the Franklin crewmen who lost their lives while serving on the ship. The museum was never able to use the plaques and they rested in storage on the Midway until recently when they were recovered and temporarily stored to await a new home. That home has been found at the USS Lexington Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas. Andy Clark will be continuing to film his documentary and conducting veteran and family interviews at USS Lexington reunion. If you wish to participate, please contact Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can see a short video here about the USS Franklin at the USS Midway Museum and the recovery of the plaques:
8 o’clock report
Word was received that these crew members have been absent from muster since our last newsletter and have received orders from the Supreme Commander to be transferred to The Big Ship in the Sky.
George Fain Black RM3/c K-Div.
Patrick Allen Desmond
Matthew M. Little STM1/c S2-Div.
John E. Murphy SKV3/c S1-Div.
Holly Rousch PC3/c K-Div.
Will R Wareham
Roe D Woody
The Great Commander called them home
To sail the crystal sea,
Where they will steer with steady hand throughout eternity.
No longer will the high sea roll.
The skies will be clear and every day will be a day of happiness and cheer.
No storm shall cross their valiant prow and calm shall be the sea.
In that bright place where all is well and kindly is the breeze.
They are at peace with our Shipmates who have gone before.
Please send information on the death of a crew member to:
7749 County Road W
West Bend, WI 53090