2023 Reunion Hotel Venue Update!

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Hello Everybody. We have a last minute hotel venue change for the February 16-19 2023 Corpus Christi TX, USS Franklin reunion. The new hotel is within the same company as the previous hotel so if you have already booked, your booking is still valid and you should be getting a phone call to confirm the change.

If you have yet to book you stay, the new hotel contact information is:

HYATT Place
6773 South Padre Island Dr.
Corpus Christi, TX 78408
Phone: 361.985.8888

The Hyatt place will honor our current USS Franklin rate of $104 per night. Breakfast is still complementary and the new venue has a hotel restaurant and a swimming pool.

The hotel is 13 miles from the airport, and the best way to get from the airport to the Hotel is via taxi, Uber, or Lyft.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!


2023 USS FRANKLIN REUNION REGISTRATION LINK

Fall Newsletter and 2023 Reunion Registration

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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
Phone: 1-361-851-2000

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.

AGENDA
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
Phone: 858-231-0061
E-mail: asbarnes05@gmail.com

If electronic payment is preferred, please send through Venmo or Zelle to the below:
VENMO: @Angel-Barnes-3
https://venmo.com/u/Angel-Barnes-3

ZELLE: Ray.Barnes.JR@gmail.com
858-231-0062

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 amclarkphotography@gmail.com

You can see a short video here about the USS Franklin at the USS Midway Museum and the recovery of the plaques:

In Memoriam

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
Russell Gettemy
Ovean Henderson
Matthew M. Little STM1/c S2-Div.
John E. Murphy SKV3/c S1-Div.
Holly Rousch PC3/c K-Div.
Will R Wareham
Harold West
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:
Darren Hamm
7749 County Road W
West Bend, WI 53090
franklin@ussfranklin.org

Obituary, Roe D Woody


ROE D. WOODY, 85 ROCKFORD – Roe D. Woody, 85, of Rockford passed away Monday, Feb. 1, 2010, at home, surrounded by his family. Born July 19, 1924, in Wild Cherry, Ark., to Elvin and Agnes (Guthrie) Woody. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Married Leta Heflin on Sept. 13, 1946. Employed at Chrysler in Belvidere, retiring in 1991, and was a proud member of UAW Local 1268, serving as chief steward. “Woody” learned to cook in the Navy. He owned cafes in Lepanto and Marked Tree, Ark., and never turned anyone away because they couldn’t afford to pay. A devoted and loving husband and father, he was a big man who was compassionate and understanding. A source of strength to his family and friends. Survivors include wife, Leta; sisters, Gayona Ramsey and Bobbie Stark; children, Denis Woody, David (Tina) Woody, Donald (Gail) Woody, Dana (Charlie) Peters, Damon (Rhonda) Woody, Daryl (Tanya) Woody and Delana Woody; grandchildren, Troy, Shane, Joshua R., Lori, Toni, Michael, Brandon, Misty, Rex, Danielle, Brittany, Joshua L., Rachal, Jolene, Megan, Stephen, Jenna, Taylor, Jesse and Shaylyn; great-grandchildren, Sommer, Ian, Jeffery, Jeremy, Jordan, Leta, Kyra, Tyler, Hayden, Landen and Jameson; great-great-grandchild, Chloe; and numerous relatives and friends. Predeceased by parents; sisters, M.E. (Beth), Ida Mae, Claudine and Lucille; infant son, Dallas; and grandson, Christopher. Memorial service in his honor at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, in Sunset Funeral Home, 8800 N. Alpine Road, Machesney Park, with visitation from noon to time of service; the Rev. Ron C. Meyer will officiate. Cremation rites will be accorded. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your charity of choice. Online condolences to mem.com.

Published by Rockford Register Star from Feb. 5 to Feb. 11, 2010.

Obituary, Patrick Allen Desmond

Patrick Allen Desmond, age 95, was born October 15, 1926 in Nantucket, Massachusetts and died June 26, 2022 in Henderson, Nevada.

A World War II combat veteran, Pat entered the U. S. Navy from West Haven, Connecticut in October 1943. His military career spanned 10 years, leaving the service in 1953 as a Chief Fire Control Technician. He served on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV13) as a member of the pre-commissioning detail at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company and remained aboard “Big Ben” during her short, but highly decorated service to our nation.

Pat saw combat in the South Pacific on numerous occasions including the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944. Later, while attacking Japan’s Honshu Island and Kobe Harbor on March 19, 1945, the USS Franklin (CV13) suffered a devastating Japanese bomber attack in which two-500 pound armor-piercing bombs resulted in the ship being dead in the water less than 50 miles from the Japanese’s mainland. Casualties that day were 724 killed and 264 wounded. Pat was one of 704 members to return to the United States aboard the injured USS Franklin (CV13) which was cited as the most badly damaged U.S. Navy ship to ever return under her own power, arriving at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on April 28, 1945.

Pat was later assigned as an instructor at the Gunnery Officer Ordnance School in Washington, D.C. where he taught fire control systems to U.S. Naval Officers as well as foreign naval officers for many years.

Pat’s civilian work experience subsequent to his leaving the Navy spanned 36 years with three employers, Corvey Engineering Company of Washington, D.C., RCA Service Company of Alexandria, Virginia, and Vitro Laboratories of Silver Spring, Maryland. Pat spent 30 years with Vitro Laboratories, eventually retiring in 1986 as a Vice President from their 600-person facility in Oxnard, California.

Following retirement, Pat and his wife Janet relocated to Bullhead City, Arizona and later, eventually settling down in Henderson, Nevada in 2000.

Pat was most proud of his two sons, Patrick and Michael. Patrick retired from the U.S. Army Special Forces as a Major; Michael retired from the U.S. Navy as a Master Chief Petty Officer.

Pat hoped to be remembered for his pride of his Irish heritage, his love of Irish jokes, his fondness for Guinness, and his exhortation of Jeeze Peeze.

He was preceded in death by his wife Janet B. Desmond of Henderson, Nevada; former wife Laura C. Desmond of Saint Marys, Georgia; sisters Barbara Desmond McDonnell of New Haven, Connecticut and Anne Desmond Abele of Mesa, Arizona; and beloved grandson, Patrick W. Desmond of Viera, Florida. He is survived by his brothers Donald D. (Hazel) Desmond of Melbourne, Florida and Brian H. (Louise) Desmond of Warrenton, Virginia; sons Patrick C. (Colleen) Desmond of Viera, Florida and Michael D. (Susan) Desmond of Henderson, Nevada; stepson, Robert A. Gonano III of John’s Island, South Carolina; grandchildren Julie Desmond Daily of Viera, Florida, Jamie Desmond Thurston of Hudson, New Hampshire and Andrew M. Desmond of Eugene, Oregon; seven great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

If so desired, memorial contributions may be made to University Medical Center Children’s Hospital Foundation, Attn: Destiny Hampton, 1800 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 508, Las Vegas, NV 89012. Checks should be payable to: UMC Foundation. On-line donation option available.

Pat will be interred at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, Clark County, Nevada. Arrangements entrusted to the Boulder City Family Mortuary, Boulder City, NV 89005.

Obituary, Wilson “Will” R. Wareham

Wilson “Will” R. Wareham

Retired Master Electrician, Master Craftsman and US Navy WWII Veteran

Wilson “Will” Wareham, 94, passed away on June 28 with his loving family by his side.

Will was born on December 28, 1927 and was a Chelsea native, but much of his life was spent in Revere. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Navy on the USS Franklin CV13. Most recently, and a very proud moment for Will, the U.S. Army recognized him for his honorable service with a ride to D.C. on the Honor Flight.

Will returned from the war to start his life with his lifelong sweetheart, Dorothy. They were married in 1947 (at just 19 years old) and had three children. He worked many years as a Master Electrician for Tumblin Electric. Not only was he a Master Electrician, some would say he was also a Master Craftsman!

Will was the master of all woodworking projects, and could out-whittle anyone. When he wasn’t carving tiny boots out of blocks of wood, you could also find him tossing the bocci ball, skunking someone on the cribbage board or enjoying a cold Busch in the sun on his front porch in Egret Circle. He was also a lifetime member of the Broadsound Tuna Club in Revere and the Port Charlotte Moose.

Will was preceded in death by his adoring wife, Dorothy T. Wareham, daughter, Lori T. Palladino, son, William R. Wareham, granddaughter, Tiffany Wareham and grandson, Chris Wareham. He is lovingly survived by his daughter, Patricia Stowell and son-in-law, William and cousin, Leona VanBuskirk and her husband, Jack.

He was the cherished grandfather of Jillian Penfield and her husband, Robert, Whitney Mugford and her husband, Anthony, Alyssa, Christopher and Richie Palladino, Liz Simone, and Kelly Wareham; eight great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and all the wonderful neighbors of Egret Circle who will miss him dearly.

Services will be private. Donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project in his honor.

National Cremation Society, 2672 Tamiami Trail- Suite 4 B, Port Charlotte, FL 33952.

Obituary, Harold West

HAROLD WEST OBITUARY
Hope Valley, R.I. – Harold W. “Hal” West Sr. 95, of Hope Valley, R.I., husband of the late Barbara (Dorrington) West, was called home to be with the Lord Nov. 10, 2022. Born in Westerly, R.I. Aug. 16, 1927, he was the son of the late Eugene and Ethel (Binns) West.

He resided in White Rock, R.I., until joining the U.S. Navy in February of 1945, during World War II, and four months before his high school graduation. His parents were presented his diploma on graduation day from Westerly High School. While in the Navy, he served on the aircraft carrier the U.S.S Franklin, nicknamed Big Ben, until discharge in 1946. Upon discharge, he began working at the Mohegan Bakery where he met the love of his life, Barbara Dorrington. They were married in November of 1948. He worked at the former C.B. Cottrell Co., which later became Harris Graphics, until they closed in 1989. He then worked in the janitorial department in the Chariho School System, retiring in 1992.

Harold was an avid outdoorsman all his life, even in his later years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping and his expertise was occasionally sought after by the RI DEM. He loved spending time in his garden, and enjoyed sharing his harvest with the family. He was very civic minded and active in town sports by serving as treasurer for Chariho Youth League, time keeper for the basketball league and coach for the baseball league. Harold had a passion for the outdoors, his family and his faith.

Harold will be sadly missed by his five children: Harold West Jr. and his wife Carole of Preston, Lawrence West of Westerly, R.I., Cathy LaFountain and husband William of Rockville, R.I., Lois Reynolds and husband David of Carolina, R.I.. and Debbie Hull and husband David of Wood River Jct., R.I. He also leaves his grandchildren: Harold West III and his wife Brittney, Angela Burns and her husband Jesse, Larry West and wife Rebekah, Jim Medeiros, Tracy Pion and husband Scott, Michelle Emond, Sandi Scott and husband Jeff, Melissa Page and husband Matt, LeeAnne Colahan and husband Bryan, Ryan Hull and wife Kerrie and Brandi Hull and partner Mike Hurd. He is also survived by his brother Donald West and wife Lisa; sister-in-law Maria West; and 18 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Besides his wife Barbara, he was predeceased by his daughter-in-law Carolyn West; infant grandson William H. West; brother Robert West; and brother and sister-in-law George and Mary West.

The West family will greet relatives and friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the S.R. Avery Funeral Home, Main Street, Hope Valley, R.I. Funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the First Baptist Church in Hope Valley, 1059 Main Street, Hope Valley, R.I. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church in Hope Valley. Please visit http://www.averyfuneralhome.com for information.

Published by The Day on Nov. 13, 2022.

Obituary, John Murphy

John Murphy
December 9th, 2022

John Murphy
John Murphy, 95, was born in Melrose, Mass., to the late Joseph Patrick and Mary Eunice Divver Murphy. He was predeceased by his wife, Alice McKinney Murphy, sister-in-law, Sheila McKinney Woods and his brothers Robert and Joseph, his sisters Barbara Ryan and Katharine Mollins.

In addition to his wife of 64 years, John leaves his sons, Robert W., John E. Jr. (Sharyn), and Joseph P. (Carmen) and daughters, Linda Large (Mike) and Patty Bridge (Lorin), his grandchildren Patrick Large (Lisa), Erin Kleinfelt (Michael), Lorin Bridge Jr. (Heather), Meryl Exley (Ryan), John Murphy III, Lisa LaVenture (Eric), Alex Large (Samantha), Mallory Murphy, Keegan Murphy, Jonathan Fonseca; and his 12 great-grandchildren.

John graduated from Melrose High School in Massachusetts. He served in the Navy on the U.S.S. Franklin during its restoration years, then worked at McKesson and Robbins in Boston, where he met the love of his life, Alice.

He moved his young family, including his teenage sister- in-law, to Wilmington, Mass., where he was an active member of his community and church for many years. John was known for his incredible work ethic, and was remarkably successful in life insurance sales. He learned everything he could about the families he served, even helping those that only he knew their struggles.

John was a community servant, as demonstrated by his commitment and leadership as president of the Lions Club. When anyone needed a hand, John was there to lend his support and help in any way possible. He joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary with his best friend, Frankie Griffin, and together their love of boating took them on many nautical adventures.

In later years, the family relocated to Clearwater, Fla., where John was an “explorer of the South” in his position as a Home Office Inspector for John Hancock, and then director of the Department of Special Activities.

John loved nature, and was an environmentalist before his time. He had a passion for cleaning up the outdoors, especially during his summers on Long Lake in Maine, where he always enjoyed the company his many New England friends. No stick in the woods was safe when John was around!

John’s love of traveling the world was shared by his wife, especially to their homeland of Ireland where they never met a stranger.

Visitation begins at 9 a.m. followed by Funeral Mass at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at Espiritu Santo Catholic Church, 2405 Philippe Pkwy., Safety Harbor, FL 34695. Share memories, Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home, Clearwater, Fla. http://www.dignitymemorial.com or view Guest Book www. tampabay.com/obits

Obituary, George Fain Black

On Sunday, September 4th 2022, George Fain Black was found unresponsive at the age of 96. George had recently suffered from a mild heart attack, some 24 years after his quadruple by-pass that gave him an extended life. It is safe to say that George lived a full life.

George’s name represents the three family names that settled Texas. George is a direct descendant from James George who fell in the fall of the Alamo. Black’s Fort today outside of Austin, Texas is only remnants of what it used to be, but is protected by the State of Texas.

Born in Canyon, Texas in January 1926, he lived through the great depression, the dust bowl through high school where he excelled in sports and academics. His nickname was

Georgi Porgi.” George was also a Life Scout, but could not complete his Eagle requirements due to World War II. After graduating from high school, along with life-long friends enlisted in the US Navy to serve during WWII. George was a radio-man serving on the USS Benjamin Franklin, CV-13, also known as “Big Ben” and the “ship that wouldn’t die.” George served on other vessels during his military career and found himself back in Pearl Harbor, and was the radio-man that took the message that the war had ended. George earned various medals and awards.

After the war, George enrolled at the West Texas State University and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. George was very active in Campus politics and veterans affairs. George is an Alpha Tau Omega, formerly known as Tri-Tau.

After college, George went to work for Texas Employers Insurance which began his 40 year career in Insurance claims. In his early career, George found himself in Florida and met Betty Jo Meadows and married. After their first child was born, Georganne, they returned to West Texas where George met George Bush Sr. At this time, George and George Bush Sr were engaged in business and political aspirations. Their second child Gregory was born in Odessa, Texas.

George then moved to the Houston office for Texas Employers as the District Claims Manager. Once again, George Bush Sr appeared and George was his political advisor when George Bush Sr was elected in the House of Representatives in 1966.

After 40 years of service, George retired from Texas Employers and started his own company G&B Claims Consulting, where he worked until his mid 80’s. George was a Houston Hero and an intrical part of the booming business scene in Houston. He proudly served with the Rotary Club, SCORE, and other organizations.

George is survived by his sister Evelyn Denton, his children, Georganne and Gregory, his grandchildren Jordan and Zachary.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.memorialoaksfunerals.com for the Black family or to Greg at Gregblack@live.com

SAVE THE DATE! 2023 USS Franklin Reunion February 16-19 Corpus Christi Texas.

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Angel Barnes and the family of crewmember Gerald Ahniwake ‘Ahni’ Ray would like to invite you to the 2023 USS Franklin reunion at the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Corpus Christi International Airport is located just 12 miles away from the hotel. San Antonio Airport is 2.5 hours away.

The highlight of the reunion is the USS Lexington CV-16 Museum (https://usslexington.com/). These dates coincide with the celebration of the USS Lexington’s 80th anniversary, and will include donations of USS Franklin memorabilia and granite plaques that will become part of a new display on the Lexington that will be devoted to the USS Franklin.

The remaining events are being worked out so book your hotel now. A full registration and schedule will follow soon!

Please contact the hotel by calling the number below or using the link below to make your hotel reservations and the USS Franklin reunion group rate of $104/night.

https://www.marriott.com/events/start.mi?id=1662064249967&key=GRP

(361) 851-2000

SpringHill Suites Corpus Christi
4331 South Padre Island Drive
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

We are very excited for this opportunity to gather again and hope to see you all there!

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.

As part of the documentary about the USS Franklin, Andy Clark will be filming the transport of the plaques from San Diego to Corpus Christi the week of October 3-7, and invites any interested Franklin crewmen and/or their family or friends to meet him and his film crew along and way to become part of the documentary.

The route will be on I-8 from San Diego through Southern California into Southern Arizona, then changing to I-10 at Phoenix, passing into Southern New Mexico and then turning south at Las Cruces, through El Paso and picking up I-37 in San Antonio for the final leg to Corpus Christi, Texas. Anyone near or on this route who wishes to participate can contact Andy at amclarkphotography@gmail.com

You can see a short video here about the USS Franklin at the USS Midway Museum and the recovery of the plaques:

Obituary, Harold “Holly” Rausch

Harold “Holly” Rausch, age 95, of Nashua, Iowa, died Sunday, June 20, 2021, at his home.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 24, 2021, at Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory – Olson Chapel in Nashua, with Rev. Drew McHolm officiating.

Interment will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery, Nasha with Robert Rausch, Margaret Rausch, Mark Moine, Drew Moine, Larry Prohaska, Clay Winowiecki, and Lynn Schluter serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are Dick White, Harold Begeman, and Ron Ulrichs.

Friends may greet the family from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory – Olson Chapel in Nashua. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the Funeral Home on Thursday.

Holly Rausch’s long and remarkable life began on March 12, 1926, when he was welcomed into the world by his parents, Edwin and Laura Rausch, in New Hampton.

His family lived in Waterloo until he was 4 before moving to the Nashua area, where Holly attended school, helped out around the farm, made plenty of friends, and landed a part-time job at the post office while he was in high school.

Holly turned 18 in 1944, and he knew the chances that he would be drafted into the service were high, so he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. As he said years later in a newspaper interview, by enlisting, he could at least pick the branch of service. He attended basic training in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and was assigned to the USS Franklin, an aircraft carrier nicknamed “Big Ben.”

He served as a mail carrier on the Franklin, a ship that went to hell and back in the Pacific. Three times, Big Ben was hit by Japanese kamikaze pilots, but the worst attack it suffered came a week after Holly turned 19 when Big Ben was hit by two armor-piercing bombs while it was launching aircraft to bomb the Japanese mainland. More than 800 sailors died during the attack, and Holly, like the rest of the survivors, not only made sure their ship didn’t sink but tended to the wounded and identified the dead.

March 19, 1945, was a defining moment in the life of Holly, for he learned the true meaning of “freedom is not free.” Years later, he refused to ever say “I’m having a bad day” because he knew what a real “bad day” looked like.

After the war, he received his honorable discharge and moved back to Nashua, where he met a beautiful young gal named Ruby Schluter. He asked her to join him for coffee a few times, they began dating, fell in love, and were married on Dec. 10, 1950, in Burlington.

Holly worked as a railway mail clerk in Southeastern Iowa city, and the couple welcomed one child, Stephen, who to this day will tell you that he grew up with a father who epitomized fun. Holly loved spending time with his wife and son, be it at home after work or on family vacations they regularly took.

When the Post Office took the mail “off” the railroad, Holly transferred to Nashua, where he worked for more than 20 years, eventually becoming the city’s postmaster until his retirement in 1985. All told, he dedicated 37 1/2 years — including his time on the Franklin — to making sure the mail got through.

But Holly was much more than a postman. He loved his community and played an active, vibrant role in it. He served on the Nashua City Council for years, he was a longtime member of the VFW, American Legion, Nashua Town, and Country Club, and Lions Club. He also was a Mason and belonged to the National Postmasters Associations.

Holly was, in a word, social. He loved people, and once he met someone, he never forgot them. Sixty years after he last saw someone, he could tell you where they lived, who they were married to, where they worked and how many kids they had. He had a gift for walking up to a perfect stranger, striking up a conversation, and making them feel like they had been lifelong friends.

After he retired, Holly and Ruby traveled even more, and it didn’t matter if he was in Nashua, Europe or Asia, he had the gift of gab and the ability to make anyone — be it his friends of 70 years or someone he met a minute ago — feel like they were important.

He loved his Euchre card games, tending to one of the most beautiful yards in all of Nashua and giving back to his community.

Holly and Ruby celebrated 70 years of marriage — “all to the same woman, too,” Holly joked — this past year, and they were blessed with two grandchildren, Robert and Margaret. Holly adored them both and Margaret’s fiancé, Clay Winowiecki, was definitely an honorary grandchild, too.

Holly remained sharp until the very end, and even as the end neared, he still had that smile and the glint in his eyes that was pure Holly Rausch.

A veteran who served his country with honor, a husband who loved his wife for 70 years, a father who gave his son the gift of time, a grandfather who provided so much fun in his grandchildren’s lives, and a community member who gave so much to the city he called home, Holly will be missed dearly.

The world was indeed a better place for the last 95 years because Holly Rausch was in it; however, his legacy will live on for years to come.

Holly is survived by his wife of 70 years, Ruby Rausch of Nashua, IA; one son, Stephen Rausch of Nashua, IA; two grandchildren, Robert Rausch, Margaret (Clay Winowiecki) Rausch.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Robert & Kenneth Rausch; three sisters, Edna Ashcroft, Ruth Niley, and Effie Rausch.