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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 email@example.com
You can see a short video here about the USS Franklin at the USS Midway Museum and the recovery of the plaques:
We are pleased to be able to finally reschedule our Pensacola reunion. Based on the responses from our survey most people were in favor of changing to Tuesday-Friday to hopefully see the Blue Angels. They are scheduled to practice on June 9th.
*The link will only book rooms for 6/6-6/11 at the $129 rate. If you want to add any weekend nights please call LeAnn Collins at 850-382-8659. Our block of 30 rooms will be held until May 8th and then the rooms will be released. Please do not delay booking your room as it can always be cancelled.
The reunion will begin Tuesday June 8th with Registration at 4pm. There will be a 5pm Board meeting.
On June 9th we will board out trolleys (Big Thanks again to Tom at Beach Bum Trolley!!) and depart for the National Aviation Museum.
***EVERYONE 16 AND OLDER WILL NEED A VALID PICTURE ID TO ENTER THE MUSEUM!!!
At the museum we will have our Memorial Ceremony, watch an IMAX movie, see the Blue Angels practice, eat lunch at the Cubi Bar Cafe and tour the museum.
That evening, join us in the hospitality room for some entertainment and refreshments.
On June 10th we will have the general meeting in the morning and the dinner dance in the evening.
June 11th we will have the 8 o’clock Report in the morning before saying our farewells.
The dinner entree selections for Saturday are as follows:
Beef London Broil: marinated char grilled flank steak, thinly sliced topped with a mushroom and cabernet wine sauce.
Chicken Chicken Riesling: sauteed chicken breast with fresh mushrooms and a reisling wine sauce.
Fish Shrimp Scampi: Jumbo shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic with mushrooms, tomato, parsley, scallions, lemon and white wine sauce. Served over pasta with parmesan cheese.
Vegetarian: Same as the fish entree but without the shrimp.
We decided to try something different with the registrations this year. Instead of everyone mailing them in I created a Google Form. So our preference is to have you fill out the form online and submit it back to us. It is very easy! We would also prefer if you could send the registration fee through Zelle, PayPal or Venmo.
The reunion fee is $155. Children 12 and under $120.
Please fill out the online registration at the link below or print it out and send it in:
After much more consideration, and in light of recent developments, we must inform you that we have decided to postpone the reunion next week in Pensacola. We definitely plan to reschedule it there sometime this summer or fall. But we have to wait to see what happens before we can make any definite plans. Please be sure to cancel your hotel rooms and other travel plans. The Pensacola Grand Hotel phone number is 850-433-3336. At this point we have made financial commitments and paid out money for deposits and pins & keychains. So we would like to hold on to the registration fees for the new dates. If this does not work for you please let us know. We are very sorry for the late notice. We really wanted to pull this off on the anniversary date but unfortunately it is just not possible. We hope everyone will be able to attend on the new dates. Again please contact April at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-685-9298 with any questions. Please stay healthy and safe.
Hosted by: April and Ken Homko
in memory of Ken’s father Harry Homko (K-Div)
We are so excited to be hosting another reunion! Not just “another reunion” but the reunion on the 75th Anniversary of the attack on the Franklin. We will be bringing the reunion back to a great town we have visited before, Pensacola, FL.
Security is a lot tighter than when we stayed on base back in 2007. So we will be staying at the historic Pensacola Grand Hotel located at 200 E. Gregory St. in downtown Pensacola. They are giving us a great rate of $100/night for their standard room with 2 Queen Beds. They will honor this room rate fom 3/17-3/24. (Please note that breakfast is not included in this rate. There is a restaurant located in the hotel that is open for breakfast and dinner. See the attached menu. We will also provide some continental breakfast items in our hospitality room daily.) Currently we have 45 rooms blocked. These rooms will be held only until February 20th and then they will be released. So, please do not delay booking your room. To do so, call the hotel directly at 850-433-3336, ask for reservations and then provide the four letter code: C V 1 3. Also, it has been mentioned that Pensacola does not have a very big airport with many flights. So, if possible, do not wait too long to book your flights.
The Pensacola Grand does offer a complimentary airport shuttle from 6am-10pm and there is no charge for parking if you drive. They are the top hotel in Pensacola for Military Reunions with a great location in the heart of Downtown Pensacola. It is minutes away from shopping, dining, and entertainment venues with Pensacola Beach only 8 miles away. Many of you know when planning a reunion there are many factors to consider to find the best possible hotel for our group. So, although we do not have breakfast included, this hotel is the best choice to meet the majority of our needs. They will definitely give us service and attention unmatched by any other hotel in the area.
The reunion will start Thursday, 3/19 with registration beginning at 4pm in our hospitality room. There will be a Board meeting beginning at 5pm.
Friday, 3/20 we will board Trolleys and head to the National Naval Aviation Museum. Everyone 16 and older will need a picture ID to enter the museum! At the museum will have our Memorial Ceremony, a guided tour of the museum, watch an IMAX Movie, enjoy lunch at the Cubi Bar Café and possibly a tour of the National Flight Academy. Trolleys will head back to the hotel at different times in the afternoon so everyone has enough time to enjoy the museum. Friday night join us in the hospitality room for some entertainment.
Saturday, 3/21 the general meeting will be in the morning and the dinner dance in the evening.
Sunday, 3/22 will be the 8 o’clock Report in the morning.
In closing I need to give a GIANT “Thank You” to Tom from Beach Bum Trolley for all his help with this reunion. If I hadn’t (by chance) gotten in touch with him I don’t think I would have volunteered to host! You can check out this link on his website for our reunion itinerary and menu for the Friday lunch: http://beachbumtrolley.com/franklin.htm
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 Telephone: +1-615-320-8899