56 thoughts on “Forum

  1. Pingback: Welcome to www.ussfranklin.org | USS Franklin CV-13

    • Great Question! I just found this out myself when I set mine up. Go to http://www.gravatar.com and link your email and photo there. Follow the directions and your photo will be linked to all blogs that support gravatar. This website is created using wordpress and natively supports gravatar.com.



    • I’m not really replying, I’m trying to find out if anyone out there ever knew a crew member named Norman E. Cherry Jr.? He was wounded when the ship was bombed in WW 2. He is 6′ 4″ and is about 210 lbs. and he’s from Arkansas. If you knew him please let me know. Thank you, Russell Cherry


      • I saw where his son Russell Cherry left an email address here in the forum to contact his dad through him! rdlcherry@bellsouth.net I do hope you can come in contact with him!
        I am looking for anyone who can remember a 25 year old Clothz Gillis who died that day (March 19th 1945). Any remembrance of him would be wonderful. He was my grandfather’s brother from Walton County Florida. Thank You!! My name is Sadie Gillis & my email address is : blondepowderkeg@gmail.com


    • My name is Michael Nagel. My Grandfather Delton Moss served on the USS Franklin in WW II. He passed away quite some time ago. He never talked that much about his service, so I am interested in finding out any information about what he did and especially anyone that served with him that might remember him. I am not sure if I am posting where i should or not. Thanks for any help anyone can provide me.


    • From my understanding, the ship’s muster rolls (complete or otherwise) are currently stored at the Smithsonian Institute, and rarely displayed. Prior to this, they were micro-filmed, and kept at the Naval Archives. Unfortunately the deterioration, even at the time of the micro-filming, made them difficult to read. It was available for purchase from the Archives, in micro-film form, but most pages are not legible.

      With that said, the muster roll was updated, almost daily (a new page(s) added each day). The USS Franklin crew was at 3,000+, and changes to their statuses were recorded. At the end of each calendar quarter, a complete muster roll was compiled. This was an accounting of all of the “assigned” ship’s crew. It did not contain any of the officers, nor the attached personnel, ie: Air Group 5 or Air Group 13, VMF-214 or VMF-452.

      The last complete muster was 31 Dec 1944, the next was to be 31 Mar 1945, but with the bombing on 19 Mar 1945, they had a very difficult time accounting for all the crew. In fact, it never was completed for 31 Mar 1945 on board the ship, though they tried. The next complete version, was 30 Jun 1945, as it sat in Brooklyn (from my understanding, with a very limited crew assigned, as repairs continued).

      All of the above is from my research and experience. I have the USS Franklin Muster Rolls, purchased on micro-film, then years later, digitally corrected/enhanced, and stored on DVD’s. Fortunately they are now legible, unfortunately not indexed. This would be a major undertaking, but then again Ancestry.com may have already completed this.



  2. Many Muster Rolls for the Franklin are available on http://www.Ancestry.com and most are legible enough for use. There is an annual fee for membership in Ancestry.com, but it gives access to a great many sources. I easily found my brother S2.c Elden D. Rogers in several of the Muster Rolls and also found several other boys from our town on the rolls for other ships.
    Jerry Rogers


  3. My father William D. Byess was on the Franklin 19 March when she was hit. He survived and is still alive at 86 years of age. A couple of years ago, I built him a model of the Franklin, with the intent of trying to find out if he was entitled to any medals for his service, and getting those together for him before he is gone.
    Can any one point me in the right direction to find this out and any paperwork that needs to be filled out.


    • Dean,
      If you do not quickly learn of a better avenue for help, the membeer of Congress from your district would probably be very happy to help you learn whether your father has received all of the medals to which he is entitled.



  4. Mr. Jerry Orton wrote to the website with the information and photos below. If anybody has any information, please let us know.

    The photo is located here:

    My father, T. G. Orton, served in the Navy during WWII as a coxswain. I was going through his records last night and came across the above stub that was on board during the battle. Signatures validate it’s authenticity. I can find no records of him actually serving aboard the Franklin but am confused as how this stub came into his possession. Records indicate that he served on the USS Saratoga according to Authorized decorations and battle stars certification dated 8/15/45. I will loan the original memorabilia to your association if proper credit is given to me as the owner. Please research the names and let me know how I might send them a copy of the original.

    Thanks for all that you do

    Jerry Orton


  5. Hi Kathy,

    It is well known, that even on a good day, the Navy and the Marine Corp do not get along well, so it is no surprise they did not integrate, on the Franklin. And to add to that, Capt Gehres did not like VMF-214! He had a number of confrontations with them, you might think of the Black Sheep like “Maverick, in the Top Gun movie (always pushing it…good or bad!).

    Yes, their time was short on the Franklin, but normally Marine Air Squadron’s are not members of a Naval Air Groups; the Navy was punching out carriers so quickly during WWII, they needed planes and pilots, so they resorted to the Marine Corp, and the Franklin got the Black Sheep!!!

    With that said, I do hope you do join a Franklin Reunion. My name is Phil Gentry, my father was Sgt Robert E Gentry, Sgt, VMF-214, on board, USS Franklin 19 Mar 1945. He passed away, 26 Dec 1967, two years after retiring from the Marine Corp. I started this website (approx 2003), in honor and to research my father, not the Franklin. But, in need of info about my father, and his time on the Franklin, I went to reunions, and was able to find a few that knew my father, others that knew those that knew those with more info,…. and I was able to talk to many. Because of this experience, I stopped making the site about my dad, and about the crew and the ship, USS Franklin. When this all started, if you put “USS Franklin” in a Google search, you got nothing!!!!!

    About 3 weeks ago, my father’s best friend, best man, and my prime resource of the Black Sheep on the Franklin, stopped by to see me. They served together on the ship. He continues to talk about their time on the ship, as if it was yesterday. Again, their time was short, on board, but it was a life altering event, for all those guys, and I cherish all of them, my heroes.

    Phil Gentry
    Albuquerque, NM

    Congratulations…USS Franklin on another successful reunion, in Charleston, SC! Not sure if anyone knew, but just up the coast from Charleston, is Wilmington, NC, where the USS North Carolina is on display. I believe it was part of Task Force 58.3, and close by the Franklin, off Japan. I remember, just prior to my father’s retirement, we visited, and toured the ship. I remember seeing a tear in my dad’s eye, when we were there (ca. 1962), which was not a common site, for me, nor my father.


    • Phil,
      Ask your dad’s friend if he remembers my dad. Thanks.
      Incidentally, I graduated from Manzano HS and my dad taught math at Sandia HS.


  6. I have a tip that might be useful to you if you have not already pursued it. Robert Leon Bamburg was a buddy of my brother, Elden Duane Rogers. Both were killed 3/19/45. I was able to find Bob’s record in WWII Jewish Servicemen Cards, 1942-1947 on http://www.Ancestry.com. You pay an annual fee for ancestry.com, but on it I also found muster rolls for the Franklin showing Bob, my brother, and others.
    Jerry Rogers


  7. I am in need of a good easy soruce of photos of the Franklin during 1944 and 45, with emphasis on the flight deck and hangar deck, for use in a publication. I would be very grateful for recommendations from anyone.
    Jerry Rogers


    • I have a son who is wishing for a USS Franklin jigsaw puzzle. I can not find one. Is there anyone who would be willing to share a photo that I might use on a photosite like Shutterfly to have a puzzle made for him? This is a Christmas wish…so timing is critical.



      • Hello Lyle,

        I would think any photo you could find off of the internet would work for one puzzle. I just don’t know enough about copyright laws and unfortunately I do not know of a particular source.


  8. Hello everyone,
    Some time ago in my family archive I found old newspaper obituary of my grandfather cousin.
    I’m looking someone who knew Anthony C. Godleski WT3C who died 19.03.45.
    In general I searching any contacts to his family at all. I’m trying to re-build family contacts. If someone can provide any info – I’ll highly appreciate.
    Kind regards,
    Jakub Godlewski / Poland.


    • Hello Jakub!

      I found this site just doing a little research and I am beyond excited! I too am related to Anthony Godlewski!

      I truly hope this message makes it’s way to you. I’d love to hear from you!

      Kathleen Nestor Owens – KatOwens@aol.com


  9. Anyone able to put back the link to the Franklin 704 Club article and membership listing (www.ussfranklin.org/704club.html)? It no longer works. If not, anyone have it on their computer and able to send it to me via email for my father, a 704 Club member? Thanks in advance


  10. I am interested in volunteering for the 2014 reunion in VA Beach. My Dad was onboard the Franklin when it was hit off the coast of Japan. Please let me know if you can use some assistance with the reunion. I will be happy to help with this endeavor, as much as I can. I think that my profile has my email address so that you can contact me via email.

    Thanks, Garry


  11. Greetings my name is Mark A Mansfield and I’m the som of Lt JG James E Mansfield. Dad was an F6F Hellcat pilot who served on the USS Franklin with VF-13. Just wanted to say hello



  12. T/Sgt Peter Papaleo USMC VMF-452 was KIA aboard Franklin 19 March 1945.
    Does anyone know if he was aviator or ground (deck)crew?
    Body not recovered.Is listed on memorial wall at Punchbowl.


    • I would bet he was ground. I’ve only seen one noncom who flew and the Corsairs were single seat. Go over to facebook and join the Remember the USS Franklin group. I’ve posted several replies over there that discuss the records. I do not have VMF-452, only 214. The USMC had some pretty good records and maybe those survived, for sure the ones they had at Santa Barbara are around and everybody had an alphanumeric classification so you can find out exactly what their job entailed.


  13. Hello, I am looking for information on my grandmothers brother James (Jimmy) W. Sanderbeck FC3. He was killed in the March 19th attack, that’s all we ever heard about him as his death hit my grandmother very hard. I want to know more about my relative and celebrate his life so I’m looking for any information at all.


  14. Hi Folks,
    I recently sat down for a conversation with Al Bullock, my neighbor and friend. He was aboard the USS Santa Fe as a Navy photographer who took many photos of the tragic attack of the USS Franklin.

    Here is the short film I posted on YouTube of my conversation with Al.

    Feel free to share the link.

    Thank you,


  15. I am the niece of Charles Longan, who reportedly served on the Franklin. It is my understanding that he worked in the boiler room. We have only heard very short stories of his days on the Franklin. Today he is living in a retirement home in White City, Oregon at the age of 89. I do not know what his rank was or any accurate account of his role on that fateful day in March. His memory and attention span is somewhat scattered. Is there any way that we can get verification of his service, etc. Most of his documents and momentos were destroyed in a fire that consummed the trailer he was living in. Thank you to anyone who can provide information.


  16. Hi, everyone!

    My great uncle was Frank John Hack, AOM 3/c (Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class.) He died on March 19th, 1945 aboard the USS Franklin. If anyone knew him or knew stories about him I’d love to hear them!

    I have a photo of him, but am not sure how to post it. If anyone can help me it would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Anne Marie


  17. I found out that my cousin Gerald Shea was a combat air crewman who flew in SB2Cs on the Franklin ,is there any way to find out what squadron he was in?


  18. My father, Robert “Bob” Francis Herron, was a signalman on USS Franklin when it was bombed. He never spoke about it much, nor any of his experiences in the war, other than to say when he was on the main deck and looked over the side, “there was no way in hell I was jumping off that ship.” I’d be eternally grateful to hear from anyone who may have known him or served with him.


  19. R.I.P Dad, John T Shelley, died yesterday Nov 8 2015.

    Served on the Franklin as an “airdale” when he was seventeen and survived the bombing.


  20. I am so glad I found this forum. My grandfather Leon Segal dies in the 1990’s but intrusted me with his USS Franklin documents, pictures and stories. I share it yearly with whoever I can including my children. My grandfather was a hero- receiving a purple heart for his efforts after the explosion.


  21. Seeking information on Chief Aviation Pilot (CAP) Stanley Tumosa. Listed as killed 18 March in VT-5. However, Jack Hensel reminiscing, listed personnel from VT-5 killed 19 March, CAP Tumosa isn’t on it. On the site, there is a teaser of “2 Men Shot Down March 18, 1945” but the same info serves all of VT-5, with no details. There should also be more names on the 18th if so, the crewmen should be listed on 18th as well. Previously in his career Tumosa was a fighter pilot in VF-2 in 1942 as NAP Second Class. In 1945 he is listed as killed in a Torpedo squadron-wondering if he possibly was in the VF squadron onboard Franklin?


  22. I would like to know if there are any survivors who can recall anything about my namesake uncle who died in the March 19, 1945 bombing of the Franklin. His name was John Elliott Penner and was called Elliott by family. I understand that he was a Ltjg. and was an Intelligence officer on the Franklin. My grandparents never opened the last letter that came from him as it arrived after they were advised of his death.
    Thank you,


  23. Just found this site and was so excited, my Dad retired from the Navy and one of his brothers Billy G. Forbes was killed on the Franklin Mar 19, 1945 and since their other brother June was killed at D Day Dad was sent stateside. Other than the fact that Billy was killed on the Franklin I really don’t know much about him but was glad to see this site and learn a little more.


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