In The Company Of Heroes

USS Franklin, CV-13, an Essex-Class carrier, suffered some of the most horrific damage and casualties of any US Navy warship during WWII.  Shortly before sunrise on 19 March, 1945, Franklin was struck by 2 armor-piercing bombs.  These blew through the ship, igniting ammunition and ordnance, rupturing fuel and water lines, and communications circuits.

USS Franklin suffered 724 dead, and 265 wounded.  She was towed to Ulithi Atoll where she underwent emergency repairs, then sailed to New York under her own power to begin the repairs to return her to service.

This year,  65 years after the attack, USS Franklin’s crew will hold a reunion at Branson, Mo.  Anyone with an interest in the Pacific war should try and attend. The men you will meet are true heroes, who exemplified the finest traditions of the US Navy, and through blood, sweat and tears saved their ship, and brought their surviving shipmates home.

More of Franklin here:

Reunion info here:

USS Franklin, CV-13 burns. Image taken from USS Santa Fe, CL-60, 19 March 1945


5 Responses to “In The Company Of Heroes”

  1. 1 SCOTT the BADGER
    February 25, 2010 at 01:45

    That she made it home is just amazing. I have seen an aerial photo of her coming into NY harbor, and there was a short flight deck, and then a long row of warped deck stringers. BRAVO ZULU BIG BEN, and a BRAVO ZULU to BUNKER HILL as well.

    Lots of lessons to be learned from those two, like the need for hatch combings to be higher, so flaming gas can’t spill down to the decks below. I hope the current ships are designed with those two carriers in mind, since I don’t think that the possibilty of a Kamikazi has escaped the minds of Islam. Alas, though, we Americans tend to forget the lessons of the past. I know her hull is steel, but think how nicely the deckhouse aluminum of a LCS would flare, once it got going. If I were a nasty, I would make sure that the warhead I used would have something like thermite in it, to get the ship going.

    Despite what the Progressives think, the need for a USN and the rest of the DoD is far from past. I personally believe that China will eventually come gunning for India and Russia, and I can’t see us not getting dragged in, at least when India is attacked. I fear someday people will be writing about the fire that burned LIBERTY (LCS 47) to the waterline, in the Straights of Taiwan.

  2. 2 SCOTT the BADGER
    February 26, 2010 at 16:23

    You beat Sal to the post! YAY!

  3. 3 Quartermaster
    February 27, 2010 at 03:22

    If you want to see the results of a shipboard fire combined with an aluminum superstructure, picture of the Belknap after her collision with the JFK are on the net. It wasn’t pretty.

    The Brits also learned what can happen to an Aluminum ship when one of their ships got hit with an Argentine Exocet.

    I can understand from an Engineering standpoint the why of Aluminum superstructures as it magnifies the effect of the righting moment since it lowers the ships center of gravity well below the center of bouyancy, but it really magnifies the fire risk.

    February 27, 2010 at 08:32

    I have seen photos of that mishap. There wasn’t much left, was there.

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