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: