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The ordeal of the USS Franklin

shellbackmac

Lantern Swinger
Just got this book from the States :

'Inferno' The Epic Life And Death Struggle of The USS Franklin in WW2'
by Joseph A. Springer (Zenith Press)

I had seen the famous photo of this carrier heavily damaged after a Japanese attack (only one bomb actually hit her) but didn't realise quite how horrendous the casualties were despite her remaining afloat and making it back to the States. It is grim reading, 798 dead and 487 wounded, truly horrendous. Here is the photo that has become one of the iconic images of WW11.

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/g270000/g273880.jpg
 

lsadirty

War Hero
Found an old video about the FRANKLIN I taped when I lived in London, 6-7 years ago. Dear me, what a disaster ! The RC Chaplain won the MoH for dumping ammo, fighting fires and rescuing trapped men, as well as carrying out his more normal duties, first aid/spiritual. Callahan or O'Callahan ?
But they managed to get up some sort of steam power, and eventually cleared the danger area.
Unfortunately, she was placed in reserve post war, and eventually scrapped. What a museum ship she would've been.
 

shellbackmac

Lantern Swinger
lsadirty said:
Found an old video about the FRANKLIN I taped when I lived in London, 6-7 years ago. Dear me, what a disaster ! The RC Chaplain won the MoH for dumping ammo, fighting fires and rescuing trapped men, as well as carrying out his more normal duties, first aid/spiritual. Callahan or O'Callahan ?
But they managed to get up some sort of steam power, and eventually cleared the danger area.
Unfortunately, she was placed in reserve post war, and eventually scrapped. What a museum ship she would've been.


You are spot on Isa, the RC padre was Father Joseph T. O'Callahan who was awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honour by President Truman in January 1946 for his bravery in the damage control effort and looking after the troops in such a horrendous situation. 798 dead, thats the ships company of one of our CVS's.
 

lsadirty

War Hero
One good thing that came out of it was that Uncle Sam realised that armoured flight decks were infinitely preferable to wooden ones. There was a classic quote by an Elmer Senior officer that more or less ran "If a kamikaze hits one of our carriers, it's 3 months in Pearl. If it hits a Limey carrier, it's Sweepers man your brooms, followed by Hands to Flying Stations". Proved several times off Okinawa, but a very expensive lesson to learn, both in equipment and manpower.
 
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