2016 USS Franklin Reunion set for Gettysburg Pennsylvania June 23, 24, and 25th 2016.

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At the 2015 Milwaukee reunion general meeting, Joyce Conklin announced that the 2016 USS Franklin Reunion is set for Gettysburg Pennsylvania June 23, 24, and 25th 2016.  The hotel is 1863 Inn of Gettysburg, 516 Baltimore St. Gettysburg, PA 17325.  Their phone number is (717) 334-6211.  Make your reservations ASAP.  Parking and Breakfast is included.

Click the following link to download a PDF File containing all of the Save The Date information:

2016 Franklin Reunion Save The Date

Milwaukee 2015 USS Franklin reunion in the news

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Hello,

I would like to thank the USS Franklin family for coming to and helping out with a successful USS Franklin Reunion in Milwaukee Wi.  We got some news coverage below.  Links to the Fox 6, WISN12, and TMJ4 articles are posted below as well as a compilation posted to the USS Franklin YouTube Channel.

http://www.wisn.com/news/milwaukee-hosts-uss-franklin-reunion/34225064

http://fox6now.com/2015/07/17/uss-franklin-survivors-reunite-more-than-70-years-after-deadly-attacks/

http://www.scrippsmedia.com/tmj4/shows/wisconsin-tonight/Reunion-held-to-honor-those-who-served-on-USS-Franklin-during-World-War-II-318033841.html

A special thank you to Ed Vesely and Jerry Scott for sharing the Commemorative Air Force SB2C Helldiver with the USS Franklin Veterans and their families.  Visit their website at http://www.sb2chelldiver.com/   to find out more about this remarkable plane.

Crew of the USS Franklin and SB2C Helldiver in Milwaukee Wisconsin 17 July 2015 at the annual reunion.  Left to Right  William SchauerF1/c E-Div. Bernard Groenwold AMM2/c V-2nd -Div. Ray C. Bailey S2/c 6th -Div. PH1/c Ret. Roy Malmquist Navy Veteran and Friend of Crew Harold E. Rausch PC3/c K-Div. Gilbert E. BacaS1/c K-Div. John C. (Jack) Hensel ARM3/c VT-5 Donald Conard F1/c B-Div.

Crew of the USS Franklin and SB2C Helldiver in Milwaukee Wisconsin 17 July 2015 at the annual reunion. From Left to Right-
William Schauer F1/c E-Div.
Bernard Groenwold AMM2/c V-2nd -Div.
Ray C. Bailey S2/c 6th -Div. PH1/c Ret.
Roy Malmquist Navy Veteran and Friend of Crew
Harold E. Rausch PC3/c K-Div.
Gilbert E. Baca S1/c K-Div.
John C. (Jack) Hensel ARM3/c VT-5
Donald Conard F1/c B-Div.

Front Row Left to Right Bernard Groenwold AMM2/c V-2nd -Div Ray C. Bailey S2/c 6th -Div. PH1/c Ret Harold E. Rausch PC3/c K-Div Michael Dacko S1/c 2nd -Div Gilbert E. BacaS1/c K-Div  Back Row Left to Right Roy Malmquist Navy Veteran and Friend of Crew Donald Conard F1/c B-Div Major David Baruch USAF Ret GM3/c 6th -Div William Schauer	F1/c E-Div. John C. (Jack) Hensel ARM3/c VT-5

Front Row Left to Right
Bernard Groenwold AMM2/c V-2nd -Div
Ray C. Bailey S2/c 6th -Div. PH1/c Ret
Harold E. Rausch PC3/c K-Div
Michael Dacko S1/c 2nd -Div
Gilbert E. Baca S1/c K-Div
Back Row Left to Right
Roy Malmquist Navy Veteran and Friend of Crew
Donald Conard F1/c B-Div
Major David Baruch USAF Ret GM3/c 6th -Div
William Schauer F1/c E-Div.
John C. (Jack) Hensel ARM3/c VT-5

Inscribed bricks offered at the USS Franklin Memorial in Stuart Florida

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You may recall the USS Franklin’s own Sam Rhodes efforts to establish a USS Franklin Memorial in Stuart Florida published in an article on this site in November 2013.  See the article below.

USS Franklin plaques to be dedicated in Memorial Park in Stuart Florida on Veterans Day.

Mr. Ed Maxwell of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1041 in Stuart Florida reports that their Memorial Brick Program is open to any and all veterans and is installing customized bricks in the Stuart Veterans Memorial Park.  Bricks can be customized for $25 and $75 dollars.  Make sure you mention your USS Franklin connection so the bricks can be located accordingly in the park.  Click the image of the brick below for an application.

Harry Smeltzer Brick USS Franklin Memorial Stuart Florida

 

You can also get a brick application at the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1041 website here:

http://www.vva1041.org/#!about2/c1et

 

Obituary, William Coker, Sr.

William Coker, Sr.Concord, TNWilliam A. (Bill) Coker, Sr., of Concord, was born August 25, 1926 and passed away on Friday afternoon, August 14, 2015. Bill was a World War II Navy Veteran, served on the USS Franklin, and was a member of the 704 Club. He was a Past Master of Chota Lodge #253 F&AM. Bill Retired from Union Carbide.

He is survived by his three sons and daughters-in-law, Bill and Pattie, Jim and Debby, Phil and Candy; several grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Family and friends will gather at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday at Concord Masonic Cemetery for graveside services. Masonic services will be conferred by Chota Lodge. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association , 4708 Papermill Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37909. www.heart.org, or Chota Lodge #253, 11019 2nd Dr, Knoxville, TN 37934. Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel, 11915 Kingston Pike is serving the Coker family. www.clickfh.com.

Funeral Home
Click Funeral Home – Farragut Chapel
11915 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37922
(865) 671-6100
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel on Aug. 18, 2015

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/knoxnews/obituary.aspx?n=william-coker&pid=175525420&fhid=5920&eid=sp_shareobit#sthash.qoAyBKFS.dpuf

Obituary, Albert Thomas Ostheimer

OSTHEIMER, Albert Thomas Passed away August 1, 2015. He was born in New Jersey June 10, 1925 to Frieda and Joseph Ostheimer. Al served in the Navy during World War II as a radio man and gunner on dive bombers. He was on the USS Franklin, an aircraft carrier, when it was hit by two bombs off the coast of Japan. Al met his wife, Janice Jones at a dance when he was stationed in Santa Rosa. Dancing was an activity our parents enjoyed; Jitterbug and Square Dancing. Al was a hardworking and creative individual who instilled those attributes in his children. He worked as a butcher for Purity Stores and Safeway. He also helped run the Jones Christmas Tree Farm on Vine Hill Road in Sebastopol. Our parents liked to camp and fish. They took us all with them on family vacations; kids and grandkids. They traveled the world. Al and Jan had a vacation home in Deer Lake, Washington. He enjoyed gardening. We grew up with lots of animals; pets and livestock. He was a fan of the 49ers, Giants and Warriors. Al was fortunate to live to 90 years of age. He remained independent, living on his own, driving his car (he loved to drive), spending time with family and friends. His life was capped off by a surprise birthday party held July 12. All his family and many friends were in attendance. He loved it! Al was dedicated to his family. A kind man, he took loving care of his in-laws when they became elderly. We were all blessed by his ongoing love and support. Al was preceded in death by his wife, Janice, and his grandson, Aaron Ostheimer. He is survived by his daughters, Karen (David) Jones and Johanna (Rob) Klinker; his son, Terry (Sharon) Ostheimer; his eight grandchildren, Paul (Michelle) Ostheimer, Jocelyn (Seth) McKay, Nathan (Tidawan) Ostheimer, Ashton Ostheimer, Kelly (Dillon) Olivas, Sunny (Scott) St. Germain, Shiloh (Dawn) Klinker, and Summer (Andrew) Supinger; twelve great-grandchildren; his sister-in-law, Johanna Carlisle; and numerous nieces and nephews. We will all miss his sense of humor and his stories. Contributions in Al’s memory may be made to the Humane Society or the charity of your choice .
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Aug. 14 to Aug. 17, 2015

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pressdemocrat/obituary.aspx?n=albert-thomas-ostheimer&pid=175500913&eid=sp_ommatch#sthash.kEp6fTmw.dpuf

Obituary, Edwin MacCulloch Stephens, Jr.

Edwin MacCulloch Stephens, Jr.Virginia Beach – Edwin MacCulloch Stephens, Jr. passed away peacefully with his wife at his side at Westminster Canterbury on August 2, 2015.

“Mac”, as he was known, was born on June 4th, 1918 in Norfolk, Virginia, and had recently celebrated his 97th birthday. He was predeceased by his parents, Marie Elrod Stephens and Edwin MacCulloch Stephens.

Mac grew up in Ocean View and graduated from Maury High School in 1936. He went to work for his aunt’s husband, Earl Duke, at the Investment Corporation of Norfolk, where he remained for many years. Mac attended the College of William & Mary.

During World War II, Mac enlisted in the US Navy. He attended flight school at the University of North Carolina, and was designated a Naval Aviator, Lt. J.G. in 1947 at NAS, Pensacola, Florida. Mac was a torpedo pilot, flying a VT 47, and served as a land and signal officer aboard the USS Nassau and the USS Franklin. He received a purple heart for his service when the Franklin was attacked in the Pacific.

Mac was an officer in the Investment Corporation of Norfolk, the Investment Corporation of Virginia, and United Virginia Bankshares, which became Crestar Bank. He was a vice president and treasurer at Crestar in Richmond, and took an early retirement from the bank. He returned to Norfolk, and went to work for George Kaufman when he was developing the Guest Quarters Residence Hotels. Mac retired again in 1998, and enjoyed playing golf and swimming in the ocean.

Mac served as president of the Exchange Club of Norfolk, the Norfolk Boys and Girls Club, and was on the board of the local chapter of the Lupus Foundation. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, where he served many times as a deacon and elder.

Mac is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Ellen Riley Stephens also of Westminster Canterbury, three children, James Edwin Stephens II (Judy) of Portsmouth, VA, Anne Stephens Dickinson (John), of Windsor, VA, and Susan Stephens Edwards (Scott) of Tiburon, California, and three grandchildren, Amanda and Damon Stephens of Portsmouth, VA, and Alexander Edwards of San Francisco, California. Mac is also survived by a niece, Katherine Rivers of Raleigh, NC and two nephews, Michael and R. Patrick Gomez, of Virginia Beach, VA, and several great nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to the hospice staff at Westminster Canterbury, and special nurses Candy, Rachel, and Nadine, who Mac called his other daughters.

A memorial service will be held in the Holy Trinity Chapel at Westminster Canterbury on Thursday, August 6 at 2 pm. HD Oliver Funeral Apts., Virginia Beach Chapel is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com.

Memorial contributions in Mac’s name may be made to a charity of one’s choice .

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Published in The Virginian Pilot on Aug. 4, 2015 – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pilotonline/obituary.aspx?n=edwin-macculloch-stephens&pid=175428494&fhid=15635&eid=sp_ommatch#sthash.hMJYl0fJ.dpuf

More images from the USS Franklin 2015 Reunion in Milwaukee

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Stevie O’brien’s presentation on Father Joseph O’Callahan for National History Day

Stevie OBrien, a 12 year old student in Massachusetts recently participated in a National History Day contest where the theme is “Leadership and Legacy”.  For his project he selected Father Joseph O‘Callahan of the USS Franklin.  Stevie came in second in his category of junior historical exhibit at the Massachusetts state competition and he also received the National Archives award in his category for best use of primary sources and the first place junior division award from the National Maritime historical Society.  With a donation from the USS Franklin Museum Association, Stevie competed in the national finals at the University of Maryland in June.  He sent the presentation below to share his trip with the readers of ussfranklin.org.

 

 

Stevie Obrien 1 Stevie Obrien 2 Stevie Obrien 3 Stevie Obrien 4 Stevie Obrien 5 Stevie Obrien 6 Stevie Obrien 7 Stevie Obrien 8

USS Franklin CV-13 Reunion in Milwaukee Wisconsin July 16-19, 2015.

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USS Franklin CV-13 Reunion in Milwaukee Wisconsin July 16-19, 2015.
Surviving Crew and Family members of the storied WW2 Navy Aircraft Carrier USS Franklin CV-13 (www.ussfranklin.org) will be converging on the Milwaukee Sheraton Brookfield Hotel, 375 S Moorland Road in Brookfield Wisconsin for a weekend of fun, fellowship, and memorial.

Registration will be Thursday July 16th from noon until 10PM in the Wisconsin room. For USS Franklin Museum Association Board members, the annual meeting will be held at 4PM Thursday.

At 10AM Friday July 17th, the press and public is invited to join the USS Franklin Reunion for a public memorial at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center 750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202 (414) 273-5533. The guest speaker for the memorial ceremony will be Capt. (Ret.) Gary Schnurrpusch USN CO. USS O’Callahan and USS Gary and USS Franklin Honorary Survivor.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Darren Hamm at 262-305-6979 or email at darren@ussfranklin.org.

In honor of Richard Bloom and the crew members USS Franklin CV13

In honor of Richard Bloom and the crew members USS Franklin CV13

By Carol Ann Bloom

And again the seaman’s whistle is blown
Beckoning mates of the USS Franklin home.

On deck they stand, vigilant and proud with smiles on their faces
To welcome their shipmates with salutes and embraces.

Night skies of pink and a calm tranquil sea
Will be their course together for all eternity.

 

Obituary, Russel E. Cole

Russel E. “Bucket” Cole, 88, of Harmony Township, NJ passed away on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at the Lopatcong Center in Lopatcong Township, NJ. Russel was born in Still Valley, Pohatcong Township, NJ on August 1, 1926 to the late Edgar and Addie Rush Shoemaker Cole. Russel was a self-employed Dairy Farmer for 25 years, retiring in 1976. He was a graduate of Phillipsburg High School, Class of 1944. Russel served in the US Navy on the Aircraft Carrier USS Franklin CV13, which was known as the ship that will not die, “Big Ben”. Russel enjoyed traveling the country for his ship’s reunions. Russel was a member of Stewartsville Presbyterian Church in Stewartsville, NJ. He was also a member of the American Legion Mecsey-Bishop Post #456 of Stewartsville, NJ; VFW Post #6701 of Washington, NJ; the Stewartsville Grange #121; Sunny Seniors of Phillipsburg; the Stewartsville Area Seniors; The Museum Association USS Franklin CV13;and the Pohatcong Valley Semi-Wild Club. Russel is survived by his wife of 63 years, Margaret Paff Cole; daughters, Donna Diehl and her husband, Larry of Phillipsburg, NJ and Debra Cole of Phillipsburg, NJ; a sister Ethel Bischoff of VA; grandchildren Chelsey and Jesse Diehl; a great-grandson; nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister, Sarah Crouse; and half-brothers, Harry, Donald and Heston Shoemaker. A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, July 3, 2015 at 10am at the Rupell Funeral Home, LLC; 465 Memorial Pkwy; Phillipsburg, NJ 08865. A visitation of family and friends will be held on Thursday, July 2, 2015 from 6pm to 8pm at the funeral home. Burial will be in Stewartsville (Presbyterian) Cemetery; Stewartsville, NJ. In Lieu of Flowers, memorials may be made to Stewartsville Presbyterian Church; 550 N. Main Street; Stewartsville, NJ 08886. Online condolences may be submitted at www.rupellfuneralhome.com. – See more at: http://obits.lehighvalleylive.com/obituaries/etpa/obituary.aspx?n=russel-e-cole-bucket&pid=175178281&fhid=21870&eid=sp_ommatch&eid=sp_ommatch#sthash.DNfANALe.dpuf