This news reel film from the era tells the story of the brave crew.
Jim Delehaunty, the chair of the O’Callahan Society sent the following message:
On March 18 the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester MA will observe the anniversary of the passing of Fr O’Callahan, professor of mathematics and philosophy, US Navy chaplain, Jesuit priest and Medal of Honor recipient for his heroism on board USS Franklin in March 1945.
More information is available at the Holy Cross website here:
Shipmate Sam Rhodes stands in front of the monument that he has worked for tirelessly to memorialize the fallen crew of the USS Franklin.
The dedication of the plaques will take place on Veterans Day, November 11, 2013 at Memorial Park in Stuart Florida.
The local paper has written an article on Sam and his efforts in the following link: https://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/mar/14/eve-samples-wwii-veteran-wants-public-memorial/
To donate to this memorial, please make check payable to “USS Franklin Memorial Plaques,” and send to Samuel Rhodes, 1867 N.E. Ridge Ave., Jensen Beach, FL 34957
I received some exciting news from Ron Williams this weekend. The 2014 USS Franklin Reunion venue has been selected! The 2014 reunion will be at:
Sheraton Norfolk Waterside 777 Waterside Drive Norfolk, VA 23510
The dates will be July 17-20. The room rate is $99/night single and double occupancy plus tax. The February mailing of the news letter will have more details.
In the mean time you can contact the even host, Ron Williams, at email@example.com for more information. Ron and family are hosting the reunion in honor of their father, Franklin crew member Jim Lyons.
Mr. Ron Williams and family have graciously volunteered to host the 2014 USS Franklin reunion next July in Norfolk Va. This is done in honor of their father, Franklin crew member Jim Lyons. We look forward to seeing everybody next July. Please check back to the website for more specific information.
The USS Franklin reunion in Charleston South Carolina has made the local and national news. NBC’s Brian Williams reports in the story below.
MSNBC story is here:
The local Charleston NBC news is here:
Local ABC Coverage:
The USS Franklin (CV-13)
Before dawn on 19 March 1945 the U.S.S. Franklin, who had maneuvered closer to the Japanese mainland than had any other U.S. carrier during the war, launched a fighter sweep against Honshu and later a strike against shipping in Kobe Harbor. Suddenly, a single enemy plane pierced the cloud cover and made a low level run on the gallant ship to drop two semi-armor piercing bombs. One struck the flight deck centerline, penetrating to the hangar deck, effecting destruction and igniting fires through the second and third decks, and knocking out the combat information center and airplot. The second hit aft, tearing through two decks and fanning fires, which triggered ammunition, bombs and rockets. The Franklin, within 50 miles of the Japanese mainland, lay dead in the water, took a 13° starboard list, lost all radio communications, and broiled under the heat from enveloping fires. Many of the crew were blown overboard, driven off by fire, killed or wounded, but the 106 officers and 604 enlisted who voluntarily remained saved their ship through sheer valor and tenacity. The casualties totaled 724 killed and 265 wounded, and would have far exceeded this number except for the heroic work of many survivors. Among these were Medal of Honor winners, Lieutenant Commander Joseph T. O’Callahan, S. J., USNR, the ship’s chaplain, who administered the last rites, organized and directed firefighting and rescue parties, and led men below to wet down magazines that threatened to explode, and Lieutenant (junior grade) Donald Gary who discovered 300 men trapped in a blackened mess compartment, and finding an exit, returned repeatedly to lead groups to safety. The U.S.S. Santa Fe (CL-60) similarly rendered vital assistance in rescuing crewmen from the sea and closing the Franklin to take off the numerous wounded.
The Franklin was taken in tow by the U.S.S. Pittsburgh until she managed to churn up speed to 14 knots and proceed to Pearl Harbor where a cleanup job permitted her to sail under her own power to Brooklyn, N.Y., arriving on 28 April. Following the end of the war, the Franklin was opened to the public, for Navy Day celebrations, and on 17 February 1947 was placed out of commission at Bayonne, N.J. On 15 May 1959 she was reclassified AVT 8.
The U.S.S. Franklin received four battle stars for World War II service.
From: Dictionary Of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. II, 1977, pp. 443-444
Jeannette Haugk confirms that the reunion activities will begin Friday, May 17 at 10am through May 19 at the Radisson Hotel Charleston Airport at 5991 Rivers Avenue Charleston, South Carolina 29406 1-843-744-2501
Click the blue link to below for complete information and the official sign up sheet:
Adobe reader may be required to print out or view this document. It is located here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
The USS Franklin Museum Association will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in Charleston South Carolina aboard the USS Yorktown. The reunion is scheduled for May 16-19, 2013.
Ask for the USS Franklin special rate $110.45 Taxes included, includes breakfast. More information will follow.