S2/c 6th Div. PHl/c Ret. Crew member, USS Franklin – Board Member, USS Franklin Museum Association since 1991 (Vice President 1996 – present). Hosted two USS Franklin reunions. Chairman for dedication of crew’s lounge on USS Hornet
GM3/c 6th Div. Maj. USAF Ret. Crew member, USS Franklin. “I was a crew member and gunners mate in the 6th Division (Gunnery) on the Franklin throughout its war history. I have always looked forward to the annual reunions and continue to do so.”
Roger Hall II
My Name is Roger Hall, I am the Great Nephew of Leonard M. Hall who served aboard the USS Franklin CV-13. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. If I wasn’t in school I either wanted to be in West Virginia with my Grandparents or learning how to fly. I have spent the past 26 Years as pilot at United Airlines. I currently reside in Stafford Virginia, just south of our Nation’s Capital along with my wife Bonnie and son “Little” Roger. During my leisure time I mostly enjoy the outdoors in West Virginia near the home of where most of the Hall family draws it’s Lineage.
During the course of my life my Uncle Leonard shared memories of his time serving our nation in the US Navy. He always wore his USS Franklin ball cap and was certainly proud of his commitment to Country, the US Navy, the USS Franklin, and most of all the family of shipmates and their extended families that had been bonded for so many years.
Upon Uncle Leonard’s passing in March 22, 2011 I attended his funeral where many pictures, letters, and books were displayed proudly showing Uncle Leonard’s bond with the USS Franklin. But it was during the funeral when my cousin Annette Sauceda, Uncle Leonard’s granddaughter, read a letter that Ernest Scott “Scotty” sent to the family that grabbed my full appreciation of what the Men of the Franklin went through on March 19, 1945. Scotty’s words rung load and clear to the real testament of what endured that day aboard the Franklin. After the funeral I spoke with Annette and she suggested that I attend the upcoming reunion in Chicago, IL. Up to that point I had no idea that I was even permitted to attend a reunion. So with Annette’s invitation I contacted Ken and April Homko to make arrangements to attend the 2011 reunion in Naperville, IL.
Attending that first reunion was amazing. From my first introduction I felt like part of the family. When the Franklin family realized that I was Uncle Leonard’s nephew I was immersed in stories about my uncle along with personal reflections of the USS Franklin. A few of the families that made a stranger like me feel immediately at home were John Brown, Florence and Melissa, Don Conard and his daughter Beth, Bob Baines and Jeanette(my favorite pilot), Sam Rhodes and Elaine, and John Bostian with his daughters Carol and Barbara. Again that is just a few and it became obvious that a weekend was not going to be enough time to get to know everyone. With that reunion, it became clear that I wanted to continue my relationship with the wonderful people I had meet, but I also wanted my wife Bonnie and son Little Roger to be part of the Franklin family as well.
Every reunion since Naperville, Bonnie and Little Roger have joined me each year. They too have become attached to the Franklin. For this I am grateful to each and every member that have made us feel at home.
As I mentioned, being asked to serve the USS Franklin Museum Association is a huge honor. I truly believe in keeping the USS Franklin Museum Association alive and well for many years so that future generations will continue to learn about the USS Franklin and most importantly to create bonds with the Franklin Family that will last a lifetime. It is my sincere hope that together we will preserve what was started years ago by the Men and the Families of the USS Franklin.
I am the grandson of crew member Robert Hamm. I have been attending reunions on and off since Chicago in 2000. When I was young Grandpa used to tell me all kinds of stories about his youth, Chicago during the depression, about life aboard the Franklin. His stories cultivated my appreciation for just how real history is. I think even though he was on the Franklin just a few years- the Franklin was a very big part of his life long after the Navy. I know that sentiment still exists within the remaining survivors and as long as they are still around I would like to honor their service by spreading the history of the USS Franklin to all that are interested. I run this website (www.ussfranklin.org) and my wife Susan edits the USS Franklin Newsletter. Personally- I am am Mechanical Engineer by trade. My interests include Cars, Computers, Tools, History, and working on my 1870’s log house.
My name is Ken Homko. I am the son of crewmember Harry Homko (K-Division). My father served on the USS Franklin at the age of 17, making him one of the youngest crewmembers. I have attended over 20 reunions with my family. First with my parents until my father passed in 1983. Then with my mom Dolores Homko for many years. Now I get to share the reunions with my wife April and our sons Joshua and Luke. April and I hosted the reunion in Lisle, Illinois in May of 2011. During that reunion we visited The Great Lakes Naval Base which brought back many memories for the crewmembers of the Franklin. Since 2011 I have had the honor of serving on the Board as Treasurer. Just this year I accepted the position of President. It is an honor to continue my service on the board and strive to keep the legacy of the Franklin alive for years to come. I truly cherish all of the relationships my family has built over the years and would like to thank everyone who continues to support the Museum Association. A big thank you to all the crewmembers of the USS Franklin CV-13 and God Bless!
My name is Kathy Lyons and I am the daughter of James W. Lyons who served aboard the USS Franklin CV-13. He joined the Navy in 1942 by just walking into a recruiting office in West Virginia while waiting for his car to be repaired. He was a plank owner on the Franklin and worked as an electrician’s mate. After the attack on the Franklin, he was rescued by the Pittsburg and eventually returned to the east coast, specifically Washington DC where he met my mother, Rita Moran, who was also serving in the Navy and stationed at the Naval Air Station. Less than a year later, they were married and remained married for 51 years. My mother passed away in 1997 and my father in 2014.
I am one of four children to James and Rita Lyons. My sister Ruth Camerlin, lives in Reading, Massachusetts, my brother, James Lyons Jr. lives in Colonial Beach, Virginia. My sister, Karen Williams who passed away last year, lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and I live in Woodbridge, Virginia.
My family moved to Woodbridge from Washington DC in 1963. I graduated high school in 1968 and got married in 1970. My husband was in the USAF and we were stationed at Griffiss AFB in Rome NY, Balgot AFB in Ankara, Turkey (where our daughter was born), Andrews AFB in Maryland and finally the Pentagon. When we returned to the states, I worked part time in various positions until our daughter started school and then I worked full time at a local bank.
In 1983, I went to work for Prince William County Schools (PWCS) as a school bus driver. In 1992, I enrolled in a local community college and earned an Associate Degree in 1996 while still driving a school bus. To supplement my income, I worked part time for a medical transcription service and could do this from home. In 2004, I applied for the secretary position in the Director of Transportation Services office for PWCS and was hired which gave me full time status. I remained in that position until July 2015 when I retired after 32 years with PWCS. My daughter, Tanya Baird also lives in Woodbridge with her husband Darin, son Austin, and daughter Mia.
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I like making crafts, reading and listening to music. Recently I ventured way out of my comfort zone and went to a PaintNite where I painted my first canvas.
It is my pleasure and an honor to serve on the Board of Directors of the USS Franklin CV-13 Museum Association.
WT3/c B-Div.Crew member, USS Franklin. Board member since 1988. Hosted three USS Franklin Reunions. Chairman for placement and dedication of USS Franklin plaques on the USS Yorktown CV 10 and in Veterans Park, Stuart, Florida.
Beth Conard Rowland
I am the proud daughter of USS Franklin crew member – Donald L. Conard, from ‘B-Div’ , #2 Fireroom. I have been on the USS Franklin Board of Directors for 7 yrs. -since 2008- and served as Secretary from 2008 to 2015. I have attended every USS Franklin reunion since 1989 and we have become one big Franklin Family. My husband and I have hosted the Franklin reunion in Ohio 2004 and co-hosted in Branson 2010. I am dedicated to keeping the history of the USS Frankllin – along with the legacy of her courageous and heroic men – alive. Thank you to everyone who supports our Franklin men and to everyone who is able to attend the reunions.