Sunday, January 11, 2009

USS Franklin

I was out searching for aircraft carrier videos to entertain my aircraft obsessed son, when I stumbled upon a documentary about the USS Franklin (CV-13). The Franklin was an Essex-class carrier that was severely damaged by Japanese aircraft, but heroic efforts by her crew got her back to the States. The ship was rebuilt and then left in mothballs waiting for a conversion that never came. The shame is that when she was broken up in the 1960s, she was one of the last US Navy carriers that looked as she did in World War 2. The other Essex class carriers that have been made into museums, the Intrepid, the Yorktown, the Lexington and the Hornet were all updated and are really Cold War carriers in their preserved state.

There is at least one book about the ordeal of the Franklin, called Lucky Lady. The documentary below consists mostly of veterans recalling the fight to save the ship. They tell the story of the ship well. There is also great archival footage in the documentary. The opening and closing shots show the ship being taken apart just a few miles downriver from where I grew up. The video below is part 1, the other parts can be found here.

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