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USS Franklin (CV-13, later CVA/CVS-13, then AVT-8)

Essex-class aircraft carrier, USS Franklin (CV-13) was commissioned on January 31, 1944, and departed for service in the Pacific during World War II.  Arriving in the region, she took part in the Mariana Island Campaign where her aircraft provided aerial strikes for landing forces at Bonin Islands, Guam, Palau Islands amongst others.   Supporting the Peleliu landing in September, Franklin continued in her supporting role during the landing at Leyte in October, where she also participated in the Battle of Sibuyan Sea and the Battle of Cape Engano during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  On October 30, she was attacked by Japanese Kamikazes, which hit the flight deck and crashed through to the galley.  Due to the damage, she departed for repairs at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington.  

Returning for service in the Pacific in March 1945, Franklin joined Task Force 58 for air attacks on the Japanese homeland to support the Okinawa landings.  On March 19, a Japanese aircraft attacked, with one of her bombs striking the flight deck.   Penetrating the hangar deck, the bomb caused destruction and fires.  In the resulting chaos, Lieutenant Commander Joseph T. O'Callahan, the Catholic chaplain, and Lieutenant Donald A. Gary, both were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic efforts attending to the wounded and saving numerous lives.  In the attack, 807 men perished and 487 were wounded.   Following temporary repairs, she made the journey to Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York City, for restorations. 

Following World War II, Franklin was decommissioned in February 1947 at Bayonne, New Jersey.  While in the reserve fleet, she was redesiginated as an attack aircraft carrier, CVA-13, in October 1952, then as antisubmarine support carrier, CVS-13, in August 1953.  Finally, in May 1959, she was redesignated as an aircraft transport, AVT-8.   In October 1964, Franklin was stricken from the Naval Reserve Register and was sold for scrap two years later. 

Other Resources

USS Franklin (CV-13) War Damage Report No.56

Image:   80-G-K-4761:  USS Franklin (CV-13), April 28, 1945.   Entering New York Harbor after returning from the Pacific.   Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.