Badly damaged USN WW2 carrier

16th January 2009, 15:37
Many years ago I saw a documentary, (maybe the World at War) and it showed a very badly damaged USN carrier making her way after a battle under her own steam with a very bad list from the Pacific through the Panama canal for repairs somewhere on the east coast USA.

I'm blowed if I can remember her name.
Can anybody advise?

Ernie Jardine
16th January 2009, 15:40
Sorry can't help. Just joined this site today, and was practising posting notes, and although I can't help, I don't know how to get out of not sending this post! I served mainly in the Far East and North Atlantic, not Pacific.

16th January 2009, 16:05
Hi Gordy,

It was the USS Franklin, a 27,100 ton Essex class aircraft carrier, was built at Newport News, Virginia. Commissioned at the end of January 1944, she arrived in the Pacific in time to participate in later stages of the Marianas operation.

She took part in the Third Fleet's raids in the Western Pacific and in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

She was lightly damaged by a Japanese bomb on 15 October 44, and was hit by a suicide plane on 30 October 44. The suicide plane caused serious damage and killed 56 of her crew, and required a trip back to the United States via the Panama Canal for repairs.


17th January 2009, 00:03
Thanks Chris,
an amazing story. I've just watched a youtube film of her and the explosions she survived were stunning.
Much obliged,

Steve Woodward
17th January 2009, 21:45
On the 19th March 1945 USS Franklin was ready to fly off her planes for an attack on the Japanese Islands, her flight deck had ready fuelled and armed planes on it, worse still her hangar decks were also packed with armed and fuelled planes when an un-observed Japanese plane hit her with two bombs, these passed through the un-armoured flight deck and started huge fires and explosions which killed 724 of her men.
Only superior US damage control, determination and the help from nearby ships including the USS Santa Fe CL-60 saved the ship, she steamed under her own power to New York Navy yard arriving on the 28th of April 1945, repairs took until after the end of the war and in 1947 she entered the reserve fleet, she received numerous changes of pennant number from CV13 to CVA13 then CVS13 and finally AVT-8 ( transport carrier) but never returned to service and in 1964 she was scrapped.

Franklin was a member of the famed Essex class built by Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Viginnia, Keel laid 07th December 1942
Launched 14th October 1943 and commissioned 31st January 1944
L 876 feet B (Flight Deck) 147'07" Hull 93'02" Draft 28'06"
Displacement: approx. 36,500 tons full load
Quadruple screws, Eight 565 psi boilers, geared steam turbines 150,000 shp 33 knot crew about 3450 men
Armament 80-100 planes with two catapults
Twelve 5-inch C38 guns, 68 40mm guns and 57 20mm guns

25th June 2009, 04:50

Here is a link to the Naval History of the USS Franklin.



25th June 2009, 07:41
Confusing! But after reading everything it transpires that there were two Japanese attacks that caused fire damage and loss of life to Big Ben.
The first in 1944 was repaired at Bremerton Wa and she returned to action in early 1945. The major damage and loss of life occured during this second trip and it was this that required her passage thru the Panama to be repaired on the east coast US.

25th June 2009, 10:30
Thanks for the link.

26th June 2009, 01:06

No problem always willing to share the knowledge.