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USS Franklin (CV-13), Pacific, late 1944

USS Franklin (CV-13), Pacific, late 1944

The USS Franklin steams safely past a downed enemy torpedo bomber late in 1944. 'Big Ben's' luck ran out on 19 March 1945, when the carrier was severely damage by enemy action while operating within 50 miles of Japan. The ship suffered 724 killed and 265 wounded, but the survivors managed to save

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Hi; I just finished watching the Battlefield do***entary series episode about the battle of Midway, and one area where the U. S. N had the Japanese and no doubt everyone else beat is in damage control . From what I saw, the Japanese carriers were hit with 3 or 4 bombs which penetrated their flight decks and left them blazing wrecks. U S S Yorktown was later attacked also hit by 3 bombs which penetrated her flight decks, knocked out her boilers, and started fires. But unlike the Japanese the fires were put out and the engines repaired and in a little over 1 1/2 hours she was underway at 20 knots and recovering aircraft! No wonder that when the second wave of planes attacked the Japanese thought they were hitting a different carrier . It then took 2 or 3 torpedoes to knock her out for good, even after that she didn't sink until a submarine got her while being towed back.
 

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Is this the vessel that the captain threaten the part of the crew that jumped overboard to avoid being burnt alive,I think he wanted them charged with desertion.In the end it was quitetly dropped when it was found officers and an Admiral also went over the wall.I remember reading about this on the internet.There again I could be wrong.
peter.
 

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Well, the USN had to be good at DC, since unlike the more practical British we chose not to armor the flight decks of our CVs.

The hits 'Franklin' took would have been much less serious for an RN fleet carrier...the price we paid for getting so many to sea so quickly, and for having much larger aircraft complements. Still, in the cold calculus of war, perhaps it was the right choice.

It was amazing 'Franklin' made port; I believe it was one of the worst-damaged ships to do so...perhaps only exceeded by battlecruiser 'Seydlitz' in WWI.
 

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We weren't always so fortunate, as the sinking of CV-2 'Lexington' showed. Lessons learned and all...to be fair to the Japanese at Midway their hangar decks were strewn with ordnance after the decision to re-arm their aircraft for a shipping strike asap. The first 'Lexington' was lost when fumes from ruptured avgas tanks were ignited, as I recall, after relatively light damage from enemy bombs. Live and learn...
 

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I'm not certain of this, but I think I've also read that the Japanese avgas systems were different than the US systems and also contributed to their carriers torching.
 

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