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USS Franklin, or "Big Ben" to her crew, was named after a battle of the American Civil war and not the hero of the American Revolution. She holds the distinction of being the most massively damaged ship to be saved by her crew to return under her own power. She was damaged bad enough on two occasions to require major repair in the United States, the last one essentially causing the Navy to rebuild her from the hangar deck up, yet the damage had afflicted her in many ways taht could not be repaired and she never saw service again, living out her days in reserve.

Despite this, Franklin is an important ship for what her crew can teach us. They exemplified the dying command of Captain James Lawrence to "Don't give up the ship!" and proved the tenacity and heart of the American sailor.


  • Ship and Shipyard reports concerning the October 1944 Kamikaze hit
  • 1945 Damage report covering both the October 1944 Kamikaze and January 1945 Bombing.

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