WAR DAMAGE REPORT
ACTION WITH ENEMY AIRCRAFT ON 30 OCTOBER 1944
CV13/A16-3/L11-1)50-Jd) U.S.S. FRANKLIN (CV13)
1. On 30 October, 1944 this vessel was a unit of a fast carrier task force and was about 100 miles to the eastward of Samar Island, P.I., standing by to give air support on call to shore operations on Leyte Island. The ship was in Material Condition "Baker". At 1405 12VF were launched to go to the aid of a fleet tanker force about 240 miles to the northward. At 1410 bogies were picked up on the screen, distance 37 miles, bearing 260º(T). The USS BAGLEY was alongside fueling. Course was 195º(T), speed 15 knots. At 1412 Torpedo Defense was sounded and all anti-aircraft batteries were manned. At 1417 the BAGLEY was cast off upon orders of CTG 38.4. At 1419 General Quarters was sounded. At 1420 completed catapulting 12 VF. At about 1423 Material Condition "Able" was ordered set. At 1424 course was changed to 090º(T) and speed increased to 18 knots. At 1426 Japanese suicide bombers attacked. At this time Repair Parties II, III, IV, VII had reported completion of setting of Material Condition "Able." Repair Parties I, V, and VIII had not completed setting Material Condition "Able" at the time of the attack. The gasoline system was secured and purged with inert gas. The draft at frame 75 by sea gauge was 28 feet. The indicated draft as determined by Draft Indicator was 27 feet 6 inches forward and 28 feet 6 inches aft. The corresponding displacement for this draft was 35,525 tons. The visibility was over 12 miles and the ceiling unlimited with scattered high and low cumulus. The wind was from the southeast, force 18 knots, with a light sea.
2. The attack on the task group was made by six enemy planes- Zekes and Judys. Three planes attacked the FRANKLIN:
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3. The enemy plane crash and explosion started fires in 13 planes on the hangar deck. The blast ruptured aircraft gasoline tanks and a raging fire was started among parked planes in the hangar space below. The blast demolished No. 3 bomb elevator trunk above the hangar deck and the blast continued down the bomb elevator trunk, B-435-T, and blew off the counter-weighted door to this trunk at the third deck level. The inner or flame seal door of this trunk at the third deck level was not closed. The reason for it not being closed is not known as the man assigned to close it was killed on his station at the elevator controls, third deck level, by the blast. The blast continued down the trunk to the elevator pit, fourth deck level, and blew off the W.T door connecting the bomb elevator machinery space, B-435-T, with compartment B-431-E, in which is located the uptake for boilers No. 7 and 8. The blast entering the third deck stunned Repair V personnel in compartment B-318-L. Flames and dense smoke then poured down the bomb elevator trunk. Repair party personnel lead out fire hose but were soon forced to evacuate the compartment. Repair V personnel stationed in compartment B-313-L led fire hose through the third deck W.T. doors at frame 121 but smoke was so dense that they were forced to retire. Meanwhile smoke and flames had come down the armored hangar deck hatch No. 1-109, which had not been closed as the man whose duty it was to close this hatch had been killed by the blast on the hangar deck and did not complete his assignment. Flaming gasoline coming down this hatch started fires in the second deck living compartment B-201-1EL. Smoke and flames, apparently burning gasoline, from the hangar deck fire continued down this hatch to the third deck and Repair IV personnel stationed in compartment B-310-AL were forced to evacuate. Some escaped to the second deck and others worked their way forward along the third deck. A fire occurred in compartment B-324-L, the origin of which is not known, although reliable personnel stated that flaming liquid ran down the elevator ram cylinders which could have been gasoline from the elevator pit which was on fire.
4. Immediately after the enemy plane with its bomb load exploded on the gallery deck, Hangar Deck Control turned on all hangar sprinklers and water curtains in Bays Nos. 3, 4, and 5. Soon after, however, due to dense smoke and heat, all personnel in Hangar Deck Control were forced to evacuate
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And the sprinklers and water curtains mentioned were left on. The bomb blast had blown out all the observation windows in the Hangar Deck Control. Simultaneously with Hangar Deck Control, personnel from Repair I, located in the Hangar Deck Fire Station Booths turned on Bays No. 3 and 4, sprinklers and water curtains. When conditions permitted the return of personnel to Hangar Deck Control, about one half h our later, it was apparent that the sprinklers and water curtains in Bay No. 5 were not needed and these were turned off.
5. About ten minutes after the bomb explosion two additional explosions occurred on the third deck. The more severe one was centered in compartment B-319-L, where the third deck was ruptured and the overhead dished up about a foot. The second below deck explosion was apparently centered in compartment B-324-L after the fire previously described in that compartment had been extinguished. The cause of these two below deck explosions is believed to have been the ignition of gasoline vapors which came down from the hangar deck through the open hatch at frame 109, through ruptured bomb elevator trunk at frame 127, and down auxiliary elevator ram cylinder in compartment B-324-L.
6. Shortly after the plane with its bomb struck the flight deck the ship took a list to starboard. When this had reached 3 degrees and was increasing the Commanding Officer ordered counterflooding to commence as it was thought at the time that the ship had sustained underwater damage due to the near misses on the starboard side. Because of smoke and fire conditions on the second and third decks it was not possible to sound all of the voids adjacent to the areas of the near misses to be certain that under water damage had actually been received. The Damage Control Officer directed that the following D.C. voids be flooded: A-40-V, A-54-V, A-56-V, A-64-V, B-96 1/2-V, and C-2-V. COunterflooding was continued until the ship reached an even keel. She then took a 2 degree list to port and it was then realized that the initial list was caused by the tremendous volume of water from the hangar deck sprinklers, water curtains, and fire hoses that were immediately turned on after the initial blast, and which ran down to the second and third decks through the open hatch and bomb elevator trunk. The water collected on the starboard side of the ship initially and caused the increasing list. Reports had also been received in the meantime that no fuel oil was leaking from the ship's side, which was a good indication that there was no serious underwater damage. When the cause of the list was ascertained counterflooding was secured. Water had been flooded into the selected voids to the following depths by soundings:
7. It is estimated that water used in fighting fires collected in the ship as follows:
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8. The estimated effect on GM of the weight of this water was as follows:
The change in GM due to free surface effect considering the areas where sufficient water was present to extend across the compartment at all angles of list experienced was as follows :
9. The total change in GM as a result of increased weight of water due to flooding and free surface effect amounted to 2.65 ft. decrease. Assuming the ship had an original GM of 9.3 (Condition VI-full load condition), the new GM after damage would have been 6.65 feet a reduction of 28.5%. The displacement of the ship after damage was 37,869. The draft after damage by sea gauge at frame 75 was 29 ft. 6 inches. The corresponding indicated draft by Draft Indicator was 30 ft. forward and 29 ft. aft.
10. The major fires were extinguished on the flight deck by 1530; on the hangar deck by 1625; on the gallery deck by 1635; and all except smouldering fires by 1800. The firemain was segregated into four loops with port and starboard firemain cutouts closed at frames 60, 110, and 141. All fire pumps were placed on the line and no difficulty in getting sufficient pressure was noted. Difficulty was experienced in isolating a rupture in firemain riser No. 16 due to the fact that cutouts located on the second deck could not be closed because of dense smoke. The break was finally isolated by closing valves 6-125 (No. 4 fireroom) and 5-132-2 (After Engine Room). Fixed fog systems were not used in below deck berthing compartments because of the smouldering nature of fires in bedding and lockers, which were extinguished by solid stream and soaking. The following ready service magazines were flooded in the vicinity of the damaged area:
B-0409-M, 40MM Ready Service for Mount 7.
The following ready service magazines were flooded by fire hose as sprinkler risers were ruptured:
B-0315-M 5" 38 cal. Upper Handling Room for Mount 5.
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The following ready service magazines were sprinkled slightly to lower the temperature:
C-0204-M, 40 MM Ready Service for Mount 6.
C-0202 ½ -M 20MM Ready Service for Group 10.
C-101-M 40 MM Ready Service for Mount 9.
C-103-M 40 MM Ready Service for Mount 10.
The after gasoline trunk, C-613-T was purged with CO2 as a precautionary measure.
11. In removing the water from flooded compartments which was the result of fire fighting activities considerable difficulty was experienced with the electric submersible pumps. The strainers were unsatisfactory in that they would clog up in a short while. This might have been prevented if a wire-mesh basket type with a rather large surface area had been used. The lack of overboard discharge on the second deck required in some cases many lengths of hose to reach the closest available overboard discharge. It is recommended that some means be provided for removing excessive amounts of water on hangar, second, and third decks resulting from use of hangar sprinklers, fixed fog systems and other fire fighting apparatus. Water on the third deck was removed in large volume by running it down escape trunks to the following engineering spaces where it was pumped overboard by the bilge pumps in these spaces: No 1 Fireroon, No. 2 Firerom, Forward Engine Room. No. 3 Fireroom, and No. 4 Fireroom. This was found to be very effective and can be regulated by opening and closing the hatches on the third deck. Gasoline handybillies were used to remove water in the after elevator pit and below decks after the fires were put out. As a result of the extensive flooding of the second and third decks, directly resulting from the hangar sprinkling system it is recommended that a coaming about 6 to 8 inches high be placed around all hangar deck hatches that will not interfere with the handling of planes. It is further recommended that some means be provided on the second deck for preventing the spread of water below decks through these hangar deck hatches, such as a light metal air-lock, as this constitutes a potential danger for the spread of water and gasoline in normal cruising conditions when these hatches are open.
12. In view of the fact that dense smoke constituted one of the greatest difficulties encountered it is recommended that light sheet metal door and hatch covers be provided for the open archways and hatchways in order that undamaged compartments could be isolated and ventilated. The smoke on the second deck was extremely difficult to remove because the undamaged areas could not be isolated from those containing the source of smoke.
13. The overhead in B-424-AL, Crews Barber shop, was shored to support the heavy machinery in B-313-E, General Workshop, as this deck showed indications of progressive warping. The overhead in B-425-A, S.D. Stores, was shored as this was the deck in B-319-L, Crews Berthing, where the explosion occurred. No weakening of shoring members was noted.
14. It is felt that the rescue breather allowance of 106 is totally inadequate. All below deck repair party personnel should be equipped with rescue breathers as the greatest difficulty encountered in this battle damage casualty by our repair party personnel was the large volume of dense smoke encountered.
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15. The BuShips Fire Fighters Manual (1943 Edition), Page 64, states in reference to the Navy service gas mask: "It may be used for passage through a smoke-filled compartment or for entry into such a compartment to close a valve or to perform some similar task that can be performed quickly". As some of our personnel died with gas masks on while trying to escape smoke-filled areas, it is recommended that this practice be discouraged and the assumption be taken that insufficient oxygen and in all probability a lethal concentration of carbon monoxide exists in any smoke-filled compartment.
16. It is highly recommended that a gate valve be installed in the cross connection between 2-43-1 and 2-43-2 for the second deck fire main loop. This is essentially in order to properly split this loop into port and starboard sections. It is further recommended that fire main pressure gauges be installed port and starboard in the A, B, and C sections of the ship on the hangar and third decks. This vessel is equipped with only two fire main pressure gauges located in C-218-A and A-203-E.
17. It is strongly recommended that the allowance of spare 21/2", double-jacketed, cotton, rubber-lined fire hose be increased for the CV-9 class of aircraft carriers.
18. The primary offensive function of the ship was destroyed as a result of the damage to the flight deck and loss of arresting gear units, which prevented the landing of aircraft.
19. The secondary results of the battle damage immediately following the action effecting the battle efficiency were as follows: (a) Boilers Nos. 7 and 8 out of commission. (b) No. 3 airplane elevator out of commission. (c) General Workshop out of commission. (d) Electric Workshop out of commission. (e) No. 3 bomb elevator demolished. (f) Practically all ventilation in the B section of the ship was out of commission. (g) Approximately 175 men were left without clothing and 550 were left without bedding, as a result of fire and water damage. (h) The logitudinal watertight integrity between frames 86 and 141 on the third deck was destroyed.
20. Supplementary reports of this war damage report will follow if further study indicates they are necessary.
Note: Many of the photos included here are duplicated in the Yard's report as part of Appendix A.
Boiler Room #4
Enclosure "C" Sketches showing Areas of Structural Damage.
Enclosure "D" Sketches showing Areas of Fires.
Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.