RECALLING THE FRANKLIN
Your fine story on the USS Franklin brought back a wealth of memories. I served aboard the destroyer USS Tingey (DD-539) from 1943 through 1946. As part of DesRon 52 we saw a number of carriers get hit. Franklin was the worst. I recall USS Santa Fe going alongside USS Pittsburgh later and towing her to safety. We picked up several shipmates from the Franklin that fateful day; many badly injured. Though our primary assignment was to provide anti-aircraft cover, with so many boys in the water we heaved-to to pick-up survivors.
The reason for my letter is to congratulate Owen Gault on the accuracy of his article. It was so much more factual than the coverage the History Channel provided. You've no idea how much it means to old us salts to see our exploits honestly portrayed the way they happened. Your article was "right on" as I still vividly remember most of the events that day. Fm 78 and still a "Tin Can" sailor at heart, but those bluejackets on the Franklin sure earned my respect. The very best to you.
Noel A. Bullock, S1/c USNR
P.S. - USS Franklin crew members annually attend the DesRon 52 reunions.
Being a fairly new reader of Sea Classics, I wanted to write to express my enjoyment of your fine magazine. I especially appreciate the stories written from personal experience, such as the "Saga of the Gap-Toothed Turtle" felt it well-emphasized the feelings of the average sailor and made the War in the Pacific all that much more real to me. It is a sad fact that WWII veterans are quickly passing on, and we have so few to share their stories with us. I encourage all veterans (of whatever conflict) to share their experiences, no matter how insignificant they feel their story is, with the younger generations. We have many great ships that remain as a reminder of the wars and the sacrifices made, but we need the "human touch" to make it all that more real to those of us who have never known war first-hand.
James M. Fisher
The May issue especially caught my attention because of the article regarding America's forgotten prisoner of war camps. During the war I worked in a production plant where food was being processed commercially. Though many of the workers were POWs I never knew too much about them and with wartime security being what it was everywhere most folks were loathe to ask questions about foreigners, especially those in the armed service of our enemies.
Having many unanswered questions these many years later I would like to talk to the author of the article, George W. Larson, to see if he could shed some additional light on these matters. Please either send this letter to him, or provide me his address. Above all, keep up the fine work being done in this magazine. You fill a niche that no other publication covers. Many thanks.
Howard L. Turk
59 Lake Ave.
Lancaster, NY 14086
ED: Sorry, Howard, we do not provide author addresses to our readers because of privacy concerns. …