Description - Inferno by Joseph A. Springer
Known throughout the fleet as Big Ben, the USS Franklin was christened for the legacy of the four prior U.S. Navy ships named after Benjamin Franklin. The Franklin was a creation of World War II, one of twenty-four Essex-class fast carriers built during the conflict, forming the backbone of the U.S. Navy's war against Japan. By the time the war had moved to Okinawa in the spring of 1945, Big Ben had already seen substantial combat, having participated in the island campaigns of the central and western Pacific and the Battle for Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, where she sustained heavy damage from the new and deadly Japanese kamikaze. On March 19, 1945, the Franklin was launching her aircraft against Honshu, the Japanese mainland, including the shipping industry in Kobe Harbor. Suddenly, a single enemy aircraft pierced the cloud cover and made a low level run on the ship, striking it with a 250kg bomb which pierced the deck and set off a chain reaction of exploding ordnance and aviation fuel.The aircraft carrier, now on fire, listing heavily to starboard, and with over 1,000 casualties, appeared to be mortally wounded. Inferno tells the heroic tale of the efforts that saved Big Ben. It is a tremendous story of endurance and seamanship, told in harrowing detail in the survivors own words. Inferno makes for gripping reading.
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(153mm x 229mm x mm)
Publisher: Motorbooks International
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Author Biography - Joseph A. Springer
Joseph A. Springer retired from the United States Air Force after twenty-three years as an Aircraft Weapons Specialist. He now specializes in military oral history, having interviewed more than one thousand combat veterans over the last thirty-five years. Joes first book, Black Devil Brigade, tells the oral history of the First Special Service Force in World War II. Joe and his wife Susan reside in West Central Illinois.