Inferno: The Epic Life and Death Struggle of the USS Franklin in World War II

Inferno: The Epic Life and Death Struggle of the USS Franklin in World War II

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by Joseph A. Springer
     
 

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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 one of twenty-four Essex-class fast carriers built during World War II, forming the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s war against Japan.

On March 19, 1945

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Overview

 

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 one of twenty-four Essex-class fast carriers built during World War II, forming the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s war against Japan.

On March 19, 1945, during a planned aircraft launch against Honshu, the Japanese mainland, the Franklin was struck with a 250kg bomb from an enemy aircraft, setting off a chain reaction of exploding ordnance and aviation fuel.

The aircraft carrier, now on fire, listing heavily to starboard, and with over one thousand 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
WASHINGTON TIMES
"Joseph Springer brings to life one of the most exciting stories of World War II as seen and told from the perspective of the officers and sailors who served on board the Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Franklin."

WARSHIPS INTERNATIONAL FLEET REVIEW

"At the core of this gripping account are eyewitness recollections of sailors, fighting to ensure their own survival or that of the ship. It is a warts-and-all portrayal of an epic fight to save a ship, not sparing those it deems incompetent or unduly disciplinarian."

WORLD WAR II DATABASE
"I was immediately impressed by Springer's writing style, which was straight-forward but was done without sacrificing detail. He professed that his interest in the history of USS Franklin had been nearly life-long, and it showed. The book delivered in clear detail everything encompassing the ship's history, configuration throughout the war, and the environments she had been in. Springer also succeeded in providing just enough information about the Pacific War so to shine light on why Franklin engaged in actions that she did...a history told with harrowing and gripping detail."

NAVAL HISTORY
“Joseph Springer brings to life one of the most exciting stories of World War II as seen and told from the perspective of officers and Sailors who served on board the Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Franklin. The author has crafted a well-researched and easy-to-read oral history that not only pays tribute to the men who sailed in the Franklin but to the legacy of naval service and its values of honor, courage, and commitment…This book is a fitting tribute to the crew members of the Franklin and all the Sailors who fought during World War II.”

NAVAL INSTITUTE PROCEEDINGS
"A fitting tribute to a crew who late in World War II took seriously the admonition immortalized more than a century before: 'Don't Give Up the Ship.' An excellent weaving of oral histories with factual research, this riveting account of tragedy and courage under horrific circumstances."

THE NYMAS REVIEW
"[In Inferno] we have a very different story, an epic of human courage and endurance, as the crew and those of other vessels, work desperately to save the ship, a task at which was ultimately successful, so that the ship survived to make home. The author has skillfully blended some very fine historical research and writing with numerous first-hand accounts by surviving crewmen to tell the story of the war at sea."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781610597494
Publisher:
MBI Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/12/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
135,776
File size:
25 MB
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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Naval History, December 2007 (circ.: 60,000)

“Joseph Springer brings to life one of the most exciting stories of World War II as seen and told from the perspective of officers and Sailors who served on board the Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Franklin. The author has crafted a well-researched and easy-to-read oral history that not only pays tribute to the men who sailed in the Franklin but to the legacy of naval service and its values of honor, courage, and commitment … This book is a fitting tribute to the crew members of the Franklin and all the Sailors who fought during World War II.”

 

World War II Database, November 2007 (vpm: 30,000)

“I was immediately impressed by Springer's writing style, which was straight-forward but was done without sacrificing detail. He professed that his interest in the history of USS Franklin had been nearly life-long, and it showed. The book delivered in clear detail everything encompassing the ship's history, configuration throughout the war, and the environments she had been in. Springer also succeeded in providing just enough information about the Pacific War so to shine light on why Franklin engaged in actions that she did … With this book, the men of Franklin, along with their courage in the face of disaster and their accomplishment of bringing the devastated ship back home on her own power, were made known.

I highly recommend Inferno, a history told with harrowing and gripping detail.”

Midwest Book Review, November 2007

“A gripping true story of bravery and sacrifice, featuring the words of men who served aboard ‘Big Ben’ as well as a handful of black and white photographs. A welcome addition to naval and World War II history shelves.”

Midwest Book Review, December 2007

“A gripping true story of bravery and sacrifice, featuring the words of the men who served aboard ‘Big Ben’ as well as a handful of black and white photographs. A welcome addition to naval and World War II history shelves.”

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