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The USS Franklin (CV-13). The men in the American Pacific fleet knew her as “Big Ben.” She is known throughout history as “The Ship That Wouldn’t Die.” Even now, more than six decades after the end of hostilities in World War II, the very name Franklin spawns a tidal wave of emotion for her crew and thousands of men in the fleet caught up in what the name represents.
On March 19, 1945, Franklin, sailing less than 100 miles off the coast of Japan, is launching strikes against the mainland. At 07:08, just as her aircraft are taking off, an enemy dive-bomber attacked Franklin. In a split second the 27,100-ton aircraft carrier is transformed into a cataclysmic inferno as rivers of burning gasoline incinerate the ship and her own bombs methodically rip her apart in earth shattering explosions. All hope appears lost. What follows is a story of gallantry, audacity, and human resilience, and one of the most epic accounts of combat at sea and rescue ever recorded in the realms of the U.S. Navy. This remarkable achievement nevertheless was nearly overshadowed when the crew was accused with desertion.
USS Franklin: Honor Restored brings to life the compelling saga of USS Franklin. Directed by award winning director Robert Child (Silent Wings), and narrated by actor-director Dale Dye (Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, The Pacific), USS Franklin: Honor Restored constitutes the most extensive and vivid visual account of USS Franklin and the carrier war in the Pacific. Coupled with these striking images are interviews of Franklin survivors. You will hear and see the battle as seen through the eyes of the men who were there, as they share their most intimate and emotional memories of the disaster and reveal the anguish from accusations that linger still.