USS Franklin (CV-13) Memorial:
Battleship Cove is home to an official memorial for the aircraft carrier Franklin (CV-13). In one of the worst naval tragedies of the World War II, Franklin was hit by Japanese bombs and began to burn. Flames bathed her decks, igniting fires that smoked like pipes from the barrels of five-inch mounts. As her magazines erupted and she began to list, nearby sailors from nearby ships raced to her side to rescue survivors. Carlton McMorrow , USS Pittsburgh, was among them.
McMorrow recalls the heroics of Father Joe O’Callahan during the evacuation. The clergy’s only recipient of the Medal of Honor, this Boston native went on to serve at the Naval Training Station in Newport (RI) before retiring as a professor of philosophy at Holy Cross College.
“Father Joe O’Callahan, quite a guy … I walked back on the fantail, and he had a white cross with tape on his battle helmet, and, of course, those guys were pretty shook up, and they were more or less traumatized at the time. And he got them organized, and he got the guys so that they could pull the tow line over. She was burning. She was listing quite heavily, and those guys really went through hell.”
Although she was saved by the heroics of Callahan and others, the Franklin lost 724 sailors to the attack that day. A permanent honor roll hangs in memory of their sacrifice in the USS Massachusetts Memorial Room.