Fifth ship of the Essex class — fifth ship to bear Benjamin Franklin’s name…

On the 19th of March, 1945, her crew would write a story for the ages as they were tested in the crucible.

Today, like so many of their generation, the already small band of survivors of that day continue to dwindle. This coming March they will hold their reunion at Lodge of the Ozarks (Branson, MO). If you are a former member of the Big Ben, they’re waiting for you. If you are a student of naval history, or even just history — they will welcome you with open arms and warm hearts. Interested? Here’s the gouge:

Contact for Questions:
Sam Rhodes 772-334-0366 or
Beth Conard Rowland (daughter of crewman) 740-524-0024 (please leave message)

Registration closes 1 March, 2010.

And all you former Santa Fe crew? I’ll bet they would especially love to see you guys too…

h/t Xformed

1 Comment

  1. Gene M. Lewis

    I served with a RM1/C named Philby at the Pearl Harbor Fleet Radio (FRUPAC) shack next door to Admiral Nimitz’ Cincpac for a few weeks after CV-13 was brought in for temporary repairs. He had been aboard when the ship was nailed – I believe in the Battle of Subuyen Sea. Philby awas a Robust cuy, curly blonde hair. Full of fun. He offered to see if he could get me aboard Big Ben for look around, but I declined – preferring to study mast disaster from afar.
    Gene M. Lewis (then) SpQte3/C, USNR

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