Retired Master Chief Yeoman Jim Taylor, a volunteer at Commander,
Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs, speaks about Pearl Harbor
survivor Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Jack Gordon Franklin during the
burial service at the USS Utah Memorial on Dec. 5, 2011. Franklin
passed away July 12, 2005 at 81 years old. He was 17 years old
during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. U.S. Navy photo by
MCS 2nd Class Mark Logico
PEARL HARBOR (NNS 12/6/2011) -- On Dec. 5, two days before the 70th
Anniversary Pearl Harbor Day, a memorial ceremony was held for
81-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor, Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Jack
Gordon Franklin, at the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island.
ceremony included a short religious service, the scattering of
ashes, and a three-volley rifle salute provided by the Joint Base
Pearl Harbor-Hickam Navy Detachment Honor Guard. A bugler from U.S.
Pacific Fleet Band was also on hand to sound "Taps," and at the end
of the ceremony a Sailor presented an American flag to Franklin's
eldest daughter Joey Elaine Duncan.
"It was really
beautiful," said Duncan. "I haven't stopped crying yet. It was a
beautiful day too and I appreciate the military doing this for us.
It just means so much. It's closure for us."
died July 12, 2005, was a 17-year-old Sailor aboard USS West
Virginia (BB 48) during the Dec. 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attacks.
Retired Command Master Chief James Taylor, a volunteer at
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs, hosted the ceremony
and said Franklin expressed desire to his children to have his
remains returned to Pearl Harbor so he could be with his friends and
shipmates who were lost during the attack.
"Thanks to his
three children- Joey, Tim and Pat- his wish has come true," said
Born, on Jan. 31, 1924, Franklin joined the Navy a
few days after his 17th birthday in January 1941. Franklin was a
mess cook on West Virginia when the attack started. Duncan said when
Franklin went topside he was wandering around the ship looking for
"A chief was the one who signaled him to get to the
gun," said Duncan. "I haven't been able to find out but they used to
call him Chief Smithy."
Franklin reached an anti-aircraft
battery and fired the only shots from the battery during the
raid. The West Virginia was hit by numerous torpedoes and
two bombs. More than 100 crew members including the ship's
commanding officer were killed that day.
continued to serve throughout the war effort, participating
in major battles such as the Battle of Midway and the Battle
of Coral Sea. He saw his last action at Buckner Bay in
Okinawa, Japan, ducking Japanese Kamikaze planes.
Franklin was such a devout Christian that his shipmates
called him "Holy Joe" because he preached to anyone who
would listen. After serving, he dove into several ventures
including ministry, operating a caf�, doing public relations
work for the Southern Pacific Railroad, and managing an art
gallery until his death in 2005. He is survived by Joey,
Timothy and Patrice.
More photos available below
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Mark Logico
Commander Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
Navy News Service
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