USS Franklin: Honor Restored

in A-Z,Feature Docs,History,Specials

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.

Franklin was one of 24 Essex class aircraft carriers constructed during World War II. Built in the record time of just ten months, Franklin joined the Fast Carrier Fleet in mid-1944. During the next four months, Franklin waged a two-fisted brawl on enemy land, sea, and air targets in West Central Pacific and Philippines.

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Details

LENGTH: 1 x 70′ and 1 x 52′
CAMERA: HD
INTERNATIONAL TRACK AVAILABLE: Yes
TEXTLESS MASTER AVAILABLE: Yes
CLOSED CAPTIONS AVAILABLE: Yes
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
PRODUCTION YEAR: 2011
RELEASE YEAR: 2011
PRODUCER: The Ardennes Group, LLC
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States
RIGHTS TERRITORY: Worldwide

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.

 

Reviews

“…this compelling documentary—narrated by Capt. Dale Dye—deftly mixes archival footage shot aboard the carrier and surrounding ships with recent interviews of surviving veterans of the conflagration. DVD extras include a conversation with Dye. Highly recommended.” ****-Video Librarian

“USS Franklin: Honor Restored is a superb marriage of vintage footage and modern interviews with some of the seamen who lived through the gruesome events of March 1945. USS Franklin: Honor Restored is a very unique piece of work.” -  BloggerNews.net

“The crew of the USS Franklin, a WWII aircraft carrier known as “Big Ben” or “the Ship That Wouldn’t Die,” became the most highly decorated crew in naval history following a devastating enemy dive-bomber attack on March 19, 1945, off the coast of Japan. The crew also became a focus of controversy after commanding officer Captain Gehres accused sailors who fell off the ship or jumped into the water to avoid almost certain death of treason for deserting the ship. Surviving sailors vividly recall the grim events of the bombing, unanimously expressing their disdain for Gehres, who alienated the crew with his pompous and demeaning attitude. The men also believe that Gehres’ neglectfulness left them unprepared for the attack. Extensive footage shot by a naval photographer from a nearby rescue ship documents the fiery destruction, while actor Dale Dye’s narration adds continuity. Military-history fans will enjoy the technical details and heartfelt survivor stories.” – Booklist Online

“A gripping, powerful film, USS Franklin: Honor Restored is especially recommended for naval military history collections and public library DVD shelves.” – Bookwatch