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Inferno: The Epic Life and Death Struggle of the USS Franklin in World War II
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Inferno: The Epic Life and Death Struggle of the USS Franklin in World War II

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  12 reviews
March 19, 1945 – Off the coast of Japan, the USS Franklin had just launched its aircraft in an attack of the shipping industry in Kobe Harbor when a single enemy aircraft pierced the cloud cover and made a low level run on the ship known as “Big Ben.”

In a matter of seconds, the aircraft’s 250kg bomb would strike the Franklin, piercing the deck and setting off a chain reac
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 12th 2011 by Zenith Press (first published September 15th 2007)
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Joseph A Springer's Inferno is an oral history of the USS Franklin. His focus is not on the events of March 19th, 1945 exclusively but rather the entire history of the ship. It has a nice pace and the interviews he selected complement each other nicely and reinforce that no two people see an event the same way. Springer takes on the controversy over Captain Leslie Gehres' decision not to call general quarters before the bombing. There was time and it is unclear why Ghres did not call general qua ...more
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Throughout my previous Pacific War reading, I had encountered bits and pieces of the USS Franklin's story. The carrier, its crew, and the airmen who took the air from its decks were similar to many other fleet craft in the Pacific during World War II. That is, until tragedy struck "Big Ben" and transformed the massive ship into the scene of one of the most riveting stories of the entire war. Joseph Springer does an wonderful job setting up the story of the Franklin, before letting those who were ...more
Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Joseph A. Springer sets the standard for how oral histories should be written with "Inferno: The Epic Life and Death Struggle of the USS Franklin in World War II”. You feel as if you are on-board as the story of "Big Ben", the USS Franklin, in World War II unfolds. It is necessary read for anyone who claims to be a World War II history buff.

The book divides into two parts. The ship's change of commanders is the dividing point - Captain Shoemaker's command and Captain Gehres' command. It is a wel
Greg Frederick
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must preface this by stating that I am not a history buff, and am not into military stuff. I do have a desire to read some history in the future, as I've learned that the history we were taught in public school is one-sided at best, and completely revisionist at its worst. Also, I'm not anti-military. I'm just anti-pointless wars. U.S. involvement in World War II was right, and so I'm more open to delving into the stories of that era. The reason I read this book is because my dad was born on t ...more
Jo-Ann Murphy
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I won this book through the Goodreads giveaways.

This is a billiant book. I love the arrangement. It is well written and easy to read. The book covers every detail of the USS Benjamin Franklin aircraft carrier from the time it was built to the time it was dismantled. Interspersed with the telling of the overall story are the recollections of surviving crew who served on the ship.

It gives a clear picture of daily ship life and the experiencs of the air squadrons. There are so many details of the m
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A straightforward and sometimes too restrained history of the USS Franklin, a World War II aircraft carrier that was devastated by a kamikaze and then, after lengthy repairs, once again nearly sunk, this time by a single Japanese bomb. Given the inherent drama in the fact that the captain who took command after the first attack first criticized the crew he inherited and then tried to have men under his command court-martialed for jumping overboard during the second successful attack, the narrati ...more
Jun 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary by: Phil Gentry
I read this book because my Uncle Pat died aboard this ship. I wanted to learn more about him. I now understand a lot more about WWII and its impact on the lives of my parents.
I like the way the book is written, with a lot of background and interspersed with eye witness accounts of the tragedy. The worst tragedy of all is that the captain court martialled all who went overboard and the shame that brought on them for the rest of their lives.
Darren Sapp
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
A massive fire on the flight deck caused by kamikaze attack spreads to other areas of the aircraft carrier USS Franklin. Springer brings to life this account of the third largest naval tragedy of WWII, behind the Arizona and Indianapolis. The format is unusual with insertions of personal accounts sprinkled through each section. It’s similar to Facebook posts with comments underneath.
Les Anderson
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A well written, researched and interesting book about a part of the Second world War I knew little about. The author obviously spent a lot of time tracking down the people involved with the ship and his interviews were all of great interest to me. I learned something from this book and I enjoyed it from start to finish. Thanks for a "Goodread"
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book

This is the latest in a series of books I've read about carriers in the Pacific. It's also one of the most amazing exhibitions of bravery and savage control ever seen.
Robert Kradoska
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Horrendos true tale of the USS Franklin in WWII
Jan 25, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This book contains the story of a gentleman who is our family friend--naturally, it is on my read list.
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