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Synopsis

 

Known throughout the fleet as “Big Ben,” the USS Franklin was christened for the legacy of the four prior U.S. Navy ships named after Benjamin Franklin. The Franklin was one of twenty-four Essex-class fast carriers built during World War II, forming the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s war against Japan.

On March 19, 1945, during a planned aircraft launch against Honshu, the Japanese mainland, the Franklin was struck with a 250kg bomb from an enemy aircraft, setting off a chain reaction of exploding ordnance and aviation fuel.

The aircraft carrier, now on fire, listing heavily to starboard, and with over one thousand casualties, appeared to be mortally wounded. Inferno tells the heroic tale of the efforts that saved “Big Ben.” It is a tremendous story of endurance and seamanship told in harrowing detail in the survivors’ own words. Inferno makes for gripping reading. 

 

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