- Plastic model kit, assembly & paint required
- 637 Pieces; 32 sprues, hulls & decks (aircraft: F6F, F4U, TBF, SB2C, SBD)
- Approximate dimensions: 14.87” L x 2.49” W
- Box dimensions: 16.6” L x 5.6” W x 2.3” H
- Recommend for 12 years and above.
USS Franklin (CV/CVA/CVS-13, AVT-8), nicknamed "Big Ben," was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy, and the fifth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in January 1944, she served in several campaigns in the Pacific War, earning four battle stars. She was badly damaged by a Japanese air attack in March 1945, with the loss of over 800 of her crew, becoming the most heavily damaged United States aircraft carrier to survive the war. Movie footage of the actual attack was included in the 1949 film Task Force starring Gary Cooper.
After the attack, she returned to the U.S. mainland for repairs, missing the rest of the war; she was decommissioned in 1947. While in reserve, she was reclassified as an attack carrier (CVA), then an antisubmarine carrier (CVS), and finally an aircraft transport (AVT), but was never modernized and never saw active service again. Franklin and Bunker Hill (damaged by two kamikazes) were the only Essex-class carriers not to see active service as aircraft carriers after World War II. Franklin was sold for scrap in 1966.
During World War II the United States built three types of aircraft carriers, the Essex class heavy carriers, the Independence class light carriers, and “escort” carriers. The 24 ships of the Essex class were not remarkable for any great design innovation, but essentially for being in right place at right time, and for doing well the task history gave them. The Essex class carriers served in numbers too large, and too late in the war to gain the fame of the prewar carriers whose names they frequently bore, but they served longer than any other class, and through wars never dreamed of by their builders. Those that survive as museum ship today are a fitting tribute to the class that ruled the Pacific fifty years ago.