PENSACOLA — O’Callahan veterans will reunite next month and attend a memorial service.
During the service — 10 a.m. Oct. 7 at Pensacola's Veterans Park — attendees will honor Fr. Joseph O’Callahan and all the USS Franklin’s war dead. They also will reflect on shipmates’ recent deaths. NAS Pensacola’s chaplain and an honor guard will participate.
USS O’Callahan was named for the priest, a Medal of Honor recipient and chaplain aboard the USS Franklin during World War II. The ship was bombed near the end of the war, killing 800.
O’Callahan’s actions among the crew — to organize and dispose of exploding ordnance on deck — saved many sailors’ lives. A film clip of him, and still photos of his giving last rites to a sailor on the Franklin’s deck, is one of the most recognizable scenes of the Pacific War.
The O’Callahan veterans said those who wish to honor the Chaplain Corps, the USS Franklin, the USS O’Callahan and the US Navy may attend the ceremony. Afterward, everyone may celebrate at McGuire’s.
Veterans will visit the Pensacola Naval Air Museum and other area attractions while staying at the Ashton Inn on Navy Boulevard. The group will use Beach Bum Trolleys for transportation and tours.
See www.ussocallahan.org for more information.