Tag Archives: USS Santa Fe

The World War II Heroics of a Very Special Ship

Luck Lady: A very special ship

special shipWhat makes the USS Santa Fe such a special ship? On March 19, 1945, a Japanese bomber dropped two 500-pound bombs through the deck of the USS Franklin, killing hundreds of officers and enlisted men, and thrusting the lives of nearly 3,000 other American seamen and aviators into mortal danger. As the Franklin listed dangerously near capsizing, the light cruiser USS Santa Fe, nicknamed the Lucky Lady, bellied up alongside her flaming hull and attempted the most daring rescue in U.S. naval history.

Lucky Lady tells the tale of  the legendary World War II careers of the USS Franklin (the most decorated naval vessel of the war) and the Santa Fe (unparalleled record of wartime service while avoiding casualties) through the eyes of the men on board. This tale is told from the perspective of the highest levels of rank and flying altitude to deep within the ships engine room. Through the bloody years of the Pacific War (from Pearl Harbor to the surrender of Japan) the crew members of these ships experienced first-hand all the horrors of war.

Close to home

A friend of mine, whose father served on the USS Santa Fe, loaned me this book. And I must say, I greatly enjoyed the read.

Sailors believed the Santa Fe to be an unlucky ship.  Christened with a bottle of water rather than Champagne, such as is the usual case. The bottle of water came from the Santa Fe River … blessed by a Catholic priest. This, of course, caused a good deal of muttering among superstitious sailors. But as it turned out, the Santa Fe led a charmed life. This ship and crew’s heroic efforts to rescue the sailors of the USS Franklin is the stuff of legends.

This is first and foremost a history, It goes into great character detail and development. You get to know the officers and the sailors assigned to this ship. From the Aleutians to Pearl Harbor and the war in the Pacific, this book tells their tale. It’s pages are full of WW II Naval action. However, if you are strictly an action junkie, it might be a bit of a slow read. On the other hand, if you love history, well-developed characters, and detailed, historic accuracy … this is a book for you. I highly recommend this book and give it a 4 out of 5 stars.