Sept. 22, 2012
My name is John Howard. My Father, John M. Howard, was on the Santa Fe from
12-9-44 to 10-19-46. I have attached his orders reporting aboard, the
commendation for the Franklin rescue and his orders when he was assigned to
another ship. I think of him and others on the Santa Fe at the time of the
Franklin rescue, Dad being only 1 month past his 18th birthday, doing that kind
of heroic work to save as many as they could. My hats off to everyone for that!
Dad was born 2-18-27, in Bandon Oregon. He spent a short time in the Merchant
Marines at the age of 16. I have attached his identification papers I found in
his Seaman's wallet...which I still have. It's a great keepsake.
On the Santa Fe he was in the Gunnery Department, 5th division. I attached a
photo of him from the cruise book. I had emailed you before, hoping someone
could send me a good photo of that photo or a scan out of the original book (pg.
132). I erased his face a little as I circled it with a pencil when I was a kid
and then tried to erase it years later.
Dad use to tell me bedtime stories, at my request, of his time in World War II
and Korea. Trying to fend of kamikazes......the stories were incredible. He
went on to serve in Korea until 1953, one year after marrying Mom. He raised
three boys, was a welder and sheet metal fabricator the rest of his life. He
was a volunteer firefighter and was overall just a great Dad. I miss him a
lot. He passed away on 3-8-01, at the young age of 74. I have attached a
picture of Dad and me in the mid '90's.
John Howard on CL-60.
Merchant Marine Papers
Johnny and Dad
12-9-44 report USS Santa Fe
USS Franklin award 3-19-45
10-19-46 departing from USS Santa Fe