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|50k||Frank Woodrow O'Flaherty was born in Tonopah, Nev. on 26 February 1918 to Michael and Carrie O'Flaherty. When Mrs. O'Flaherty became a victim of the Spanish Flu
pandemic of 1918, the seven children were split up to live among relatives. Frank lived with his Aunt and Grandmother in Bonner Springs, Kansas where he grew up and attended school.
Frank entered the U.S. Naval Reserve (V5) on 25 Sept 1940 (NSN: 4111716) as seaman 2c in Kansas City, KS. He was discharged on 26 January 1941 and the next day he was appointed Aviation Cadet with special orders to NAS Pensacola to begin his flight training. He received his commission as an Ensign, AV-(N), USNR, on 12 September 1941. He reported to Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6) aboard USS Enterprise (CV-6) on 05 February 1942.
On 04 June 1942 The Air Battle of Midway began. Later that day after his squadron had bombed the Japanese carrier strike force they were attacked by enemy fighters as they were attempting to return to Enterprise. Frank's plane was hit by some of the fire and his plane began losing fuel. Already low on fuel he wasn't able to return to the Enterprise and was forced to ditch. Other members of his squadron saw him and his radioman/gunner, AMM 1c Bruno P. Gaido, get out of their plane and deploy their life raft. The Navy department listed them as missing in action on 04 Jun 1942 and presumed dead on 05 Jun 1943. Thought to be killed in action on 04 June 1942 while pressing home his attacks in the face of a formidable barrage of anti-aircraft fire and fierce fighter opposition, he was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism.
After the war ended, U.S. investigators discovered that O'Flaherty and Gaido had been picked up by the Japanese destroyer Makigumo on 04 June alive and well. After O'Flaherty and Gaido were interrogated, the ship's commander had them bound with weights and thrown overboard where they drowned. The exact date isn't known but its assumed to be around 15 June 1942.
USS O'Flaherty (DE 340) (1944-1947) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
(U.S. Navy photo #NH 100046 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
DE / FF / LCS Archive
|392k||08 June 1944: Boston, Mass. - USS O'Flaherty (DE 340) is seen wearing MS31/22D camouflage scheme. She got underway that morning for Broad Sound to calibrate
direction finders and compasses returning to the Navy Yard that evening. The following morning she departed for Norfolk, Va. and change to Pacific duty.|
(U.S. Naval Historical Center photo #L45-215.04.01 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
|View the USS O'Flaherty (DE 340) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS O'Flaherty as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|O'Flaherty's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 08 Apr. 1944 – 30 Jan. 1945||Lcdr. Duane Wesley Farnham, USNR (Comm. CO)|
|2.) 30 Jan. 1945 - .. .... 1946||Lcdr. Paul Litchfield Callan, USNR (Essex, Mass.)|
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Page Last Updated: 16 January 2020