FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           

Contact: Karen Auerbach
46) 375-1066



The World War II Heroics of the USS Santa Fe and Franklin

Steve Jackson


Through dive bombings, kamikaze attacks, air combat,  and deadly typhoons, the dramatic saga of the USS Franklin and Santa Fe – the two ships whose fates cast them in one of the greatest sea epics of World War II.

Near the end of World War II, the Japanese high command viewed the destruction of American aircraft carriers as the key to keeping their country free of invasion. On March 19, 1945, a Japanese bomber broke through U.S. air cover sixty miles off the coast of Japan and dropped two 500-pound bombs on the aircraft carrier Franklin. The bombs pierced the ship’s decks, setting off onboard ammunition, igniting fuel, and killing hundreds of officers and men instantly. The rest of the crew, nearly 3,000 American seamen and aviators, were left fighting for their lives as the Franklin turned into what one war correspondent described as “hell on water.” In a maneuver heralded as one of the most magnificent feats of seamanship in naval history, the light cruiser Santa Fe raced in to pull alongside the flaming Franklin and rescue more than 800 sailors while the ships were being stalked by Japanese pilots in the sky above.

New York Times bestselling author Steve Jackson has recreated the legendary World War II story of the most decorated crew of a U.S. naval vessel ever, the men of the Franklin, and those of the Santa Fe, a ship unparalleled in frontline service and much envied for her record as The Lucky Lady. Through the eyes of the men who served, Jackson gives a range of perspectives from the highest levels of rank and the skies above the Pacific to the bottom of the pecking order and deep within the bowels of the ships. Lucky Lady follows the crewmembers from their homes to the shipyards to Pearl Harbor to the Philippines to the waters just off the coast of Japan.  It tells of their encounters with kamikazes, typhoons, ship-to-ship and air-to-air combat, and it describes how these young Americans, so far from their homes and the people who loved them, dealt with attacks on their ships and the death of their squadron mates.

Lucky Lady is a powerful memorial to those Americans who performed the ultimate in sacrifice and heroism, a story vast and varied, yet human in scale – a fitting tribute that has stirring echoes in our present time.

Steve Jackson
’s father, Donald, served on the Santa Fe. A treasured lock of hair that Steve’s mother-to-be, Charlotte, gave to the young sailor Donald in 1945 – found after more than fifty years – has triggered this remarkable book. Steve Jackson is also the author of No Stone Unturned. He lives near Denver, Colorado.


The World War II Heroics of the USS Santa Fe and Franklin

Author: Steve Jackson

Price: $27.00 Cloth                                          528 pages                                ISBN 0-7867-1061-6

January 2003