The USS Franklin (CV/CVA/CVS-13, AVT-8), nicknamed "Big Ben", was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy, the fifth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in January 1944, she served in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning four battle stars. She was badly damaged by a Japanese air attack in March 1945, with the loss of hundreds of her crew, becoming the most heavily damaged United States carrier to survive the war. Movie footage of the actual attacks was included in the 1949 film Task Force starring Gary Cooper.
After the attack she returned to the U.S. mainland for repairs, missing the rest of the war; she was decommissioned in 1947. While in reserve she was reclassified as an attack carrier (CVA), then an antisubmarine carrier (CVS), and finally an aircraft transport (AVT), but was never modernized and never saw active service again. Franklin and Bunker Hill (damaged by a kamikaze) were the only Essex-class carriers not to see active service as aircraft carriers after World War II. The Franklin was sold for scrap in 1966.