From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Franklin Cook, Jr. '39

Date of birth: July 28, 1918

Date of death: October 12, 1944

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:


Franklin was lost on October 12, 1944 during the Formosa Air Battle while piloting a F6F-5 Hellcat fighter with Fighting Squadron (VF) 19 from USS Lexington (CV 16). He was commanding officer of Fighting Squadron (VF) 19, "Satan's Kittens."

From Hellcat: The F6F in World War II By Barrett Tillman:

Fighting 19's sixteen fighters were not as lucky. When the four divisions became separated from one another, small formations of Hellcats were sometimes outnumbered by as much as six to one. The Lexington pilots fought tenaciously, claiming 27 kills in the frantic, fearful minutes the battle lasted. Three Hellcats were lost, as were two pilots: VF-19's skipper, Lieutenant F. E. Cook, and the flight officer, Lieutenant D. K. Tripp.

His mother was listed as next of kin.

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Commander Franklin E. Cook (NSN: 0-82386), United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight during World War II.

General Orders: American Battle Monuments Commission
Action Date: World War II
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander


His father was a Lieutenant when he died aboard USS Ranger (CV 4) on April 30, 1938.

Franklin Jr. was designated a naval aviator in 1942, #14618.

Related Articles

Donald Tripp '40 was the Naval Flight Officer aboard Franklin's plane when it was shot down.

Class of 1939

Franklin is one of 77 members of the Class of 1939 in Memorial Hall.