FRANKLIN P. HOLCOMB, MIDN, USN
Franklin Holcomb '07
Date of birth: December 24, 1884
Date of death: June 11, 1907
From the 1907 Lucky Bag:
Franklin was lost when the steam-powered launch he was aboard was run down and sunk on June 11, 1907, in Hampton Roads. He was a passenger returning to the battleship Connecticut, which he was stationed aboard, from the Jamestown Exposition.
From Find A Grave:
Franklin Porteous Holcomb was born in New Castle, Delaware, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Holcomb. His brother was Thomas Holcomb, who later became Commandant of the Marine Corps. Franklin was appointed to the Naval Academy as a cadet-at-large by Representative Henry Houston. He was admitted to the Academy on July 3, 1903, in the class of 1907.
Holcomb graduated early, on September 12, 1906, finishing 33rd of the 86 early graduates. The Class of 1907 numbered a total of 223 (as of June 1906).
At the time of his death on June 11, 1907, he was returning from the Jamestown Exposition to his ship, the USS Connecticut, on a motor launch from the USS Minnesota. The launch was lost during transit between Discovery Point and the Connecticut, taking the lives of five sailors and six midshipmen. Four of the midshipmen were from the class of 1907, the other two from the class of 1906. The cause of the late night incident was attributed to the launch being run under a barge, at the time being towed by the Tug Crisfield, carrying a number of loaded freight cars from Cape Charles to Norfolk. Holcomb's body was recovered on June 17, 1907, about 12 miles from the incident.
Memorial Hall Error
Franklin was a midshipman at the time of his loss; Memorial Hall lists him as an Ensign. There is no evidence of a posthumous promotion.