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William Joseph Franks
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Birth: 1830
Chatham County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Apr. 18, 1880
Maple Springs
Independence County
Arkansas, USA

William Joseph Franks, born in Pittsboro,Chatham County, N.C., about 1830, enlisted in the US Navy September 15, 1863 at Duvall Falls, Arkansas .William distinguished himself in 1864 for his actions on March 5 during the battle for Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was in the US Navy and served on a Gun Boat, the USS Marmora, on the Yazoo River. General U.S. Grant was looking for a way to attack Vicksburg from the North and he sent the Gun Boats up the River to test Confederate defenses at Yazoo City. The Gun Boats met heavy Southern Forces that were advancing through the town and would surely over run the Union troops. An officer, William Franks and two other crew men loaded a ships canon (12-pound howitzer) on a carriage and took it to the center of town and began firing on Southern positions. The Confederate's returned fire with such fury, the officer ran away, one crew man was shot in the throat, the gun carriage was shot half in two by rifle balls and the ram rod was also shot in half. William and the other crew man continued firing their canon and several times they had to abandon the gun because of the heavy fire they were getting, but they kept returning to their post and saved their troops from being over run They were in the thickest fighting, but no fire was heavy enough to drive them from their gun' which played a most important role in saving the Union position. William was awarded the Medal of Honor and promoted to acting master's mate in recognition of his gallant service.
March 5, 1864
US War Ship Named in Honor of William J. Franks
The USS William J.Franks (DD-554) was launched 7 December 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Seattle, Wash.; sponsored by Mrs. Martha F. W. Carr, a cousin of Acting Master's Mate Franks; and commissioned 30 July 1943, Lieutenant Commander N. A. Lidstone in command.
The USS Wm. Joseph Franks Served in the Pacific until the end of the war. The Franks received nine battle stars for World War II service.
1880 Federal Census
Christian, Independence County, Arkansas
William J.FRANKS,49,1830,Farmer,NC/VA /NC
Mary Francis Wife,36,1844,Married 1865,AR
John Benjamin,12,1868,AR
Lyda Emma,10,1869,,AR
James Dempsey ,7, 1873,AR
William W.,5,1875.AR
Elden M.,2,1878,AR 
Maple Springs Cemetery
Independence County
Arkansas, USA
Created by: Jerry Calfee
Record added: Jul 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39193013
William Joseph Franks
Added by: Jerry Calfee
William Joseph Franks
Added by: Jerry Calfee
William Joseph Franks
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jamie "BamaFann"
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

I am requesting any information that you might have on WILLIAM JOSEPH FRANKS:My 3rd G. Grandfather Married to Mary Francis MNU (Not Mary Langston that was noted as being never married at time of death.)Please contact me if you have any information on this...(Read more)
- Kim
 Added: Jun. 7, 2014

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