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Post Info TOPIC: Frank Fantasia, Fireman 2d Class; U.S.S. Indianapolis, July29/30, 1945


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Frank Fantasia, Fireman 2d Class; U.S.S. Indianapolis, July29/30, 1945


I am the 62 year old nephew of Frank Fantasia. He was inducted into the Navy June 23, 1944. He was killed on the Indianapolis July 30, 1945. He was 26 years old. He was the youngest brother in a family of 6 sisters and 4 brothers on my mother's side of the family. Three other brothers were serving in the armed forces at the time. One was in the Navy at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. Another was with Patton's Army in Sicily and a third brother was stationed on a PT Boat in Australia. Frank was a Fireman 2d Class on the U.S.S. Indianapolis when it struck by Japanese torpedoes. He was probably killed instantly when they hit. I never knew him, and it was always very difficult for any of my relatives to talk about him 20 and more years after the sinking. They always became very sad and teary eyed. The family must have suffered terribly when the news first arrived. His death separated his new wife and 3 young sons from our side of the family. I am posting a photo I found in the book "Abandon Ship; The Death of the U.S.S. Indianapolis" by Richard F. Newcomb. On the back of the photo he wrote: "Look what the Navy is doing for me. I'm getting fat." I also found a card which I have posted. It was sent while he was on leave during the time the Indianapolis was being repaired in San Francisco after the Kamikaze attack on it. In case you can't read it he writes, "Thanks for everything. Never a dull moment when I was home. Am having a stinking time. K.P. & guard duty. & dog watch at that. Love Frankie" Lastly, there is an obituary that was taped onto the inside of the Newcomb book. There is no specific date on the news clipping but it is probably Wednesday, August 15, 1945 or possibly the 16th. The war was over but on VJ night nearly 900 families started to receive the dreaded news . The Navy released communique No. 622: The U.S.S Indianapolis has been lost in the Philippine Sea as the result of enemy action. The next of kin of casualties have been notified." The newspapers began to get the news of the greatest Naval disaster in US history.

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JAMES CONTE


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What wonderful photos - thank you so much for sharing them. And for sharing such a heartbreaking event in your family's history.

I am with 6 of the Indy survivors here in Branson, MO right now. We are attending the reunion for the Indy rescuers. I will ask them if they remember your uncle. Do you happen to know when he first went aboard Indy? Some of these gentlemen served a few years before the sinking and some were greenies - their first trip on the fatal voyage. But nevertheless, I will ask. You just never know...

Sincerely,

Kim

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Hi Kim,
Off-hand I do not know my uncle's exact boarding date on the U.S.S. Indianapolis, however the death notice stated that he went "overseas in the Fall" of 1944. If I find the date, I will post it.


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JAMES CONTE


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Dear James,

Amid all of the nonstop events during the IRRA reunion, I pulled two survivors aside (LD Cox and Victor Buckett) and asked if they recognized Frank Fantasia's pictures or name. I'm sorry, but neither of them did. The men have wrestled with this burden since the day they came home- being asked by the poor Lost At Sea families whether they saw their loved ones or could tell them how they died. They want so badly to give you guys answers and closure. They wish they could.

They both said to tell you that they are so sorry about your uncle.

I could see in their eyes that they meant every word.


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Thank you so much. And thank all the survivors for their courage and compassion.

I did learn another fact about my uncle Frank's journey. When the Indianapolis stopped over at Pearl Harbor on its way to deliver the Atomic Bomb parts, the crew was not allowed to leave the ship. My other uncle, Peter, who was stationed at Pearl went on board and visited with Frankie. The oldest brother had visited the youngest brother for the last time.

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JAMES CONTE


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Your story breaks my heart as does anything I read about the loss of these men. My grandfather also was aboard the Indianapolis. Elvin Cary Malone, from Mississippi. My mother was only 1 1/2 yrs old, so she really never knew him. I've always tried to imagine what type of man he would have been. My grandmother remarried in '47. She has never talked openly about her late husband, due to my step grandfather never allowing her or anyone else to. He's not a mean man, just somewhat prideful. He stepped in & took care of my mom & grandmother during some hard times. Mama has a few pictures, from his relatives, and his Navy trunk. I imagine the survivors have lives with a painful, heavy heart for all these years. I'm very grateful for them sharing their memories of the sinking and all.

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Thank you for your posting. It is hard to imagine the grief our relatives went through back then especially since the sinking was kept secret until Japan surrendered.

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JAMES CONTE


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My name is Corey shaw. I am the oldest grandaughter of Archie Kilgore, who too was fireman 2d class. I was told by a surviver that the hit was durring shift change and that it was probably quick for these poor souls.{ yes my grandpa was also killed}My mother, Archies oldest daughter passed away in 1982 at the age of 44 of a heartattack. She would always tell all of us about her memories of her dad. My mom tried really hard to try and locate any info on her dad but to no avail. She did tell me that she would like me to continue if any thing should happen to her and I kept that promise to her. Mom was only 9 years old with 3 younger sibblings, when grandpa died. Grandma, Archies wife did remarry, passed away on 2/16/10. Please feel free to reply anytime,I would like to hear more of anything. Take care Corey

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Corey Shaw


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Corey,
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I wonder if my Uncle Frank and your Grandfather Archie shared any good times together on board or on shore leave?

Here are some photos of the USS Indianapolis and the crew and some of the survivors. I am not sure of the dates the photos were taken.

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JAMES CONTE


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Corey & James
If you would like to get on my email list for news that comes my way regarding the USS Indianapolis, please feel free to send me your email address at BullardMBullard@aol.com I would be happy to add you and keep you informed of news or events!
Maria Eck Bullard
Daughter of Survivor Harold Eck

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Thank- you Maria, I would love to hear any news.   Grandaughter of Archie Kilgore. My E-mail address is nascor@xxxxx.net



-- Edited by jaylalee on Tuesday 14th of September 2010 05:48:41 PM

-- Edited by SurvivorsDaughter on Tuesday 14th of September 2010 06:09:48 PM

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Corey Shaw


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You're on Corey! You'll be receiving email soon! smile.gif

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My name is Ken Richards and I am 82 yrs and live in England. I was most interested to read about Frank Fantasia and the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, I knew part of the history of the sinkiing and the Captain being court marshalled, but did not know he had been exonerated of all blame subsequently. My interest in Frank is that we are first cousins, his mother Annie being my fathers sister. I am pleased you keep the memory of him and the rest of the crew alive, they deserve our thanks and respect.



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K g Richards


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So your Aunt was my Grandmother on my Mother's side. You are the first of the Richards family that I have had the pleasure to contact. I have heard the story of Gramma (Annie) coming to the States when she was 17 years old; arriving in Providence, meeting her future husband Alberto Fantasia and then going on to see relatives somewhere in Canada but coming back to marry Alberto. I have always wanted to get more details about the who, what and where of her travels.

I am so thrilled that you left a post on this site. If you would like to contact me at my email address, it is: rijim2001@yahoo.com



-- Edited by jamco on Thursday 14th of July 2011 01:21:44 PM



-- Edited by jamco on Thursday 14th of July 2011 01:23:22 PM

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JAMES CONTE


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Hi James

My name is Joe Errico and I am married to your uncle Frank Fantasia's daughter. Her name is Ann Elizabeth Fantasia. She has three brothers. Frank, Albert and William. I came across this Indianapolis web site and told Ann that I wanted to respond to you. As you probably know that she never got to see her father because her mother Anna Fantasia was pregnant with child at the time of his death. Frankie, the oldest son has the flag that the Navy gave to Anna after his death. I was happy to see the correspondence that you received from relatives in England. We visited your uncle Bill and Aunt Fran years ago and met their sons and daughter. The last time we seen Aunt Fran and Paula was at my wifes mother's wake in the year 2000. I could believe the resemblence of Paula and my wife Ann. Thanks .

Joe Errico



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Nice to hear from "new" relatives. Ken Richards in England had actually been corresponding with Laurie Harvey, the daughter-in-law of Clara Fantasia, one of my aunts and one of Frank's sisters. Clara was doing genealogical research for years and passed it on to Laurie. She has a lot of the Fantasia records from Ancestry.com's database. Some of the information was quite misleading, and we had a big laugh about it. I sent notices about your contacting me to my brother John, my cousin Bobby and Laurie but Laurie's email was returned. Her mail box might be full and I'm hoping she'll contact me soon. My email is rijim2001@yahoo.com

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JAMES CONTE


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Hi James
I am the granddaughter of Frank Fantasia. My father Albert was 2 1/2 when his dad was killed. I have 3 siblings, Susan, Albert and Dawn. Thank you for the research and postings.
Gina

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Hello James, This is my first post and it's wonderful to see all the surviving family. My aunt, Dorothy Gattman, was married to Peter Fantasia, Frankie's eldest brother. They lived in Honolulu until his death. His two daughters from his first marriage, Toni and Rita, were sent to live with us in Los Angeles during the war, I think to protect them. Peter died in 1973. Toni died in 1997 and I'm searching for Rita (a beautiful Hawaiian dancer as a child).

Judith in Oakland



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James, I met Clara Harvey in San Francisco many years ago, before I had become addicted to genealogy. If you have her records, I've started a tree on Geni.com and would love to see the additions that I don't have the time to put on the tree.
Judith

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Hello James, Thank you for posting the information and photos on my grandfather. His son Albert is my father. Nobody ever spoke of my grandfather....While working at a hospital in providence, RI around 15 years ago, I cared for a patient who has served on the Indianapolis. Unfortunately he passed before I was able to speak with him. Thanks again for the time you put in to gathering all the information. Al

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