April 10, 1963
PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD
Franklin James Palmer was born on March 3, 1921, in Durham, N.H., the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Palmer. He attended grammar school in Durham, and was graduated from Dover High School, Dover, N.H., in 1941. During his school years, Franklin was a member of the local Boy Scout troop, and with several of his friends, formed a Sea Scout ship. They often sailed in and around the local waters off Durham.
After graduating high school, he enrolled in the University of New Hampshire for a course of studey in electric-arc welding. He then accepted a position with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, as a machinist operator.
In July 1942, Franklin was called into the service, and served with the U.S. Navy for over 3 years. He was honorably discharged and returned to the shipyard where he resumed his work as a machinist. Franklin was subsequently promoted to leadingman machinist.
During his free time, Franklin, who had become a master mechanic from working as a youth in his father's garage, built and raced stock cars, in the Portsmouth area. His interest in machines led him to aircraft, and after taking flying lessons, he won his CAA private operator's license.
Franklin was a specialist in hydraulics and hydraulic mechanisms. It was while working in this field that brought Franklin to the Thresher.
He is survived by his wife, the former Mary Lee Evans of Portsmouth,
Va., and four children, Franklin, Jr., Rodney, Sandra, and Roxanne.