Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Roy McGinty, of Calhoun, GA. On 17 August 1942 Franklin Alexander McGinty enlisted in the US Naval Reserve and joined USS Plymouth for duty as Soundman Third Class on 1 January 1943. On 5 August, the gunboat was torpedoed by U-566 off Cape Charles. Despite raging fires, McGinty entered the ship's magazine where he attempted to rescue a trapped shipmate. He, too, was trapped by the flames and was unable to escape before USS Plymouth sank. For extraordinary heroism without regard for his own safety he was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously and the destroyer escort USS McGinty (DE 365) was later named after him.
Award Citation as published in March 1944:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Soundman Third Class Franklin Alexander McGinty, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving on board the River Gunboat USS Plymouth (PG 57, during and after the sinking of that vessel through enemy action near Cape Henry, along the United States' Atlantic coast, on 5 August 1943. When an enemy torpedo crashed into the Plymouth amidships, causing devastating fires and extensive damage, Soundman Third Class McGinty unhesitatingly risked his life in behalf of his endangered shipmates. In a courageous attempt to rescue a man known to be trapped in the ship's flaming armory, he entered the compartment and was himself trapped, thereby losing his life. The conduct of Soundman Third Class McGinty throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.