Captain Franklin was born in August, 1933 in Bristol, Tennessee. He graduated from
Tennessee High School and enrolled in East Tennessee State University in 1951. He
graduated in August 1955 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United
Captain Franklin’s first duty station was Fort Benning, GA. His other duty assignments
were Fort Carson, CO; Fort Polk, LA; Fort Bragg Language School; the Presidio of Monterey,
CA Language School.
From California, he went to Vietnam in January 1965, where he served as Captain of
the 1st BN, 45th Infantry Regiment (ARVN) MACV Advisors. He was on ground about 11
days and was injured when the American barracks was attacked by the Viet Cong. This
earned him his first Purple Heart. He returned to duty shortly thereafter working
and serving as a military advisor and worked along with his Vietnamese counterparts.
On June 24, 1965, while on a mission, the unit was heavily ambushed and attacked by
the Viet Cong. Captain Franklin was killed during this attack.
At a special ceremony presented by East Tennessee State University, Captain Franklin
was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star, and his
second Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster. He was also awarded three Vietnamese
awards and the Combat Infantry Badge. The awards were presented due to Captain Franklin’s
extraordinary heroism while serving as an advisor.
Captain Franklin was married in 1955 to the former Marian Williams. They have two
children, Jeanne Lynn Franklin and Jim Wray Franklin.