AMerican Veteran 11

Captain William Patrick Franklin

December 18, 2020

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Captain William Patrick Franklin

     VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - Captain William Patrick Franklin, USN, (Ret.), age 85, died peacefully on December 18th, 2020 in Virginia Beach, VA surrounded by loved ones after a courageous battle with cancer. 

     Born in Keyser, WV, he was the son of the late Patrick L. and Flora O. Franklin.  William, “Bill”, grew up in Keyser, WV and attended Keyser High School and Potomac State College.  He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA and the Air War College, Montgomery, AL. 

     During his 32 plus years in the Navy, he qualified in over 20 different types of aircraft, including jet, propeller, and rotary wing craft. He also served as a test pilot on the H-3 for low altitude sonar searches in Patuxent River, MD for 2 years. Bill was recognized throughout his career in the U.S. Navy as an operational and technical sonar expert in anti-submarine warfare. He served as a helicopter gunship pilot and detachment (Seawolves) commander in Vietnam.  His decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, and 34 Air Medals.  In 1972, as commander of HS-15 Helicopter Squadron, he and his crew rescued 427 people from the historic Wilkes-Barre, PA flood caused by Hurricane Agnes. He worked with Naval Air Systems Command as the SH-3H program manager and completed several tours at the Pentagon before retiring in 1987.   Following retirement from the Navy in 1987, he provided consulting services for Los Alamos Technical Associates as a Senior Engineer. 

     Bill is survived by his two daughters, Victoria Schwinabart (Tim) of Swanton, MD and Holly Creekmore (Niles) of Virginia Beach, VA; his two granddaughters, Jordan and Lauren; and his beloved sister Pamela Wharton, of LaVale, MD.   

     Services will be private. 

     Those wishing to donate in his memory may donate to Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Captain William Patrick Franklin, please visit our floral store.


Private Services


Wounded Warrior Project
P.O. Box 758516, Topeka KS 66675-8516

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