Capt. Ardwin G. Franch entered the Navy through the V-12 program at Penn State in 1943, and was commissioned an ensign in 1945. In his early tours, he served aboard destroyers and cruisers and commanded the tank landing ship USS Tioga County and the destroyer USS Hanson. He also commanded Destroyer Division 92 and Destroyer Squadron 25.
Ashore, he was the liaison officer for Army forces in the Far East, and an assistant coordinator for Joint Chief of Staff matters in the office of Naval Operations. He attended the Naval War College.
In 1966, Franch was promoted to captain while commanding Destroyer Division 92. While leading task units in North Vietnam shore bombardment operations, he received the Bronze Star. Franch earned a second Bronze Star while commanding DesRon 25 in operations in the Sea of Japan and Gulf of Tonkin.
Capt. Franch assumed command of the Naval Administrative Command at NTC in February, 1972. He became the center commander in June, 1973 and retired from the Navy on June 20, 1975.
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