Captain Franklin D. Karns was born November 30, 1873, in Ohio and attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis graduating in 1895. He married Helen Wallace Chew September 10, 1902, and then had two children: Franklin D. Karns, Jr. born July 10, 1903, and Helen Elizabeth Karns born October 2, 1906. As a Lieutenant, Karns worked as an instructor at the USNA from 1902-1904 until being posted at sea. He saw action during the First World War and was promoted to Captain by 1924, when he took command of the USS
Colorado. Franklin Karns retired from the U.S. Navy in 1930, with the rank of Captain and resided in Coronado, California, until his death on February 23, 1952.
Helen Wallace Chew Karns was the daughter of Leonard Covington Chew and his wife Helen C. Wallace. She was born on January 23, 1884, in Washington, D.C., and died November 1942. Her grandfather, Robert Smith Chew, was the Chief Clerk of the State Department until his death in 1873. Her uncle, Richard Smith Chew, was a USN Lieutenant Commander who saw action in the Battle of Mobile Bay.
Franklin D. Karns, Jr. was born July 10, 1903, in Maryland, graduated from the USNA in 1925, and served as the Commanding Officer on USS
Okaloosa, and USS
Bailey. He retired as a Captain in 1956.
Sources: 1925 Lucky Bag, USNA Yearbook
USNA Register of Alumni 1845-1985
Find a Grave