Franklin Steward Bergen was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on January 25, 1919. He enlisted in the US Navy on November 10, 1936 and was assigned to USS Oklahoma (BB 37). In January 1940 he joined USS Wasp (CV-7) and was serving in that aircraft carrier when the United States entered World War II, December 8, 1941. Detached in May 1942, he had duty in USS YMS-43 and in April 1943 reported as an Instructor at the Naval Station, Newport, Rhode Island. On October 15, 1943, he was commissioned Ensign in the US Navy and subsequently advanced in rank, attaining that of Captain, to date from October 1, 1964.
After receiving his commission in 1943, he reported in November that year on board USS Aucilla (AO-56) to serve as Gunnery Officer, Navigator and Executive Officer. While attached to that oiler, he participated in the attacks on Luzon, Formosa, and the China Coast; assault and occupation of Iwo Jima; FIFTH and THIRD Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa Gunto operation and the THIRD Fleet operations against Japan. In September 1946 he joined USS Auburn (AGC-10) as Navigator.
From June 1947 until January 1949 he attended Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, after which he had further instruction at the General Line School. In January 1950 he reported as Gunnery Officer on board USS Saipan (CVL-48) and in May 1952 was detached to attend the Combat Information School, Glenview, Illinois. He joined the Staff of Commander SEVENTH Fleet as Electronics Countermeasures Officer in September 1952 and for “meritorious service…(in that capacity) while participating in combat operations against enemy North Korean and Chinese Communist forces…from September 26, 1952 to July 22, 1953…” he received a Letter of Commendation, with authorization to wear the Commendation Ribbon and Combat “V.”
He was Ordnance Officer at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Earle, New Jersey, from September 1953 until June 1956 and the next month reported as Executive Officer on board USS Hazelwood (DD-531). He attended the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, during the period August 1958 until February 1959 and in April assumed command of USS Bristol (DD-857). Detached from that destroyer in December 1960, he next served as Weapons Superintendent at the New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, and in February 1963 became Commanding Officer of USS MacDonough (DLG-8).
In August 1964 he reported for instruction at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island and in July 1965 assumed command of Destroyer Division FIFTY-TWO. In December 1966 he was assigned to the Naval Ordnance Systems Command Headquarters, Washington, DC, after which, from September 1967 to January 1968, was a student at George Washington University, Washington, DC. He then joined the Staff of Commander Cruiser Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet.
In addition to the Navy commendation Ribbon with Combat “V,” Captain Bergen has the American Defense Service Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; China Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; Korean Service Medal; United Nations Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. He also has the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.
He died March 17, 2003.