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First Name: Dewitt

Last Name: Coffman

Birthplace: Mount Jackson, VA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Clinton

Date of Birth: 28 November 1851

Date of Death: 27 June 1932

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served:
Dewitt Clinton Coffman

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1876

•  Spanish-American War (1898)


Dewitt Clinton Coffman
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

Dewitt Clinton Coffman was born on 28 November 1851 in Mount Jackson, VA.

Coffman graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1876. After graduation he served on the Cruiser USS Pensacola, flagship of the North Pacific Fleet. He was promoted to Ensign in 1879 and served in the Mediterranean from 1879-81.

In 1885 he was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade, and served on the Coast Survey Steamer, Carlisle P. Patterson on the southeast Alaska coast. After several more tours of duty including the USS Pensacola, Frigate USS Adams and Cruiser USS Boston, he participated in taking over Sandwich Island as part of the U.S. in 1892. He served in the Spanish American War on board the monitor USS Teror.

By 1900 he became Commandant of Midshipman at the Naval Academy and was promoted to Captain in 1909. In 1912, Captain Coffman was the Commandant of the Boston Navy Shipyard and in 1914 was promoted to Rear Admiral. In 1918 he was the Vice Admiral in command of Battleship Force Two, Atlantic Fleet and was one of three Vice Admirals in the U.S. Navy. In the late summer and fall of 1917, he administered and operated the fleet in the temporary absence of the Commander-in-Chief. He received the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts.

Coffman retired on 28 November 1918 as a Rear Admiral and was advanced to Vice Admiral on the retired list on 21 June 1930.

The Destroyer Escort USS Coffman was named in his honor and was commissioned on 27 December 1943.

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral Dewitt Clinton Coffman died on 27 June 1932 in Jamestown, RI. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 2352   Created by: MHOH




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