Allied Warships

USS Coffman (DE 191)

Destroyer Escort of the Cannon class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeDestroyer Escort
PennantDE 191 
Built byFederal Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. (Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.) 
Ordered18 Jan 1942 
Laid down9 Sep 1943 
Launched28 Nov 1943 
Commissioned27 Dec 1943 
End service30 Apr 1946 

After one convoy escort voyage to Bizerte, Tunisia between 12 April and 3 May 1944, Coffman served between 10 June and 10 July as a target for submarines in training. Assigned to the hunter-killer group formed around USS Card (CVE 11), Coffman joined in training patrols, and a voyage to Casablanca during which the group covered the movement of several convoys. Alternate periods of exercises and patrols continued until early in February 1945 when Coffman was ordered to join a group searching in stormy waters for a German weather ship reported south of Iceland. She returned to screen carriers during air training operations out of Quonset Point, R.I. until April, when the German U-boats made their last great effort of the war, penetrating the eastern Atlantic in strength. Coffman and her division were ordered to a search along the coast of Virginia, and on 30 April, she, with USS Thomas (DE 102), USS Bostwick (DE 103) and USS Natchez (PF 2), sank U-879 in 36°34' N., 74°00' W. After continued service to carriers and submarines in training, Coffman reported to Green Cove Springs, Fla. 15 November 1945, and was decommissioned there 30 April 1946 preparatory to disposal. Following the outbreak of the Korean war she was removed from the sale list and placed in reserve. Coffman was stricken 1 July 1972 and sold 17 August 1973 to be broken up for scrap.


Commands listed for USS Coffman (DE 191)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Cdr. William Henry Putnam, USNR27 Dec 194331 May 1944
2Cdr. Walter deForest Day, USNR31 May 194422 Jan 1945
3Lt.Cdr. Joseph Clement Crocker, USNR22 Jan 194528 Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Coffman include:

4 May 1944

Convoy GUS 39.

This convoy departed Port Said on 4 May 1944.

On departure from Port Said the convoy was made up of the transports / tankers; Ammla (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Benjamin Bourn (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Benjamin Williams (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), British Aviator (British (tanker), 6998 GRT, built 1924), Cape Hawke (British, 5081 GRT, built 1941), Dallington Court (British, 6889 GRT, built 1929), Edmund F. Dickins (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Eridan (French, 9928 GRT, built 1928), Fort St.Francois (British, 7125 GRT, built 1942), Frank A. Vanderlip (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Frank C. Emerson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Geronimo (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Gulf of Mexico (American (tanker), 7807 GRT, built 1917), Gulfpoint (American (tanker), 6972 GRT, built 1920), Liss (Norwegian (tanker), 5932 GRT, built 1921), Meline (Norwegian (tanker), 6983 GRT, built 1918), O'Henry (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Peter Donahue (American, 7194 GRT, built 1943), Samport (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Thorshavn (Norwegian (tanker), 6869 GRT, built 1930), Trevince (British, 7292 GRT, built 1943), Tweedsmuir Park (Canadian, 7143 GRT, built 1943), Ville de Majunga (British (former French), 6174 GRT, built 1931), W.H. Libby (Panamanian (tanker), 7992 GRT, built 1921) and William S. Halsted (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943).

They were escorted by the corvette HMS Saxifage (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J. Renwick, DSO, RNR).

On 5 May 1944, the following transports / tankers departed Alexandria and joined the convoy; Anson Jones (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Crista (British, 2590 GRT, built 1938), Empire Lionel (British, 7030 GRT, built 1942), Finley Peter Dunne (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George Uhler (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Ida Bakke (Norwegian, 5455 GRT, built 1938), Ittersum (Dutch, 5199 GRT, built 1938), James Harlan (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James L. Breck (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John C. Spencer (American, 7242 GRT, built 1943), Margrethe Bakke (Norwegian, 5478 GRT, built 1938), Pete Marquette (American, 7194 GRT, built 1943), Philip Schuyler (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Robert G. Ingersoll (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Stanlodge (British, 5977 GRT, built 1943), Theodore Sedgwick (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and William Byrd (American, 7225 GRT, built 1943).

They were escorted by the sloops HMS Pheasant (Cdr. W.E.J. Eames, DSC, RN), HMS Bideford (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.J. Beverley, DSO, DSC, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Alisma (Lt. G. Lanning, RANVR) and HMS Spiraea (Lt. A.H. Pierce, OBE, RNR).

On 9 May 1944, the following transports / tankers departed Augusta to join the convoy; Alexander H. Stephens (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Benjamin Tay (British, 1814 GRT, built 1943), British Respect (British (tanker), 8479 GRT, built 1943), E.A. Peden (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Empire Crown (British, 7070 GRT, built 1944), Empire Duchess (British, 7067 GRT, built 1943), Empire Glen (British, 6316 GRT, built 1941), Empire Southey (British, 7041 GRT, built 1942), Empire Unicorn (British, 7067 GRT, built 1943), Esso Baltimore (American (tanker), 7940 GRT, built 1938), Ethan Allen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Fitzhugh Lee (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Fort Carlton (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Fort Chesterfield (British, 7100 GRT, built 1943), Fort Fidler (British, 7127 GRT, built 1943), Fort Marin (British, 7159 GRT, built 1943), Fort Pembina (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Frank Springer (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), G.S. Walden (British (tanker), 10627 GRT, built 1937), George M. Bibb (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943), George Shiras (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), Gulfdisc (American (tanker), 7140 GRT, built 1938), James E. Howard (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), James Hoban (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James J. Hill (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), John C. Breckinridge (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Gorrie (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Mason (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John N. Maffitt (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Trumbull (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Wanamaker (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Kemp P. Battle (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Luther Martin (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Newbrough (British, 5255 GRT, built 1941), Ocean Rider (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ralph Waldo Emerson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Samshire (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samsteel (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samtucky (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samuel Livermore (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Tarleton Brown (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Van Honthorst (Dutch, 6140 GRT, built 1943), William Ellery (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), William F. Cody (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), William J. Worth (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William L. Yancey (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William P. Fessenden (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

On 10 May 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Augusta after having been detached from the convoy; British Aviator, Cape Hawke, Crista, Dallington Court, Empire Lionel, Finley Peter Dunne, Fort St.Francois, Frank C. Emerson, Gulf of Mexico, Ittersum, Liss, Meline and Thorshavn.

On 10 May 1944, the transports Eridan and Stanlodge arrived at Malta after having been detached from the convoy while transports / tankers departed Malta to join the convoy; Campidoglio (Italian, 3702 GRT, built 1910), Empire Guinevere (British, 7072 GRT, built 1942), Norelg (Norwegian, 6103 GRT, built 1920) and William Eaton (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

On 11 May 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy; Ethan Allen, George M. Bibb, Gulfpoint, John C. Breckinridge, John Trumbull, Kemp P. Battle, Luther Martin, Norelg, Tarleton Brown and William F. Cody. Also the current escort entered Bizerta as the escort of the convoy was now taken over by an American Task Force.

The following transports / tankers departed Bizerta to join the convoy; Bret Harte (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Carrillo (American, 5013 GRT, built 1911), Coulgorm (British, 6997 GRT, built 1942), David J. Brewer (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Fort Grahame (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), George Gipp (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Jan Lievens (Dutch, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Joseph Holt (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Laurent Meeus (Belgian (tanker), 6429 GRT, built 1930), Polarsol (Norwegian (tanker), 10022 GRT, built 1939), Silverelm (British, 4351 GRT, built 1924), Tijuca (Norwegian, 5498 GRT, built 1926) and William Dunbar (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943). Also the new escort departed Bizerta to join the convoy. This was Task Force 60 which was made up of the cutter USCGC Bibb (Cdr. C.A. Anderson, USCG, with COMTASKFOR 60, T/Capt. R.B. Nickerson, USN, on board) and the destroyer escorts USS Vance ( Cdr. E.A. Anderson, USCG, with COMCORTDIV 45, Cdr. E.J. Roland, USCG, on board), USS Calcaterra (Lt.Cdr. E.D. Howard, 2nd, USCGR), USS Chambers (Cdr. H.A. Loughlin, USCG), USS Durant (Cdr. C.C. Knapp, USCG), USS Lansing (Cdr. S.R. Sands, Jr., USCG), USS Merrill (Cdr. I.J.Stephens, USCG), USS Thomas (Lt.Cdr. D.M. Kellogg, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 48, Cdr. G.A. Parkinson, USNR, on board), USS Baker (Lt.Cdr. L.B. Lockwood, USNR), USS Bostwick (Lt. C.G. Hall, USNR), USS Breeman (Lt.Cdr. E.N.W. Hunter, USNR), USS Bronstein (T/Lt.Cdr. S.H. Kinney, USN) and USS Coffman (Cdr. W.H. Putnam, USNR). Additional escorts were AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.T. Jellicoe, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and the destroyer USS Hilary P. Jones (T/Cdr. F.M. Stiesberg, USN) which was fitted for jamming the signals of German guided bombs. The rescue tug HMRT Nimble also joined the convoy.

On 12 May 1944, the following ships arrived at Bone after having been detached from the convoy; Coulgorm, Fort Grahame, Fort Pembina, Jan Lievens and Tijuca while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Bone; Empire Damsel (British (tanker), 784 GRT, built 1942) and Empire Tern (British, 2479 GRT, built 1919).

On 13 May 1944, the following ships arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy; Campidoglio, Empire Damsel, Empire Tern, Empire Unicorn, Fort Carlton, Fort Chesterfield, Fort Marin, Ocean Rider, Polarsol, Samsteel, Silverelm, Tweedsmuir Park, Van Honthorst, Ville de Majunga, W.H. Libby, William Ellery and William J. Worth while the following ships joined the convoy of Algiers; Amos Kendall (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Benjamin Lundy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Dux (Norwegian, 1590 GRT, built 1934), Empire Salvage (British (tanker) 10746 GRT, built 1940), Finistere (French, 1158 GRT, built 1909), Fort Ash (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort Glenora (British, 7126 GRT, built 1943), Gideon Welles (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Hamlin Garland (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Helmwood (British, 2156 GRT, built 1923), Howell E. Jackson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James H. Couper (American, 7199 GRT, built 1943), King S. Woolsey (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Marshall Elliott (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Medie II (French, 5078 GRT, built 1922), Robert Y. Hayne (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Sambrake (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Sampler (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samuel Gorton (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Stage Door Canteen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Thomas Hill (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Van Ostade (Dutch, 2890 GRT, built 1942), William D. Moseley (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943), Wilson P. Hunt (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Zypenberg (Dutch, 4973 GRT, built 1920).

On 14 May 1944, the following ships arrived at Oran after having been detached from the convoy; Benjamin Tay, Bret Harte, British Respect, Dux, Empire Crown, Frank Springer, Howell E. Jackson, King S. Wolsey and Laurent Meeus while the following ships joined the convoy of Oran; Arthur Dobbs (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Arthur M. Huddell (American, 7240 GRT, built 1943), Howard A. Kelly (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), John Jay (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John W. Hoyt (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Samannan (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944), Samleven (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Sammex (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samtyne (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944) and Thaddeus Kosciuszko (American, 7200 GRT, built 1942). The naval tanker USS Cossatot (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Glenwright, USNR) and naval stores ship USS Yukon (Lt.Cdr. V.J. Barnhart, USNR) also joined the convoy.

On 15 May 1944, the following ships arrived at Gibraltar after having been detached from the convoy; Empire Glen, Empire Guinevere, Empire Southey, Helmwood, Trevince, Van Ostade and Zuypenberg. Also HMS Colombo and HMRT Nimble were detached to Gibraltar. USS Hilary P. Jones was also detached.

On 15 May 1944, the following ships departed Casablanca to join the convoy; Alexander Lillington (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Deebank (British, 5060 GRT, built 1929), Henry Watterson (American, 7225 GRT, built 1943), Irvin MacDowell (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Kobad (French (tanker), 7329 GRT, built 1930), Samconon (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samstrae (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944) and Samwater (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943). They were escorted by the patrol vessel / sloop Amiral Mouchez and the patrol vesselsUSS PC-471 (G B Calkins, USNR), USS PC-474 (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Hummer, USNR) and USS PC-481 (Lt. N.W Roeder, USNR). These ships joined the convoy around 0915A/16. The escort vessels then returned to Casablanca on the 17th having taken the following ships with them; Empire Duchess, Finistere, Fort Ash, Fort Glenora, Medie II, Newbrough and Samtucky.

Around 1215Z/20, two ships joined the convoy coming from the Azores, these were the George Matthews (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and Gulfcoast (American, 7140 GRT, built 1937). They had been escorted to the rendezvous by the auxiliary A/S trawler HMS Stafnes (T/Lt. A.T. Motion, RNVR).

On 22 May 1944, USCGC Bibb fuelled from USS Cossatot.

Around 1625P/28, the convoy split up into two sections. One section was bound for Chesapeake Bay. This was made up of 37 ships, inluding USS Cossatot and USS Yukon. It was escorted by USS Thomas, USS Baker, USS Bostwick, USS Breeman and USS Bronstein. The Chesapeake Bay section of the convoy arrived at its destination in the evening of 29 May 1944.

The remaining ships, 48 in total, proceeded to New York with the remainder of the escort. The New York section of the convoy arrived at its destination in the morning of 30 May 1944.

30 Apr 1945
German U-boat U-879 was sunk east of Cape Hatteras, USA, in position 36°34'N, 74°00'W, by depth charges from the US patrol frigate USS Natchez and the US destroyer escorts USS Coffman, USS Bostwick and USS Thomas.

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Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

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