DeWitt Coffman was born at Mount Jackson, Va., 28 November 1854, and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1876. He served in Terror during the Spanish-American War and received the Distinguished Service Medal as Commander, Battleship Force 2, Atlantic Fleet, during World I. Rear Admiral Coffman retired 28 November 1918, and was advanced to Vice Admiral on the retired list 21 June 1930. He died at Jamestown, R.I., 27 June 1932.
(DE-191: dp. 1,240; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 11'8"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 186; a. 3 3", 3 21" tt., 8 dcp., 1 dcp.(hh.), 2 dct; cl. Cannon)
Coffman (DE-191) was launched 28 November 1943 by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newark, N.J.; sponsored by Miss F. Liggett; and commissioned 27 December 1943, Lieutenant Commander W. H. Putnam, USNR, in command.
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 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 Thomas (DE-102), Bostwick (DE-103) and Natchez (PF-2), sank U-548 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 received one battle star for World War II service.