Captain Cochran was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 22, 1886, son of Joseph and Esther H. Cochran. He entered the US Navy from Pennsylvania on November 6, 1911, upon appointment as Assistant Paymaster in the Supply Corps, with the rank of Ensign. He subsequently attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander, to date from June 3, 1921, and was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy on June 30, 1938. Recalled to active duty on June 25, 1941, he received temporary promotions to Commander, September 10, 1942, and to Captain, to date from December 11, 1944. He was advanced to the rank of Captain on the Retired List on September 2, 1946, and relieved of all active duty on November 22 of that year.
Upon accepting commission as Assistant Paymaster in the Supply Corps of the Navy in November 1911, Captain Cochran had two month’s duty in the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Navy Department, Washington, DC In January 1912 he joined the USS Independence and during the period April 1912 to November 1916 served consecutively in the USS Monterey, USS Mohican, USS Cincinnati, USS Supply and the USS Wisconsin. In November 1916 he reported to the Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he had duty as Assistant to the Supply Officer until March 1917.
After two month’s duty as Supply Officer of the Receiving Ship, Philadelphia, and additional duty in charge of the Commissary Store there and aboard the USS Chicago, Captain Cochran served for a year as Supply Officer of the USS Chicago. During the latter months of World War I and until March 1919, he had duty at Base #18, a unit of Naval Forces operating in European Waters. He returned in June 1919 to the Receiving Ship at Philadelphia to serve as Supply Officer until May 1922, and thereafter had similar duty aboard the cruiser Savannah, until July 1924.
Duty at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia, as Assistant Supply Officer, from July 1924 until December 1925 was followed by a year’s assignments as District Supply Officer of the Third Naval District with additional duty as Assistant to the Navy Purchasing and Disbursing Officer for that District, with headquarters at New York, New York. He joined the USS Whitney as Supply Officer in December 1926, and detached in September 1929, reported the next month to the Commandant of the Fourth Naval District as Officer in Charge of Destroyer Stores Office at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia.
For the next two years Captain Cochran was Supply Officer of the USS Henderson, and from November 1935 until June 1938 served as Assistant to the Supply Officer of the Twelfth Naval District. He was relieved of all active duty and transferred to the Retired List of the Navy in June 30, 1938.
Recalled to active duty on June 25, 1941, he was on duty as Assistant to the Supply and Accounting Officer of the Twelfth Naval District when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He remained in that District until July 1943, assuming the duties of Supply and Accounting Officer in April of that year. He served during the remainder of World War II as Officer in Charge of the Overseas Freight Terminal, and from February 21, 1946 until November of that year had temporary duty at the Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, California. He was again relived of active duty on November 22, 1946.
Captain Cochran has the Victory Medal, Overseas Clasp (World War I); the American Defense Service Medal; the American Area Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.