Cortlandt Chesterfield Baughman was born in West Newton, Pennsylvania, December 12, 1884. He attended grade and high schools in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and entered the Naval Academy from West Virginia in 1903. After graduation in 1907, he joined the USS Maine and cruised in her with the Fleet on its World Cruise as far as Manila, P.I., where he was transferred to the US Wilmington on July 22, 1908. He served in her on the China Station until April 1910, when he transferred to the USS Chattanooga, also on the China Station. He returned to the United States on that ship in August 1910, and on arrival joined the USS Colorado, serving in her until July 1913. While on that duty he commanded a company of bluejackets ashore during the occupation of Nicaragua in 1912. He had a tour of duty in the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, from July 1913 until October 1914, after which he served in the USS Maine until March 1915, when he was ordered as Engineer Officer on the USS Chester. While in that ship he cruised for nearly a year in the Mediterranean and along the coast of West Africa.
From January 1916 to July 1919, he was Aide on the Staff of Military Governor of Santo Domingo, serving as a Cabinet Officer in the Military Government, administering the Department of Public Improvements and Communications, including public works, Post Office Department, Telegraph, Government owned Railroad, and the Department of Agriculture and Immigration. For that service he was awarded a Special Letter of Commendation from the Navy Department as follows:
“He performed meritorious service in the administration of important offices under the Military Government of the Dominican Republic, did a great deal for the welfare of the Dominican people in all matters coming under his care.”
He served as First Lieutenant in the USS Pennsylvania from August 1919 until October 1920, when he was transferred to the USS Florida as Engineer Officer. He had a tour of duty in the Bureau of Engineering, Navy Department, Washington, DC, from June 1921, until June 1923, and was on General (Ambassador) Crowder’s Staff as Naval Attaché at Havana, Cuba, from July 1923 until March 1924. After eighteen months in command of the USS Farenholt, he completed the course in chemical warfare at the Naval Unit, Edgewood Arsenal in May 1926, and the Senior Course at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, in June 1927. Upon completion of that course, he served in the Hydrographic Office, Navy Department, Washington, DC until January 1929.
He was Assistant Governor of Samoa and Captain of the Yard, Naval Station, Tutuila, from January 1929 until March 1930. He was attached to the Office of Naval Intelligence, Navy Department, Washington, DC, from June 1930 until June 1932, when he reported as Executive Officer of the USS Arizona. From June 1933 until June 1934, he had consecutive command of Destroyer Divisions TWELVE and ELEVEN, Battle Force. In June 1934, he reported for duty at Headquarters, Ninth Naval District, Great Lakes, Illinois, serving as District Intelligence Officer until June 1935, when he became Executive Officer of the Naval Training Station there. His next duty was in command of the cruiser Cincinnati from January 1936 until June 1937, when he reported for duty as a Member of the Naval Examining and Retiring Boards, Navy Department, Washington, DC.
On June 9, 1939, he assumed command of the Battleship New Mexico, which during his tour of duty was used as Flagship of the Commander in Chief, Commander Battle Force, Commander Battleships, and Commander Battleship Division THREE, of the Pacific Fleet. On January 30, 1941, he was detached and became Captain of the Yard and Commanding Officer of the Receiving Station, Pearl Harbor, T.H. In June 1942, he assumed duties in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, where he was Director of Special Activities. He was also a Member (and Co-Chairman) of the Armed Forces Committee on Post-War Educational Opportunities for Service Personnel, appointed by the President. On September 27, 1943 he became Commander, US Naval Operating Base, Londonderry, Ireland, with the rank of Commodore, to rank from September 17, 1943. For his services in this assignment he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with the following citation:
“Commodore Baughman by his leadership; administrative skill and professional ability maintained this base at a high degree of efficiency and readiness for the repair, refit and maintenance of ships and craft escorting Atlantic convoys and those which were committed to the task of the assault on France. His tact and foresight won for the United States Naval Forces in Northern Ireland and admiration and cooperation of the Government officials of both Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The assiduity and devotion to duty exhibited by Commodore Baughman during this period were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
After detachment from the Londonderry assignment in September 1944, he became Commander, Naval Operating Base, Trinidad, British West Indies, and Commander, Trinidad Sector, of Caribbean Sea Frontier, on September 29, 1944.
He was detached from his duties in Trinidad in May 1946, and after temporary duty in Washington, DC and Portland, Maine, transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy on November 1, 1946.
In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Commodore Baughman has the Navy Expeditionary Medal; Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1912); Mexican Service Medal; Victory Medal with Silver Star for work in the Dominican Government during First World War; American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal. He also received from Brazil a medal for assistance to Brazilian Forces in the Trinidad Sector during World War II.
Commodore Baughman has had the following articles published in the US Institute Proceedings: US Occupation of Santo Domingo; Chemical Warfare; Pilot Chart of the Upper Air; and Indian Round Table Conference.