Streaming Media


Oral History interview of John Coffin. Interview conducted by Green, Ellany at Coffin's Residence.


0:35 Year and place of birth; 0:45 Time before the Navy school; 1:30 Applied to Congressmen for employment in the Navy; 1:40 Commissioned Midshipmen in US Navy; 2:05 Graduated Purdue; 2:29 2nd year at Purdue, apprentice seaman in program V-12; 3:10 Father founded midshipmen school - information about father; 4:00 Went to the Pacific; 4:12 Post-graduate school in Hollywood Beach, Florida; 5:06 Assigned to a Destroyer Escort already in task force to invade Okinawa; 6:00 Looking for the ship since its movements are confidential; 8:25 Roommate in college; 9:00 Reception on ship; 10:00 Action during radar watch; 10:29 Still on that ship when the war ended; 10:40 Radio report about bombing of Hiroshima; 11:08 Peace declared - feelings of safety; 12:30 Discussion on the atom bomb; 13:50 Advanced to Lieutenant (Junior Grade); 14:00 Got married and stationed ashore at San Diego; reasons to get out of Navy; 16:50 Went back to hometown - job after the Navy; 18:02 Start of Korean war, change of missions on Heavy Cruiser St. Paul; 20:15 Ship used to give gunfire support to ROK Capital Division; 23:05 Russians send in Chinese volunteers- Battle of Inchon; 23:33 Evacuation help at Battle of Inchon; 24:50 Amount of time spent in Korea and return fire from the shore; 25:00 Time spent on watch and call for gunfire; 26:13 Daily life on the ship; 27:25 Back in the states - Korean war ended; 28:00 Discussion on ships; 29:00 Test site in Bikini; 30:00 Duty on second ship - training during peacetime; 32:49 Minor injury on second ship during peacetime - no wartime injuries; 33:36 Move to Florida – retirement; 34:00 Family in WWI; 35:00 Friendships in divisions and reunions; 40:00 Battle of Midway - Midshipmen School Reunion; 43:50 Miracle of Midway; 49:30 WWII Roundtable; 52:20 Family and life after the wars.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Indianapolis (Ind.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

World War II



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Navy

Unit of Service

USS William E Cole (OE-611)

Highest Rank

Lieutenant Junior Grade; LTJG; Seaman; USN

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury







See video for details.


Atom Bomb tests at Bikini Atoll; USS Saint Paul (CA-73) heavy cruiser during Korean War. Gun fire support for R.O.K Capital Division advancing up the east coast of Korea.

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Green, Ellany

Interview Date


Location of Interview

Coffin's Residence


Coffin, John S.; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives; Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Navy

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Green, Ellany

Length of Interview

56 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida


Audio; Sound


All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576.


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type