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Coffin was born Eugene Augusts Coffin on March 10, 1888 in Foochow, China. He married three times. First, to Nancy Jamison in 1911, who died in 1918 and with whom he had two sons. Second, to Peggy Powers in 1919, with whom he had two daughters. Third, to Marjorie Barber-Hite on August 28, 1948. Coffin died on January 20, 1972 and was buried at sea.
Coffin first joined the Coast Guard in 1907. He would be stationed out of Boston, Massachusetts, Portland, Maine, New Bern, North Carolina, New York, New York, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the earlier part of his career. In 1917 he became of the Coast Guard's first aviators.
During World War I he served as an executive officer and chief of staff at Rockaway Naval Air Station. From 1924 to 1928 he held command of the USS Terry (DD-25). Later he commanded the USS Welborn C. Wood (DD-195) from 1931 to 1933 and the USCGC Taney (WHEC-37) from 1936 to 1940. His retirement was effective as of April 1, 1950.
- "Biography - Rear Admira E. A. Coffin, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.)". United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- "Pensacola: Personal Remarks by Eugene A. Coffin, Senior.". United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
- "Histories for US Coast Guard Activities/MIO Europe". Military.com. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
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