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Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

USS Cofer (DE 208 / APD 62)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - F - C - Z
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row: American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 6 stars - European-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal
Third Row: WWII Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal w/ Asia Clasp - Philippine Liberation Medal w/ 2 stars

Class: Buckley
Type: TE (turbine-electric drive, 3" guns)
Displacement: 1400 tons (light), 1740 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 9" (extreme)
Draft: 10' 6" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, G.E. turbines with electric drive, 12000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 3 x 3"/50 Mk22 (1x3), 1 twin 40mm Mk1 AA, 8 x 20mm Mk 4 AA, 3 x 21" Mk15 TT (3x1), 1 Hedgehog Projector Mk10 (144 rounds), 8 Mk6 depth charge projectors, 2 Mk9 depth charge tracks
Complement: 15 / 198
Cofer (DE 208) Building and Operational Data:
  • 12 May 1943: Keel laid by the Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, S.C.
  • 06 September 1943: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. M. J. Cofer, mother of Seaman First Class Cofer
  • 19 January 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr. A. P. Chester in command
  • 05 July 1944: Reclassified APD 62, converted at New York
  • 28 June 1946: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla. after 2 years and 5⅓ months of service
  • 01 April 1966: Struck from the NVR
  • 05 March 1968: Sold, scrapped
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    45k John Joseph Cofer was born on 30 November 1919 in Louisville, Ga., the son of Charles Randolph and Mary Jane (Tucker) Cofer. He enlisted in the Navy on 27 October 1941, and reported for duty in USS Aaron Ward (DD 483) on 04 March 1942. Seaman First Class Cofer was killed in action on 13 November 1942 during the naval battle off Guadalcanal. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his gallant and intrepid conduct as spotter and rangefinder operator during the action.

    His Silver Star Citation reads: "The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Seaman First Class John Joseph Cofer, United States Navy, for gallantry in action as range-finger operator and spotter on board the U.S.S. Aaron Ward (DD-483) during action against Japanese naval forces off Guadalcanal on the night of 30 November - 01 December 1942. He manned his station with exceptional coolness and skill and assisted the main battery in scoring numerous hits on the enemy with the result that one Japanese ship was sunk. Mortally wounded by shrapnel that riddles his body, his last words were, "I can range no longer." His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service".

    USS Cofer (DE 208 / APD 62) (1944-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NH 102398 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Manager, Navsource
    DE / FF / LCS Archive
    141k THE COFERS OF THE COFER - Two brothers of the fighting Cofer family of Louisville, Ga. are going back to sea soon to put a very personal punch in their Uncle Sam's war against the Axis. And they're going to sea on a brand new ship - a destroyer escort - which will bear the name of their brother, Seaman First Class John Joseph Cofer, who died heroically in the battle against the Japs off Guadalcanal. Pictured on the forecastle of the USS Cofer are Lieutenant C. H. Cofer (left) and Radioman Third Class S. R. Cofer. Their mother, Mrs. Mary Jane Cofer, of Louisville, will christen the ship in her son's name Wednesday at the Charleston Navy Yard.

    (U. S. Navy Photo: from the Atlanta Constitution, Monday, 17 January 1944, page 5)
    73k undated wartime image

    (Photo: © Ken Herrin 1945)
    Nick Tiberio
    Shelton, Conn.
    481k undated wartime image Ed Zajkowski
    Narvon, Pa.
    186k undated wartime image of Cofer's first wardroom.

    (Photo donated to the Slater Museum by Alvin Chester, Cofer's first CO)
    Tim Rizzuto
    Ship's Superintendent
    DE Historical Museum
    USS Slater at Albany, N.Y.

    Cofer History
    View the USS Cofer (DE 208 / APD 62) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.

    Cofer's Commanding Officers
    Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
    Dates of Command Commanding Officers
    1.) 19 Jan. 1944 - 18 Dec. 1944Lcdr. Alvin Paul Chester (Comm. CO) (NYMMA '35) (New York, N.Y.)
    2.) 18 Dec. 1944 - 16 Dec. 1945Lcdr. Herbert Calvin McClees, USNR
    3.) 16 Dec. 1945 - 28 Jun. 1946Lt. James Raymond Morrow (Decomm. CO)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Contact Name: Jim Snellen (Cofer Historian)
    Address: 1544 Mayfield Road
    City/State: Jacksonville FL 32259
    2009 Reunion for the Battle of Ormoc Bay Association
    10 - 14 September 2009
    Crown Plaza Hotel at Alexandria, Va.
    Contact: Irwin J. Kappes
    Address: 522 North Shore
    City/State: Tinton Falls NJ 07753
    Phone: (732) 922-6438
    E-mail: Irwin Kappes
    Contact: William M. Dallam (Sec'y/Treas., Ormoc Bay Assoc.)
    Address: 117 Tuscarora St. / Harrisburg PA 17104
    E-mail: William Dallam
    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has
    been made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list
    only a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
    Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    Navsource APD Pages, USS Cofer (APD 62)
    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
    Back To The Main Photo Index

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    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
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    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 08 March 2023