Hoffman, David, ENS

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Ensign
Last Primary NEC
116X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare (In Training)
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1917-1918, 116X, USS Tampa (1912)
Service Years
- 1918
Ensign
Ensign

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Year of Birth
Not Specified
 
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Sep 26, 1918
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Torpedoed
Location
North Atlantic Ocean
Conflict
World War I
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Sec. 4, U.S. Coast Guard Memorial south face

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 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
US Navy
  1917-1918, 116X, USS Tampa (1912)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1917-1918 World War I/Convoy Duty - Azores and Gibraltar areas
  1918-1918 World War I/Convoy Duty
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Few words carry as much weight in the annals of Coast Guard history as the word "TAMPA." Four proud cutters have carried that name through a century of Coast Guard activity. The first TAMPA, a little 190-footer of 1,191 tons launched in 1912 (and originally called MIAMI) is where we will start our journey.

TAMPA's strongest ties were with the city of Tampa, Florida, where she served in those peaceful days prior to the outbreak of World War I. With the exceptions of a couple of ice patrols, her activities centered around the patrol of regattas and marine festivals. But the war clouds gathered, and TAMPA was soon on her way to battle submarines in the North Atlantic.

Based in Gibraltar, TAMPA, SENECA (her companion ship of ice patrols), YAMACRAW, OSSIPEE, ALGONQUIN and MANNING made up Squadron 3 of Division 6 of the Atlantic Fleet Patrol Forces. Their mission was to protect convoys from submarine attacks. In the little more than a year left to her, TAMPA escorted 18 convoys, comprising a total of 350 vessels. Her record for this period was outstanding. She was never disabled and her one request for repairs had been on two minor items, in spite of spending more than fifty percent of her time at sea and steaming an average of 3,566 miles a month.

TAMPA's logs reflect high morale, in spite of rather grueling duty. There were swimming and baseball parties at Gibraltar, and an occasional liberty in London. The logs show many instances of service to others. F.J. Taylor, electrician first class, jumped overboard to rescue a drowning British officer. TAMPA's medical officer went to USS SANTA BARBARA to treat an injured boatswain. Two stewards got into trouble for being too helpful. They loaned the cutter's ice cream freezer to another ship without permission.

On September 26, 1918, TAMPA was escorting a convoy to Wales. The evening found them in the Bristol Channel. The night was dark and cloudy. There was no moon. A moderately heavy sea lashed at TAMPA's flanks as she steamed along the coast. TAMPA, perhaps detecting some sign of a submarine, darted out ahead of the convoy. At 8:45 P.M. a loud explosion was heard by people aboard other ships, and later, when they arrived in port, TAMPA was missing. A search was started by U.S. destroyers and British patrol craft, but all they found were a few pieces of wreckage and two unidentifiable bodies in Naval uniforms.

When TAMPA sank, there were no survivors. 111 Coast Guardsmen, 4 Navy men, a captain and ten seamen of the Royal Navy, and five civil employees, a total of 131 persons, lost their lives. This loss was the greatest single casualty incurred by any Naval unit as a result of known enemy action, and because of it the Coast Guard suffered the greatest loss, in proportion to is size, of any armed service in the war.

TAMPA's loss was more painful because she had been considered one of the happiest and most efficient ships of the ocean escort force. Because of TAMPA's outstanding record and her almost constant readiness for service, Rear Admiral Albert P. Niblack, commanding the Atlantic Fleet Patrol Force, awarded TAMPA a special commendation just before she departed Gibraltar for the last time.

On November 11, 1999, a unique ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater and Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral James M. Loy presented the Purple Heart Medal to the Officers and Crew of the Coast Guard Cutter TAMPA (WMEC 902). They accepted the award on behalf of their fallen comrades.

   
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