Rear Admiral Draper L. Kauffman
Born on 4 August 1911, Draper Laurence Kauffman graduated from the U.S.
Naval Academy in 1933. Poor eyesight denied him a commission in the
regular Navy. Employed by the United States Line Steamship Company, his
travels in Europe alerted him to the danger of Nazi Germany. In
February 1940, he joined the American Volunteer Ambulance Corps in
France. On 16 June, he was captured by the Germans and held prisoner
for two months. Released in August, he made his way to England and was
commissioned a sub-Lieutenant in the British Royal Navy Volunteer
Reserve, later rising to Lieutenant. At the height of the Blitz on
London (1940 - 41), he served as a bomb and mine disposal officer, and
achieved a high degree of proficiency in bomb disposal techniques.
Securing a U.S. Naval Reserve commission a month before Pearl Harbor,
Kauffman was rushed to Hawaii after the Japanese attack, and there
disarmed an enemy bomb, the first to be recovered intact for study.
After establishing bomb disposal schools for the Navy and the Army. LT.
Commander Kauffman in 1943 organized the Navy's first demolition units
- later to be known as Underwater Demolition Teams. After commanding
all UDTs in the invasion of Saipan, Tinian and Guam, Commander Kauffman
planned and directed UDTs operations at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
His first postwar assignment came in February 1946 when he was assigned
to Joint Task Force One, the organization which conducted Operation
CROSSROADS, the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. Later under the CNO,
as head of the Defense and Protection Section, he established the U.S.
Navy Radiological Safety School, and aided in setting-up a comparable
school for the Army.
In 1954, Captain Kauffman served in the Strategic Plans Division under
the CNO, and in 1955 was appointed Aide to Secretary of the Navy,
Thomas S. Gates, Jr.
In July of 1960, Kauffman was selected as Rear Admiral. In 1962, he
became Chief of the Strategic Plans and Policy Division. In 1965, he
became the 44th Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he
served for three years. His next assignment was as the Commander of the
U.S. Naval Forces in the Philippines, and Representative of the
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, a billet once filled 25 years earlier by
On 1 June 1973, Admiral Kauffman retired from the Navy.
The coat of arms honors the
aggregate naval service of Vice Admiral James L Kauffman and his son,
Rear Admiral Draper L Kauffman. Both father and son were awarded the
Navy Cross, symbolised by the two crosses on the white and blue
portions of the shield. Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally
associated with the Navy and denote the sea and excellence. The
heraldic dolphin, resting below a wavy line, is symbolic of vigilance
and maritime power, and also alludes to affiliation of both men with
sub-surface naval missions, such as the elder Kauffman's formulation of
World War II anti-submarine strategies and his son's establishment of
the Navy's first Underwater Demolition Team.
The Crest: The trident, symbolic
of sea power,
alludes to Vice Admiral Kauffman's World War I career when he spent
more time in command, and more time at sea, than any other officer of
his time, and for which he received a second Legion of Merit. The bomb
represents the achievements of Rear Admiral Kauffman as a bomb disposal
expert and organizer of World War II Bomb Disposal School for both the
Navy and the Army. The lightning bolts reflect the insignia worn by
naval personnel in their professional ordinance specialties associated
with the areas Rear Admiral Kauffman was instrumental in establishing.
The blue stars on the laurel wreath refer to each man's rank, three
stars for Vice Admiral Kauffman and two stars for Rear Admiral
Kauffman. The scroll holds the French for "Always in the Lead."