Laurence Kauffman (1887 - 1963):
Born in Ohio on 18 April 1887, James Laurence Kauffman attended Pennsylvania
Military College, the Army and Navy Preparatory School, and graduated in 1908
from the U.S. Naval Academy.
He held a variety of wide-ranging command billets, ashore and afloat, during
World War I. Serving in command of the gunboat RANIER, as an Executive
Officer of the destroyer CALDWELL, he became Lieutenant Commander on 1
January 1918. He transferred from the CALDWELL to command the Bath-built USS
JENKINS (DD 42). Admiral Kauffman, during his career, spent more time in
command, and more time at sea, than any other officer of his time.
At the end of the war, Kauffman returned to the U.S. to commission and
command a new ship, the USS BARNEY (DD 149). In November of 1920, he became
the Executive Officer of the new Radio Division of the Bureau of Engineering.
In May of 1923, he was appointed Naval Aide and Flag Secretary to Admiral S.
S. Robinson, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet.
In June of 1925, Kauffman was selected to the rank of Commander. His next
tour of duty was as a member of the U.S. Naval Mission to Brazil. Appointed
Captain in 1936, Kauffman served as Commanding Officer of the USS MEMPHIS,
and later at the shipyard at Mare Island.
In 1941, Rear Admiral Kauffman was sent by President Roosevelt to establish
and command a Naval Operating Base in Iceland. In 1942, as the principal Navy
anti-submarine expert, he commanded the Gulf Sea Frontier, which included the
Gulf of Mexico north to the shore of the Carolinas. Under his dynamic
leadership, the U-boat menace in that area was checked. Kauffman later became
the senior member of the Allied Anti-Submarine Survey Board, evaluating ASW
techniques for Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill. Moving on to the
Pacific in 1943, he assumed command of all the Pacific Fleet's cruisers,
destroyers and frigates, 401 ships with 150,000 men.
In October 1944, he reported to General Douglas McArthur as Commander
Philippine Sea Frontier. In May of 1946, Vice Admiral Kauffman returned home
and was assigned to duty as the Commandant of the Fourth Naval District,
where he remained until he retired in 1949.
His second career began the day after termination of his first. As the first
President of Jefferson Medical College and Jefferson Medical Center, a
position he retained for 10 years, he presided over the greatest period of
growth in Jefferson's history.
He was married to the former Elizabeth Kelsey Draper for nearly 54 years.
Their daughter, Elizabeth Louise, married Prescott S. Bush, Jr. Their son,
Rear Admiral Draper Laurence Kauffman, married the former Margaret C.
RADM Draper Laurence Kauffman (1911 - 1979):
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.
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 his father.
On 1 June 1973, Admiral Kauffman retired from the Navy.
Rear Admiral Kauffman married the former Margaret Cary Tuckerman on 1 May
1943. They had three children: Margaret Cary, Draper Laurence, Jr., and Edith