A large group of medals for a Colorado military marksman, and later regular army officer, Col. Frank P. Coffin.
Frank P. Coffin’s collection of shooting medals and trophies, along with his early military papers, and photos amassed while serving in the Colorado cavalry is quite impressive. After leaving the Colorado National Guard in 1916, he entered the regular army as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1917, and served in France during WWI in the 5th U.S. Infantry.
He remained in the peace time army and through WWII, retiring a full colonel of infantry in 1947. He was laid to rest in November of 1978, and buried in Bordentown, New Jersey. Although living in Colorado in his early years, Colonel Coffin was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1888.
His marksmanship abilities is quite apparent with all these medals and trophies which were won while serving in Troop “C,” First Squadron of Cavalry, National Guard of Colorado. He held rank of private up to 1st Sergeant (and reduced in rank and relieved in 1913- reasons not stated on documents). Coffin enlisted again in 1915 in Troop C and was promoted to the rank of sergeant, discharged in 1916, prior to Officer’s Reserve Course and eventual promotion as 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry in the regular amry.
The documents in this collection are:
- Discharge, June, 1911, as corporal. Recorded as an excellent non-commissioned officer and soldier, three years in Troop C as prior; Expert Rifleman and Pistol Exapert; “Has distinguished himself with the pistol. Re-enlisted in Troop, member State Rifle Team, ’09-’10, signed by B.H. Brooks, Captain, Comd’g.
- Discharge, June, 1911, near the same.
- Discharge, June, 1912, as sergeant. “C” course expert, 1911 Pistol expert, 1911; “One excellent soldier.”
- Discharge, June, 1913, as sergeant. “Six years Troop C, 1st Squadron Cav, N.G.C.; Gov’t Sharpshooter 1912. Pistol expert 1912. Re-enlisted, Signed by Capt. Brooks
- State of Colorado Adjutant General’s Certificate of Service, April, 1917. Lists all dates of rank while serving in Troop “C” Cavalry. Signed by the Adjt. Gen. Frank D. Baldwin, (Civil War- Indian Wars- Spanish American War veteran, awarded two Medal of Honors (Peach Tree Creek), and another MOH in 1874 for action against a much larger force of Indians while rescuing two white captives). He served as Colorado’s Adjutant General during WWI. He retired from the regular army as a major general).
- Letter, Dec. 21, 1937, HQtrs Second Corps Area. Concerns Coffin wishing to change duty stations while serving with the CCC (Citizens Conservation Corps), and matters relating to quarters, etc. Signed by Emer Yeager, 25th Field Artillery. (Yeager became a brigadier general during WWII and served in various commands in the South Pacific areas).
- Letter (typed copy) from Coffin, Dec. 22, 1937. Personal to “Bert” concerning CCC matters, quarters, etc.
- Letter, Dec. 28, 1937, from Lt. Col. Gregory Hoisington, Professor of Military Science & Tactics at The John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. Hoisington discusses the career moves that Coffin was contemplating at the time, with Hoisington advising him against some of these. Apparently, Coffin had once taught at John Hopkins.
- Other miscellaneous paper such as a few military manuals, his wife’s passports, etc.
The medal grouping consist of:
- Gold National Match 1910, “For Excellence In Pistol Marksmanship.” Engraved on the reverse, “Frank P.Coffin/ Colo. NG.” 3 inches high. Made by Bailey, Banks, & Biddle, 14 K. (.35oz).
- Bronze National Team Match, Class B Second Prize- Presented by Henry Hilton For Rifle Shooting (Est 1878). Made by “BB& B Phila.”
- Silver NRA Revolver Team Match, 1911. “BB & B Silver.” Crossed revolvers applied to shield.
- Silver NRA Revolver Team Match, 1913. “BB & B Silver.” Green/ rwb stripe silk ribbon. Revolvers are applied. “NRA” letters are enameled.
- 1885 Pattern Sharpshooter Badge, with early style “T” bar pin. Rock Island Arsenal made (unmarked).
- 1907 Pattern Pistol Expert Badge, with applied revolvers, and early “T” bar pin. RIA. (unmarked).
- Bronze, Third Prize, 1909 Centennial State Trophy Badge, applied construction. Made by “Hayes Bros, Co.”
- Bronze, 1909 “O.S.R.A.” (Ohio State Rifle Assoc.) Ninety Per Cent Competitor. Colo. State seal on brooch. “Hayes Bros Co.”
- Bronze, 1909 “N.R.A.” Revolver Team Match. Applied construction, “Hayes Bros.Co.”
- Bronze, 1909 First Team Gallery Competition, N.G.C. Applied construction, “Hayes Bros. Co.”
- Bronze, 1910 80 Per Cent, Ohio State Rifle Association. (Camp Perry) “Hayes Bros Co.”
- Bronze, 1911 National Guard of Colorado, Wells Trophy, Second Team Division A. “Hayes Bros.”
- Bronze 1911 Third Prize, Gallery Competition, N.G.C. “Hayes Bros.”
- Bronze 1912 National Guard of Colorado, Willcox Trophy Match, First Team Division A. “Hayes Bros.”
- Bronze 1912 Second Prize, Off-Hand Military C.S.R.A. (Colo. State Rifle Assoc.). “Hayes Bros.”
- Bronze (1912) Course C, National Guard Colorado, with bars descending; “Marksman, Sharpshooter, & Expert Rifleman.” “Hayes Bros.”
- Bronze 1913 National Guard Colorado, The Regimental Team Trophy. “Hayes Bros.”
- Bronze 1913 NGC, Willcox Trophy Match, First Team Division A. “Hayes Bros.”
- 990 Silver, Medallion, ring suspension, “Member of Champion Pistol Team Inter-Allied Armies of Occupation- Small Arms Competition- American Forces In Germany 1920. YMCA logo stamped below. 40mm diameter.
- 990 Silver, same design. “Third Place Individual Pistol Championship- Inter Allied Armies of Occupation- Won By- Inter-Allied Small Arms Competition American Forces In Germany 1920.” YMCA logo.
All medals and badges are in fine- excellent condition. All the bronze badges are a rich chocolate bronze color. Included is a letter from a NRA researcher with information on the Colorado participation in competitions in various years, with photo copies showing Coffin’s placement in those events, etc.
There is a loose pin brooch for a 1911 Camp Perry bronze badge only, and a round cardboard box for a German made table medal which did not come with grouping. Also a mounting card for Individual Slow Fire Pistol Champ. 8th Place made out to Capt. FFC (during Coffin’s regular army days.).
- N.G.C. Individual Revolver Highest Score- Rapid Fire 1910/ (reverse) Won by Corpl. F.P. Coffin- Troop C. Silver plate, Queen City Silver Co. 6.5 inches high.
- Revolver Team Trophy 1911, Corpl. F.P. Coffin. Wilcox Silver Plate Co. 6 inches high.
- Same for 1912 (different pattern trophy), F.S. Co. Quadruple. 5 1/8 inches high.
- Governor’s Match- Skirmish Cup, Aug. 24, 1912- Score 90. (reverse) Segt. F.P. Coffin. Forbes Silver Co. USA Quadruple. 8 1/4 inches. Slightly uneven along top rim, but not overly noticeable.
- High Score Rapid Fire 1913- Score 94- Sergeant F.P. Coffin. F.B. Rogers Silver Co. Quadruple. 7.5 inches high.
All trophies exhibit an untouched patina, and are in excellent condition with some very minor wear or dimpling.
Photo consist of:
- 2 real photo post cards from the 1913 Colorado Camp Perry (Ohio) competition.
- Large Cabinet 13×16″ overall mounted. 1909 Camp Perry- Colorado Team. Coffin is standing third from left.
- Framed Cabinet 15x 18″ framed. 1910 Camp Perry Team. Coffin is seated directly behind Camp Perry sign.
- Framed Cabinet 18×15″ framed. 1910 Championship Revolver Team. Coffin is standing far right.
- Large Cabinet 13×16 oa. 1911 Championship Revolver Team. Similar view.
- Similar view in camp scene. Not dated but around 1911. Coffin standing far left.
- Large Cabinet 13×16″, 1911 Colorado team photo, Camp Perry. Coffin seated far left.
- Not photographed- cabinet photo damaged, show Coffin kneeling front center. Circa- 1912, Coffin wearing the Course “C” badge. 11×13.3″ mounted.
This is the entirety of the material that was purchased from the source I purchased it from, but obviously most of the material from Coffin’s regular army days is not present, and we do not know where or if this material survived. An impressive collection for one marksman who had a long career in the state and U.S. military.
|Dimensions||24 × 20 × 16 in|