Rollins and June Coakley attended the same high school and church youth group before Pearl Harbor. Rollins enlisted immediately after Pearl because he did not want to be drafted into the Army. They married on September, 1942 (on a ten day leave) after Rollins graduated from Yeoman School. Their first child, Nancy, was born 18 April, 1944 when the Savage was returning to the United States following the escorting of a convoy into the Mediterranean Sea. This was the period in time involving the Kamikaze air attack of 01 April, 1944.
Mr. Coakey also served aboard the Jasmine (a buoy tender), and the USS Breckenridge (AP-176). After his service aboard the Savage, he was assigned to the pre-commissioning detail of the AP-176 stationed on Ellis Island.
After Mr. Coakley's Coast Guard service ended, he returned to Chicago, Illinois to his wife June and their two daughters (they eventually had four daughters and two sons - Nancy, Beverly, William, Beth, James, and Patricia).
While attending Yeoman School in New London, Connecticut, Rollins acquired skills in Gregg shorthand and typing. He further enhanced his skills, under benefits of the GI Bill of Rights, by enrolling in the Executive Secretarial Course at Gregg Business College in Chicago.
Following graduation, he was employed by the Chicago & North Western Railway Company as a steno clerk. That led to his becoming personal secretary to the company's president. He traveled for ten years with the president covering the entire railway system on business trips.
After the president retired, the chairman of the railway moved him into an officer's position. On 01 June, 1981, on the occasion of Rollins' retirement, he was the Assistant Director of the Public Affairs Office. Rollins had faithfully served the railway for thirty-four years.
Rollins and his wife June retired to Venice, Florida in 1982 where Rollins, with a life-long interest in railroad history, became involved in civic affairs including the preservation and restoration of the historic Venice Train Depot with its 3-1/4 acre depot site located directly to the north. In recognition of Rollins' 20-year effort and his many hours of work on the project, the depot site was named the Rollins W. Coakley Railroad Park by the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners and dedicated on March 22, 2005.
The park includes scenic walkways, picnic tables, benches, a restored caboose and a statue dedicated to circus great Gunther Gebel Williams, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest wild animal trainers of all time.
The Venice Train Depot was built in 1927 by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. Sarasota County purchased the depot site in 1999. The depot restoration, a $2.3 million project, was separately dedicated on October 24, 2003.
The Coakley family connection with the Chicago & North Western goes back to 1867 when his great-grandfather immigrated to Denison, Iowa from Ireland and landed a job as Section Foreman on the C&NW.
Mr. Rollins W. Coakley, former Historian for the USS SAVAGE, was kind enough to provide me with copies of his extremely extensive personal archive for inclusion in this site. Mr. Coakley served aboard the SAVAGE in WWII and kept impeccable records on the ship. Without his contribution, much of this site would not have been possible.
[Mr. Coakley passed away on 02 May, 2007. June Decker Coakley passed away on 13 November,2008.]
Rollins Coakley with the webmaster, August 2006, after visiting the National World War II Memorial.
U. S. Coast Guard Identification
Front row l. to r.
Frank Carnevale, SSMB2c - Aldo Beconi, MoMM3c - Thomas Lazarus, S2c - Francis Levitzki, CM3c
Center row l. to r.
Edward Moritz, S1c - Russell Young, S1c
Back row l. to r.
unknown - unknown - unknown - Donald Doherty, PhM1c
Rollins and June Coakley. Venice, Florida. March 2006.
Graduates of Class No. 21, Coast Guard Yeoman School, New London, Connecticut. September 1943.
Rollins Coakley is fourth from the left in the third row from front.
09 November, 1946 - Chief Yeoman
28 September, 1945 - Yeoman First Class
Mr. Coakley's sleeve insignia. The eagle and yeoman's mark are embroidered in silver thread.
Rollins Coakley, Diane C. Day and June Coakley after visiting the National World War II Memorial.
From Profile Log of Rollins W. Coakley from the Weekly Log at Ellis Island Coast Guard Receiving Station,
March 1945 when Rollins was assigned to pre-commissioning detail of USS Breckenridge (AP-176)
Coast Guard manned troop transport.
Rollins Coakley - National World War II Memorial , Eastern Corners Inscription
(President Franklin D. Roosevelt).
At the National World War II Memorial. August 2006. Southern Fountain Copings.
L. to r. Donna Day Deters, Diane C. Day, June Coakley, and John Boyer (the Coakley's grandson).
In recognition of Rollins' 20-year effort and his many hours of work on the project, the depot site was named the Rollins W. Coakley Railroad Park by the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners and dedicated on March 22, 2005.
Rollins W. Coakley and Railway Park featuring the restored caboose.
U. S. Coast Guard Satisfactory
Service Card (back)
U. S. Coast Guard Satisfactory
Service Card (front)
Place of entry into Savage service: Houston, Texas 11 October, 1943.
Place of separation from Savage service: Navy Yard, New Yotk 10 November, 1944.
Medals earned by Mr. Coakley during WWII.
for participation in ground
or surface combat during
any period on or after 07
December, 1941, and or
before 01 March, 1961.
USCG Good Conduct
Qualifying criteria: outstanding proficiency, leadership,