Artifact Spotlight: Full Dress Blue Uniform of RADM Sherwoode A. Taffinder, c. 1940

--John Pentangelo, Curator/Registrar

CDR S.A. Taffinder, 1923
Sherwoode A. Taffinder was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in 1902. During his early career, Taffinder served on several vessels including assignments as engineer officer of USS Birmingham and USS New Jersey, and navigator of USS Rhode Island. As a commander he completed the senior course at the Naval War College in 1923, graduating with a distinguished class that included Chester W. Nimitz and Harold R. Stark. From 1932 to 1935, Captain Taffinder served as secretary of the College (head of administration). He continued his sea service and during the Second World War, he served as Commandant, Navy Yard Puget Sound and Commandant, Thirteenth Naval District, Seattle as rear admiral. Taffinder was promoted to vice admiral in 1944 and retired in 1947.

Taffinder's full dress rear admiral's uniform is now on display in the Sailors and Scholars Exhibit at the museum. It consists of a flag officer's cocked hat, dress frock coat (re-introduced for special full dress in 1922) two-star epaulets, flag officer's sword belt, and trousers with gold braid. The star and sleeve braiding (which bore the rear admiral pattern) has been removed from the cuff as was common when officers advanced in rank. His personalized officer's sword, complete with scabbard and sword knot has been separately mounted to appear as if it is suspended from his belt. Taffinder's medals, including the Legion of Merit awarded for his service as commandant of Pugent Sound Navy Yard and Thirteenth Naval Dsitrict would have been worn with this uniform as well.

Gift of Terry Taffinder Grosvenor and Lisa Stubbs                                          2008.18

Staff and Class of 1923
Taffinder (48), Nimitz (54) and PNWC William S. Sims (9)
 are among the many notable figures in this photograph

Images courtesy of the Naval War College Museum


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