Lieut Arthur Gill Caffee

Lieut Arthur Gill Caffee

Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri, USA
Death 19 Nov 1910 (aged 27)
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 3
Memorial ID 7608678 · View Source
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M.M. Caffee
Elizabeth (Warden) Caffee

Col. William K. Caffee
Anna Belle (Wilkins)'Pattie' Caffee

John Warden Caffee
Mahlon M. Caffee

Mayotta Dickerson
May 1906 in Oakland, California

2 daughters:
Patricia 'Patty' Elena Caffee
Elizabeth 'Betty' June Caffee

Attended & Graduated
Virginia Military Academy (VMI)

Appointed U.S. Naval Academy in 1900

The name of Arthur Gill Caffee was listed for 6 years as living hero in the record of the Navy Department.
The young Missouri officer just out of the United States Naval Academy disobeyed the commands of his superior officers April 18, 1904 to go to the rescue of 32 officers and men who lost their lives in the explosion in the after turret of the battleship Missouri.
Although the after turret had flooded neck high with the fire hose, Caffee flung insubordination to the winds and plunged himself in the death chamber of his battleship.
He fought about the water in an effort to find some men whom the spark of life still lingered. Caffee was overcome with water and it was necessary to send volunteers to his rescue.
Congress later recognized Caffee's heroism by voting him medals. Caffee's superior officers never preferred charges of insubordination because Caffee risk his life for his fellow men.

Lieutenant Arthur Gill Caffee tragically lost his life at the Indian Head proving grounds of the Navy.
The gun being tested in the Navy yard factory had already been fired twice and the accident occured during the third round, just as the breech was being closed.
It was reported that the explosion was due to a bent or fouled firing pin which projected beyond the breech plug. The gun discharged before the crew had finished loading it.

Arthur Gill Caffee is buried in
Arlington National Cemetery

Bio by: Julie Perry

Family Members



Lt, USN, Killed in accidental gun accident

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  • Created by: Curt Benge
  • Added: 22 Jun 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7608678
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lieut Arthur Gill Caffee (20 Dec 1882–19 Nov 1910), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7608678, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Curt Benge (contributor 46523697) .