Notable People

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Rear Admiral Joseph Greenspun


Rear Admiral Joseph Greenspun, United States Coast Guard, entered the service in 1916 when he was appointed a cadet in the U.S. Coast Guard.  He was commissioned Ensign in July, 1918; Lieutenant (jg) in November, 1918; Lieutenant in January, 1923; Lieutenant Commander in September, 1925; Commander in May, 1937; Captain in June, 1942; and Rear Admiral, 1 April, 1949.

Prior to admission to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy he attended the public schools in Baltimore, Maryland.  He was born in Russia in 1897.

His first assignment following graduation from the Academy was in the New York Division on port security duty in New York, where he served over a year.  Then came a short tour of duty on the Itasca, followed by two years on the Seneca, during which time he made two ice patrols.  In 1921 he was assigned to the Apache, where he remained for three years, the last year as commanding officer.  He assumed command of the cable ship Pequot and remained there two years.  Then followed two years on the Mojave.  In 1929 he was ordered to the newly commissioned Tahoe as executive officer, in which capacity he served for two years.  From the Tahoe he went as officer-in-charge of the Coast Guard Store in San Francisco.  After a year and a half on that duty, he reported aboard the Coast Guard Destroyer Hunt as commanding officer.  The next two years were spend in the destroyers Hunt and Abel P. Upshur as commanding officer and commander of a special patrol force.  From 1934 to 1938 he was assistant personnel officer at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.  He then reported to the Campbell as commanding officer.  The two years duty in her covered assignments to Greenland in connection with the establishment of the rest U.S. consulate there, and six months in Lisbon, Portugal.

In 1941 he attended the U.S. Naval War College and was graduated upon completion of the command course.  At the outbreak of World War II he was in command of the Ingham.  For nine months he was with that ship escorting trans-Atlantic convoys.  Then he was detached and assigned as escort commander with convoys sailing to and from Greenland, sailing in the Tampa, Modoc, and Mojave.  He was so engaged for seven months.  For this duty he was awarded the commendation ribbon by the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Upon detachment from duty as escort commander in April, 1943, he was assigned as Assistant District Coast Guard Officer in the 11th Naval District.  After two years in that assignment he was ordered to Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.  There, in July 1945, he was designated Chief, Office of Finance and Supply.  On 21 November 1949, Admiral Greenspun was detached from Headquarters to become Commander of the 17th Coast Guard District with district headquarters at Juneau, Alaska.  He returned to Headquarters in May 1952 to assume duty as Inspector-General.

In 1926 he was married to Margaret L. of Delaware.  They have a daughter, Joan T. Greenspun.

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