Rear Admiral William Kirk Scammell, United States Coast Guard, was born in Washington, D.C., on December 3, 1889, the son of Henry W. and Ina L. Scammell. He received his early education in Washington and was graduated from McKinley High School in that city in 1908. Appointed a cadet in the U.S. Coast Guard on May 23, 1908, he received a commission as an ensign on January 18, 1911.
His first assignment was to the cutter Thetis, Honolulu, T.H. Detached from this ship in August, 1912, he served on the Tahoma, Bering Sea Patrol, until November, 1914. For the next three years he was assigned to the Acushnet, based at Woods Hole, Mass., and then served in the Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, Washington, D.C. until March of 1919.
Transferred to sea duty, he was attached to the USS Princess Matoika as executive officer until September, 1919, when he was placed on duty in the same capacity aboard the cutter Comanche, Galveston, Tex. In April, 1920, he assumed command of the Yocona at Vicksburg, Miss., and remained on this ship until October, 1923. His next assignment was that of executive officer of the cutter Bear, on the Bering Sea Patrol.
From May, 1925, to April, 1926, he served as executive officer on the cutter Algonquin, and then returned for six months of additional duty to the Bear. In October, 1926, he was transferred to the Atlantic coast to take command of the destroyer Cummings, out of New London, Conn. Leaving the Cummings in May, 1929, he served as commanding officer of the Seminole until August, 1930, when he was assigned as Commander of Section Base Ten and Commander of the Puget Sound Patrol Area, Port Townsend, Wash. In June, 1932, he became Chief of Staff of the Northwestern Division, Seattle, Washington.
Returning to sea duty in April, 1934, he served as commanding officer of the cutter Northland, on patrol in Alaskan waters, until February, 1937. His next assignment was that of Chief of Staff of the Jacksonville, Fla. division. During this tour of duty he served as commander of the Jacksonville District from January to June, 1941, and as commanding officer of the Charleston, S.C., district from March to June of the same year.
From August, 1941, to May 1942, he was assigned to the USS Wakefield, and then became Superintendent of the Maritime Service Training Station at Fort Trumbull, New London, Conn. In October, 1942, he was designated commanding officer of the Coast Guard Training Station, St. Augustin, Fla., and at the termination of this assignment in November, 1943, became District Coast Guard Officer of the Eighth Naval District, New Orleans, La. He was relieved of this command and in March 1945 was assigned as District Coast Guard Officer, 12th Naval District, San Francisco.
For service during the first World War, he received the Victory Medal.
After receiving a commission as an ensign on January 18, 1911, he was promoted in rank as follows: lieutenant (jg), September 12, 1912; lieutenant, January 1, 1923; lieutenant commander, April 21, 1924; commander, July 1, 1929; captain, December 1, 1941; commodore, March 1, 1945 and rear admiral in July, 1945.
Admiral Scammell married Mary M. of Seattle, Wash., in 1912. They have one daughter, Mary Elizabeth, and a son, William Kirk, Jr., a Lieutenant in the Coast Guard Reserve.