Vice Adm. Raymond Joseph Mauerman, a former superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy and 40-year veteran of the service, has died after a brief illness. He was 88.
Mauerman, who retired in 1957, died Saturday at Goleta Valley Community Hospital in Santa Barbara. He was superintendent of the New London, Conn., academy from 1954 until his retirement. He then moved to Santa Barbara.
Mauerman intended to enlist in the Naval Reserve three days after the United States entered World War I in 1917, but he went through a wrong door and ended up as an apprentice seaman with the Coast Guard.
During the 1920s, he commanded destroyers, chased rum-running liquor smugglers and was commissioned an ensign.
He said later that his experience breaking bootleggers' radio codes during Prohibition helped him crack several enemy codes during World War II, when he also commanded a ship that landed 2,000 U.S. servicemen at Salerno, Italy.
After World War II, he served as chief of staff for the Philadelphia and Seattle Coast Guard districts, was chief of the office of operations at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington and was commander of the Boston district.