Military officer Officer Soldier

Lyman A. Cotten

Quick Facts

IntroUnited States Navy officer, diplomat, and songwriter
Was Military officer
From United States of America
Type Military
Birth18 December 1874
Death 12 January 1926
(aged 51 years)
Star signSagittarius
Spouse: Elizabeth Henderson Cotten
Children: Lyman A. Cotten

United States Naval Academy


Lyman Atkinson Cotten (18 December 1874 – 12 January 1926) was an officer of the United States Navy.


Cotten was born 18 December 1874 in Wilson, N.C., and was a member of the United States Naval Academy class of 1898. After serving at sea, he studied at the Naval War College, and was naval attaché to Japan and China. In World War I, he was awarded the Navy’s Distinguished Service Medal for establishing and commanding the naval base at Plymouth, England.

Further service in command at sea, on staff duty, and again as naval attaché in Tokyo preceded important duties in Washington, D.C. He wrote several articles for the United States Naval Institute’s Proceedings, one of which, “Commerce Destroying in War,” won the Institute’s Gold Medal in 1917.

While at sea commanding Richmond (CL-9) he collapsed with a high fever. He was put ashore at the Naval Hospital at Norfolk, Virginia, where he died of pneumonia on 12 January 1926. His body was transferred to Arlington National Cemetery, where he is buried in Section 4, Plot 3331.

Death and burial

Captain Cotten died at Norfolk, Va., 12 January 1926.


In 1943, the destroyer USS Cotten (DD-669) was named in his honor.