From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Emory Coil '12

Date of birth: September 28, 1888

Date of death: August 24, 1921

Age: 32

Lucky Bag

From the 1912 Lucky Bag:


Emory was lost on August 24, 1921 when the British-built airship R-38, intended for US Navy use as ZR-2, crashed near Hull, England. Forty-four of the 49 men aboard died.

He was buried at sea from USS Breck (DD 283) on September 20, 1921. Emory has a memory marker in Arizona.

His wife, Mildred, died in 1919.


Emory became naval aviator #96 in 1917.

At some point in 1917 he was on the staff of the first Navy lighter-than-air instructors.

From Naval History and Heritage Command:

14 May [1919] Lt. Cmdr. Emory W. Coil commanded the airship C-5 during a record flight for nonrigid airships from Montauk Point, Long Island, N.Y., to Pleasantville, St. Johns, Newfoundland, covering 1,050 nautical miles in 25 hours 50 minutes. Coil and his crew of six made the nonstop voyage to determine whether they were able to cross the Atlantic, and determined that such a flight would be feasible. However, shortly following C-5’s arrival a heavy gale sprang up, and despite efforts to deflate the bag, the gale tore the airship from the moorings and swept her to sea. The two sailors on board jumped clear and survived.

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Lewis Maxfield '07, Valentine Bieg '10, and Henry Hoyt '14 were also lost when ZR-2 crashed.

Class of 1912

Emory is one of 6 members of the Class of 1912 on Virtual Memorial Hall.