Edward Lull Cochrane – Vice Admiral, United States Navy

Vice Admiral Edward Lull Cochrane (March 18, 1892 – November 14, 1959) was a United States Navy officer and noted naval architect who served as Chief of the Bureau of Ships during World War II. In this capacity, he was directly responsible for the Navy’s massive shipbuilding and maintenance program from November 1942 until November 1946.

The son of retired Marine Brigadier General Henry Clay Cochrane (1842-1913), Edward Lull Cochrane was born at Mare Island, California in 1892. He entered the United States Naval Academy in 1910 and was commissioned as a Navy ensign upon graduation in 1914. During World War I, he served at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and transferred to the Navy’s Construction Corps. He graduated in 1920 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with a Master of Science degree in Naval Architecture.

Between the World Wars, Cochrane served in various positions related to shipbuilding. including in the Navy’s Bureau of Construction and Repair, predecessor to the Bureau of Ships.

He assumed the post of Chief, BuShips in November 1942, succeeding Rear Admiral Alexander H. Van Keuren. From January 1941 until assuming command of the bureau, Cochrane served as the Assistant Head of the Design Division.

Cochrane retired from the Navy in 1947, while serving as a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Merchant Marine. He then joined the faculty of MIT, serving from 1947-1950 as head of the Department of Ocean Engineering (originally known as the Department of Naval Architecture), and from 1952-1954 as head of the School of Engineering.

Vice Admiral Cochrane died in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 14, 1959, at the age of 67.

Many of Vice Admiral Cochrane’s papers are held at the Naval Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. The papers include documents pertaining to the reorganization of the Bureau of Ships during World War II as well as transcripts of official speeches given by Admiral Cochrane during his term as head of that Bureau. Additionally, there are many personal papers and photographs relating to the Admiral’s close association with civilian Naval Architecture and engineering organizations.

Cochrane received many awards and honors for his contributions to naval architecture, and more generally to the field of engineering. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and in 1953 received honorary membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

MIT’s Admiral Edward L. Cochrane Award is presented each year to an outstanding student athlete. The award goes to a male senior for demonstrating humility, leadership and inspiration in intercollegiate sports.

The USS Cochrane (DDG 21), a Charles F. Adams-class guided missile armed destroyer, was named in his honor.



  • DATE OF BIRTH: 03/18/1892
  • DATE OF DEATH: 11/14/1959

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