WILLARD C. DUFFIN was born on June 15, 1909 in Culpepper, Virginia to Jeremiah and Emma Duffin. His father was a blacksmith by trade and apparently brought Willard and his mother to Camden during World War I, as he was employed at one of Camden's shipyards in January of 1920 when the Census was enumerated. The Duffins were then living in a boardinghouse at 576 Mickle Street operated by a Mary Jones. The family appears to have remained in the area, but the do not appear in Camden City Directories in 1924, 1927, or 1929.

At some point in the latter half of the 1920s, Willard C. Duffin enlisted in the United States Navy. When the Census was taken in April of 1930, Willard C. Duffin was serving with the rank of Seaman First Class, assigned to the USS Mahan.

The USS Mahan, originally designated DD-102, was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I and later designated, DM-7, in the years following. She was named in honor of Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan.

Mahan was laid down on May 4, 1918 by the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts; launched August 4, 1918; sponsored by Miss Ellen K. Mahan, niece of Rear Admiral Mahan; and commissioned October 24, 1918, Lieutenant Commander F. P. Conger in command.

After shakedown, Mahan operated off Cuba until May 1919 when she steamed to the Azores to become one of the guide ships for the transatlantic flights of Navy flying boats NC-1, NC-3, and NC-4. Returning to Boston by way of Brest, France, on June 21, Mahan was converted to a light minelayer and was redesignated DM-7, July 17, 1920.

With the exception of a cruise to Pearl Harbor for maneuvers early in 1925, Mahan operated along the east coast, in the Caribbean and off the Panama Canal Zone for the next 10 years, During this time she participated in fleet training exercises; patrolled courses for international races; e.g., the International Six Meter Sailing Races of 1922 and 1927; assisted in salvage operations for submarines S-51 (September 1925, off Block Island and S-4 (periodically from December 17, 1927 through mid-March 1928, off Provincetown, Massachusetts); and conducted reserve training cruises in the Caribbean, 1928 to September 1929. Throughout the decade, in addition to her regular duties, she served as an experimental ship, testing new equipment for the Navy's future use.

On September 20, 1929, she entered Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she decommissioned May 1, 1930. Struck from the Navy Register October 22, she was sold for scrap January 17, 1931 to the Boston Iron & Metal Company of Baltimore, Maryland.

After completing his term of service with the United States Navy, Willard C. Duffin returned to Camden, New Jersey.

Willard C. Duffin was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on April 15, 1938. Assigned to Engine Company 9 at North 27th Street and Federal Street in East Camden, he reported for duty the next day. He served with Engine Company 9 until March 31, 1946 when he was given duty with Ladder Company 3, quartered in the same building. Willard C. Duffin remained at the East Camden firehouse until December 31, 1949. 

The 1947 Camden City Directory shows Willard C. and Margaret Duffin living at 25 Terrace Avenue in East Camden, and the family was still at that location in the fall of 1956. 

On January 1, 1950 Willard C. Duffin began a term of service with Engine Company 11 on North 27th Street in Cramer Hill. He was promoted to Captain on May 26, 1954 and returned to Ladder Company 3. July 1, 1955 saw another transfer, when Captain Duffin was sent to Ladder Company 2 in South Camden. He finished his career with this unit, retiring on a disability pension on August 1, 1961.

During the mid-1950s the Duffin family became involved in a business known as American Welding Services, based at 2640 Harrison Avenue in Cramer Hill. This business however, was gone by the fall of 1959, as it is not listed in that year's New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory.

Willard C. Duffin had moved to 3254 Floyd Walk in Fairview by the fall on 1959. He later moved to Bellmawr, New Jersey. He passed away on October 22, 1988.

Camden Fire Department Personnel Record