Sinbad: A Coast Guard Mascot Who Liked to Have Fun

Sinbad was quite a character who became famous in history as a mascot in the US Coast Guard. He liked to party, raise some hell and keep his crew on the USS Campbell smiling.

Sinbad was originally intended to be a gift for a sailor's girlfriend in 1937. She was unable to keep the dog so the sailor snuck him on board the USS Campbell that night. Sinbad stayed quiet during the night but by morning his barking made his presence known. The sailors bonded quickly with the happy-go-lucky pup and Sinbad became a member of the crew. He was officially enlisted, with a paw print signature on his enlistment papers. He had his own service record, Red Cross and service IDs, and his own bunk.

Sinbad served 11 years as the ship's mascot during peace and war time. During WWII the ship would patrol the Atlantic ocean and was even awarded in 1943 for battling six enemy submarines over a 12 hour period, sinking at least one of them. During one battle, the ship was damaged and all but essential personnel were ordered off the ship while it was towed to safety for repair. Sinbad was one of the few who stayed on board. The sailors believed that as long as Sinbad was on board, the USS Campbell was unsinkable.

Sinbad saw plenty of combat action and was considered a valuable member of his crew. Actually, he spent most of his time of said action below deck, usually on one of the sailor's bunk covering his ears with his paws to block out the noise from gunfire. But when things quieted down he would join the men, prancing and barking to help lift their spirits.

Sinbad received six campaign ribbons and five battle stars during his time of service. He was a capable sailor when he was on duty but while on liberty he liked to have fun with the men. He would hang out in bars and night clubs, drink beer and whiskey, and flirt with the ladies. A few weeks after being promoted from First Class to K9C (Chief Dog - equivalent to Chief Petty Officer), he lost his promotion when the Captain broke him for insubordination. The mischievous dog also did some time in the brig for fraternizing with local pups while in Palermo.

Eddie Lloyd, editor of the old Coast Guard magazine, noted "Sinbad is a salty sailor but he's not a good sailor. He'll never rate gold hash marks nor good conduct medals. He's been on report several times and he's raised hell in a number of ports. On a few occasions, he has embarrassed the United States Government by creating disturbances in foreign zones. Perhaps that's why Coast Guardsmen love Sinbad, he's as bad as the worst and as good as the best of us."

Probably hung over after a night of partying

Despite disciplinary actions and demotions, Sinbad received an honorable discharge in 1948 as a Chief Dog (which he later earned back). Sinbad and Sergeant Stubby, are the only two animals to be classified as non-commissioned officers by the US military prior to the enactment of regulations to prohibit such.

After his retirement from the US Coast Guard, Sinbad spent the remaining years of his life at Barnegat Coast Guard Station in New Jersey. He passed away on December 30, 1951. He was laid to rest beneath the station’s flagstaff.

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