You may have heard of World War II Coast Guard hero, Sinbad the sailor dog. Sinbad (c.1937 – 1951) is famous for being the mascot of the USCGC Campbell, and was classified as a non-commissioned officer – “Chief Dog”.
“Sinbad is a fighting dog from a fighting ship. Sinbad is the mascot of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter CAMPBELL. When the Coast Guard ran into a U. Boat pack, depth-charged six submarines and sank the last by ramming it, Sinbad slept at his battle station – in a bunk. When the ship’s in, though, Sinbad upholds the CAMPBELL’s reputation as a fighter by taking on anything on paws. He’s part bulldog and part terrier, and has had more than five years sea duty.” (26-G-1846, Box 58 )
In addition to improving the morale of his shipmates, Sinbad was recognized for his bravery, and received several awards for his service. His 11 years at sea were immortalized in film!
(Clip from Catalog Entry 26.894)
But while Sinbad’s heroics were well publicized, his antics were known to land him in hot water. During the Still Pictures Branch project to digitize images from the U.S. Coast Guard Series “Activities, Facilities and Personalities” for upload into the catalog, we found images with captions documenting some of his adventures.
“It’s just too bad for Sinbad. His gay shore liberties in foreign ports are over. Sinbad, mascot of the Coast Guard combat cutter CAMPBELL, went “over the hill” in Sicily and his ship departed without him. A week later, the S.P.S. caught up with him, and shipped him back aboard a destroyer. He was returned to the CAMPBELL at an East Coast port for a joyous reunion with his old Coast Guard shipmates. Sinbad’s record for good conduct along 310,00 miles of sea duty and in scores of foreign ports is legendary, but the code of the sea services is strict. For going AWOL, Sinbad went before the captain’s mast. The sentence denied him liberty in foreign ports in the future.” (26-G-3527, Box 58)
“Sinbad, famed mascot of a Coast Guard Combat Cutter, is in the doghouse again. After a big night of shore liberty with the boys, he failed to muster and stayed sacked in his specially made sea hammock. Sinbad is a gay blade with the ladies, and surpassing his shipmates, has several in every port.” (26-G-2681, Box 58)
While Sinbad was known to cause trouble, he never failed in his primary responsibility – providing entertainment and improving the morale of his shipmates. Here’s to one brave sailor dog!
For more information regarding these photographs, email StillPix@nara.gov, or visit our research room in College Park, MD. For more information regarding the film clip, contact MoPix@nara.gov.
Sinbad’s exploits are widely known. You can find more information about Sinbad in other online resources, including (but not limited to!) his Wikipedia page.