"Sinbad the Mutt" Kept His Coast Guard Crew Smiling Through WWII

Posted by Christy Caplan
Wikimedia Commons

Sinbad became famous as a mascot for the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII. This mutt served alongside sailors on a Coast Guard cutter, the USS Campbell for 11 years.

Dogs in History shares that despite disciplinary actions and demotions, Sinbad the mutt received an honorable discharge in 1948 as a Chief Dog (which he later earned back).

"Sinbad and Sergeant Stubby, a WWI dog hero, 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."

How did 'Sinbad' end up on a Coast Guard ship?

The Canidae blog recalled Sinbad's incredible journey:

"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."

Can you believe his USCGC Campbell shipmates didn't send him back to the mainland?

This salty sailor became a Coast Guardsmen without any proper training, and the sea dog and Coast Guard mascot served for 11 years! He was clearly considered essential personnel. (Good luck sneaking a dog on a ship these days.) Crew members may enjoy the company, but it would need to be a working dog rather than someone's pet.

Dogs in History also shared that Eddie Lloyd, an 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."

Did 'Sinbad' receive any awards?

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Sinbad received many awards in his lifetime, including The American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Occupation Service Medal.

How did 'Sinbad' die?

After retiring from the US Coast Guard, Sinbad lived an easy life at the Barnegat Coast Guard Station in New Jersey. Eventually, he passed away on December 30, 1951 of old age and was laid to rest beneath the station's flagstaff.

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"Sinbad the Mutt" Kept His Coast Guard Crew Smiling Through WWII