K9C Sinbad, USCG (Ret.)
|Died||30 December 1951
Barnegat Light Station, New Jersey
|Years of service||1937-1948|
|Rank||Chief Petty Officer|
|Unit||USCGC Campbell (WPG-32)|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Sinbad (born ca. 1937, died 30 December 1951) was a mixed-breed dog, described as "a canine sailor" with the rank of "Chief Dog (K9C)" and status "USCG, Retired", who "served 11 years sea duty in the United States Coast Guard, including combat in World War II aboard the USCGC Campbell". Brought aboard by a sailor who had intended him as a gift to a girlfriend, he was nevertheless said to have "never had an owner or master". A biography was written for him, and contrasted with an assertion that "no Coast Guardsman [was] the subject of a biography until the dawn of the twenty-first century."
Sinbad's birth is not recorded, but he was obtained by Chief Boatswain's Mate A. A. "Blackie" Rother of the USCGC George W. Campbell, who intended the dog as a gift for a girlfriend. She did not take him in due to a restriction against pets in her apartment building, leaving Rother with the dog as he returned from liberty in 1937.  The crew said the dog displayed "the attributes of a sailor" by drinking coffee, whiskey with beer chasers at port bars, having "regular and general quarters duty stations", and "generally demonstrating seamanship". They claimed he "was enlisted into the service" with his pawprint on enlistment papers, "his own service and Red Cross identification numbers, service record, and bunk". He was also recorded as a member of the Society of Polar Explorers. They held mock military disciplinary proceedings against him on two occasions, was claimed he had been promoted and demoted in rank on several occasions. They credited him as retaining the rate of "Chief Petty Officer - Dog, K9C, USCG, (Ret)" following his supposed retirement. 
Presence in combat
Sinbad was aboard the USCGC George W. Campbell throughout World War II while the cutter was assigned to convoy escort duty in the Atlantic. Although publicity photos depicted Sinbad standing helmeted on the barrel of a large gun, he actually stayed below decks with a "general quarters duty post assigned to damage control", keeping him away from the sound of gunfire.
The Campbell's most significant action involved combat with, and sinking by ramming of, the German submarine U-606.  After the cutter suffered severe damage, becoming disabled and without power due to flooding, "essential crew" were left aboard the otherwise evacuated ship to keep it afloat as it was towed to Canada for repair, and Sinbad travelled with them. A member of the crew claimed that Captain James Hirschfield believed that nothing could befall the ship if the dog remained aboard.  A statue of Sinbad is on the mess deck of current "famous class" medium endurance cutter USCGC Campbell (WMEC-909), successor to the preceding Campbell.
Sinbad was aboard during other anti-submarine warfare and strafing attacks by enemy aircraft.
Sinbad was described as having earned the following awards: American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-MiddleEastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Navy Occupation Service Medal.
Sinbad became a public figure through media attention first garnered by his presence in bars in ports of call. He also frequented Red Cross facilities such as his alleged favorite in Londonderry, where he was also the guest of honor at a dinner in Guild Hall.
New York papers featured the story of the clash with U-606, though without photographs as Sinbad was sequestered below after a night on the town. The Boston Globe's Martin Sheridan described Sinbad in a December 1943 ''Life Magazine'' story as "liberty-rum-chow-hound, with a bit of bulldog, doberman pinscher, and what-not. Mostly what-not", which appealed to blue collar and farm town America.
Photo sessions and network news interviews when the Campbell was in port served the home-front morale effort and gave Sinbad nationwide recognition. His celebrity further increased following the end of the war and the publication of George F. Foley's Sinbad of the Coast Guard, whose book-signing tour Sinbad accompanied; he was described as "the first Coast Guardsman to be the subject of a biography".
The dog had gotten in trouble in port towns where the crew went on liberty, and was not always cooperative at public relations events. He is described as causing "international diplomatic incidents" in Casablanca and Greenland.
After spending 11 years with the Campbell's crew, mostly at sea, Sinbad was taken ashore at the Barnegat Light station in New Jersey, and said to be "honorably discharged from the Coast Guard on 21 September 1948", and on "inactive duty". Once described by Life Magazine as "an old sea dog [who] has favorite bars and plenty of girls in every port", Sinbad lived another three years quietly ashore, supposedly frequenting Kubel's bar on Seventh in Barnegat Light and looking out to sea from the station.
He was also long known for playing with a metal washer that he balanced on his nose (much as his statue on the later Campbell balances a rawhide bone), tossed in the air, and caught.
Sinbad died on 30 December 1951 and was buried beneath a granite monument at the base of the light station's flagpole. The decommissioned station has since become the Emergency Operations Center for Barnegat Light, New Jersey.
- CGCVA, p 100
- Foley, p 5
- Foley, p 21
- Dumas, Joe; "SINBAD, USCG (Ret.), K9C (Chief Petty Officer, Dog)",Frequently Asked Questions, U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
- Foley(2), p.32
- Foley p 86
- Foley(2), p 8
- Foley, p 118
- Foley, p.88
- Foley, p 79
- Foley pp 101-105
- Foley, p 105
- Foley, p 106
- Foley(2), p 34
- Foley, p.108
- References cited
- Bunch, James C., (editor) (1994). Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association (CGCVA). Turner Publishing Company, Paducah, Kentucky. ISBN 1-56311-104-7.
- Dumas, Joe. "SINBAD, USCG (Ret.), K9C (Chief Petty Officer, Dog)". Frequently Asked Questions. U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- Foley, Chief Specialist George F. Jr. (USCGR), Sinbad of the Coast Guard, Dodd, Mead and Company, New York, 1945
- Foley(2), Chief Specialist George F. Jr. (USCGR), "Sinbad!," Boys Life Magazine, December 1943