This Day in Coast Guard – Dec. 31
1881-At 4 a.m. the patrolman from Station No. 34, Fourth District, New Jersey, discovered a vessel ashore on the south bar at Townsend’s Inlet, NJ about three miles south of the station and a mile offshore. He reported at the station at once and the vessel was boarded by the life-saving crew within an hour and a half. She proved to be the schooner Joseph F. Baker with a crew of eight persons. After endeavoring to work the vessel off with her sails, the keeper made preparations to run an anchor and heave her off. By this time a wrecking vessel came alongside, and her captain arranged with the master of Baker to take his vessel off. The life-saving crew, which had meantime been joined by the keepers of Station 33 and 35, finding they could be of no further service, left the vessel, taking ashore dispatches for the captain. A steamer towed the vessel off the bar.
1891-Act of 1894 that created the office of Captain Commandant of the Revenue Cutter Service also had a provision that created the office of Engineer-in-Chief. Captain Russell John W. Collins, USRCS, was the first RCS Engineer-in-Chief, being appointed to that position on 31 December 1891.
1952- Sinbad, the canine-mascot of the cutter Campbell during World War II, passed away at his last duty station, the Barnegat Lifeboat Station, at the ripe old age of 15. He served on board the cutter throughout World War II and earned his way into Coast Guard legend with his shipboard and liberty antics. To date he is the most decorated mascot to have ever served in the Coast Guard.
1981- The 14 remaining LORAN-A stations closed down at midnight, ending Loran-A coverage, which began during World War II.
1985-Vice President George Bush paid an official visit to the officers and crew of the CGC Steadfast while the cutter was in Nassau, Bahamas. Accompanied by RADM Richard P. Cueroni, commander, 7th District and various other U.S. and Bahamian officials, the vice president officiated at an awards and wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System and the joint U.S. Bahamian operations.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)