Maggie of the Mackinaw

By Ken Patrick



I served on board the Mackinaw from October 1955 until May of 1957.  That time in the Coast Guard changed my life.  Often people pass through our lives and we fail to recognize the influence they have.  Many played a role in helping me to determine what direction my life would take.  It was a time to grow up… including a dog named Maggie!


I read some stories about our mascot, Maggie.  I guess I never saw the bad temper of Maggie that was portrayed in a story on the internet, maybe since I was in the commissary department….and often fed her left-overs. 


I remember one time in 1957 when the ship was in dry dock in Manitowoc Wisconsin.  It was my last trip on the Mackinaw.  I was being transferred to the USCG Cutter Coos Bay in Portland Maine.  On the first afternoon after arriving in Manitowoc, three of us decided to head to a pub …...... and we took Maggie with us.  We traveled to town in a cab.  She was a hit….... as we were also.  If you remember, everyone loved the Coast Guard…and they adopted our mascot too.  She was given leftover beer by patrons and seemed to be having a great time.  After several hours of partying, we met some girls.  We were ready to continue our tour of town but now with female escorts ….. and sadly, there was no room for Maggie. 


We all tried to convince each other it was their duty to take Maggie back to the ship but to no avail. 


We finally came to the conclusion, that we couldn’t leave without our new friends. We had to find a new solution for Maggie. 


We did…... Maggie, a little tipsy perhaps, was put in the back seat of a cab by herself, we payed the cabbie and gave him a nice tip, and off she went back to the ship. 


We often wondered what other drivers thought pulling up to a signal, seeing a dog in the back seat of a cab. 


Nothing but first class for our mascot, "Maggie!!!"



Ps  I wish I could remember the names of the guys that went to the bar with me! 




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