DOG ON DUTY ABOARD CUTTER
Extracted from "We've Been There" by Esther Stormer ©1992 - Reprinted by Permission
The author of this article which appeared in the Coast Guard Magazine in February, 1955 is unknown.
Maximillian Talisman, Boatswain's Mate Third Class, U.S. Coast Guard, is a little different than the ordinary men aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Klamath, an Ocean Station Vessel out of Seattle, Washington. He is a dog.
"Max" as he is commonly called is a five year old pure bred boxer, and the son of Inka Jay Lopez of Umitilla, Oregon and Ida Talisman of Portland, Oregon.
Max came aboard the Klamath in December, 1950, along with his master, a Coast Guard officer. Upon his master's transfer from the ship, Max was given to the crew. The crew accepted him at once and treated him just like any other man on board.
A service record, health record, dental chart, and other papers were made up for him and have been kept current by the ship's yeoman.
Max is fed by the crew and his tastes in food run to cheeseburgers and shrimp.
When liberty is granted Max is usually first in line to go ashore and is often seen in the company of the men at places the crew frequent. But whether he goes alone or in company with the crew he is very punctual in returning to the ship before liberty expires.
In May, 1952, realizing his usefulness, the Commanding Officer of the Klamath, Commander Ross P. Bullard, presented him with the following certification:
From: Commanding Officer, USCGC KLAMATH (WPG-66)
To: Talisman, Max (W224-859) SN
Subject: Bridge Lookout, qualification for, certification of.
Award: Having demonstrated a very complete attention to duty and exceptional visual acuity while assisting the bridge lookouts on this vessel in the course of search and rescue operations and ocean station ice record under the special qualification, is hereby certified to be qualifies in all respects as a bridge lookout.
A copy of this certificate will be placed in your service record under the special qualifications section.
S/Ross P. Bullard
During his travels about the Pacific area, Max has visited Hawaii, Midway, Guam, Japan, the Aleutian Islands, Canadian ports, and west coasty ports from Seattle to San Diego.
He rates the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Ribbon, United Nations Medal, and the Korean Service Medal.
Although these medals are not usually presented to individuals such as Max, who can say that he has not, in his own way, made a contribution to the Armed Forces of the United States by being a good, faithful shipmate aboard his ship? (Appeared in the Coast Guard Magazine, February, 1955, No author given.)
(Courtesy of Doak Walker)
Return to Coast Guard Stories