Notable People

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Rear Admiral James D. Craik


James Daly Craik is from Andover, Mass., where he was graduated from Punchard High School in 1929.  In July of that year he entered the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Conn., with an appointment as Cadet.

He was graduated and commissioned in Ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard on May 16, 1932, and subsequently, was promoted to rank as follows: Lieutenant (jg), May 16, 1935; Lieutenant, March 6, 1939; Lieut. Commander, July 1, 1942; Commander, November 18, 1942; Captain, August 22, 1952; Rear Admiral, January 30, 1963.

His earliest assignments included duties as communications officer, gunnery officer, watch officer, and navigator on board the Cutter Tampa (from July 1932 to September 1934) and the Cutter Onondaga (until March 1936).  With the latter vessel he served on the Bering Sea Patrol, following which he served in Alaskan waters with the Cutter Northland.

He became the first United States Government whaling inspector when he boarded the factory ship SS Frango in March 1937, to accompany her on an expedition of pelagic humpback whaling off western Australia.  The Frango with six killer vessels caught a total of 1,206 whales during that sojourn.  The then Lieutenant (jg) Craik received a Commendation Letter from the Commandant of the Coast Guard for devising a communication code for special use on that whaling expedition.

From January 1938 to February 1939, he was watch officer on board the Cutter Pontchartrain which performed International Ice Patrol in addition to her regular duties.  during the remainder of 1939, he was first executive officer, then commanding officer of the Cutter Galatea, following which he served as executive officer of the Cutter Comanche for several months.  Both those vessels operated out of New York.

World War II

He next served as executive officer of the former Coast Guard Training Station on Ellis Island, N.Y., from March to November 1940, then as executive officer of a Coast Guard Training Station in New Orleans until April 1942, a few months after the United States entered World War II.  For the next three years of the war he was stationed on board the combat Cutter Ingham first as navigator, executive officer, then as commanding officer.  With her he served on escort of convoy duty in the North Atlantic.

While stationed at Naples, Italy,  from September 1944 to July 1945, he was Senior Coast Guard Merchant Marine Detail Officer of the Suez and Mediterranean areas.  He received a Coast Guard Commendation Letter citing him for meritorious performance of duty at that post.  From there he went to London, England, to serve as Senior Coast Guard Merchant Marine Detail Officer of Europe for a year.

Post War

After returning to the United States in September 1946, he commanded the Coast Guard Base at St. George, S.I., N.Y., for three years.  He next commended the 311-ft. Coast Guard ocean station vessel Coos Bay out of Boston from December 1949 to November 1950.

The first half of 1951 saw him as a Member of the Personnel Board at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the latter part of that year as a student at the Merchant Marine Indoctrination School at the Coast Guard Academy.  After serving as observer of marine industry training at the Moore-McCormack Lines in New York from October 1951 to October 1952, he became Chief, Merchant Vessel Personnel Division at Coast Guard Headquarters.  With the termination of that duty in August 1956, he studied at the National War College during the following year.

He then commanded the Cutter Cook Inlet out of Portland, Ma., on ocean station patrol in the North Atlantic from July 1957 to October 1958.  That was followed by tours of duty as Chief, Merchant Marine Safety Division first in the First coast Guard District, Boston, until July 1959, and then in the Third District, New York, until 1961.  At that time has was designated Chief of Staff of the Third District.  While serving at that post in the rank of Captain, he was appointed to the permanent rank of Rear Admiral as of January 30, 1963.

Subsequently, RADM Craik assumed his post as Commander of the Eight Coast Guard District, New Orleans, in June 1963.  He retired from this post July 1, 1967.

RADM Craik received the Legion of Merit for meritorious performance of outstanding service during and following hurricane "Betsy" which struck a densely populated area on the Gulf Coast of the United States, September 8 to 15, 1965.  He personally directed his forces in the rescue of 12,000 persons from positions of peril.

His World War II campaign service medals and ribbons include the following: American Defense, American Area, European-African-Middle Eastern Area with one combat star, and World War II Victory.  He also has the Expert Rifle and Expert Pistol Medals.

RADM Craik's wife is the former Florence B. of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, N.Y.  They have one son, Willis P.

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