Allen Winbeck was born on January 19, 1905, at Point Arena, California. He moved to North Cove, Washington, in 1910 when his father Herman Winbeck assumed charge of Willapa Bay Lifeboat Station, a post he held for 31 years then ended with his retirement in 1941 as a Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Boatswain.
Graduating from high school at South Bend, Washington, in 1923, he enlisted in the Coast Guard, served one year at Cape Disappointment Lifeboat Station, then entered the University of Washington at Seattle.
In 1926 he entered the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Conn., where he was graduated and commissioned as Ensign on May 15, 1929. Subsequently he advanced in rank to Lieutenant (jg), May 15, 1931; Lieutenant, May 15, 1933; Lieut. Commander, March 3, 1942; Commander, September 17, 1943; Captain, August 5, 1949; Rear Admiral (Perm) July 1, 1957.
During his first assignment he made three Bering Sea cruises aboard the Cutter Chelan. He then served one year aboard the Cutter Mendota and four years as instructor at the Coast Guard Academy. Transferred to the West Coast he boarded the Cutter Hermes at San Pedro, California, to serve first as her executive officer than as commanding officer during the summer 1939 Bering Sea Patrol.
In October 1939, he was assigned to duty aboard the West Coast Maritime School Ship California State, instructing trainees in seamanship, tactics, signals and law until April 1941. He next assumed command of Captain-of-the-Port Battalion, Treasure Island, Calif., a unit which grew from a nucleus of 25 men to 450 regular Coast Guardsmen within four months. From July to December 1943 of World War II, he served as first lieutenant aboard the attack troop transport Arthur Middleton (APA-25), then was assigned as personnel officer at the 13th Coast Guard District office at Seattle.
In November 1943 he was assigned to courses of study in anti-submarine warfare at St. Augustine and Miami Training Stations in preparation for his assuming command of Patrol Frigate Division 11 at San Francisco in February 1944. Eight months later he became executive officer of the troop transport General H.L. Scott (AP-136), engaging in the transport of troops from the West Coast to various areas of the Pacific Theatre of War. Assuming command of the Scott in July 1945 he transported troops between Seattle, Korea and Shanghai. On decommissioning of the transport in April 1946 he transferred to Miami to become Director of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Seventh Coast Guard District where he served for four years. He then transferred to Seattle to serve as Chief of Operations, 13th Coast Guard District for two years.
From August 1952 to June 1953, RADM Winbeck attended the National War College at Washington, D.C., after which he was assigned to duty in the Office of Personnel at Coast Guard Headquarters. There he first served as Chief, Training and Procurement Division, and in February 1955 he was designated Assistant Chief, Office of Personnel. Along with an appointment as permanent Rear Admiral on July 1, 1957, he became Chief, Office of Personnel, with the collateral duty of Flag Officer in charge of the Coast Guard Reserve.
Detached from Headquarters on April 5, 1958, RADM Winbeck transferred to Seattle to assume command of the 13th Coast Guard District.
In July 1961, RADM Winbeck transferred to San Francisco to take over the joint posts of Commander, western Area, and Commander, 12th Coast Guard District (vacated by retiring RADM Ira E. Eskridge, USCG). As Commander, western Area, he is responsible for the planning and control of operations involving coordination of Pacific Coast Guard forces and facilities in the land and ocean areas bounded by the 11th (Long Beach), 12th (San Francisco), 13th (Seattle), 14th (Hawaii), and 17th (Alaska) Districts. His duties include charge of programs relating to search and rescue, ocean stations manned by Coast Guard vessels, mobilization planning, and operational readiness in the Pacific areas.
When RADM Winbeck retired on July 1, 1964, he received the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for meritorious achievement in the performance of his duties as Commander, Western Area, and Commander, 12th Coast Guard District. He was cited for understanding of seafaring problems, his close supervision, planning and control of Coast Guard operations involving coordination of Coast Guard forces in the Pacific Ocean and facilities in the land and ocean areas encompassing the western district. (RADM Winbeck was succeeded by RADM Christopher C. Knapp, USCG.)
RADM Winbeck is married to the former Catherin Alice Jones of Seattle. His father lives at Aberdeen, Washington.
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