Capt Bainbridge B Leland, USCG (Ret) (Plank Owner)

July 13, 1921 - June 10, 2011

Bainbridge was born in Clifton Springs, New York, to Charles and Lillian Leland. He grew up in the Finger Lakes region, graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1943, and served in WWII. In 1944 he married Virginia Guisness of Alameda and had four children: Capt. Charles R. Leland USCG (and Lynne) of Oregon, Bud (and Jeanne) Leland of Sacramento, Dr. Ted (and Stefanie) Leland of Stockton, and Kate Leland of Sonoma. Bain and Virginia celebrated their 67th anniversary with six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

As an officer in the Coast Guard, Bainbridge spent most of his career at sea. His many tours of duty included Commanding Officer of the USCG Dexter, the CO of Coast Guard Island in Alameda, and the ice breaker Burton Island. As a senior officer he was stationed on Governor's Island in New York City as Deputy Commander of the Eastern Area. Capt. Leland was well-liked among his men and respected by his peers. His adventures in the late 1960's ushering a fleet of Coast Guard Ice Breakers in and out of Antarctica ("Operation Deep Freeze") resulted in a National Geographic movie and a mountain there being named in his honor - Mount Leland.

After retiring from USCG, Bain and Virginia settled in the Bay Area where he took on a second career as Senior Safety Engineer for Chevron Shipping. From 1984 to 1990 he served as President of the California Board of Pilot Commissioners, an organization that dates back to the Gold Rush. During his tenure he presided over the amalgamation of the Bar Pilots and the Inland Pilots. Even in "full retirement" he was active as president of both his local home owners' association and the Sonoma Valley Hospital Auxiliary.

Bainbridge was recently preceded in death by his oldest son, Capt. Charles R. Leland (deceased 11/2/10) and his beloved wife, Virginia Guisness Leland (deceased 3/14/11.)

His memory remains in the heart of his family, who would like to thank O'Connor Woods, Lodi Memorial Hospital, and the Hospice of San Joaquin for their exemplary and loving care. At his request services will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Sonoma Valley Hospital Auxiliary, 347 Andrieux St., Sonoma CA 95476. Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 16, 2011


Captain Leland was a plank owner of SEBAGO and was one of the last known survivors of the group.


This obituary was published in several northern California newspapers.

Mrs. Virginia Leland

Virginia Guisness Leland. October 8, 1924 - March 14, 2011.

Stockton resident, Virginia Leland, was born in Portland, Oregon, to parents Capt. Earl Guisness, USCG, and Kay Guisness. She and her brother, Bud Guisness of Bend, Oregon, moved from coast to coast with their military family. As a child she lived in Boston, Mississippi, and graduated from Alameda High School. She attended the University of Oregon majoring in Early Childhood Education and was a member of the Chi Omega sorority.

In 1944 she married Capt. Bainbridge B. Leland (USCG) They celebrated 67 years of marriage and had four children: Capt. Rod Leland (USCG deceased) and wife Lynne of Astoria, Oregon; Bud and wife Jeanne Leland of Sacramento; Dr. Ted and wife Stefanie Leland of Stockton; and Kate Leland of Sonoma.

Following in her deceased parents' footsteps, Virginia and Bain retired to Sonoma where they were very active with the Sonoma Hospital Auxiliary. Like her mother before her, she operated the Auxiliary's resale shop for many years. She served as President of the Auxiliary, managed the "Surgery Waiting" staffing and was awarded Volunteer of the Year.

Her passion was always young children, and during her lifetime she not only raised four of her own children, she also worked as a nursery school teacher and administrator. Her love and experience made her a terrific grandmother to her six grandchildren: Shannon Leland Miek, Brad Leland, Mason Leland, Tyler Leland Schneidman, Amanda and Bo Leland, and her eight great grandchildren. Her memory remains in the hearts of her family, who would like to thank both O'Connor Woods and Somerford in Stockton for their exemplary and loving care.

At her request services will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations be made in Virginia's name to the Sonoma Hospital Auxiliary, c/o Sonoma Hospital, 347 Andrieux St., Sonoma, CA 95476.

Aboard Now These shipmates are currently logged in