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Dogs of War The Dog That Saved Alexander the Great’s Life
Stubby The Most-Decorated Dog in History
The Military Dog That Died of a Broken Heart
From Alexander the Great to the Present
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Dogs of War
From Alexander the Great to the Present
From Alexander the Great's Molossus Peritas in 331 B.C. to William A. Wynne's little Yorkshire terrier Smoky in WWII and even on today's high-tech battlefield, man's best friend has been--and probably always will be--at the soldier's side, helping to win battles and wars.
If you have a St. Bernard, Great Pyrenees, Rottweiler, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, or Bernese Mountain Dog, you have something in common with Alexander the Great, whose Molossus saved the day at the crucial battle of Gaugamela against the Persians led by Darius III in 331 B.C. The Molossus dog is considered the forebear of the St. Bernard, etc. In the days of Alexander, generals didn't lead from behind, so Alexander drove his chariot into the thick of the fighting. Soldiers riding one of the Persians' war elephants aimed the elephant at Alexander, with the intention of trampling him and thereby ending the battle. Alexander's Molossus dog, named Peritas, came to the rescue. He leapt at the elephant and, like a pit bull, latched onto the elephant's lower lip and held on. Needless to say, the elephant was surprised. It halted its charge and in trying to shake loose the dog also shook loose the soldiers on its back. Alexander was able to escape the peril and continue the battle to victory. After the fighting, Alexander found his dog dead on the battlefield, trampled by the war elephant. Alexander was grief stricken. The dog had been given to him as a puppy when Alexander was 11, and they were inseparable. Before its death, Alexander had held public birthday parties for the dog, May 2011
The "Jennings dog" on display at the British Museum is thought to be a representation of a Molossus, the breed of Alexander the Great's dog Peritas. Used by permission of the Trustees of the British Museum.
and continued doing so after the dog's death. Also, according to Plutarch in his Life of Alexander, after Peritas's death Alexander established and named a city after him: "He also, we are told, built another city, and called it after the name of a favourite dog, Peritas, which he had brought up himself." (Dryden translation.) Various writers of more modern times mention the use of dogs in battle by the Assyrians, Phoenicians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and other nations and empires of ancient and Classical times. In the conquest of Britain, the Legend & Lore Magazine
Romans are said to have used Molossus dogs in battle only to have them bested by the native Pugnaces Britanniae, the forebear of today's English Mastiff. So impressed were the Romans with these dogs that they shipped them to Rome for Coliseum games and exhibitions, and replaced the Molossus with them as war dogs. According to Roman historian Gratius Falsius, writing in A.D. 8: "Although the British dogs are distinguished neither by colour nor good anatomy, I could not find any particular faults with them. When grim work must be done, when special pluck is needed, when Mars summons us to battle most extreme, then the powerful Molossus will please you less and the Athamanen dog cannot measure up to the skill of the British dog either." The Romans also supposedly put spiked collars on their war dogs so the dogs could do some real harm
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on the battlefield, and purportedly deployed "one fighting dog company per legion." Europe's knights in shining armor are said to have dressed dogs in light outfits of chain mail and other armor to protect them in battle. At least one source suggests that the effigies of dogs one finds on the tombs of knights are memorials to the dog's companionship and aid in battle. More likely, though, these portrayals of dogs (since they're invariably greyhounds) are indications of the dead knight's rank, since only high nobles were allowed to own greyhounds in that day and age. England's Henry VIII is reported to have sent 400 Mastiffs to Spain to help that country in its wars, and Elizabeth I is said to have used 800 dogs in suppressing the Desmond Rebellions in Ireland.
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Dogs in the American Revolution From all accounts, dogs were not used as "combatants" by either the American or British forces. They were, according to some accounts, used as pack animals by the Americans. But a couple of dogs did, however, almost derail the insurrection. General Charles Lee of the Continental Army had been taken prisoner by the British in 1776 while enjoying the pleasures of a prostitute at a tavern. Held in
let him have his two beloved dogs. Washington replied that he couldn't do that. Angry, General Lee tried to make a deal with British General Howe, promising to help defeat the Colonists in return for either his freedom or his dogs. Luckily for the American forces, Howe didn't take Lee up on the offer. Lee was later freed and returned to lead American forces, although with less than stellar results, which led to his court martial. Dogs in the Napoleonic Wars Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have used corps of dogs in battle, but more likely whatever dogs ran with his army were mascots and the personal dogs of soldiers--a situation that was common until the
"Dog Jack" the famous war dog of the U.S. Civil War.
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First World War. At any rate, dogs did travel with Napoleon's forces and, whether trained or not, did play a role in battle. In one instance, a poodle named Moustache, who was the mascot of a regiment of French grenadiers, retrieved the French flag from its fallen bearer and returned it to the French lines during the battle of Austerlitz. For this feat, he was decorated and "his name was placed on the regimental books as a fullfledged soldier drawing rations and pay." He is said to have been a favorite of Napoleon's because one of his tricks was to lift his leg whenever Napoleon's enemies were mentioned. The most piquant anecdote about a poodle on the battlefield comes
Union Brig. Gen. Asboth and his dog York go off to battle at Pea Ridge in the U.S. Civil War. Illustration from Frank Leslie's Illustrated magazine.
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from Napoleon's own memoirs concerning the aftermath of the Battle of Marengo against Austrian forces in 1800, in which he wrote, "I walked over the battlefield and saw among the slain, a poodle bestowing a last lick upon his dead friend's face. Never had anything on any of my battlefields caused me a like emotion." And in an ironic twist of how dogs have turned the tides of war, had it not been for a nameless Newfoundland, Napoleon might never have had his second chance to plague Europe with war. In 1815, while escaping from his exile on the Isle of Elba, Napoleon was pitched by choppy seas from the boat on
Sallie, mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry in the U.S. Civil War. Source: Pennsylvania State Archives.
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which he was making his escape. A fisherman's Newfoundland dog jumped in after the drowning emperor and saved him. Napoleon lived to experience his own defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Dogs in the U.S. Civil War Dogs accompanied soldiers on both sides of the U.S. Civil War. Stonewall Jackson, a mutt, was found in 1862 on a battlefield near Richmond, Va., by the Confederacy's Richmond Howitzer Battalion and became the battalion's mascot. His favorite person was the gun crew's chief, Seargeant Van, who taught him to stand at attention during roll call. Sometimes a dog would switch sides. An example is General, a St.
The original Rin Tin Tin was found in the trenches of WWI, so it was fitting that he play a role as a WWI Red Cross dog in a movie.
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Bernard who was found at Cold Harbor, Va., in June 1864, guarding the body of a fallen Pennsylania colonel. Confederate Brigadier General Bryan Grimes, who found the dog (and gave him the name "General") took the dog back to Confederate lines. General became the 6
Sallie, mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry in the U.S. Civil War, is featured on the backside of this monument. Photo by Jennifer Goellnitz. http://www.goellnitz.org. Used by permission.
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mascot of the 14th North Carolina Infantry and stayed with that unit until the end of the war. In 1862, Lt. Louis Pfieff of the 3rd Illinois Infantry, was killed at the battle of Shiloh and buried in an unmarked grave. His widow, learning of his death, traveled to the battlefield to retrieve her husband's body. She arrived 12 days after the battle and looked for hours to no avail. She was about to give up when Lt. Pfieff's dog ran up to her May 2011
and led her to the grave. She learned that the dog had kept watch over the man's grave since the burial, leaving only for food and water. A similar story of a dog staying by his fallen human's side was published in the Jan. 12, 1863 issue of the Gettysburg Compiler under the title "Singular Fidelity of a Dog on the Battle Field": "On Monday last, as Hon. John Covode, in company with a number of officers, was passing over the Legend & Lore Magazine
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battle-field beyond Fredericksburg, their attention was called to a small dog lying by a corpse. Mr. Covode halted a few minutes to see if life was extinct. Raising the coat from the man's face, he found him dead. "The dog, looking wistfully up, ran to the dead man's face and kissed his silent lips. Such devotion in a small dog was so singular that Mr. Covode examined some papers upon the body, and found it to be that of Sergeant W. H. Brown, 7
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Company C, Ninety-first Pennsylvania. "The dog was shivering with the cold, but refused to leave his master's body, and as the coat was thrown over his face again he seemed very uneasy, and tried to get under it to the man's face. He had, it seems, followed the regiment into battle, and stuck to his master, and
Irish Brigade Monument Gettysburg Nat'l Military Park Dedicated July 2, 1888, this monument features an Irish wolfhound, traditional Irish symbol of loyalty. Source: U.S. National Park Service.
when he fell remained with him, refusing to leave him or to eat anything. "As the party returned an ambulance was carrying the corpse to a little grove of trees for interment, and the little dog following, the only mourner at that funeral, as the hero's comrades had been called to some other point." Another Union dog, Dog Jack, may be the only dog ever exchanged for prisoners of war. Mascot of the Niagara Volunteer Fire Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., he went with them when the firefighters volunteered for the 102nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment in 1861. Dog Jack is said to have been a brave and intelligent dog, charging in front during battle and understanding his regiment's bugle calls. His intrepidity led to his being captured not once but twice. The first time, he was held "prisoner" by the Confederates until being exchanged for a Confederate prisoner of war six months later. The second time, he escaped on his own. Dog Jack's career with the 102nd ended with his disappearance on Dec. 23, 1864, in Frederick, Md. (We have on our website a long article, “Union Jack: The Pet of Our Richmond Prisoners,” published by Harper’s Weekly on Nov. 8, 1862.) Yet one more Union dog of note was Sallie, a brindle Staffordshire bull terrier who was the mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Legend & Lore Magazine
Dear Little Miss Normal, Of course I think it is okay. Just remember to shave the night before if you are planning on swimming in the ocean – if you shave that morning the salt water will burn! Feeling pretty is very important. If you are responsible enough to save money I believe you are grown up enough to shave. Grow up slowly – With grace! Twinkle Twinkle, Gypsy Star, Dear Star, My husband is a businessman and constantly going to business dinners and functions. He is a good husband and continues to invite me. I don’t like to go. Is it bad that I am not supporting him? Not Interested in Public Relations Dear Not Interested, He wants to share with you his life and success and what he works so hard for. I am not sure how often the events are, but you should try to attend a few. Let him see that you are anxious to go, and while you are there express your pride in him. Let him know how “worth it” he is! You can make a good evening GREAT for your husband by just being there – sounds too good to pass up! Twinkle Twinkle, Gypsy Star Be sure to visit Gypsy Star’s website: AskGypsyStar.com. Send your burning questions to Gypsy Star at Advice@ AskGypsyStar.com May 2011
research found mostly Union dogs, which might be another case of the victors writing history. If any of our readers have good anecdotes about Confederate war dogs during what several of our friends call the War of Northern Aggression, please forward them to us.)
In WWI, the German army protected its dogs, as well as its soldiers, with gas masks against gas attacks.
Infantry Regiment. Sallie, like Dog Jack, was a natural-born battle dog. She went to the fore in battle and barked furiously at the opposition. At Gettysburg, Sallie got lost in the melee when the 11th had to retreat. She was found, starving and dehydrated, guarding the dead, by members of a burial team days later at the location from which the regiment had retreated. She was reunited with her regiment and went with them into other battles. She lived through a wound received on May 8, 1864, but was killed by a bullet in the head at Hatcher's Run on Feb. 6, 1865. Her men buried her on the spot, under fire because the battle was not yet over. She is memorialized on the Gettysburg monument erected in 1890 by veterans of the 11th. (Editor's note: If in this article we seem to have a heavy bent toward Union dogs, we apologize to our readers in the Confederacy. Our
Rags at Ft. Hamilton in the 1920s.
Dogs in World War I World War I is the first conflict for which we have documented proof of dogs being used specifically for war operations. All forces involved in the war used dogs variously as message carriers, ambulance dogs, searchers for wounded men, and sentries. The Germans had 6,000 war dogs in service by 1915, and these dogs-primarily German shepherds--were credited with having saved the lives of more than 4,000 wounded men. (The Germans came into World War I dog-prepared: They had instituted a special military-dog school for German shepherds and Doberman Pinschers near Berlin in 1884.) The Italians used dogs to transport food into hard-to-reach mountainous areas. Speaking of German shepherds, the popularity of the breed is said to have skyrocketed in the United States only after WWI because of their gallantry in that war. Indeed, one of the world's most famous German shepherds, Rin Tin Tin, began his career as a WWI war dog--actually, more as a "dog of war," since he was still only a puppy at the time of the Armistice. Rin Tin Tin was found by a
Rags was buried with military honors at the Hardenbergh family plot in Silver Spring, Md.
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The war dog memorial erected at Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, Hartsdale, N.Y., in 1922 in remembrance of the dogs of World War I. The inscription reads: DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE WAR DOG. ERECTED BY PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION BY DOG LOVERS. TO MAN'S MOST FAITHFUL FRIEND FOR THE VALIANT SERVICES RENDERED IN THE WORLD WAR 1914 - 1918.
Corporal Lee Duncan in a bombedout Lorraine, France, German war kennel on Sept. 15, 1918. At the time, the dog was five days old. The kennel master had been captured by the Americans, and he gave Duncan advice on how to train Rin Tin Tin as a war dog. After the war, Duncan went back to his native Los Angeles, taking Rin Tin Tin with him. Duncan hoped to get "Rinny" into
When he was eight years old, Stubby, the most-decorated dog in U.S. war-dog history, wore his vest and medals for a visit to President Calvin Coolidge. This photo was taken on the White House lawn.
the movies, but was turned down time after time. One day he and Rin Tin Tin came upon a Warner Brothers film crew that was having problems with a wolf in a scene in The Man from Hell's River. Duncan assured the crew that Rin Tin Tin could take the wolf's part and complete the film in one take. At first, the crew declined his offer, but then relented, and the rest, as they say, is history. Not as well known to the masses is Stubby, a bull terrier mix who has the honor of being the mostdecorated dog in U.S. history. Stubby (named for his short tail) was a stray puppy that wandered into the lives of the 102nd Infantry Regiment where they were stationed at Yale University at the beginning of the war. He was smuggled aboard the troop ship that carried the regiment to France in 1918. The smuggler was Private John Conroy, who became Stubby's de facto "master" for the rest of the dog's life. In France, Stubby carried
Japanese infantry with war dogs, 1938.
German war dog in training, 1885.
WWII mascot dog aboard a British ship.
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Dogs in World War II Insofar as the United States was concerned, the end of the War to End All Wars also largely ended the need or desire for military working dogs. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the only dogs used by the military were sled dogs. Soon after Pearl Harbor, however, the utility of war dogs was once again recognized, and a volunteer civilian group called Dogs for Defense set up operations at Fort Royal, Va., to train military working dogs. Lending truth to the old saying that "the generals always fight the last war," the U.S. military, itself, didn't actually get involved in SAN JACINTO VALLEY MORTUARY 250 S. State 951-654-2255
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military-dog training on its own for some time after that. In the beginning, almost any dog offered by the populace was accepted, but by 1944 experience showed that seven breeds were most useful: German shepherds, Belgian sheep dogs, Doberman Pinschers, farm collies, Siberian huskies, Malamutes, and Eskimo dogs. At the height of the war, the United States deployed as many as 10,000 dogs. The U.S. Army trained dogs for message carrying, wire laying, pack carrying, first aid, scouting, attacking, and trail work. The U.S. Coast Guard used dogs in beach patrols and the U.S. Navy used them for sentry duty at shipyards, air stations, ordnance plants, and ammunition depots. As they had in World War I, military dogs served with valor, courage, and distinction. A case in point is illustrated by the experiences of the 3rd War Dog Platoon, which used only Doberman
Donovan died shortly afterward at the military hospital at Fort Sheridan and Rags was adopted by the Hardenbergh family. Rags died in 1936 at Fort Hamilton. He was buried with military honors at the Hardenbergh family plot in Silver Spring, Md.
messages, stood sentry, warned of gas attacks, and captured a German spy. Stubby survived the war and returned to the United States with Conroy, where he met presidents and was decorated by Gen. John J. Pershing. Another messenger dog that became famous was Rags, a mixedbreed terrier found in 1918 in Paris by Private James Donovan, a signal corps specialist with the 1st Infantry Division. Rags carried vital messages on two occasions that resulted in artillery bombardments that saved many lives and attained military objectives. He also served as an early-warning system for incoming artillery shells. His dog hearing gave him the ability to hear incoming shells before people could, and when he hit the dirt, so did the soldiers around him, who had learned to trust his precognizance. At the end of the war, Rags was smuggled back to the United States.
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l When You Think of Liberty, Think of Me By Kathy Pippig Harris Used by permission. When you honor the red, white, and blue
l l l When you celebrate our nation's liberty And so it was that we were abandoned Think of the one who's been beside you in spirit, in heart, in body... No being could be as loyal as me, for I am your best friend, your partner... your family
after you tearfully told us we could not follow the men with whom we had served. Confusion set in as we watched you depart; being left behind, we had not deserved. You left us dispirited, empty, and hollow for we had given to you all of our all. Like ghosts were we, missing our souls, for you had taken with you... our hearts.
When our nation was young I was the runner, carrying messages in a war that would leave us undone l l l where brother fought beside brother.
And, alone in the face of terror I moved through enemy lines, as families fought one another, my mission foremost in my mind.
I have been injured for you. And I have died for you. In your absence I have wasted away from the loss of you.
I was the one waiting for you even though I'm the scruffy, thin dog sitting quietly I sensed you would not be coming home next to the veteran in his wheelchair. I languished on our wooden porch On the hill, the band plays a song l growing thinner, until the war was over and the man softly cries, while and my days on earth were done. fireworks light up the night's air. l
I was in the trenches, fields, and meadows accompanying you into foreign lands. With you in the jungles and swamps and at your heels on hot, dusty roads or on blistering, desert sands.
Gently I place my paw on his knee lay my muzzle on his withered leg. He looks at the small flag he is clutching then he turns his attention to me.
l l l l l l l l
His eyes are filled with thoughts and tears but his smile is as warm as the sun. "Thank you for reminding me," says he, "what's been sacrificed for the freedom we've won."
I have been first in the line of fire first to enter a field laden with mines putting myself in your stead. I went unflinching, leading, to wherever, doing whatever you said. With you I've jumped from the belly of a plane dropping into places neither of us had ever seen. All for the greater glory and good. All for humanity.
In the now, we cannot know who will be needing who. But what you may not know is that when you'll be needing me I'll be needing and looking for you.
When a bullet took your life I laid by your side my chin on your chest--despair in my eyes. Content to have remained with you, until a man in our unit lifted me up, carrying me back to the war... as he cried.
We've been a team, you and me through the many years that have shaped this land, and God has blessed us mightily.
When we had parted, when you'd gone home and when on foreign soil I was left all alone through no fault of your own I was forsaken.
So, every now and then, thank me-with a look, kind words, and the touch of a gentle hand...
The government advised you that your friend and helper; the soldier who'd been by your side, would not be accompanying you home... To our home, our country, I could not be taken.
When you think of liberty and count the reasons you are free... Don't forget to think of me!
Legend & Lore Magazine
Gander with the Royal Rifles of Canada departing for Hong Kong in 1941. Source: Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association. Used by permission
U.S. WWII war dogs were initially supplied through the civilian organization Dogs for Defense.
Pinschers, and whose dogs were instrumental in the battle for Guam. All 26 of the platoon's Dobermans were killed in the battle, and were credited with saving numerous lives. In particular, a Doberman named Kurt saved the lives of 250 Marines when he warned them of the presence of a body of Japanese troops. Kurt and his compatriot dogs are justly honored with a memorial on Guam. The most-decorated dog of World War II was Chips, a hybrid of German shepherd, collie, and husky. One of his decorations was given to him by General Eisenhower, whom he promptly bit. This might be one reason his medals were revoked later (as were the medals and citations given to all World War II dogs: The military's stated reason was that decorating dogs was "demeaning to servicemen.") Another collie mix of note was Bob, who is said to have led more forays into German territory than any other U.S. combatant, including people. One more famous dog in the Pacific Theater was Smoky--who was not a big, mean German shepherd, but a four-pound Yorkshire terrier! Smoky was a foundling, discovered in an abandoned foxhole on New Guinea in 1944. Corporal William A. Wynne bought her from her rescuer 16
Smoky the Yorkshire terrier using her special parachute. Photo copyright by William A. Wynne. Used by permission
for two Australian pounds, and Smoky and Wynne were inseparable for the rest of her life. Although she was not an official war dog, being Wynne's pet and a mascot, Smoky did help in the war effort. In one instance, her small size allowed her to perform a "small" task with big results at an airfield under construction at Luzon, including the possible saving of aircraft and personnel. A communications wire had to be run through a 70-footlong, eight-inch-diameter pipe under the runway. If people were to do it, the pipe would have to be dug up, taking three days and shutting down the runway. But Smoky did it in just two minutes, instead, saving time and lives. As Wynne recounted later: I tied a [kite] string (tied to the wire) to Smoky's collar and ran to the other end of the culvert . . . (Smoky) made a few steps in and then ran back. `Come, Smoky,' I said sharply, and she started through again. When she was about 10 feet in, the string caught up and she looked over her shoulder as much as to say `what's holding us up there?' The string loosened from the snag and she came on again. By now the Legend & Lore Magazine
dust was rising from the shuffle of her paws as she crawled through the dirt and mold and I could no longer see her. I called and pleaded, not knowing for certain whether she was coming or not. At last, about 20 feet away, I saw two little amber eyes and heard a faint whimpering sound . . . at 15 feet away, she broke into a run. We were so happy at Smoky's success that we patted and praised her for a full five minutes." Smoky flew 12 air-sea rescue and photo missions with Wynne, and even had her own parachute. Smoky also is credited by Animal Planet research to be the first documented dog therapist. She began this part of her career in New Guinea to battlefield casualties at 233rd Station Hospital in July 1944, soon after in Brisbane, Australia, and during the Battle of Manila in 1945. She continued this for ten years after the war. Smoky is also credited with making the Yorkshire terrier breed popular in the United States. Popular Dog magazine in 2002 and Dog Fancy magazine in 2003 wrote that in 1945 Smoky drew attention with her war stories to the then obscure Yorkshire terrier breed when only 65 puppies were AKC registered that year. Now the breed ranks Number Two in breed registrations, next to the Labrador retriever among the AKC's most popular breeds. May 2011
Jet of Iada, responsible for saving many lives during the London Blitz of WWII, being presented with the Dickin Award.
Bamse, mascot of the Norwegian minesweeper Thorodd. Source: Wikipedia
The United States was not the only country to use dogs in World War II, of course. All the nations involved with the war used dogs to one degree or another. And many of them went above and beyond the call of duty. One such dog was “Sergeant” Gander, a Newfoundland who was the mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada. The Royal Rifles were in the unenviable position of defending Hong Kong against the Japanese. During an attack, Gander saw a Japanese grenade hit the ground. He picked it up in his mouth and ran away with it far enough so when it went off it harmed no people. But it killed him, of course. Sgt. Gander's sacrifice was recognized when he
was posthumously awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal in 2000. The Soviet Union trained dogs to be suicide bombers in its defense against the murderous German Panzer tanks. The Soviets starved dogs, then put food under tanks. The dogs came to associate the underside of tanks with food. Then, when German Panzers attacked, the Soviets tied bombs with tilt fuses to the backs of the dogs and set them loose. When the dogs crawled underneath the tanks in search of food, the tilt fuse went off and the bomb ripped through the tender underside of the tank. The concept worked well enough that German soldiers were ordered to shoot any dog on sight. But it also backfired.
The Japanese also used war dogs in the WWII era. The ones pictured here were involved with Japan’s war in China in 1937.
Legend & Lore Magazine
Chips in 1943.
Since the Soviets had used Soviet tanks in training the dogs, the dogs preferred looking for food under Soviet tanks. After a few of their own tanks were destroyed by their own anti-tank dogs, the Soviets ended this particular exercise. As anyone who lived through Hitler's bombings of London will attest, the city of London was no less a battlefield than anywhere on the continent. Enter Jet of Iada, billed as the world's first searchand-rescue dog. Jet found 125 people in London's bombed-out ruins, 50 of them alive. And Jet wasn't one to give up. In October 1944, he "told" his handler there was a person still alive in a ruined Chelsea hotel, and wouldn't budge until the person was found. For 111/2 hours, Jet stayed put until searchers found a 63-year-old woman--still alive--under debris covering what was left of the top floor. The woman made a complete recovery. For this incident, Jet was awarded the Dickin Medal. There were also a number of WWII dogs that became famous not for front-line activities but for morale boosting. One such dog was Bamse, a St. Bernard that was ship's mascot of the Norwegian whaler Thorodd, converted to a minesweeper when hostilities with Germany began. When Norway was invaded by Germany, the Thorodd was one of 13 ships in the Norwegian Royal Navy that were able to escape to the United 17
food and otherwise kept up her crew's spirits while they were in captivity.
The War Dog That Died of a Broken Heart When a bullet took your life I laid by your side my chin on your chest--despair in my eyes. --Kathy Pippig Harris* In our main article, we cite at least three instances where a slain soldier’s dog grieved over the man’s death. Such love and devotion of a dog for its primary human is well documented throughout history, and it continues to this day. A recent example is that of Theo, a bomb-detecting springer spaniel and Liam Tasker, a British soldier, in Afghanistan, as reported March 10, 2011 by the Associated Press: “Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker, a dog handler with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, was killed in a firefight with insurgents in Helmand Province on March 1 as he searched for explosives with Theo, a bombsniffing springer spaniel mix. The dog suffered a fatal seizure hours later at a British army base, likely brought about by stress. A military Hercules plane carrying Tasker's body and Theo's ashes touched down Thursday at a Royal Air Force base in southwest England. As the funeral cortege of black vehicles drove slowly away, it was saluted by a long line of military dog handlers, their dogs at their sides. A black Labrador retriever sat quietly beside its handler as the hearse carrying the flagdraped coffin disappeared from view. Tasker's father, Ian, said Theo would have been devastated by Liam's death.
Theo and Liam "I truly believe when Theo went back to the kennel, that that would have a big, big impact because Liam wasn't there to comfort him," he told ITV news. Tasker's mother, Jane Duffy agreed. "I'm not nurse or a vet (but) I would like to believe (Theo) died of a broken heart to be with Liam," she told the broadcaster. Tasker's uncle, Billy McCord, said the soldier had been due to leave Afghanistan soon and worried about being separated from Theo. "He actually said at one point that when he finished his tour he was not sure what would happen to his dog and that he could be separated from his dog," McCord told the local Courier newspaper in Scotland. "That was preying on his mind, but they are not separated now.”
* from When You Think of Liberty, Think of Me, by Kathy Pippig Harris. See full poem on page 15.
Kingdom, where it operated out of Montrose, Scotland. Bamse went with the ship and became the official mascot of the entire Norwegian navy. More than a pretty face, Bamse saved the lives of two sailors, and even went into the town pub in the evenings (using his own bus pass) to shepherd his human shipmates back to the ship. Bamse
was awarded the Norges Hundeorden (a special medal for dogs) and Britain's Dickin Medal for his service in WWII. Also serving as a morale booster was Judy, the ship's dog of a British warship. Judy accompanied her crew when it was captured by the Japanese, and spent the remainder of the war with them as a POW. She is the only dog in WWII that was a registered POW. Judy scrounged for
A Russian war dog alerts its handler to an intruder during WWII.
Judy, the POW war dog of Britain, receives the Dickin Medal in 1946.
Legend & Lore Magazine
Dogs in Korea After World War II, the U.S. military's working dog program was largely dismantled. At the beginning of the Korean conflict, the only outfit dedicated to military dogs was the 26th Scout Dog Platoon, which served in Korea from June 12, 1951, through June 26, 1953. The dogs of the 26th were the only dogs used by the United States in Korea. But their utility was once again proved. Although some officers were at first uncertain of the value of dogs in combat, their attitude soon changed. One regimental commander noted that, after using dogs, some patrols did not want to go out without them. One source cites an unnamed study as having found that whenever war dogs worked the front line, their efforts cut casualties by more than 65 percent. Of the 26th Platoon's dogs, Scout Dog York is the one most often singled out as being exemplary. York completed 148 combat patrols. Dogs in Vietnam During the war in Vietnam, U.S. forces used nearly 4,000 dogs, which are credited with saving the lives of as many as 10,000 U.S. soldiers. The dogs were used primarily as sentries and scout (point) dogs. Some were sent into the (in)famous Viet Cong tunnels to rout out "Charlie." The dogs were so good at their jobs the Viet Cong put a $20,000 reward on their heads. An estimated 250 handlers and 500 dogs lost their lives in action. As in World Wars I and II, several of these military working dogs have become famous for their extraordinary service. The tale of Nemo is indicative of the bravery and effectiveness of the dogs that served in Vietnam. On Dec. 4, 1966, Viet Cong May 2011
U.S. Air Force military working dog Jackson, Iraq, 2007. Public domain photo.
adopted by private citizens. Fewer dogs were used in Korea than in WWII, but their life-saving activities were no less valued. U.S. Dept. of Defense photo.
commando raiders attacked and infiltrated Tan Son Nhut Air Base. Some of the raiders remained hidden and undetected until the next night, when Nemo, a German shepherd, found them. He attacked them, and was shot, losing an eye, but kept on the attack, immobilizing four of the Viet Cong until reinforcements could arrive. His handler was out of commission, having been wounded in the shoulder. Nemo crawled to him and guarded him with his own body until the action was over. Nemo continued his duties with only one eye until sent back to the United States in 1967. He was the first sentry dog officially retired from military service and one of the few that made it home. He died of natural causes in 1972. Although the Vietnam conflict is often considered a U.S. war, other countries weighed in on the side of South Vietnam, including Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Australian forces made the same use of dogs as did the United States,
Military working dogs today are issued with “doggles” (pictured here), booties, and other protective gear to suit the theaters where they are working.
This is what Charlie saw when a Vietnam war dog got into one of his tunnels. No wonder the Viet Cong put a $20,000 bounty on them. Source: U.S. War Dogs Association. Used by permission.
with the same life-saving effects. A thorough account of these dogs--all black Labrador retrievers--can be found at this link: http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/ vietnam/dogs.html. Although the dogs in Vietnam were credited with saving at least 10,000 lives and performed their duties with unquestioning honor, few of them made it home either during or after the conflict. In the case of the United States military, the dogs were considered "equipment," not living entities, and when their usefulness was over they were killed either directly by "euthanasia" or indirectly by leaving them behind in the hands of the South Vietnamese army (which promptly killed them for food or fur). This attitude continued until 2000, when President Clinton signed a bill allowing adoption of military working dogs. See our sidebar Adopting a War Dog for an account of the fates of these dogs and how the U.S. military turned its back on them for decades. There is a happy ending, though. Today, military working dogs may be Legend & Lore Magazine
War Dogs Today Today, a good number of countries have a "standing army" of military working dogs. Most of these dogs are used as sentries and explosives detectors. And, as in previous conflicts, the dogs serving with the U.S. military in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan have courageously and loyally saved hundreds of lives. One can make the point that in most cases the dogs are merely doing what they've been trained to do, but in other cases one wonders whether the dogs aren't just a wee bit smarter than they're
Some of today’s war dogs are trained to parachute from aircraft, usually in tandem with their trainers, but sometimes solo (no, the dog doesn’t pull the ripcord). One such dog participated in the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.
Kory Wiens and explosives-detection dog Cooper, killed in action in Iraq, July 6, 2007. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Laura M. Bigenho.
usually given credit for. In either case, there is no doubt that military dogs are integral and indispensable assets. One measure of their effectiveness is indicated by the fact that dog handlers are prime targets for snipers, ranking third behind officers and radio operators. For example, in 2006, Air Force Tech Sgt. Harvey Holt and his dog Jackson were pinned down by sniper fire while on patrol outside Baquba, north of Baghdad. During a break in the fire, he took his dog, a Belgian Malinois, through the field to find the sniper. Jackson picked up a scent, sprinted toward a bale of hay, jumped in head first and pulled the sniper out by his calf. Some years earlier, the handler of Carlo, a Belgian Malinois, was awarded the Bronze Star for his
service in Kuwait. Carlo's handler took the medal from his own uniform and pinned it onto Carlo's collar, saying, "Carlo worked harder than me. He was always in front of me." Although the military's official viewpoint is that dogs are equipment, the people who work with these dogs and have been protected by them know better and think otherwise. And, to be fair, the military does bend a little when it comes to recognizing the bond between handler and dog. When Cpl. Kory Wiens and his dog Cooper were killed in action in 2007, Wiens and Cooper were buried side-by-side in Wiens' hometown of Dallas, Ore., as Wiens had requested in his will.
Why and How to Adopt a Military Working Dog Although President Clinton signed a bill in 2000 letting civilians adopt military working dogs, and although the military has publicly stated it will no longer euthanize its retired or injured military working dogs (see history, below), the military still kills dogs it deems "surplus" or "unusable" or for which it doesn't want to pay for shipment back to the United States. If you're in a position to do so, you can stop this atrocity committed against our four-footed war heroes by adopting one. Contact either of the two organizations below for more information and assistance: U.S. War Dogs Association 1313 Mount Holly Rd. Burlington, NJ 08016 609-747-9340 Contact: Ron Aiello, president. Email: ronaiello(at)uswardogs.org A good step-by-step guide to adopting an MWD is given on their page: 20
Their Tails Wagged By Bob Hubbard, 35th SPS Used by permission. When their owners came to play Their Tails Wagged When their owners gave them to their government Their Tails Wagged When they were trained to serve Their Tails Wagged When they were sent to a far off land Their Tails Wagged When they met you Their Tails Wagged When they went to war Their Tails Wagged When they saved lives Their Tails Wagged When they got you home safe Their Tails Wagged When they were left behind Stop went the wag Legend & Lore Magazine
http://www.uswardogs.org/New_ Folder/adoption%20info._1.htm Military Working Dog Adoptions http://www.militaryworkingdoga doptions.com/ Save-A-Vet nfp Inc 387 Northgate Rd. Lindenhurst, IL 60046 Phone: 815-349-9647 firstname.lastname@example.org To understand why adopting a military working dog is important, read the following history of the U.S. military's use and misuse of its four-footed soldiers. history of the U.S. military's use and misuse of its four-footed soldiers. Surplus "Equipment" Here's the fundamental question: Would you shoot a soldier that had saved the lives of 10,000 other soldiers? Unless you're a direct mental descendant of Josef Stalin, you probably wouldn't. Yet that's what, in effect, the U.S. military did May 2011
Death of a Warrior By SSgt Cathy Moore, Instructor, PACAF Military Working Dog Training Center, Kadena Air Base, Japan Copyright Vietnam Security Police Association. Used by permission. As much as we loved the dogs and the military depended upon them, we all let them down in the end. The dogs paid the ultimate price with their lives, despite their loyalties and the protection they provided. Other SEA veterans returned to society or furthered their careers. The dogs were treated as unusable, excess military items. As Vietnam bases closed, dogs were either turned over to the Vietnamese military, shipped to other PACAF bases, or were euthanized. As Thailand bases were later closed, a few dogs were shipped to other bases or the PACAF Dog School. SSgt John Grammer, a former handler TDY to the Korat AB closing, reported that up to 6 dogs a day were euthanized. Every time a military dog was euthanized (or "put to sleep," as was the common vernacular), it was a somber experience. The dog was taken out of his kennel for his last walk. The assigned handler usually came in early to give him one last good romp--one last, long doanything-you-want-Big-Dog stroll. It was normal for his handler to want him to have a last few happy moments since he was kenneled most of his life. They lingered on that walk back, though. The dog was groomed one last time to look his best; then fed a good treat by his stoic but caring handler/partner. And, he was finally permitted one last good WOOF on the military brass as he was casually walked by one of their assigned vehicles. He "saluted" his own tribute to his undignified end before he entered the vet clinic the last time. Long ago, the dog learned that different locations where he was
with its war dogs until November 2000, when President Clinton signed a bill allowing the adoption of military dogs. Even with that, however, we can add to the wellMay 2011
muzzled meant either a brief inconvenience to be transported on a posting truck or another visit that developed into the associative fear engrained by painful experiences at the vet clinic. (Years later, the former would be known as "equipment association" and the latter as "avoidance behavior"). He growled and carried on; he even bared his teeth as he was muzzled. He had become keenly alert as he entered the examine room and was lifted onto the table. He anticipated a new pain, another violation of his flesh and his proud, fierce demeanor. He fought; he struggled valiantly. The vet came around to the business at hand with the infamous "green needle" which got its name due to the lethal drug's color. The dog was forced to lie down on the table, all the while he struggled against his partner. The dog thought of another tactic--gave his handler that poorlittle-puppy-dog look meant to free him--an invitation, a promise that he would behave if taken out of that place. NOW! The vet tech and vet worked in tandem to find a good vein one last time. got its name due to the lethal drug's color. The dog was forced to lie down on the table, all the while he struggled against his partner. The dog thought of another tactic--gave his handler that poor-little-puppy-dog look meant to free him--an invitation, a promise that he would behave if taken out of that place. NOW! The vet tech and vet worked in tandem to find a good vein one last time. He fought; he growled. Then, the needle was inserted, the syringe's
plunger was gradually depressed until all the deadly, cool green liquid was gone. Then slowly, slowly the dog became groggy, fighting the last long sleep as the deadly drug crept through his system. Although he fought less, his partner cradled him and held him closer, as one would a sleepy child. He stirred less and less, as though he was a seemingly recalcitrant toddler who yawned and muttered he didn't want to go "night-night" just at the last precious moment, not just yet. WAIT! The last mid-breath protest fell silent as all motion ceased. His breathing became shallower still and finally, one last exhale. All done, all gone, all...DEAD. The vet checked his vital signs and annotated a death pronouncement as the final entry on his records. Then came the final insult--the necropsy. All military working dogs were autopsied upon death in accordance with regulations. Kennel attendants and/or handlers bore this warrior to his final, pre-dug resting place in the K9 cemetery. A marker with his name and brand number witnessed this last indignity. Aligned with the other stark ones, row upon row, it bore silent testament to the military solution of disposal, his life. row upon row, it bore silent testament to the military solution of disposal, his life. Years ago before his time, it had been said, that the coward died many deaths; however, the valiant died but once. Thus, that axiom became his legacy to haunt our thoughts all these years later.
known oxymoron "military intelligence" two more: "military compassion" and "military gratitude." A recent case in point is the story
of Fluffy, an Iraqi-born German shepherd stray who became the companion of Army Sgt. 1st Class Russell Joyce in the Gulf War after Clinton signed the bill. Fluffy fit
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right in, and, although not a trained military dog, turned himself into an asset to Sgt. Joyce's squad. When Joyce returned to the United States, however, the military would not let the dog go with him. Among the various reasons given for this decision was that Fluffy was not a U.S. dog-citizen, having been born in Iraq! (Perhaps the U.S. military command thought Fluffy was really an Al Qaeda "sleeper" in dog's clothing, just waiting to get into the United States so it could wreak havoc with some kind of doggy terrorist act.) The story has a happy ending, however. Joyce let the situation be known, and after an avalanche of letters to the government Fluffy was re-united with Joyce in the United States on June 1, 2003. Fluffy lived for another five years, dying on Oct. 16, 2008. known, and after an avalanche of letters to the government Fluffy was re-united with Joyce in the United States on June 1, 2003. Fluffy lived for another five years, dying on Oct. 16, 2008. Less fortunate were most of the dogs that served between the end of World War II (donated dogs for that conflict were repatriated to their civilian owners) and the time Clinton signed the dog-adoption bill. Generally speaking, military dogs were considered "equipment," and when their use was over, they
were considered "surplus equipment" to be gotten rid of in the most expeditious manner. Most dogs that served in Vietnam, for example, were effectively killed in one of three ways: by "euthanasia," by abandonment, or by being left in the care of the South Vietnamese army. Even after President Clinton signed the bill, the U.S. military continues to kill dogs it just doesn't want to deal with. Consider the fate of Robby, as reported on Charlie Cargo's Scoutdog Pages, http://www.scoutdogpages.com. Robby, an eight-year-old military working dog who was cross-trained to perform both patrol and detection work, was beginning to suffer from progressive arthritis and elbow dysplasia. Because full-time duty was no longer possible, Robby was shipped back to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, home to the Military Working Dog Agency, where he faced "evaluation" for half-time duty training new handlers. If it was determined he couldn't even do this work, he was going to be euthanized, as was standing policy. Robby's handler pleaded with higher-ups to adopt the silver muzzled Belgian Malinois so he could enjoy a loving home for whatever quality time he had left. His request was denied. The handler went public with his dog's plight, resulting in thousands of emails to
the Department of Defense and Congressional representatives from outraged dog lovers and veteran dog handlers. Utimately the war dog euthanasia issue got the attention of Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who drafted a bill stipulating an adoption alternative to the military's euthanasia tradition. House Resolution 5314 was approved unanimously in both houses of Congress, and President Clinton signed it on November 6, 2000. Unfortunately, the new law came too late to save Robby. On January 19, 2001--as inaugural fireworks flew in our nation's capitol--he was being euthanized at Lackland. After being warehoused at the base through a bitterly cold winter, his arthritic condition had worsened to the point where he could no longer even stand. War dog retirement advocates had been pressing for details on Robby's physical condition since November, but it wasn't until the day before the dog's death that the Air Force released any information. Even though an interim foster home was available for Robby, by then his physical condition had deteriorated too far for him to have any kind of quality life. So in the end, the Air Force "won," and a valiant, loving dog was dead.
You Can Help Our Current War Dogs Veterans know first-hand that the U.S. military generally issues the bare minimum in equipment and supplies to "get the job done." This paucity is no less real for U.S. military working dogs around the world. The military either can't or won't issue a number of items these dogs need to make their lives and work easier. The military does issue "doggles" (dog goggles to protect a dog's eyes during a sandstorm), booties to protect a dog's paws from 22
100+-degree sand, and Kevlar vests to protect against bullets and shrapnel, but there are other items we "back home" can send to make a dog's life happier. Human soldiers get a certain amount of R&R, but our dog soldiers aren't given the opportunity. As usual, it's up to us "back home" to pick up the slack and provide our military dogs (and their handlers) with items they need for a better working environment. Two Legend & Lore Magazine
U.S. organizations at the forefront of this movement are the U.S. War Dogs Association and Save-A-Vet NFP. Their contact information is below: U.S. War Dogs Association http://www.uswardogs.org 1313 Mount Holly Rd. Burlington, NJ 08016 609-747-9340 Contact: Ron Aiello, president. Email: ronaiello(at)uswardogs.org May 2011
Save-A-Vet http://www.save-a-vet.org Save-A-Vet nfp Inc. 387 Northgate Rd. Lindenhurst, IL 60046 815-349-9647 Contact: Danny Scheurer, Founder/CEO. E-mail: email@example.com The list that follows, taken from the U.S. War Dogs website, are of items needed by our overseas K-9 teams: For Our Working Dogs K9 cooling vests K9 cooling mats K9 boots K9 doggles Collapsible nylon dog bowls Kong 3â€? rubber ball Large rope chews K9 shampoo & conditioner K9 grooming tools (combs, brushes, etc.) Dog beds or pillows K9 toothpaste & brush K9 eye drops K9 ear wash K9 Advantix flea & tick treatment K9 salves for paws and noses Towels to wipe paws Dog biscuits (1-lb. boxes) K9 jerky (beef, rice, vegetable, etc.) Food Items for Handlers Beef jerky Instant coffee (flavored) Tea Creamers Hot cocoa Powdered Gatorade Instant Foods Flavored oatmeal Grits Ragu Express Kraft Easy Mac Crackers & cheese Little Debbie snack cakes Power bars Dried fruit Microwave popcorn Bubble gum
Blow pops Lollipops Twizzlers Hard candy Instant soup Spices in plastic bottles Hot sauce Fast food packets of ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo Tuna Chips in a container (no bags) Chex mix Fruit cups Applesauce cups Peanut Butter Jelly Canned sardines Smoked oysters Chips & salsa Lemonade mix Ice tea mix Coffee, regular & Single bags Sugar packets (Note: Pork and pork byproducts are not allowed to be shipped to most Middle East combat locations. Please send non-perishable foods.) Health & Hygiene Needs (for Handlers) Razors, shaving cream Deodorant Toothbrushes Toothpaste Dental floss Breath mints Contact lens cleaner Eyeglass lens cleaner Soap Shampoo & conditioner Combs & brushes Lip balm Sun block Chapstick Clorox wipes Baby wipes Pre-moistened hand cleaner Moisturizing eye drops Saline nasal spray Hand cream Skin-So-Soft (Avon) Baby powder Liquid hand cleaner Liquid hand sanitizer
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Nail files Nail clippers Kleenex (travel size) Liquid body wash Eye drops (for dry eyes) Q-Tips Aspirin, Motrin, Tylenol Throat lozenges Cough drops Cooling bandanas Cooling neckscarves Hand warmers Miscellaneous AA & D batteries Phone cards Postage stamps Writing materials Film Paperback books Magazines Disposable cameras Electronic hand-held games Cards Frisbees Yo-Yos All-in-One tool Surge protector Board games Electrical tape Duct tape: green, black, tan Movies, DVD new or used Music CD, new or used Crossword puzzle books Sudoku puzzle books Wintergreen chewing tobacco rolls Cigarettes (Marlboro or lights) Cigars For Female Handlers Feminine hygiene products Hair bands Hair clips Nail polish Nail clippers Nail files Q-Tips Hair spray (pump) Small mirrors Clothing for Handlers Sweat pants Sweat shirts Ankle socks (green, black, white)
War Dog Memorials So ungrateful are the military and the U.S. government when it comes to the dogs that since World War I have saved tens of thousands of lives, that requests to place monuments at military installations (even just the simple planting of a tree in their honor at Arlington National Cemetery) were long ignored or declined. As is usual, however, the U.S. citizenry at large has shown in this instance, as in so many others, that it is more intelligent, more compassionate, and more grateful to those who have sacrificed their lives to protect the rights, privileges, and
freedoms of that same citizenry than the federal government ever has been (recall the Veterans March after WWI and the shabby treatment of the veterans of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, especially the wounded and disabled).
On the following pages are just a few of those, as well as a couple in other countries (especially Canada and the United Kingdom, both of which have historically shown a much greater appreciation of its war dogs than has the United States).
You will find, if you look for them, monuments and memorials to the military working dog in a number of places in the United States. Most of these monuments have been paid for and erected by private citizens without any help from the U.S. government or the U.S. military, even when they are on U.S. military bases.
These are only a few of the memorials and monuments honoring war dogs in the United States and around the world. For a good collection of such memorials and monuments, visit the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association web site:cpwda.com/k9_monuments.htm .
Jet of Iada Memorial Calderstones Park Liverpool, England
New Jersey War Dog Memorial Holmdel, N.J.
Inscription JET OF IADA Dickin Medal & Medallion for Valour. First Rescue Dog Air Raids 2nd World War Sculptor: Alan Herriot. Photo courtesy National Museums Liverpool. 24
The United States War Dogs Memorial was dedicated at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Holmdel, N.J., June 10, 2006. The U.S. War Dogs Memorial, while directly representing the war dog teams of the Vietnam War, honors all our nation's war dogs and their handlers past, present and future. Inscription
DEDICATED TO ALL WAR DOGS AND THEIR HANDLERS PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE YOUR DEEDS AND SACRIFICES WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED
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War Dog Memorial March Air Reserve Base Riverside, Calif.
The memorial to the Dobermans of the 3rd War Dog Platoon, who served with courage and valor during the Battle of Guam. Inscription 25 Marine War Dogs gave their lives liberating Guam in 1944. They served as sentries, messengers, scouts. They explored caves, detected mines and booby traps. SEMPER FIDELIS Given in their memory and on behalf of the surviving men of the 2nd and 3rd marine war dogs platoons, many of whom owe their lives to the bravery and sacrifice of these gallant animals. By William W. Putney DVM C.O. 3rd Marine WarDog Platoon Dedicated this day 21 July 1994. The dogs named on the plaque are: Kurt, Yonnie, Koko, Bunkie, Skipper, Poncho, Tubby Hobo, Nig, Prince, Fritz, Emmy, Missy, Cappy, Duke, Max, Blitz, Arno, Silver, Brockie, Bursch, Pepper, Ludwig, Rickey, and Tam (buried at sea off Asan Point)
One of two identical memorials to the dogs of Vietnam, this one at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif., and another at Ft. Benning, Ga. Sculptor: A. Thomas Schomberg. Sponsors: Jeffrey P. Bennett, Nan Eisley-Bennett, Nature's Recipe Pet Foods, H.J. Heinz Corporation, and the American Public. Photos by Charles Wesley Orton. Used by permission. Inscription They protected us on the field of battle. They watch over our eternal rest. We are grateful. The War Dog Memorial is a Tribute to All Dog and Handler Teams That Served Our Country So Proudly. Bamse Memorial Montrose, Scotland
Photo courtesy Graeme Davidson. Used by permission. May 2011
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WWI ambulance dog. Ambulance dogs were used to find wounded soldiers.
WWI message dog.
WWI dogs “going over the top.”
Alexander the Great’s dog saved him from a war elephant such as this one. Sketches of dogs given into WWI service by French civilians.
Sources & Additional Information Researching a subject such as war dogs can lead to the same information overload the young girl must have felt when she wrote a book report that said, "This book told me more about penguins than I wanted to know." In this case, there is much more information available about war dogs than there is room for in this article. The following web sites will help fill in the gaps in our article, especially accounts of the bravery and service of particular war dogs and their handlers throughout the ages. General and Miscellaneous Information Dogs and National Defense, paper by Anna M. Waller, for the U.S. Army office of the Quartermaster General, 1958. http://www.qmmuseum.lee.army.mil/dogs_and_national_defense.htm#History of Military Use of Dogs. Newer information (2007) about U.S. Army war dogs by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee, Va. http://www.qmfound.com/K-9.htm http://www.vspa.com/k9/hist_pacaf.htm The Dickin Medal. Information at Wikipedia Davis Mastiffs. Information about Molossus-descendant breeds, including a history. http://www.davismastiffs.com/breed.html A history of war dogs on the Sheppard Software website. http://sheppardsoftware.com/content/animals/animals/breeds/dogtopics/dogs_war.htm A history of the German shepherd breed, featuring Jet of Iada, the world's first wartime search-and-rescue dog (WWII). http://jetofiada.tripod.com/Story.htm 26
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Website of the United States War Dogs Association. http://www.uswardogs.org/id16.html A list of famous dogs, including war dogs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dogs#War_dogs A good short history of war dogs on the Olive Drab website. http://www.olive-drab.com/od_wardogs_famous.php An interesting article about poodles in early wars at the Poodle History website (http://www.poodlehistory.org/PARMY.HTM) and in World War II (http://www.poodlehistory.org/PoodlesinWWII.HTM). A Wikipedia article about Pugnaces Britanniae, a dog of the British Isles said to be the forebear of the English Mastiff and supposedly used against the Romans as a war dog. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pugnaces_Britanniae War Dogs in History http://wapedia.mobi/en/War_dog A History of War Dogs http://www.txpuppy.com/war-dogs.shtml Australia's use of dogs from WWI to Vietnam: http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-asstd/dogs_of_war.htm Good links to various websites about war dogs. http://www.mahalo.com/War_Dog A good site honoring war dogs, with a long list of them and some of their heroic deeds. Includes good links to related material. http://www.eagleid.com/veterans/dogs.htm Another good history of war dogs: http://www.digitaldog.com/military.html Samurai dog armor: at http://www.luxurylaunches.com/pets/samurai_dog_armor_even_the_dogs_needed_fancy_protection_then.php and http://www.neatorama.com/2008/02/13/samurai-dog-armor/ Famous War Dogs http://www.olive-drab.com/od_wardogs_famous.php A good history of U.S. war dogs: http://www.pawsandpatriotswalk.com/uploads/War_Dog_History.pdf U.S. Civil War Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette article about Civil War dog Dog Jack. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05222/551360.stm Information about the Pennsylvania's 11th Infantry (Civil War), whose mascot was Sallie, featuring the photography of Jennifer Goellnitz. http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org/2007/05/focus-the-11th-pennsylvania-infantry/. Used by permssion of Jennifer Goellnitz. More about Sallie, the dog of the Pennsylvania 11th Infantry. http://www.nycivilwar.us/sallie.html "Animal Mascots of the Civil War" on the website of the Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site in Alexandria, Va. http://oha.alexandriava.gov/fortward/special-sections/mascots/ World War I A Wikipedia article about Rags, the World War I dog. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rags_(dog) The true story of Rin Tin Tin, including WWI pictures of the first Rin Tin Tin. http://www.rintintin.com/story.htm An article about Stubby, the famous WWI dog, with pictures. http://www.findagrave.com/cgibin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=12236483 World War II In all theaters of World War II--Europe, the Pacific, Asia, North Africa, Italy--war dogs of all Allied forces performed heroic and valorous feats. Some of their exploits can be found at this link: http://www.historyofdogs.com/world_war_ii.shtml. Coast Guard Dogs (and Cats). http://www.uscg.mil/history/uscghist/Mascots_2.asp
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A good first-person memoir of a memorable WWII dog--Tippy--can be found at http://www.uswardogs.org/id173.html. Website of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association, with additional pictures of "Sergeant" Gander. http://www.hkvca.ca/index.htm An article about "Sergeant" Gander being awarded the Dickin Medal. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2000/08/11/herodog000811.html Information about Judy, the Royal Navy ship's dog that was the only dog to be an official Japanese prisoner of war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_(ship's_dog) About Smoky, the little Yorkshire terrier with a big war dog inside him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoky_(dog) World War II and Korea: http://www.uswardogs.org/id25.html Dog Heroes of World War II http://www.historyofdogs.com/world_war_ii.shtml Soviet Anti-Tank Dogs http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=504 A history of Austrialian (ANZAC) war dogs in Vietnam. http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/vietnam/dogs.html Korea World War II and Korea: http://www.uswardogs.org/id25.html
A concise history of the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon and its dogs in Korea, with pictures: http://www.jbmf.us/HST-Korea.asp Vietnam A tribute to war dogs, with an emphasis on Vietnam. Includes the poem, "Their Tails Wagged." http://www.brotherhood-ofwolf.com/html/wardogs.html The story of King, one of the dogs left behind: http://redstarcafe.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/lest-we-forget-the-war-dogs/ The story of Kaiser, the first Marine dog to be killed in action: http://www.uswardogs.org/id16.html New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial: http://www.state.nj.us/military/veterans/journal/fall2006/wardog.html "The Death of a Warrior": An account of how Vietnam war dogs were euthanized. http://www.vspa.com/k9/warrior.htm A good account of the dogs used by Australia in Vietnam: http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/vietnam/dogs.html A very good account of how Vietnam war dogs saved lives and how the U.S. military "thanked" them for it. http://www.scoutdogpages.com/ War Dogs Today Kory Wiens and Cooper: http://gazingattheflag.blogspot.com/2007/07/faces-of-freedom-pfc-kory-wiems-and.html "A War Dog's Faithful Friend" from the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2005/10/19/AR2005101902344.html The story of Fluffy. http://www.uswardogs.org/id46.html Several articles about today's military working dogs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other hot spots. http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/2006/working-dogs/index.html http://www.moveoneinc.com/blog/videos/military-working-dogs-donating-blood-to-save-others/ http://www.moveoneinc.com/blog/middle-east/protective-outfits-for-military-working-dogs/ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/04/war_dog?page=full
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History of War Dogs