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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Dogs in Wartime

Sergeant Stubby (July 21, 1916 – March 16, 1926),  was the most decorated dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted by combat. He saved his regiment from mustard gas attacks comforted the wounded and notified his troop of oncoming artillery. Back home, his exploits were front page news in major newspapers.

Sergeant Stubby wearing military uniform and decorations.

After the war, Sergeant Stubby led parades across the country met three presidents and became a university mascot.

Canaan dogs were developed in the late 1930s as guard dog for kibbutzim. They were trained for mine detection in World War II.

Most war dogs trained for World War II were German shepherds or Labrador retrievers (for their superior noses), but the 3rd War Dog Platoon consisted of all Dobermans.

In the battle of Guam, a Doberman named Kurt saved the lives of 250 Marines when he warned them of Japanese troops ahead.

Gunner (born c. August 1941) was a stray Australian male kelpie who was found under a destroyed mess hut at Darwin Air Force base on February 19, 1942, His hearing was so acute that he could warn air force personnel of incoming Japanese planes 20 minutes before they came and before they showed up on radar. Gunner could also differentiate the sounds between allied and enemy planes.

Gunner and his handler Percy Leslie Westcott

Judy (born Shanghai 1936, died Tanzania 1950) was a ship's dog on a Royal Navy vessel before and during World War II. An English pointer, she was known for pointing out the approach of hostile Japanese aircraft long before any of the human crew could hear them.

Later on when the ship was sunk in action, and the crew became Prisoners of War, Judy, as an honorary POW, would do what she could to help out, such as finding food,. She was the only animal to have been officially registered as a Japanese prisoner of war.

Judy was adopted by Frank Williams (1919–2006) and smuggled back to England after liberation. She was awarded the Dickin Medal, "the animals' VC", in May 1946. 

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