A TRIBUTE TO THE WAR DOGS OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY
Dedicated to the memory of all those who served . . . Italy, France, Russia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and Great Britain all have formal monuments and decorations dedicated to war dogs by the military organizations under which they served. War dogs in other countries have also been awarded medals and other forms of official recognition for serving their countries. Of all of the countries to employ the use and help of dogs during times of war, the United States military stands alone as the only world military to not formally acknowledge the contributions made by its canine soldiers. Due to a policy that has existed since World War II, and despite the protests of armed forces personnel, the United States military refuses to formally recognize the accomplishments of its canine soldiers, stating that such recognition is "demeaning to servicemen."
Nearly 4000 dogs served in Vietnam and saved up to 10,000 American servicemen through their scouting and sentry duties. When withdrawing from Vietnam in 1973, the military classified the dogs as surplus equipment to be left behind during evacuation. Many dogs were left with South Vietnamese allies who were afraid of the dogs and didn't know how to handle them. Many of the dogs were euthanized, and many more perished at the hands of their inexperienced South Vietnamese handlers. Only a handful of Vietnam war dogs made it back to the United States. Many handlers and trainers who worked with these dogs were traumatized by having to leave their faithful companions behind, stating that the dogs saved their lives and often did more work than they did.
Relegated to the status of military equipment rather than personnel, dogs in the U.S. military were drafted for life and were euthanized once they are deemed infirm and incapable of continuing their jobs. The military claimed that these dogs were incapable of being retired to civilian life, despite the fact that police dogs, which receive identical training, are successfully and peacefully retired to loving homes and families upon retirement. As a result of the past indifference shown toward war dogs, many of their accomplishments have been unjustly forgotten, or at best, relegated to the status of "trivia" by war buffs. Many of the records of war dogs and their handlers have been lost or destroyed, and the public remained largely unaware of the contribution by dogs in the armed forces. The military as since changed their policy due to overwhelming protests from both the public and the dog handlers themselves. Military dogs are now returned to the U.S. and are no longer euthanized, but instead are given to their handlers when they are retired. The general public can now also adopt these wonderful heros. They can then live out their remaining years in the peace and comfort of a loving home.
It is hoped through this message that these dogs will be remembered and appreciated for the services they provided for our armed forces and to our country. Please copy and forward this page or address to as many dog lovers as you can so that these canine heroes are not forgotten. I am proud to be a retired veteran and I and those veterans that I have personally contacted don't consider a memorial to these heroic canines as demeaning to veterans. These dogs deserve more... much more. Doug Foote - Webmaster
The Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act (S. 2134) will reclassify MWDs as canine members of the armed forces (instead of equipment) and will institute programs to assure their health and well-being after retirement from serviceall without using federal funds.
Please CLICK HERE to read and sign a petition that will go to your Senator.
War Dog Tribute
The author's spelling is poor, but the sentiment is there.
Not Forgotten are . .
STUBBY, Bull Terrier mix, WWI. The most decorated war dog in U.S. history. As a small, stray bull terrier, he was smuggled aboard a troop ship to France. There he was wounded in no-man's land but recovered and still served in battles at Chateau Thierry, the Marne and the Meuse-Argonne with the men of the 102nd Infantry. One night in February 1918, he roused a sleeping sergeant to warn of a gas attack, giving the soldiers time to don masks and thus saving them. Gen John "Black Jack" Pershing awarded him a special Gold Medal. He was given Life Membership in the American Legion and the Red Cross. He met Presidents Wilson, Harding, and Coolidge. He died of old age in 1926. Stubby is now on display as part of American military history in the Hartford Armory in Connecticut and is called "Sargeant Stubby". CLICK HERE for the complete story of "Stubby."
JACK, Bull Terrier mix, Union army, U.S. Civil War.
GENERAL, Saint Bernard, 14th North Carolina Infantry, Confederate Army, U.S. Civil War.
ROBERT LEE, Troupe Artillery, Confederate Army, U.S. Civil War.
SMOKY, 4 pound Yorkie. WWII's littlest soldier. 8 Battle stars, 12 combat Missions 18 months straight in combat. YANK magazine's "Champion Mascot of the SWPA in 1944" became a WAR DOG on LUZON late Jan.'45 by pulling string with communications wires attached under the only taxi strip leading to the protected area of 40 U.S Photo and Fighter planes saving them from the hazard of daily exposure to bombings if they would have to be moved while a construction detail dug up the taxiway. This three day job was accomplished in two minutes by the seven inch tall Smoky who climbed through 4 inch piles of sand accumilated at each four foot segment. along the 70 feet, 8" in diameter drainage culvert. http://www.smokywardog.com Her stories appear in over 50 books and magazine articles Including Volumes I and II of the History of the Fifth Air Force. Thanks to "Bill" for sending this to the webmaster.
Update on "Smoky" from Bill sent 8/1/12: Thank you for including Smoky in you great pages of Wardogs. Smoky is the U.S.'s WWII unofficial Wardog, as Stubby was WWI's unofficial Wardog. Smoky is hereby claimed as the first Australia Wardog and helping with U.S. and Australia relations. It has been traced that Smoky was born about June '43 within 650 feet of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Headquarters on Queen and Edward streets in the middle of the time frame of MacArthur in Australia. June'42-May'44. The Headquarters is now the MacArthur museum. Smoky actually traveled 80 meters under the taxiway. That is a long way. Her 70 feet through a blind tunnel is long enough for dog that had never seen any tunnel much less a close surrounding tunnell 8" in diameter on a seven inch tall dog with 4" of sifted sand every four feet along the way.
SARGE 1A43, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
PRINCE 55-M-9, German Shepherd mix, Vietnam.
LUKE, black Labrador Retriever, Vietnam
PATCHES, Vietnam, one of the few war dogs given passage back home to the United States.
NEMO, German Shepherd, Wounded in Vietnam. Depsite losing an eye to gunfire, he threw himself on 4 Viet Cong to save his handler in 1966. Both survived. One of the few Vietnam war dogs given passage back home to the United States.
TROY, Alaskan Malamute, served the U.S. Air Force in the early 1980's.
LISLE, German Shepherd-Collie mix, served the U.S. Army in the early 1980's.
THOR, German Shepherd, Desert Storm.
BUNS, German Shepherd, Desert Storm.
SMOKEY, German Shepherd, Desert Storm.
BANDIT, German Shepherd, Desert Storm.
ASTOR, German Shepherd, Desert Storm.
PENNY, Beagle, Desert Storm.
TOSCA, Belgian Malinois, Desert Storm.
NERO 304J, Belgian Malinois, Desert Storm.
CARLO, Belgian Malinois, Desert Storm. During a ceremony in which Carlo's handler received the Bronze Star for his service in Kuwait, his handler removed the medal from his own uniform and pinned it to Carlo's collar, saying, "Carlo worked harder than me. He was always in front of me."
PASJA, Belgian Malinois, euthanized for being too old to continue serving.
NORMAN SADLER, Fox Terrier, fundraiser during WWII.
BOOTS, trick dog, fundraiser during WWII.
RONNIE, German Shepherd, WWII, U.S. Coast Guard Dog Patrol.
BOB, Collie mix, WWII, led more forays into German territory than any other U.S. soldier in WWII, human or canine.
BUSTER, WWII, killed in action.
RICKY, Welsh Shepherd, parachuting scout dog, WWII.
DUKE, Doberman Pinscher, served in the Pacific during WWII.
DUDE, Collie Mix, Sentry Dog, WWII (see photo). Belonged to James M. Coleman in the 82nd Airborne, 505 PIR. Dude enlisted February 19, 1943, and honorably discharged April 25, 1945. A local newspaper article on Dude's return stated, "...he was a little grouchy since his return home!" Thanks to "Geri & Marva" for sending this to the webmaster.
CHIPS, German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix, WWII, Tank guard dog and the most decorated dog in WWII being awarded the Silver Star for Valor and a Purple Heart. When he and his handler was attacked by a concealed machine gun in July 1943 during the invasion of Sicily, he streaked for the Italian machine gun pillbox, capturing 4 Italian soldiers and saving his handler. He suffered powder burns and a scalp wound - proof that the Italians had tried to kill him. That same night he helped capture another 10 Italian soldiers. The U.S. newspapers called him a hero. He was personally thanked for his services by General Eisenhower. Chips' military honors were removed because the the commander of the Order of the Purple Heart determined that decorating a dog was "...demeaning to servicemen."
DUG, Belgian Shepherd, Korean War.
BRUTE, Belgian Shepherd, Korean War.
CASEY, Belgian Shepherd, Korean War.
ROY, Belgian Shepherd, Korean War.
SHERI, Belgian Shepherd, Korean War.
MAC, first canine casualty in Vietnam.
PAL, scout dog, Vietnam.
TROUBLES, scout dog, Vietnam.
VALENTINE 3F38, German Shepherd, died in Vietnam.
BUCK, German Shepherd mix, Vietnam, killed in action.
ROYAL 19X8, German Shepherd, Vietnam, killed in action.
DUKE 383M, German Shepherd, Vietnam, killed in action.
CLACKER, German Shepherd, Vietnam, killed in action.
KREIGER, German Shepherd, Vietnam, killed in action.
PONCHO, German Shepherd, Vietnam, killed in action.
DUKE 645f, German Shepherd, Vietnam, missing in action.
EBONY, German Shepherd, Vietnam, 47th Scout Dog Platoon.
DUFFER, German Shepherd, Vietnam, 212th Sentry Dog Co.
SUZIE, German Shepherd, Vietnam. Her handler gave her his Bronze Star.
BLACKIE 129X, left behind in Vietnam.
HEIDI, scout dog, left behind in Vietnam.
KRISTIANNA, German Shepherd, left behind in Vietnam.
WARRIOR, German Shepherd, left behind in Vietnam.
COMMANDER, German Shepherd, left behind in Vietnam.
WINSTON, German Shepherd, left behind in Vietnam.
TIMBER, German Shepherd, left behind in Vietnam.
CLIPPER, German Shepherd, left behind in Vietnam.
ORION, German Shepherd, left behind in Vietnam.
SMOKEY, German Shepherd, nicknamed "Flop," left behind in Vietnam.
REX, German Shepherd, nicknamed "Punky," Vietnam.
YORK, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
DUKE, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
BOY, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
NASTY, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
ZORRO, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
MAX, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
KOENIG, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
BRIAN-4M4, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
KING, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
KIESER, German Shepherd, Vietnam
HUDSONS KING, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
RUSTY 775E, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
IRKO, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
TIGER, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
INK, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
REBEL, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
CHIEF, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
SMOKIE 6X65, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
SLIM SN# 84M6, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
PUDDLES 807M, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
JOUNK, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
BRUISER, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
ROGER 3M84, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
DUKE 6A47, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
BUDDY A601, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
BIG BOY, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
TARZAN W195, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
BLITZ, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
GARDO 86XO, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
MACK, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
ERIC, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
FRITZ 584F, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
GEISHA A871, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
DOBE 7X49, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
REX 75M3, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
SHEPPY, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
CLYDE, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
CHEROKEE, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
SPOOK 235X, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
BUFFY 87M3, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
KNIGHT, German Shepherd, Vietnam.
MARAT 34A1, German Shepard, Vietnam.
PRINCE 347E, German Shepard, Vietnam (see photo). He served our country his entire adult life and was put to rest on October 2, 1968, at the War Dog Hospital, Long Binh, Vietnam. "I have remembered him every day for the last 39 years and will continue to do so until I join him. Thank you very much for honoring those that the military/politicians in DC forgot so many years ago." - Robert L. Ott, Initial Trainer and Handler (Direct personal message to this webmaster)SSD COOPER, Yellow Lab, & handler PFC KORY WIENS - July 6, 2007, 94th Mine Dog Detachment, Operation Iraqi Freedom. Please click on the link (left) for a complete story and photos of Kory and Cooper .
~and countless other dogs, known and unknown, that served their country. If only the leaders of this nation could serve us so well and so honestly, maybe this world would be a better place.
"The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of [wo]men." - Emile Zola (1840-1902)
"When You Think of Liberty Think of Me" by Kathy Anne Harris
"We Were Solders (Thoughts of a Solder Dog)" by MAKA
Please visit these other great sites about War Dogs:
Puppies' N Dogs: "A Guide to Military & War Dogs"
Alabama War Dogs Memorial Dedication 11/11/08
Olive-Drab.com Military Dogs (Excellent Web Site)
Army Quartermaster Foundation
Vietnam Dog Handler Association
The Vietnam Dog Handler Association, a veterans group, is spearheading the drive to honor America's war dogs with a national memorial. To learn more or to make a donation, please visit their web site shown above.
Photos on this web page are courtesy of the handler's and/or their families and Olive-Drab.com.
Thank you for reading this and remembering our canine heros. - Webmaster
For information or questions about this page contact: webmaster