These canines served their country bravely—entertaining troops in hospitals, alerting soldiers and so much more.
- Posted on Mar 5, 2019
Dogs have participated in wars dating as far back as the 7th century B.C. In nearly every war for the past 2,000 years, dogs have provided companionship and protection for their human comrades. Here are a few recent examples of heroic dog soldiers:
Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier who barely weighed four pounds, was found in a foxhole in New Guinea during World War II. A soldier kept Smoky and when he fell ill, the dog became a regular visitor to the hospital. Smoky lifted the spirits of recovering soldiers and learned tricks to entertain the troops. Her presence inspired other units to bring in dogs for their troops. Smoky continued spreading joy until her retirement in 1955.
This mixed dog was so heroic he received Great Britain’s highest canine military honor, the Dickin Medal. His most famous escapade occurred in 1943, when he ran away from his handler and charged four men who were shooting at them. Later that same day, he alerted soldiers to an approaching ambush, enabling them to capture ten men. His courage earned him enough medals that he became the most decorated war dog who served during World War II.
A soldier smuggled Stubby, a stray pit bull, onto a troopship bound for France. The dog had wandered onto Yale’s campus where a regiment was training and bonded with some of the troops. Shortly after landing in France, Stubby truly became part of the team. His chemical-sensitive nose alerted troops before gas attacks and sniffed out wounded soldiers on the field. Stubby’s escapades made him famous back in the U.S.. and he went on to meet three presidents.
Nemo, a German shepherd who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War became famous for his handler’s life. While on patrol, Nemo sensed the presence of other soldiers nearby and alerted his handler. Nemo attacked the other soldiers, giving his handler time to call for help. Despite taking a bullet, he found the strength to crawl on top of his handler to protect him. Nemo was blinded in one eye, but survived and made it home to the U.S.