Dogs are great for many reasons. They’re lovable, loyal, funny, comforting, and compassionate – to name a few qualities. Dogs are also brave, which has been viewed as an honorable characteristic by humans for thousands of years. Dogs have been companions of soldiers for a very long time, fighting alongside their human warriors, carrying messages, and standing guard. In honor of K9 Veteran’s day, here is a list of some of the most heroic K9 soldiers to date.
Stubby was a Boston Bull Terrier and is one of the most well-known military canines. He was a stray before he wandered onto an Army training center in New Haven, Connecticut in 1917. After Private First-Class Robert Conroy took Stubby in, he ended up on the front lines of World War I. He was a part of 17 battles, detected gas and alerted soldiers, located injured men on battlefields, learned drills and bugle calls, and how to tell English soldiers apart from Germans. He took part in parades, met three presidents, and received dozens of awards, including a Purple Heart. Stubby died in 1926, but his coat is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. (Source: 1)
Stubby | Purple Heart Foundation
Rags was a stray Terrier in Paris in 1918 before befriending US Army Private James Donovan during World War I. He became a carrier for Donovan’s unit and carried messages from the 26th Infantry Regiment to the supporting 7th Field Artillery Brigade. During the Meuse-Argonne Campaign, a major battle in France in 1918, Rags lost an eye and Donovan was injured by poisonous gas. Donovan later died of his injuries and Rags lived out the remainder of his life in Maryland before dying in 1936. (Source: 1)
Rags with Sergeant George E. Hickman, 16th Infantry, 26th Division| US Army Signal Corps