K-9 Veterans Day

  K-9 Veterans Day

K-9 Veterans Day

We love dogs here at Massif. Our original logo was based on the legendary life-saving breed, the St. Bernard. We appreciate the vital role K9s play in police, customs, and military operations here and abroad. Today is K9 Veterans day. On top of honoring the thousands of dogs on active duty in the military, we would like to look back and celebrate four remarkable dogs that bravely served our country during the First and Second World Wars. 

Stubby

Stubby

Bull Terrier Mix
World War I

Stubbie—also known as Sgt. Stubby—was a stray who showed up at Yale University while the 102nd Infantry, Twenty-sixth Division were training there to deploy to France to fight in World War I. Corporal James Robert Conroy snuck Stubby, who received the name because of his tail, onto a transport ship, and once in France, the bull terrier mix proved an invaluable resource during the brutal trench warfare. It was noted that Stubby was not bothered by the constant fire and shelling in the trenches, and he would run out into the open to comfort wounded soldiers. He alerted the division of incoming gas attacks by barking and attacked and detained a German spy—an action said to have saved the whole division. Stubby enjoyed a great deal of notoriety after the war and met three presidents before dying in April of 1926. The New York Times wrote an impressively long 904-word obituary for him titled, STUBBY OF A.E.F. ENTERS VALHALLA.

Rags

Rags
Terrier Mix
World War I

Private James Donovan adopted Rags in Paris, France, in the summer of 1918. Rags proved an invaluable courier from the front lines to positions further back on the battlefield. Rags would also bark like crazy to let soldiers know of incoming shells coming toward positions in the trenches. His most famous heroism act involved delivering essential information despite being both gassed and bombed while on the mission. Rags retired to New York after serving bravely in the First World War and lived another 18 years after his adoption in France. 

Smoky


Smoky
Yorkshire Terrier
World War II

While Smokie wasn’t much of a fighter, she proved an incredible asset to her owner Corporal William A Wynne. She weighed in at four pounds and was only seven inches tall. American GIs found Smoky in a foxhole in the jungle of New Guinea. Wynne bought her off of one of the soldiers who found her for two Australian pounds. Smoky spent the rest of the war traveling in Wynne’s helmet or walking close by his side. Smoky accompanied Wynne on 12 combat missions and survived 150 air raids on New Guinea. She was a remarkably athletic dog who had a huge variety of tricks, and she parachuted from 30 feet with a parachute made especially for her. She helped lift soldiers’ spirits in hospitals in Australia and Korea with those tricks. Wynne used her training to minimize the number of times soldiers had to work on a crucial air base in Luzon. Engineers needed to get a telegraph wire through a 70-foot long pipe that was 8 inches wide. Smoky ran the wire through and saved many soldiers a lot of time spent out of cover. After the war, Smoky lived a celebrity’s life by showing her tricks on TV shows, which included walking a tightrope blindfolded.

 
Chips
Chips
German Shepherd/Collie/Husky Mix
World War II

Chips was unique from the other dogs on this list because he was trained to go to war. Chips’ owner—Edward J. Wren—donated Chips to the war effort in 1942. Chips trained to be a sentry dog for the 3rd Infantry Division and became the most decorated K9 in WWII during the eight campaigns he fought in five different countries. Chips displayed his most dramatic heroism during the invasion of Sicily. In one day of fighting, he broke from his handler to personally disperse four Italian soldiers manning a machine gun and then proceeded to take ten prisoners. Chips survived the war and was returned to Wren in December of 1945.

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March 13, 2021
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