MEMORIAL DAY, formerly known as Decoration Day, is celebrated in the United States on the last Monday in May to honor those who have died in the nation’s wars. It originated during the American Civil War when citizens placed flowers on the graves of those who had been killed in battle.
WAR DOGS who Served with Distinction!
Stubby, Chips, Rin Tin Tin, N Jiggs
STUBBY – A pit bull named Stubby served during World War I.
Sergeant Stubby (c1916–1926) was an American dog who served as the mascot of America’s 102nd Infantry Regiment during the First World War. Found in Connecticut in 1917 by members of the infantry, Stubby was stowed away on a ship to France by a young soldier called Robert Conroy and went on to participate in four offensives and 17 battles. Although the US military didn’t yet have an official “military working dog” program, Stubby’s instincts and charm made him a firm favorite with the men of the regiment, who taught him how to raise his paw in a salute.
Stubby, a K9 war hero, and most decorated dog of World War I, was awarded the Purple Heart for an injury caused by shrapnel from a German grenade thrown into the trench he was in.
CHIPS – A German shepherd, collie and husky mix, received the Dickin Medal posthumously for his canine bravery during World War II.
CHIPS’ most courageous effort occurred in 1943, as he and his handler, Pvt. John Rowell, were part of the 1943 invasion of Sicily. Chips broke free from Rowell on the beach and ran toward machine gun fire that was pinning down Allied service members. Chips attacked a hidden gun nest, biting German soldiers and pulling a smoking machine gun from its base. According to Rowell’s account of the pre-dawn raid, Chips grabbed one of the Germans by the neck and dragged him from the pill box. His comrades followed with their hands up.
RIN TIN TIN was a military service dog before becoming a movie star.
A soldier rescued Rin Tin Tin and his siblings: It was September 15, 1918, just after the success of the Battle of Saint-Mihiel. Corporal Lee Duncan, an aerial gunner of the U.S. Army Air Service, was sent to the small French village of Flirey to find a suitable airfield for the 135th Aero Squadron. The area had been bombed, and while exploring it, he found a severely damaged kennel in which there was a German shepherd dog dying of hunger with a brood of five puppies. The eyes of her litter were still closed. At the end of the war in 1919, Duncan loaded the dogs onto a ship that brought them all to the USA.
An English bulldog named JIGGS became a mascot for the Marines following his service during World War I.