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K-9 CORPS ** WAR DOGS REMEMBRANCE PAGE
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The United States began training dogs for combat shortly after Pearl Harbor. A civilian volunteer group called "Dogs for Defense" set up a reception and training center in Fort Royal, Virginia. This group was later to become officially recognized by the military when it was incorporated into the Quartermaster Corps as the unofficially named "K-9 Corps." At the height of World War II more than ten thousand dogs from the United States, plus thousands of Red Cross dogs from many nations were in action and the history of courageous service and unstinting valor by dogs in battle continued through the war in Vietnam.

Before being sent overseas, dogs were stationed in army camps where they received an intensive twelve-week training period, usually as sentry and patrol "soldiers." Out of the thousands who were "signed up" for duty, seven breeds were found to be most suitable - Belgian shepherds, German shepherds, collies, Airedales, Dobermans, giant schnauzers and Rottweilers.

VHDA PATCH
Please click on image to go to "VDHA SITE"


37th Scout Dog Platoon, 25th Infantry Division, Korea in January 1954


K-9 and GI handler in VietNam

Probably the most famous War Dog was Chips. Chips was donated by Edward J. Wren of Pleasantville, New York, he was trained at Front Royal , Virginia in 1942, and was among the first dogs to be shipped overseas.

He was assigned to the 3d Infantry Division and served with that unit in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany. His assignments included sentry duty at the Roosevelt-Churchill conference in Casablanca in January 1943.

Although trained as a sentry dog, Chips was reported on one occasion by members of Company I, 30th Infantry Regiment, to have broken away from his handler and attacked a pillbox containing an enemy machine gun crew in Sicily. He seized one man and forced the entire crew to surrender.

He was also credited by the units to which he was assigned as having been directly responsible for capture of numerous enemy by alerting to their presence. In recognition of his service Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and the Purple Heart, all were later revoked.

In 1993 Disney produced a TV move about Chips called "Chips the War Dog".

Another noted War Dog was "Dick"

Dick, a scout dog donated by Edward Zan of New York City, was cited for working with a Marine Corps patrol in the Pacific Area.

About 4 Feb 44, T/4 Boude with his scout dog, Dick, went out with a Marine reconnaissance patrol of about fifteen men from Co. K. The mission of the patrol was to locate and reconnoiter a trail through a portion of the island adjacent to Cape Gloucester.

The terrain to be covered consisted of heavy jungle, forest, and swamps. Rain fell throughout the period.

On the third day, T/4 Boude and Dick were working as usual as the point of the patrol. Dick alerted, pointing to the right front. Boude stopped and signaled the patrol leader, who came up and received the report. He and Boude went forward about forty yards and saw a Jap bivouac of five huts.

No Japs were in sight. Boude quartered ( "quartering" is a search method) with Dick to determine which of the huts were occupied. Dick alerted to one hut only.

The patrol surrounded this hut, closed in, and found four Japs. They were killed. There were no Marine casualties.

The patrol proceeded on its mission, the remainder of which was uneventful except that some Jap stragglers were encountered. In each instance the dog alerted in time for the Japs to be surprised and captured or killed.

More of our K-9 Heroes

K-9 Sgt. ~ U.S.M.C.

European Theater WWII

Pacific Theater WWII

Read more on the training and usage of these 'brave K-9's'. Click on button to go to QM K-9 Program.

The image below is the patch of "The Combat Trackers Teams" of the Viet Nam War. They were small, highly-trained units usually consisting of four men and a Labrador Retriever. Please click on patch to read more on this very highly trained outfit.

COMBAT TRACKERS

Here are excerpts of a letter from the historian of "The Combat Trackers Team".

Dear Jules,

Our site belongs to the heroes known as "Combat Tracker Teams". These intrepid guys were trained by the British SAS in the beginning, and then according to the British SAS Training at the US School in Fort Gordon, GA. As to their "job" - it was to re-establish contact with the enemy; check an area for enemy activity; and find and retake our men who were captured by the NVA or VC. Unlike the other K-9 types, the Combat Tracker Teams were offensive rather than defensive in posture. They were able to go in and take out the enemy themselves, but due to their value to the Army, were often accompanied by an infantry support group - platoon or company. They were trained to do what the "stories" call "finding and fixing the enemy." If you hear the common stories about the War in Viet Nam, it is always said that we couldn't find the "elusive enemy". Not so, the Combat Tracker Teams could and did - there were perhaps 700 men trained in this specialty during the War.

Thanks for your interest and blessing!

Sue - Webmistress/Site Historian

I thought this was adorable. Two black Lab pups representing Civil War K-9's by: "Phillip Crowe"

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Copyright 1999 Julia Girard - All Rights Reserved
Created: January 10, 1999 ... Last update: August 9, 2000

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