Marine Dogs of WWII

USMC war dog platoons trained at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Camp Pendleton, California. Their mission was to locate enemy forces, mines and booby traps. These dogs, mostly Doberman pinschers, guarded soldiers on patrol and alerted them to approaching enemy soldiers. The Marine dogs also transported supplies and messages. Each Marine division had an attached war dog platoon. The following well known pic shows a sleeping Marine on Iwo Jima guarded by his dog:

If you want to learn more i recommend the book “Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII” written by William Putney, who was the commander of the 3rd Marine War Dog Platoon:

The book is a very good read, very detailed and interesting, at times saddening and at times even funny.  In the epilogue, Putney has some interesting thoughts on the discontinuing of the K-9 Corps after the war, proofs once again that people often do not learn from history.  😛  If you like dogs and if you are interested in WWII and the Marine Corps this book is a must of course 😎

“As a young veterinarian, William W. Putney joined the U.S. Marine Corps at the height of WWII.  He commanded the Third Dog Platoon during the battle for Guam and later served as chief veterinarian and commandeing officer of the War Do Training School, where he helped train former pets for war in the Pacific.  After the war, he fought successfully to have USMC war dogs returned to their civilian owners.

Always Faithful is Putney’s celebration of the four-legged soldiers that he both commanded and followed. It is a tale of immense courage, as well as incredible sacrifice. At once a wistful tribute and a stirring adventure, it is one of the great animal stories of all time.”

Pics, pics, pics:

And the last one, a photo of the War Dog Memorial on Guam:

This video explains why and how the War Dog Memorial at the United States Military Cemetery on the island of Guam was created:

On a side note, the rumor that the Japanese in general were afraid of dogs is not true. In fact they had their own dog units. Guess most people regardless of nationality or cultural background would be afraid to face a trained doberman though 😉 “He is man’s best friend… unless you are the enemy”

Marines and dogs still make a great team:

U.S. Marine Lance Cpls. Matthew Scofield (left), 19, from Syracuse, N.Y., and Jarrett Hatley, 21, from Millingport, N.C., a squad automatic weapon gunner and an improvised explosive device detection dog handler with 3rd Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, rest next to Hatley’s dog Blue after clearing compounds with Afghan National Army soldiers during Operation Tageer Shamal (Shifting Winds)

~ by m1pencil on December 14, 2011.

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