The presence of the animals with patrols greatly lessened the danger of ambush and
tended to boost the morale of the soldiers. Personnel who used the dogs stated that they saved many lives and were enthusiastic
over their value. It was noted that where a dog was present on a patrol there was a feeling of security and relief from the
nervous tension caused by fear of an ambush. This enabled the patrols to operate more efficiently and cover greater distances.
The fighting on Morotai in the Netherlands East Indies Illustrates the manner in which
scout dogs could be used to maximum benefit, There the enemy offered at first but slight resistance retreating into the mountainous
jungles of the interior and then sallying forth in small groups to harass the Americans. In patrol operations designed to
uncover Japanese bivouac areas, supply dumps, and lines of communications, the 26th War Dog Platoon proved invaluable. During
the period 17 September --10 November 1944, the dogs made more than one hundred patrols with infantry troops ranging from
a patrol of five men to a rifle company of two hundred or more. The Commander of the 155th Infantry Regiment reported that
the dogs never failed to alert at less than 75 yards and not a single casualty was suffered while a scout dog was being employed.
The ability of the dog to pick up enemy bivouacs, positions, patrols, troop reconnaissance, etc, long before our patrol reached
them frequently enabled our troops to achieve surprise and inflict heavy casualties on the Japanese.
In the war against Germany conditions generally were unfavorable to widespread use
of dogs. Scout dogs in two platoons operating with the Fifth Army in Italy in the autumn of 1944 were reported to have been
extremely gun shy under artillery fire. This was a major weakness of most of the dogs assigned to the early platoons as they
were trained to become accustomed only to the firing of small arms. Later, the training program was adjusted to overcome this
failing, but it was never found particularly advantageous to use the animals in heavy combat. More and more their activities
were restricted to duty with reconnaissance patrols.
Other reports from Italy stated that in open country the scout dogs were so conspicuous
that the enemy discovered them before they could alert. In the mountains, in which so much of the fighting was waged, soft,
deep snow and steep slippery trails prevented the dogs from working satisfactorily. Likewise, the animals were found to be
of little use in heavy rains and deep mud. But on a static front, when the weather was clear with no snow or mud on the ground,
or when there was a firm crust on the snow, scout dogs could be employed advantageously. After the final offensive against
Germany began the rapid movement of troops and the occasionally intense gunfire made the utilization of dogs for scouting
impractical, and they were used instead as sentries.
That scout dogs did perform valuable service in the European Theater as well as in
the Pacific is illustrated by one experience of the 33rd Quartermaster War Dog Platoon while serving with the Sixth South
African Division of the Fifth Army in Italy. On the night of 20 December 1944 a small reconnaissance patrol led by one of
the dogs of the platoon and his
handler, Corporal Robert Bennett, left a forward outpost to investigate a village approximately
a mile inside enemy territory.
A few hundred yards into the enemy territory the dog halted suddenly. Not yet sure
of the scent he advanced a few steps then halted again, this time every hair bristling, his nose pointed straight ahead. The
patrol leader crept cautiously forward alone and not more than 200 yards away discovered a large group of German soldiers
in ambush. With this valuable information the patrol returned to the outpost where they called for mortar fire to wipe out
the enemy position.
Evaluation of War Dog Program
Although the results of much of the war dog program during World War II were negative
these undoubtedly were outweighed by the positive results. The best evidence of this was the fact that the War Department
authorized scout dog platoons in the postwar Military Establishment. For the first time in its history the Army recognized
that dogs possessed sufficient tactical value to justify their inclusion among the regular peacetime units,
Recognition of War Dogs
A number of war dogs trained by the Quartermaster Corps established outstanding records
overseas. At least one member of the "K-9 Corps" was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart by an overseas command.
Both were later revoked as contrary to an Army policy which prohibited official commendation for outstanding performance by
animals. In January 1944, the War Department relaxed restrictions in this regard however and permitted publication of commendations
in individual unit General Orders. Later approval was granted for issuance by The Quartermaster General of citation certificates
to donors of war dogs that had been usually helpful during the war. The first issued were in recognition of the work of eight
dogs comprising the first experimental unit in the Pacific Area.
Some Outstanding Dogs
CHIPS, Brand Number 11A. CHIPS was a
member of a War Dog Detachment, the first to be sent overseas from the United States. He was donated by Edward J. Wren of
Pleasantville, New York. CHIPS was received at the War Dog Training Center, Front Royal, Virginia, early in 1942. He returned
to Front Royal on 20 October 1945, from which point he was discharged on 10 December 1945.
CHIPS was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division at Camp Pickett, Virginia in October
1942 then staging for overseas and served with it for the duration. Leaving this country, serving through the Algerian-Moroccan
Campaigns, his assignments included sentry duty at the Roosevelt-Churchill Conference
in January 1943.
He went with his Division to Sicily arriving there on 10 July 1943. Following the Sicilian
campaign he moved with his unit to Italy, arriving there on 18 September 1943 and served through the Naples-Foggia and the
Rome-Arno Campaigns; he moved with his unit to Southern France, arriving there on 15 August 1944 and served through the French,
Rhineland and Central European Campaigns.
During these campaigns he served with the following units of the 3rd Division: Company
I. 30th Infantry; Headquarters, and Military Police.
Although trained for and serving on sentry duty while in Sicily he was reported by
Company I as having attacked an enemy machine gun crew in a pillbox after he had broken away from his handler, seizing one
man and forcing the entire crew of four to surrender. Also he was credited by his units with having been directly responsible
for the capture of numerous enemy soldiers by alerting to their presence.
In recognition of his service, the Theater Forces awarded him the Silver Star and the
Purple Heart, both later revoked as contrary to Army policy. His Unit unofficially awarded him the Theater Ribbon with the
arrowhead for an assault landing and a Battle Star-for each of the eight campaigns in which he participated.
TEDDY, Brand Number T115, In October
1943 the War Dog Unit of which TEDDY was a member was reassigned to a Marine Raider Regiment of the Sixth Army. Traveling
by plane, the dog and his handler went to another staging area. In December, the Raiders moved to Finschafen to take part
in the Cape Gloucester operations in the South Pacific. The entire dog detachment went ashore with the first wave and figured
prominently in the operations. Until March, the dog was used continuously for patrol and messenger work. Lines were gradually
extended to make contact with the Army Forces near Gilnit, In these weeks, there was not a single instance in which any of
the dogs failed to accomplish a mission, nor was there an instance when a patrol led by a war dog was fired upon first or
suffered casualties. In contrast, dogless patrols suffered casualties usually as a result of ambush or surprise attacks. During
this period, the patrols led by dogs were officially credited with 180 Japanese casualties and 20 prisoners.
SANDY, Brand Number B11. SANDY was a
natural selection for messenger training. Handled by Sgt. Guy C. Sheldon and Sgt. Menzo J, Brown, yeoman service was contributed
throughout the Cape Gloucester Campaign. His outstanding performance was
carried out during the advance on the airstrips. Near Turzi Point, the advance units
were held up by Japanese pillboxes and fortifications and aid of the artillery could not be sought by the walkie-talkies which
were temporarily out of commission. A message was dispatched by Sgt. Brown back to the Battalion Command Post through SANDY.
Although the dog had not seen Sgt. Sheldon since the night before and he was then in a new location SANDY unerringly found
his way to Sgt. Sheldon's foxhole. The dog had to travel through the tall Kunai grass, swim a river, and for part of the distance
make his way beneath a curtain of mortar and tank fire and finally jump a barbed wire fence that protected Sgt. Sheldon. As
a result of this message artillery fire was directed on the Japanese defenses pulverizing them and permitting the American
forward units to resume their advances.
DICK, Brand Number T127. DICK and his
handler, Sgt. Herman H. Boude, patrolled 48 days out of 53 and scarcely a day passed without his alerting to Japanese in numbers
varying from single stragglers attempting to rejoin their units to entire platoons. In no instance did DICK fail to warn of
the enemy in time to allow him to be either killed or captured in a surprise attack. Once while on patrol, the scouting party
was warned of the enemy's presence by DICK'S alerting; by quartering the patrol discovered a camouflaged bivouac of five huts
indicating it to be the only inhabited one. This proved to be the case when a surprise attack was made in which four Japanese
were annihilated without a single casualty.
BOBO, Brand Number Z303. BOBO and his
handler, Sgt. John Coleman, led a reconnaissance patrol safely into German-held territory. Their mission accomplished the
patrol started back to their own lines. Scarcely a hundred yards from the outpost, BOBO alerted sharply and definitely straight
ahead then to the left, then to the right. A German patrol was in the act of surrounding the outpost so a scout was sent on
to warn the man who were holding it. The enemy was dispersed, and the patrol proceeded back to Headquarters.
SILVER, Brand Number A595. SILVER was
killed in action 17 February 1945 in a foxhole by enemy hard grenade. She was responsible for preventing serious casualties
by alerting prior to a bayonet attack.
PEEFKE, Brand Number T133. PEEFKE was
killed in action by a direct hit from an enemy hand grenade on 20 March 1945. Members of the patrol on which he was killed
commended him highly. Prior to his death on this patrol he discovered a wire and alerted his handler who, upon examination
of the wire, found three enemy "S" mines, which were then neutralized, These mines, had they not been discovered, could have
caused grave damage to the patrol. PEEFKE performed faithful service throughout his tour of duty.
PAL, Brand Number 8M2. PAL was killed
by enemy action on the 23rd of April 1945 at San Benedetto Po, Italy. In blocking a shrapnel charge with his own body PAL
prevented the serious wounding of several men. His body absorbed the shrapnel destined to wipe out the advance patrol.
BUSTER, Brand Number A684. While operating
an a messenger dog with "F" Company 155th Infantry Regiment on Morotai Island, BUSTER was directly responsible for saving
the lives of an entire patrol consisting of seventeen men.
His determined effort carried him through heavy enemy machine gun and mortar fire on
a total of two trips, bringing instructions for the patrol to hold its position at all costs. He was thus responsible for
reinforcements which accounted for the destruction of an entire enemy force.
BRUCE, Brand Number T178, During a banzai
attack occurring in Northern Luzon at 0315 hours on 17 February 1945 against "E" Company 27th Infantry. BRUCE without command
voluntarily attacked three Japanese infantrymen advancing with fixed bayonets towards a foxhole containing two wounded American
soldiers. By his fearless action the lives of the two wounded men were saved; by discouraging the advance of these particular
Japanese, more casualties were averted.
WOLF, Brand Number T121. WOLF was committed
to combat with the 27th Infantry battling through the Corabello Mountain in Northern Luzon toward the strategic Balate Pass.
While leading an Infantry Patrol he scented the presence of the enemy entrenched on a hillside about 150 yards distant in
time to allow the members of the patrol to take favorable cover and resist the attack that was imminent. During the ensuing
fire-fight, WOLF received shrapnel wounds. Showing no sign of pain and determined at all costs to remain silent, his wound
was not detected by surrounding personnel. Greatly outnumbered and partly encircled by the enemy the patrol decided to withdraw
to insure the delivery to Headquarters of the vital information they had gained. WOLF on the point of the patrol succeeded
on three different occasions in alerting the patrol, enabling them to bypass the enemy and return to their camp without a
single casualty. In spite of expert medical care and an emergency operation the 25th Division's casualty list included among
others--WOLF, US Army War Dog, T121, Died of Wounds - Wounded in action.
DUCHESS, Brand Number 7H74, DUCHESS
was a member of the 39th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon. On 30 April 1945 DUCHESS handled by Sgt. Knight, on patrol with the 3rd
Battalion, 123rd Infantry, was used in the inspection of enemy cave installations on Luzon in the Philippines.
On approaching a large one, the dog was permitted to go to the entrance. At this point she gave a strong alert. Grenades were
thrown into the cave, after which
the patrol moved on. Investigation the following day revealed 33 Japanese dead in the
On another occasion DUCHESS and Sgt. Knight were on patrol with the same unit. DUCHESS
alerted on some Filipino huts, 800 yards away. Investigation disclosed the presence of enemy. Mortar and machine-gun fire
were used to kill 9 Japanese.
BLACKIE, Brand Number H24. On 12 and
13 April 1945 while on a two-day-patrol with Company F, 123rd Infantry, BLACKIE, handled by Corporal Technician Kido, was
used alternately on that point. The patrol successfully completed its mission without detection by the enemy, locating an
area where 500 Japanese were bivouacked. As patrol was on reconnaissance, all contact with the enemy was avoided.
Returning War Dogs To Civilian Life
When World War II hostilities ended, the Quartermaster Corps put into operation a well-conceived
plan for return of war dogs to their civilian owners. No dog it was announced, would be considered ready for release by the
Army until it had undergone a complete "demilitarizing" process.
When a dog was considered surplus to Army needs it was immediately transferred to a
reprocessing section for rehabilitation to civilian life. Its past record was carefully studied for such a study often revealed
how best to approach it, Handlers made a point of convincing the dog that every human being is a friend. If he was inclined
to romp, they played with him. If he were suspicious they talked to him gently. A dog that is not under control is difficult
to handle. For this reason, every time a dog was taken from his kennel during the demilitarizing process he was made to "heel"
properly and respond to commands to "sit" to "down" and to "stay". Before a dog was returned he was thoroughly grounded in
this type of obedience training.
An accurate record was kept of the daily progress of each dog and when reaction was
favorable over a period of time he was subjected to different tests. While working in a group of other dogs for example, he
might be subjected to gunfire, have people ride around him on bicycles or be placed in an area where there was a great deal
of noise. Passing such tests as these indicated a readiness for return to civilian life.
More freedom was given the dog as each test was passed successfully. He was permitted
to run and frolic at the end of a 30 foot exercise leash and subjected to handling by men in civilian clothes. As one of the
final tests, an element of surprise was introduced. The dog was walked on leash by a secluded building, As he passed the building
an aggravator jumped at him from behind, waving a sack and shouting. If the dog showed no unusual alarm and readily tried
to make friends with the aggravator it was felt that he had earned the right to return to civilian life. Before being shipped,
every canine was given a final check by a veterinary officer.
Under the policy through which dogs were secured for the Army, they were first offered
to their original owners. If the original owner indicated that he wanted the dog, the animal was shipped at Government expense.
If the owner did not ask for return of the dog, it was offered for sale. Dogs for Defense conducted investigations to assure
that prospective purchasers could provide the ex-war dogs with proper homes.
While the Army could not absolutely guarantee the future behavior of any returned dog
nor assume any responsibility once it had left Army jurisdiction there were very few complaints as to the behavior of the
3,000 odd dogs discharged from the service. By early 1947, the return of all borrowed dogs had been completed.
The following excerpts from unsolicited letters received by The Quartermaster General
are reassuring as to the success of rehabilitation:
"DOLF arrived yesterday afternoon in excellent condition and survived the long trip
remarkably well. He knew each and all of us immediately and within a very short time had taken up where he left off two years
ago. He is beautifully trained and his behavior is remarkable. He had not in the least forgotten many of the things we had
taught him." Submitted by John B. Osborn, New York.
"Thank you for your good care and training of our dog MIKE. He knew all of us and still
remembers the tricks he knew before he entered the service, My son, Edward, an Army officer, and all of us are proud of his
honorable discharge and his deportment." - Submitted by Mrs, Edward Jo Conally, Utah.
"I want to thank you for the wonderful dog you returned to use SMARTY is a perfect
example of health and alertness and she was so eager to show us her obedience commands that we understood them even before
the instructions arrived two days late. It was a genuine sacrifice for Herbie to donate his dog to the armed forces, but now
he is receiving his reward by receiving a dog more beautiful and better trained than he ever thought possible." - Submitted
by Mrs, Herbert E. Allen, Washington.
"QUEENE seems to be exceedingly happy to be home. She certainly shows the effects of
wonderful care and splendid training, and proudly, exhibits her show-off traits. Our son (in the submarine service) is very
proud of QUEENE having been in the Service." - Submitted by Mrs. C. A. Pryor, California.
"At 6:45 on October 1955 our German Shepherd DANNIE passed away due to old age. DANNIE
served in the K-9 Corps
from June 1943 until April 1945, when he was honorably discharged. We could write a
story about the faithful, loving service DANNIE has given our home and children since he came home to use It is almost like
losing a child. He was bright and on guard until the very last although partially paralyzed for some time. He lay watching
my daughter's bedroom window as he went into his last sleep humming as though to comfort us. His master, Captain Carl Johnson
Air Force is now stationed in Arizona (my three sons are all officers). Carl and DANNIE enlisted about the same time because
DANNIE was lonesome for his master.
"We can't thank the K-9 Corps enough for their good care of DANNIE and the valuable
training they gave him."
Submitted by Mrs. Henry Johnson, Cardiff, R#3, Lafayette, Now York,
Army Dog Association
In view of the difficulty experienced in World War II in procuring suitable dogs for
the military service and in order to insure an adequate supply of superior dogs of the German Shepherd breed the Army Dog
Association, Inc. was organized. It was composed of leading breeders and fanciers of the breed who agreed to accept breeding
stock from the Government and arrange for its transfer to responsible individuals or agents interested in breeding dogs for
The individual or agent selected would agree to purchase the dog from the Army Dog
Association for the sum of $1.00, subject to such rules and regulations as might be prescribed by that organization. The Government
would reserve the right to select from each of the first three litters of the parent bitches and from each of the first three
litter of each bitch produced by any of the parent bitches or their female offspring, one male puppy- between the ages of
1 year and 15 months.
To implement this plan, a recognized authority on German Shepherds, Sergeant William
Hankinson, then a member of our Armed Forces was ordered to proceed to the European Theatre in the fall of 1945 to inspect
and purchase foundation breeding stock, since there was a dearth of outstanding stock in this country. As a result of his
trip, the United States Army imported eight German Shepherds, which included seven bitches and one dog. They were turned over
to the Army Dog Association to be used in the breeding program as outlined above. In the ensuing five years, dog requirements
were particularly non-existent. Furthermore, the Quartermaster Corps had, during that time lost all of its training installations
and the responsibility for training. Consequently, there was no need to call on the agents sponsored by the Army Dog Association
for military replacements or requirements. Since there was no immediate demand and no assurance as to whether the Government
would again be in the market, the program bogged down, agents became understandingly disinterested, and the Army Dog Association
was eventually dissolved.
Transfer of Training Responsibility
With the discontinuance of the Quartermaster Remount Depot System in 1948 the training
responsibility was transferred from the Quartermaster Corps to the Army Field Forces and the one remaining dog training center,
located at Front Royal, Virginia, was relocated at Fort Riley, Kansas. However, the Quartermaster Corps retained the mission
of dog procurement. From that time until the Korean emergency developed, very little was accomplished relative to dog training
except in Europe where, since the early days of occupation many dogs had been utilized for guarding supply points and aircraft
and for other types of security. Responsibility for training in Europe was, by direction of the Commanding General, European
Forces, continued under the jurisdiction of the Quartermaster Corps. Late in 1951 the task of dog training in CONUS was again
transferred - this time to the Military Police Corps, and early in 1952 the training center was moved from Fort Riley, Kansas
to Camp Carson, Colorado, later designated Fort Carson.
Because of the difficulties experienced in fully coordinating the programming, procurement,
processing, conditioning, training and issue of war dogs, a Staff Study pertaining to possible return of responsibility for
war dog training to the Quartermaster Corps was submitted to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4 on 28 August 1953. The study
included a recommendation that the Office of The Quartermaster General be charged with war dog training for the Department
of the Army and that a War Dog Reception and Training Center be activated as a Class II installation at Fort Lee, Virginia;
concurrent with its opening, the Amy Dog Training Center at Fort Carson, Colorado, would be phased out, A directive dated
may 1954 was received stating that - "The Dog Training Center will remain a Class I Activity at Fort Carson - The Chief, Army
Field Forces will retain and discharge the responsibility for supervision of war dog training - Under provisions of AR 880-5
The Quartermaster General will continue to be charged with the responsibility for procurement of dogs." Thus the responsibility
for training passed from the jurisdiction of the Military Police Corps to the Chief, Army Field Forces, Fort Monroe, Virginia.
Post-World War II Dog Program
The World War II method of acquiring dogs on a loan basis from patriotic citizens,
having proved to be impractical and uneconomical, due to the large percentage of animals that had to be returned when they
were found unsuitable, it was decided in 1946 that dogs would be purchased thereby becoming the sole property of the Government
as had been the practice with other types of animals for many years.
Standardization of One Breed
In World War II almost every breed of dog, large and small, was procured by "Dogs for
Defense" for the military service. During the war years the dogs were utilized in every theater of operations, which
encompassed every type of climate from Greenland's perpetual ice to New Guinea's steaming
jungles. It was soon determined that many breeds had shortcomings which limited their serviceability, However, at that time,
"beggars could not be choosers" and the animals received were utilized to the best of their ability.
A few examples of the shortcomings were that sporting breeds were unsatisfactory for
scouting patrols because it was too difficult to overcome the game instinct which had been bred into them for generations;
collies on the whole did not have the stamina to withstand the rigors of combat, especially in tropical climates; and Doberman
Pinschers were "temperate" climate dogs which could not be used satisfactorily either in the tropics or in the Arctic. It
was decided to select the one breed which would be best for training and service throughout the world. This breed had to meet
three basic requirements; (1) have the ability to perform all types of service demanded by the armed forces; (2) be suitable
for duty in all climates and (3) be bred extensively enough to meet all possible demands. The breed selected was the German
The German Shepherd fulfils the requirements because of the natural uniformity within
the breed and ready availability of supply. These dogs also exhibit suitable temperament for the various types of work that
might be demanded, good working ability adequate size and ruggedness. Physically, the German Shepherd is ideally adapted to
all climates. This breed has a short dense undercoat which grows profusely in a cold climate and is shed readily in a warm
one. The outer coat is harsh and provides adequate protection against insect bites and sunburn.
The choice has proven to be a very satisfactory one not only for routine duty within
the United States and Germany but also in combat in Korea. In every instance the dog's performance has been superior.
The required physical specifications prior to presenting the dog for purchase cover
various points in addition to general physical and mental soundness. He should be a sturdy compact working type, revealing
evidence of power, endurance and energy. The dog must have good bones, well-proportioned body, deep chest with ribs well sprung,
strong pasterns and muscular feet with hard wall-cushioned paws. Front feet should not toe inward or outward, Hind quarters
should have moderate angulation, and, as viewed from the rear, hind legs should be straight. The temperament of the dog should
show general alertness, steadiness, vigor and responsiveness. He should not be timid, nervous, gun or noise-shy. In addition,
the dog must be from nine months to three years old, must be between 22 inches and 28 inches high at the shoulder and must
weigh between 60 and 90 pounds, The dog may be either male or female, but a female must have been spayed 60 days prior to
being offered for purchase.
For economic and practical reasons, individual inspection of each dog offered cannot
be accomplished. In lieu thereof, a two-part questionnaire is furnished each person who offers a dog or dogs for the military
service. Part I of the questionnaire is filled out by the owner and serves to provide
a history of the dog i.e., name age sex color, whether or not registered height and
weight. It also furnishes a description of the dog's temperament, indicating whether it is timid, vicious, gun shy, friendly,
and whether it has any other unusual traits. The owner also encloses snapshots of three different views of the dog to be purchased,
and the price he is willing to accept. Part II of the questionnaire is made out by a licensed veterinarian at the owner's
expenses. It provides a complete physical description and history where possible, of the dog's vaccinations, illnesses and
abnormalities. The veterinarian also runs a test for heartworm. Upon evaluation of the questionnaire by the Purchasing Officer
determination is made as to whether or not the dog should be accepted on a 10 to 15 days trial basis after he is shipped to
the training center at Government expense in a Government crate provided for this purpose. During this period, determination
is made as to the dog's fitness, physically and temperamentally, for military training. If not suitable, the dog is returned
to the owner at Government expense. If accepted, procurement is accomplished and the dog begins his training schedule.
When in the market for a large number of dogs, a publicity campaign is launched in
leading newspapers and periodicals throughout the country giving general specifications and specific instructions for offering
Section II - The Korean Conflict
Use of Dogs in Combat
Before the outbreak of hostilities in Korea the Army was using dogs in Seoul for sentry
duty around warehouses and storage areas. More than one hundred dogs were stationed there and their work proved extremely
beneficial in reducing theft and pilferage.
When fighting began in Korea, there was one Infantry scout dog platoon in training
at Fort Riley Kansas which was sent over there to assist combat patrols. This Platoon, the 26th saw almost continuous service
and opened the eyes of many regimental commanders to the potential value of dogs attached to patrols. One regimental commander
remarked that after using a dog for a while patrols did not want to go out without them. This one platoon was not capable
of spreading itself thin enough to fill the demand.
The 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon was cited in General Orders, Department of the
Army, No. 21, 27 February- 1953, as follows:
"The 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon is cited for exceptionally meritorious conduct
in the performance of outstanding services in direct support of combat operations in Korea during the period 12 June 1951
to 15 January 1953. The 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon, during its service in Korea, has participated in hundreds of combat
patrol actions by supporting the patrols with the
services of an expert scout dog handler and his highly trained scout dog. The members
of the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon while participating in these patrols were invariably located at the most vulnerable
points in the patrol formation in order that the special aptitudes of the trained dog could be most advantageously used to
give warning of the presence of the enemy, The unbroken record of faithful and gallant performance of these missions by the
individual handlers and their dogs in support of patrols has saved countless casualties through giving early warning to the
friendly patrol of threats to its security. The full value of the services rendered by the 26th Infantry
Scout Dog Platoon is nowhere better understood and more highly recognized than among
the members of the patrols with whom the scout dog handlers and their dogs have operated, When not committed to action, the
soldiers of the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon have given unfailing efforts to further developing
their personal skills as well as that of their dogs in order to better perform the
rigorous duties which are required of them while on patrol. Throughout its long period of difficult and hazardous service,
the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon has never failed those with whom it served; has consistently shown outstanding devotion
to duty in the performance of all of its other duties, and has won on the battlefield a degree of respect and admiration which
has established it as a unit of the greatest importance to the Eighth United States Army. The outstanding performance of duty
proficiency, and esprit de corps invariably exhibited by the personnel of this platoon reflect the greatest credit on themselves
and the military service of the United States." - (General Orders 114, Headquarters, Eighth United States Army, Korea, 18
As a result of the outstanding service rendered by the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon,
recommendation was made and approved for the activation of a scout dog platoon to be attached to each Division in Korea, but
the war reached the "peace talks" stage before five additional platoons were trained and shipped to Korea.
Sentry dogs were used by the Army and the Air Force for guarding bases and supply points
in Korea, Japan and Okinawa. The psychological effect of the dogs' presence is difficult to estimate yet the fact remains
that innumerable individuals have reported that when a dog and handle were assigned to an area pilferage stopped. When the
Conflict was over, scout dogs not assigned to Infantry Divisions were retrained for sentry works.
War Dog Receiving and Holding Station, Cameron Station, Va.
On 11 July 1951 at the outset of Korean hostilities a War Dog Receiving and Holding
Station was activated at Cameron Station Alexandria, Virginia, where newly purchased dogs were processed and conditioned before
they were shipped to the Amy Dog Training Center, Fort Carson Colorado. This Station was placed in a stand-by status on 4
after peace negotiations had ended the fighting.
Section III - Post-Korean Program
Return of Scout Dog YORK - Canine Veteran of Korean Conflict
Authority was granted on 8 May 1957 for the return of the scout dog YORK Brand Number
O11X, from the Far East. YORK was decorated for outstanding service as a scout dog while serving with the 26th Infantry Scout
Dog Platoon in Korea. He was given a Distinguished Service Award by General Samuel T. Williams for performing 148 combat Patrols
between 12 June 1951 and 26 June 1953. He was accompanied on his return trip to the United States by a returning enlisted
man and delivered to the Army Dog Training Center, Fort Carson Colorado to be used as a member of a demonstration team. It
was felt that YORK would help improve public relations by arousing more interest in the recruitment and procurement of dogs
for military purposes. When the Army Dog Training Center, Fort Carson was deactivated on I July 1957 YORK was transferred
to Fort Benning, Georgia, to be attached to the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon at that Station.
Deactivation of the Army Dog Training Center, Fort-Carson, Colo.
A study was made by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff in the latter part of 1956
to determine the cost of operating the Army Dog Training Center, Fort Carson Colo. and whether, in view of limited dog requirements
the activity should continue. The Center was then being used largely for the training of Air Force dogs on a prorated cost
On 29 December 1956, the following decisions were announced:
That the Army Dog Training Center will be discontinued prior to 30 June 1957.
That no funds or personnel will be programmed for this activity in Fiscal 1958.
That the Air Force be given an opportunity to take over and run the dog training operation.
The Air Force decided not to conduct training operations at Fort Carson and the Center
was closed as directed on I July 1957.
Public Support of War Dog Program
Erroneous publicity indicated that the "K-9 Corps" would be disbanded simultaneously
with the closing of the Training Center. As a deluge of protests from individuals and organizations was received.
The following letters addressed directly to the Secretary of Defense are indicative
of the feelings expressed:
"I strongly request you to reconsider demobilizing the K-9 Corps. These dogs performed
a very useful service during the war as I can personally attest to, I owe my life to one of these dogs. While fighting in
Korea I was attacked and one of these dogs took over my attacker and I was able to recover my footing and escaped. Please
reconsider." - Submitted by Frank Conanno, 1470 Third Street, West Babylon, N. Y.
"I have read in various periodicals your intention of disbanding the K-9 Corps. I am
taking this means of voicing my objection to such a move.
"As a Gold Star Mother, I believe I understand the meaning of losing some one close.
Various reports coming back from the battlefields in World War II and the Korean Conflict have given detailed descriptions
of how these wonderful dogs saved many American lives.
"Please before you abandon this work; attempt to economize somewhere else and keep
these wonderful animals on the job." Submitted by Mrs. H. Distel, 686 W. 18th Street, Garden., Calif.
"I am in the Army and was put into the scout dog platoon and trained dogs for nine
months in the States and have had the same dog all the times. This dog STAR has saved my life and about twelve other men's
lives. I would like to know if there is any way that I could have him discharged the same time that I am. I would gladly pay
the Government for the dog and take all the responsibility for him.
"I would appreciate it very much if you could help me in any way so I could take him
home with me. This dog is not dangerous and would be suitable to civilian life." - Submitted by Cpl, Max Meyers, 26th Infantry,
Scout Dog Platoon, APO #60 San Francisco, Calif.
"I am writing to protest against the effort to dispose of the Army's dogs. Dogs are
indispensable in our Army. I know many other persons who feel this way.
"A dog has nature's own radar; his nose. Ha can notice things even in the dark. He
is courageous, noble, trustworthy and honest. His ears are keener than human ears. He is a swift messenger, There isn't a
thing on this old Mother Earth that is so faithful, so loyal, so willing to give his life for his master than a dog. "Disposing
of the dogs would be the greatest mistake that the Army could make." - Submitted by Wendy Bogue, Eau Claire, Wis..
Current Dog Procurement Activities
The Army Dog Procurement Program resulting from the Korean Conflict
came to an abrupt standstill as soon as hostilities ceased. Most of the dogs on hand
in the Far East Command and those enroute to that area were scout dogs. When they were put on sentry duty to guard supplies
and equipment in an effort to reduce pilferage, a surplus of dogs was produced in some areas which took care of normal replacement
procurement for a full year.
Infantry Scout Dog Platoons in CONUS
Infantry Scout Dog Platoon were assigned to installations in CONUS as follows:
25th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon, Fort Ord, California
26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon, Fort Benning, Georgia
44th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon, Fort Benning, Georgia
48th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon, Fort Riley., Kansas
49th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon, Fort Lewis, Washington
On 22 March 1957, a pilot program for using sentry dogs to guard NIKE sites throughout
the country was approved, Ten dogs and their handlers, men attached to the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Command, comprised the
initial program. If at the expiration of a suitable trial period it is determined that the program is a success additional
dogs at the rate of 30 per month until about 300 dogs have been procured will be used to guard other sites*.
In line with the Department of Defense austerity program in the fall of 1957; the 25th
Infantry Scout Dog Platoon was deactivated on 23 September 1957. The 44th, 48th and 49th Infantry Scout Dog Platoons were
deactivated on 1 November 1957. This again left the 26th as the only remaining Infantry- Scout Dog Platoon in CONUS, It is
being retained as a training unit at Fort Benning., Georgia.
Dogs Used in Overseas Commands
In the Army as a whole, there remains a small number of sledge dogs on duty in Alaska;
4 sentry dogs in the Caribbean Command, used to protect over 43,000 circuit miles of subterranean cable valued at approximately
$2 ,000 000; and approximately 250 in the Far East Command and 500 in EUCOM (European Command) as of 1 November 1957.
Procurement of Dogs for Department of the Air Force
During the latter part of Fiscal Year 1955, representatives of the Strategic Air Command,
Department of the Air Force, consulted representatives of the Office of The Quartermaster General relative to large-scale
procurement of sentry dogs to relieve the manpower shortage,
by guarding air fields, materiel and equipment. Arrangements were made for such procurement
by the Quartermaster Corps and for delivery of procured dogs to the Army Dog Training Center, Fort Carson, Colorado, for training,
During Fiscal Year 1956, 593 dogs were procured and trained for the Department of the
Air Force. A similar procurement program was begun in Fiscal Year 1957, but mid-way through the program the decision to close
the Army Dog Training Center at Fort Carson was made and all procurement suspended pending establishment of suitable training
facilities by the Department of Air Force. During the fiscal year, prior to suspension of procurement, 382 dogs had been purchased
and trained for the Air Forces.
Present Status of Army Dog Program
Army scout dog training is currently being conducted in CONUS by using units. A few
sentry dog replacements are also being trained by the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon at Fort Benning, Georgia. As long as
the Quartermaster Corps is responsible for the procurement of animals for military purposes it will be necessary to maintain
a minimum staff in the Office of The Quartermaster General to provide the unique skills required to administer procurement
programs, and to form a nucleus organization capable of expansion in the event of an emergency. Current staffing is one full-time
civilian employee and one Animal Purchase Board to function as needed.