Thursday, May 3, 2007

Sergeant Stubby

On seeing a photo of Sergeant Stubby, I immediately thought of Walter the Farting Dog. While Walter may have problems passing too much gas, Stubby - a WWI war dog - had problems being poisoned by gas. He was also shot at, granaded and bombed numerous times in his 18 months of trench warfare.

The bizarre and fantastic story of Sergeant Stubby is worthy of telling. Sergeant Stubby was a war dog in the 102nd Infantry, 26th Division during World War I. According to Wikipedia:

"He entered combat on February 5, 1918 at Chemin des Dames, north of Soissons, and was under constant fire, day and night for over a month. In April 1918, during a raid to take Schieprey, Stubby was wounded in the foreleg by the retreating Germans throwing hand grenades. He was sent to the rear for convalescence, and as he had done on the front was able to improve morale. When he recovered from his wounds, Stubby returned to the trenches. After being gassed himself, Stubby learned to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, located wounded soldiers in no man's land, and — since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans could — became very adept at letting his unit know when to duck for cover. He was even solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the Argonne. Following the retaking Château-Thierry by the US, the thankful women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned his many medals. There is also a legend that while in Paris with Corporal Conroy, Stubby saved a young girl from being hit by a car. At the end of the war, Conroy smuggled Stubby home."
A photo of a taxidermied Stubby can be seen on the Smithsonian's website The Price of Freedom: Americans at War. More photos and a description of his service can be found at Governor's Foot Guard.

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