Good Day Humboldt County!
I admit that I love animals, especially dogs, and when I ran across the following information about a dog called Stubby in WWI…I had to share it.
I remember the “Charlie Dogs” we had in Vietnam back in 1970.They were German Shepard's, and were trained to go down into tunnels fearlessly seeking out the enemy.
Now here’s Stubby’s story:
“America's first war dog, Stubby, served 18 months 'over there' and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, located and comforted the wounded, and even once caught a German spy by the seat of his pants. Back home his exploits were front page news of every major newspaper.
Stubby was a 'Staffordshire Terrier' although no one ever discovered where he hailed from originally. One day he appeared at Yale Field in New Haven, Connecticut; while a group of soldiers were training, stopping to make friends with soldiers as they drilled. One soldier, Corporal Robert Conroy, developed a fondness for the dog. When it became time for the outfit to ship out, Conroy hid Stubby on board the troop ship.
Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. 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 solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the Argonne. Following the retaking of 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.
After returning home, Stubby became a celebrity and marched in, and normally led, many parades across the country. He met Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding. Starting in 1921, he attended Georgetown University Law Center with Conroy, and became the Georgetown Hoyas' team mascot. He would be given the football at halftime and would nudge the ball around the field to the amusement of the fans.
Stubby was made a life member of the American Legion, the Red Cross, and the YMCA. In 1921, the Humane Education Society awarded him a special gold medal for service to his country. It was presented by General John Pershing.
In 1926, Stubby died in Conroy's arms. His remains are featured in The Price of Freedom: Americans at War exhibit at the Smithsonian. Stubby was honored with a brick in the Walk of Honor at the United States World War I monument, Liberty Memorial, in Kansas City at a ceremony held on Armistice Day, November 11, 2006.”
Time for me to walk on down the road….