USMC052 - Pacific War Dog
During WW2 the Marine Corps trained a small number of ‘War Dogs’ for service in the Pacific. They were first used on Bougainville and Peleliu but saw most active duty on Guam where 60 war dogs and their handlers went ashore and twenty were killed or believed ‘missing-in-action.’ Some other war dogs served as ‘messenger dogs’ while more were used as ‘sentries’ or on the ‘point’ of patrols where their superior animal senses often negated any surprise attack or ambush by the Japanese. Not surprisingly Marine ‘war dogs’ were expert at ‘flushing-out’ hidden enemies and, alas, suffered heavy losses especially on Iwo Jima. ‘War Dogs’ were mostly recruited from civilian owners and screened to eliminate high-strung or vicious animals. Mongrels often proved the best adapted to their military duties followed by German Shepherds. Dobermans however turned out to be ‘too nervous’. Our kneeling Marine handler, complete with Winchester Shotgun and holstered M1911 Colt Automatic gets ready for the next operation together with his brown & black cross breed called ‘Sailor’.