Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Sergeant Stubby was a stray, homeless mutt who served with the 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division, and has been called the most decorated war dog of WWI. He participated in four offensives and 17 battles. At Chemin des Dames, in Feb. 1918, he and his unit were under constant fire, day and night for over a month. The sergeant was wounded multiple times by grenades and injured by mustard gas. After recovering from the gas attack, he returned to his unit with a specially designed gas mask. Whether at the front or in the rear convalescing from his wounds, he was always able to improve morale. His exploits were front page news of every major newspaper in the U.S.    

From a 1920 article about Stubby

Stubby provided early warning of poison gas attacks, located and comforted wounded soldiers in no man's land, and his supersonic canine hearing allowed him to detect the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans. He could sense German ground assaults and would make a beeline for the nearest sentry and bite and prod the man to sound the alarm. He was there for the liberation of Chateau Thierry, and the ladies of the town were so enamored, they made him a chamois coat he used to display his medals. His tenaciousness and fearlessness in capturing a German spy by himself in the Argonne got him nominated for the rank of sergeant.    

Sergeant Stubby leads a legion parade

After the war, Stubby wasn't done yet; he marched in and often led parades, he visited the White House, met three presidents, received a gold medal from General Pershing, and with his human, Robert Conroy, attended Georgetown University Law Center where he became the Georgetown Hoyas' team mascot and quite probably invented the halftime show-- he would run out on the field and nudge the ball around to the great amusement of the fans.     

Stubby died quietly in his sleep in 1926. The New York Times gave the little fellow an entire half page obituary, much larger than many of the notable persons of the era received upon their deceasement.

Stubby's YMCA membership card

For further reading on this four-legged hero: Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend helped Win World I and Stole the Heart of a Nation by Anne Bausum and David E. Sharpe; and Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of WWI's Bravest Dog by Anne Bausum

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