America's Most Decorated War Dog: Sergeant Stubby, the Official Mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment to the 26th "Yankee" Division, ca. Between 1918 and 1921.
Born in America during 1916 or 1917, this Boston Terrier mix was found wandering the grounds of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in July 1917, while members of the 102nd IR were still training. The dog hung around as the men drilled and one soldier, Corporal Robert Conroy, developed a fondness for him and when it came time for the outfit to ship out, Conroy hid his "Stubby" onboard their troop transport. As they were getting off their ship in France, Conroy managed to hide Stubby under his overcoat without detection. Upon discovery by Conroy's CO, Stubby saluted him as he had been trained to in camp and was allowed to stay. Entering combat with the 102nd in the trenches of France on 05 February 1918, Stubby was under constant fire, just as the men around him did, 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 then sent to a rear unit to recover and soon afterwards returned to the trenches. Amidst the fighting in the summer of 1918, Stubby was injured during a German gas attack and, afterwards, was sent to recover. Upon his return, he was given a specially-designed gas mask to protect him. Amazingly enough, Stubby learned how to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, locate wounded soldiers on the battlefield, and - since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans - became very adept at letting his unit know when to duck for cover. He was even solely responsible in capturing a German spy in the Argonne, leading to Stubby being promoted to Sergeant (Whether he received an official promotion or was even assigned as a member of the Army has been disputed). Following the retaking of Château-Thierry, the women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned many medals. Upon his return home, Stubby was celebrated and led/marched in, many parades across the country, as well as meeting Presidents Wilson, Coolidge and Harding before his passing on 16 March 1926.