War Dogs: Heroes or “Equipment”?

Monday, Nov. 8, 1943

“War Dog Chips Chews His Way to Silver Star.” This was the headline for an article about Chips the War DogChips, the most decorated WWII Dog for Defense and the subject of a 1993 Disney movie. A shepherd mix donated to Dogs for Defense by the Edward J. Wren family of Pleasantville, NY family, Chips served as a tank guard dog. On one occasion, Chips alerted to an impending ambush. Then, with a phone cable attached to his collar, Chips ran back to base, dodging gunfire so that the endangered platoon could establish a communications line and ask for the backup they so desperately needed. With General Patton’s Seventh Army in Sicily, he and his handler came under fire from a disguised pillbox. Chips broke free from his handler and launched himself right into the pillbox. Moments later several bitten and surrendering Italian soldiers emerged, all shepherded by a very determined Chips. Though wounded in the melee, Chips returned to duty that night and alerted troops to an approaching group of Italians. This allowed his handler and squad time to capture all of them. But his Silver Star and Purple Heart were later taken away when the Commander of the Order of the Purple Heart in the War Department claimed giving the award to a dog demeaned men who had received it. Chips was sent home with an honorable discharge and the War Department later classified Dogs for Defense as “equipment.” This decision led to the abandonment of over 4,000 war dogs when the US pulled out of Vietnam as it was forbidden to come home with “equipment.”












This entry was posted in Jewish life in America during WW II, Music and Media, WWII, Today in WWII, World War II and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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