Stubby Becomes a War Hero
by, Thad Abel
In Part I we left off with our brave soldiers and our dog hero, Stubby, on their way to World War I in France.When the regiment arrived on the battlefield on February 5, 1918, Stubby was initially used as a mascot and his position was on the front line. From what I understand, the front line is no place for man nor dog! In war, the front line is the most dangerous position on the battlefield because it is where both sides first meet. If the soldiers lose the front line, then most likely they will lose the battle. So, the shooting and fighting is fierce and Stubby is right in the middle of the action! Day and night for a month the soldiers endured the stress and noise of war but Stubby tried to keep their spirits high. As the battle raged and with bullets flying, Stubby would run and bark from soldier to soldier to comfort them. If he noticed someone was hurt, he would sit next to the wounded soldier until help arrived. Would you be brave enough to do that? Minna and The Canine Club give a big round of Paws for Stubby!
Even as the battle quieted down, Stubby still seemed to be aware that danger could be lurking. For instance, one of the weapons used by the enemy was toxic gas and the gas would kill the soldiers if they breathed it in. When Stubby recognized the smell, he would bark wildly which alerted the men to sound the gas alarm. The soldiers would then put on their gas masks which saved their lives. Stubby also had the ability to search and locate wounded soldiers until the paramedics arrived. All of this would be plenty for most dogs but Stubby wasn’t finished! Another courageous feat happened during the middle of the night while the soldiers were sleeping. Stubby heard some rustling in the distance and when he got up to look he noticed it was an enemy soldier ready to ambush the U.S. regiment! Stubby quickly and miraculously attacked and subdued the German soldier by hanging onto his pants until helped arrived! Unfortunately, some time later, Stubby injured his leg when he was hit by a grenade. The surgery was successful but, it slowed him down too much to continue on the battlefield. However, that didn’t keep Stubby from doing heroic deeds as he would go around the hospital and visit wounded soldiers! Because of these heroic acts Stubby was given the rank of “Sergeant”.
After the U.S. and allies won the war the regiment went to Paris, France where they were greeted with a “Hero’s Welcome”! Citizens from around Europe came to salute the soldiers and Sergeant Stubby! A French woman even made an embroidered chamois blanket for Stubby. Upon arriving back in the United States Sergeant Stubby became a celebrity! He was invited to be in parades and he even met three U.S. Presidents! When Stubby’s master, Corporal Conroy enrolled at Georgetown, Stubby, once again, became a mascot but this time he became a hero for the Hoyas of Georgetown University!
You can see a picture of Stubby wearing the chamois blanket along with other pictures and information by going to the Smithsonian web site at www.americanhistory.si.edu and in the Search box, type in Stubby.
(The facts of the story were taken from an article written in the New York Times on April 4, 1926)