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WW II K-9 Chips
One of the dogs who gained fame in World War II was Chips, assigned to the 3d Military Police Platoon, 3d Infantry Division, serving in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany. The German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix was donated by Edward J. Wren of Pleasantville, NY, and was trained at Front Royal, VA, in 1942, one of the first dogs to serve with the MPs overseas in WW II.
His assignments included sentry duty during the Roosevelt-Churchill Conference in Casablanca in January 1943, tank guard dog, POW guard, and patrol with the infantry. He eventually served in eight separate campaigns across Europe.
K-9 Corps Superstar Chips' Medal Winning Heroics
After landing in Sicily on 10 July 1943, while serving with Company I, 30th Infantry Regiment, near Licata, Sicily, Chips attacked a concealed German pillbox, housing a machine gun, capturing four enemy soldiers and saving his handler and other Americans. Chips sustained minor injuries including scalp wounds and powder burns, "... showing that a vicious fight had taken place inside the hut and that the soldiers had attempted to shoot the dog with a revolver. But the surrender came abruptly indicating that Chips was solely repsonsible."
That same night he helped capture another 10 enemy soldiers. Chips was also credited for alerting his American handlers to the enemy presence on a number of other occasions.
After the action, Major General Lucian Truscott, commander of the American 3rd Infantry Division, awarded Chips the Silver Star for bravery, and the Purple Heart for wounds received in action. On 19 November 1943, Chips was awarded his medals in a churchyard in Pientravairano, Italy. His citation read, in part:
However, Chips did not get to keep the medals. Higher authorities overruled the awards on the basis that it was inappropriate to award the decorations to an animal, therby possibly demeaning soldiers who received the same medals. Although few agreed, that was the rule.
After the War
Chips died seven months after returning home because of complications from war injuries. He was only six years old when he was brought to The Peaceable Kingdom Pet Cemetery in Hartsdale, NY where he is buried.
Video About Chips
In 1990, Disney Studios produced a television movie about Chips called Chips the War Dog , available from Amazon by clicking the link.
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