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WW I Hero: Sgt. Stubby
Sgt. Stubby, Hero of World War I
Stubby, a Bull Terrier mix, was the most decorated war dog in U.S. history. He was picked up as a stray in 1917, by Private J. Robert Conroy when the homeless dog appeared at the training camp of the 102nd Infantry at Yale University. Conroy and buddies kept Stubby with them through all their drills and training and, in July 1917, when it came time to ship out for France, they smuggled Stubby aboard ship.
After further training, Stubby went with the 102nd Infantry to the front and was in the trenches 5 February 1918. He participated in 17 engagements in four World War I offensives (Aisne-Marne, Champagne-Marne, St. Mihiel, and Meuse Argonne).
There are many stories of heroic deeds by Stubby as well as anecdotes like his ability to salute by putting one paw over his eye. Most of these cannot be confirmed, but nonetheless Stubby became a folk hero, in demand for parades, war bond rallies, hospital visits, and press interviews. Stubby was rewarded for his service with the NCO rank of Sergeant and multiple medals.
Stubby's Career after World War I
Stubby participated in many veterans' parades across the U.S. and, with Robert Conroy, attended every American Legion convention until his death. He appeared in a series of vaudeville shows in 1919 with Mary Pickford. He visited the White House in 1921 to meet President Harding and again in 1924 to meet President Coolidge. In 1921, General John J. Pershing awarded a gold medal to Stubby (top photo.) In 1922-23, Stubby was official mascot of Georgetown University while his Robert Conroy attended law school there.
Stubby died in 1926, and his remains were preserved with technical assistance from the Smithsonian Institution. Stubby, his medals and personal effects were donated to the Smithsonian by Conroy and can still be seen there.
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