41st scout dog platoon vietnamOn 27.10.2020 by Kajira
My Name Is Charles R. Our unit was being deactived in Aug My dog was given to the ARVNs. My dogs name was BigBoy 72AO. I retired from the Army in I live in St. Louis, Mo. Forty Eight years ago today the scars of war became a reality for the family of James A. The 34th was called upon to provide scout dog services for several units of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.
The 34th dispatched a Dog Team that included one of four fresh in country handlers FNG accompanied by a seasoned handler Shotgun. This tribute is a brief history of how dreadful war can be, for those KIA, MIA, Wounded, and those that carry the forever burden and emotional pain associated with tragic events such as this.
Green Remembered. When this project begane it was thought to be a short an easy endeavor. Not exactly the way it turned out. This task has been rewritten as a never ending project of updates and new discoveries.
Overlapping time spans created friendships of variable degrees, some we got to know well and some not. We remember the face but not the name or remember the name and not the face. Where were they from and where are they now?
As time moves on it has become more difficult to find one another even with the technology of today. Even though all have not been located, their fate not known to us, we all share the same bond as members of the 34th IPSD. An experience known only to those involved. Upon our return home, lives understandable went different directions.
As the search progressed, a variety of professional careers appeared as diverse as our individual personalities. The 34th produced a young work force with learned skill sets the range from the most admirable and complex to simple and serene. Our personal lives seem to have taken an equal range of perceptions and core patterns with some common characteristics.First Mission!
Much to my regret today, I joined the Army before the Vietnam War started.
34th Infantry Platoon Scout Dog, Vietnam, 1966 to 1972
As a Military Policeman, I was assigned to a security detachment to guard a highly classified then chemical weapons storage depot on Okinawa. Upon arrival, I was asked if I wanted to stand guard in a tower all night or become a Sentry Dog Handler. Hell, I loved dogs, and hated heights, so a dog handler, I became! In late '64, I was transferred to the th M.
Platoon Dog in Korea. I was really getting some place in this world. My first reaction was, not me! I am a MP--not an infantryman.
What's a scout dog anyway? Now that I was an "expert" scout dog handler, I was sent to the field on my first Mission. All I remember is that it was a full Division operation, with headquarters on a large French Rubber Plantation with a small airstrip. The first night there, the new guy me got assigned to be part of a listening post approximately meters forward of the perimeter. I was assigned to three other Infantry types that I had never met.
I out ranked all three, but didn't know a damn thing about infantry tactics, where we were going, how we were going to get there or backor what they expected me to do!
Being the intelligent person that I am, I tore off my stripes and played the role of the dumb private which I really was. Once we were in position, we made a startling discovery. This dog of mine did not want to sit still and listen--he wanted to go walking, i. No amount of my pleading could convince him to sit still and be quiet, especially with my whole three days of rapport with him.
Dog made so much noise and with my inability to control him, the infantry guy in charge, radioed back for permission to send me back to the perimeter. They pointed me in the proper direction, gave me the password, and said get-out! On the way back in, with the dog about to pull my arm off, we of course, tripped a wire attached to a trip flare.
I knew then and there I was going to be shot by the guys on the perimeter and that my life was over. I promised myself, as I screamed the password over and over, that if I lived through this night, I would become the best damn "infantryman" and dog handler that I could possibly be. Somehow, by the grace of the big guy or whomever I made it back to the perimeter that night and with much additional training, I did become a good infantryman and scout dog handler good enough to make it through two tours with the 35th.
Now that I look back on that LP, I can find humor in it all! So much for my first mission in country All Rights Reserved.Robert W. Enter an optional name and contact email address. Name Name Email help private comment. Guest Feb Looking for info on gurney davis jr and studley.
I too worked Achates off leash, and it was a tremendous advantage. Whetstone did well with Eric at Benning and Vietnam. Michael E. He was a black and tan Shepard cross. Thank you. M Aug There are many photos now loaded and can be downloaded at www. Do a search for Vietnam, Scout Dog, 44th BUT, not all are annotated yet, so you can find some priceless finds by reviewing each photo in the initial search as described above. The book contains many pictures reflecting period between and Information can be obtained from the Army's web site www.
In case no one has said it to you today. Can You Help? Donald C. O'Connell Ambassador, U. Guest Feb Thanks for the info. You seem very knowledgeable. Do you have any other info regarding any other dogs named Eric around that time? Specifically a Doberman. He was allegedly donated by a family named Zamback. Fenner and was deployed to Dau Tieng Vietnam in December Eric received a minor stray schrappnel wound in the spring of after alerting to a squad sized ambush, which was twarted without any US casualties.
Eric returned to the field after a two week recovery.
Vietnam War Hand Sewn Patch 41st Infantry SCOUT DOG PLATOON 1st Cavalry Division
Eric's sole handler was rotated back to the States two weeks later and the memory of Eric shall last with him forever. They were both killed on an LZ ambush. They were on the lead choper and cut down by a machinegun in the tree line at the edge of the LZ. First handler death in the 44th.
I know it sounds silly, but my Dad always said he gave the dog we had when I was a toddler to the War Dog program - the dog, Erick, was supposedly too protective of me. I kind of think of him as my first hero. The time frame fits, but he was a doberman, a red doberman, I believe, and I know they weren't used very often.
I myself recently retired from the USMC. If the story about Erick is true, I'd just like to pay my respects properly - you know, jarhead to dogface. Any help would be appreciated.
Guest Dec Could anyone tell me about a dog named erick? He was killed on Introduction A large number of War Dogs served with the Army through all the bloody business of island hopping across the Pacific. This page singles out only afew of those dog units, but it needs to be said, that all served with distinction and bravery! Bruce D. When they left San Carlos, California, on May 11,none of the handlers had any idea where their final destination would be.
On June 2th, Guadalcanal came into view but that wasn't their assignment because after several weeks of training; they left aboard the freighter USS Taganak, arriving at Bougainville three days later. It was only a matter of days before the 25th went into its first combat, and the platoon stayed wired in anticipation. Although the initial assaut by Marines had occured over seven months earlier, the island was not yet completely secured. It took the dogs to seek out the Japanese hiding in the caves throughout the island and seek Alerting On The Enemy James Stanley Head.
Head was especially well qualified to lead, by his civilan experience in training guide dogs. At first, the 26th, met alot of prejudice and stubborn reluctance to even give the dogs a trail by the operations staffs, to down through the rank and file; dogs were viewed as a hair brained novelty, a probable nuisance, and a distinct liability. At times, opposition was actively hostile. Some reports on them from the Central Pacific, had been unfavorable, and word of failures and limitations, as is often the case with the untried, outweighted successes.
But military orders, said the dogs would be used, and the 26th Platoon's commander, Lt. Head, pleaded for a chance to prove his handlers and dogs worth. Ultimately, the 26th was given its chance! Its first dogs went into action on Biak Island on July 1st,with the 41st Division. From that date, the platoon was in continuous combat until its relief on August 1, They had proven themselves!
Its dogs and handlers were split up among the 43rd, 25th, 6th and 32nd Divisions on January 9,when they hit the beaches of Lingayan Gulf, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It was also among the few occupation troops in Japan. Scout dogs of the 26th, from Sept. On these patrols, in the field from one to three days, the dogs never failed to alert at seventy-five yards or further.
Not a single casualty was ever suffered when a dog was along. With a dog in the lead, scouts moved ahead more rapidly, confident they would not be ambushed. As one young infantry lieutenant in a report on the 26th stated: "Theirs is a tricky and dangerous job with no credit other than the praise of all the men who work with them. Not only the dogs deserve credit but the men who handle them.
All members received the prized Combat Infantryman Badge. The platoon also received a unit citation from the 31st Division, and another from the 6th Division. Especially gratifying after the cold receptions initially given the platoon were those requests for its permanent assignment, along with additional platoons, from the 31st, 25th, and 6th Divisions - the outfits with which it had served longest and on the most difficult operations. Wiley S. More than known enemy killed by patrols after advancing into areas alerted by dogs Any number of times, parties were saved from ambush by the alertness of the dogs and their handlers When an assault patrol was given the mission of locating and destroying an enemy machine gun nest, Sergeant Knisely and his German Shepherd, Danny, took the point.
Twice the dog alerted, and scouts went forward but were unable to spot the well hidden nest. Then the handler volunteered to lead the patrol as close as possible.Handlers that were KIA in Vietnam. WI Thibodeaux, Michael I. Dogs that were KIA in Vietnam. Enter supporting content here. Who We Are. War Dog History. War Dog Memorial.
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War Dog Stories, Personal. Who Let the Dogs Out. Dog News I. Dog News II. Dog News III. Handlers Name. Date KIA. Ahern, Robert Paul. LaconiaNH. Alcorn Jr. Redondo BeachCA. Amick, Richard Michael.Enter an optional name and contact email address. Name Name Email help private comment.
Vietnam War US 41st Infantry SCOUT DOG Platoon Hand Sewn Patch
Cyree, Brothers, Moen, Sgt. O'Grady, Mays our staff vet George Deitrict. I am saddened to say George was killed in action in April of 69 not to long after I was assigned to the unit.
My protector Scout Dogs name was Concho. Not a very large Black and white German Shephard but very good at his job. He saved my life a few times by throwing alerts when he sensed something. I think about the men I served with in the 41st and wonder what they are doing today and proud to have served with them. My dog was King 58X3. We were based at Phouc Vinh. I also spent a little time at Lai Khe in the Michelin rubber plantation.
CO was 1LT Gravelle. Platoon clerk was Tom Watson. Vet Tech was a mountain of a man we called "Smitty". Cant remember his real name but obviously his last name was Smith. For some reason, my recollection of names is very limited. Don't know why but things still come back in bits and pieces. In August I was asked to volunteer for a request from "higher authorities" for a "Top Secret" mission somewhere up North.
Against my better judgement I said yes.
Our primary missions were to run 5 day recons into Laos and the Ho Chi Minh trail. We went in "sterile", no dog Tags, no labels on our fatigues, and no items of identification. We flew to Khe Sanh for our final briefings. That place was unreal. Hats off to the brave men who served there. I was on Team Idaho until late November when I returned to the 41st to turn King over to a new handler and go back to civilization.
That was the hardest thing of my entire tour over there. How do you part with the best friend you've ever had or wiil have. A day doesn't go by that I don't think of King. I owe my life and many others owe their lives to him. I have some pictures of my time with the 41st and with Team Idaho. I will try to post them here. Thanks to all you wonderful Handlers and your heroic Scout Dog companions for your service to our Country and to those who never came back.
God bless you all! Our amazing dog teams supported the 1st Brigade and on occasion, the 2nd Brigade. Our platoon comprised nothing short of an endless stream of professionals, all of who were dedicated to their job, mission and best friend-their dogs.Between the years andAmerica had deployed an estimated 4, war dogs and 10, handlers to help defend South Vietnam from invasion from North Vietnam.
During the ground war, Veterinarians and Vet Techs were also deployed throughout South Vietnam to help manage the diets and medial health of the war dogs. As a result, the enemy placed a price tag on the heads of the war dog teams and hunted them with extreme prejudice. The several thousand surviving war dogs were crated and no longer performing their jobs in the field because their masters were ordered out of South Vietnam.
South Vietnam fell to North Vietnam inwhich officially ended the war. Their final fate was either to be transferred to the South Vietnam Army or to be euthanized after each war dog unit was methodically and strategically deactivated throughout South Vietnam.
Very few dogs were redeployed to U. William Putney made it happen with the help of U. Congressman, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland. The German shepherd dog was the only breed trained for this job.
The handler and dog led combat patrols and provided an early silent warning of danger. Scout dogs were trained to alert on enemy movement, booby traps, land mines, base camps, underground tunnel complexes, and underground caches of weapons, food and medical supplies. The U. Army had the highest number of infantry scout dog teams deployed throughout South Vietnam and consequently suffered the highest number of casualties, dogs and handlers, of the war.
The Labrador retriever dog was the only breed trained for tracking. Black and yellow Labs were favored. Labs were friendly, handled the heat okay and had a natural instinct for tracking ground scent.
And it took less time for a Lab than a German shepherd to get used to a new handler.
The tracker dog teams were very effective and relied on heavily. The German shepherd dog was the only breed used for this job. The dog and handler were very effective in defending aircraft, airfields, supply depots, ammunition dumps, defensive perimeters, and many other strategic military facilities throughout South Vietnam.
Sentry dog teams were deployed as the first line of defense guarding American base camps day and night.
The German shepherd dog and handler were generally deployed with the infantry and combat engineer units. They were trained to sniff out mines and booby traps buried in roads, hidden on bridges or in buildings, and sniff out the location of tunnels. After the dog located the tunnel, a soldier Tunnel Rat would enter the tunnel to investigate. Marine dog handler, Corporal Michael Galloway and his Scout Dog, Stormy search a tunnel and find an enemy satchel of explosives Vietnam — The Navy successfully used dogs on slow trolling patrol boats operating throughout the American patrolled waterways of South Vietnam.
The dog was deployed to alert on the breath scent of enemy underwater divers breathing through reeds, snorkels and other underwater apparatus. I have searched endlessly to find out what fate the scout dogs, Vietnam War, had. I read they given to the S. Vietnamese Army or euthanized. What did the S. Vietnamese Army do to the dogs, eat them? Has anyone, military personnel, found out what happened to these poor dogs. This is a horrible disaster for these dogs.
Please email me with information. Thank You. Like Like. There was an epidemic of parvovirus that year that killed a lot of dogs in Viet Nam, and Taddy got sick.
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