Chips, Heroic Dog of WWII
Chips was a mutt, part German Shepherd, part Collie, part Husky. He was donated to the war effort as many family dogs were during WWII and ended up becoming, “one of the most heroic dogs to serve with the U.S. Army” according to PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin.
He was trained as a sentry dog, and served in North Africa, Italy, France, Germany and Sicily. In addition to patrol duty with the infantry, he was posted to sentry duty in Casablanca during the January 1943 Roosevelt-Churchill Conference. Through eight campaigns across Europe, Chips was a POW guard and tank guard dog.
During the invasion of Sicily, Chips and his handler Pvt. John P. Rowell became trapped by an Italian machine gun team. Chips broke free of his handler diving past gunfire into the barricade. The men were forced out and surrendered to the US. Scraped and burned but otherwise unharmed day Chips helped take 10 Italian prisoners that day.
Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart medals, but they were revoked due to an Army policy in 1943 that prevented awarding official commendations to animals.
However, in 2018 (need to check this date) Military working dog Ayron was awarded the Dickin Medal on Chips' behalf keeping Chips’ legacy alive in America’s history.