Flashback Friday: The Big One

This week we flashback to World War II. Besides all the brave men and women that served their country, there were quite a lot of (un)Enlisted Furballs, too! (Deets in the hovers: that kitteh above is sitting in the cockpit of an RAF pilot, 1944.)










“Found these amazing photos on BuzzFeed France of dogs and other animals that helped in the war effort. Thought they would be good for Flashback Friday. Keep up the good work! Sharon B-C (Western Australia.)”

[Note- hover info also from Buzzfeed France. -Ed.]



  1. Blue Footed Booby says:

    Gonna leave this here:
    “Sergeant Stubby (1916 or 1917 – April 4, 1926), has been called the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat. America’s first war dog, Stubby served for 18 months and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and even once caught a German spy by the seat of his pants, holding him there until American soldiers found him. ”

    Another famous Dog of War was Sallie, of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry, during the American Civil War. I’m not quoting this one because the story is sadder, but here’s a link: http://www.nycivilwar.us/sallie.html

  2. Don’t forget WOJTEK the soldier bear! http://www.thesoldierbear.com/wojtekgallery.html

  3. Sharon Wilson says:

    The bulldogs wear those flat caps well!

  4. General Patton and his bull terrier Willie: http://oregonbullterriers.com/wp-content/uploads/wiliam.jpg

    “Willie was beside his master in 1944 as the general’s famous tank corps raced across Europe, liberating huge swaths of Nazi-held territory. As the Allies closed in on Berlin, Patton boasted, “I will personally shoot that [expletive] Hitler, and Willie hopes the little [expletive] comes back as a fire hydrant!”

    Patton was the ultimate alpha dog, with an unbridled—some say pathological—need to dominate. But he was putty in Willie’s paws. “Old Blood and Guts” had G.I. dog tags made for Willie and once hosted a birthday party for his “second in command.””

    The toughest general ever, and he hosted a birthday party for his doggy! His underlings must have DIED at that sight. Awesome. 😀

  5. Just for the record, Gyrt linked to a photo of George C. Scott and the dog that played Willie in the movie. I’m not criticizing. But this ought to be a photo of the actual Patton and the actual Willie. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-B8Rw_Ic4Bc0/TVt8OMJfnyI/AAAAAAAABo0/6L1j5Kt9wJc/s1600/general_patton_dog_willie.jpg

  6. edmundh says:

    Let me introduce you all to “Unsinkable Sam”, a.k.a. Oscar:

    Sam was rescued from the water by the destroyer HMS Cossack after the sinking of the German Battleship Bismarck in May 1941. Unaware of what the cat’s original (presumably German) name was, the Cossack’s crew named him “Oscar”. Oscar stayed aboard the Cossack, until the destroyer was later torpedoed by a German U-boat in October 1941.

    Once again rescued, he was transferred to the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. Now named “Unsinkable Sam”, the black and white tom stayed with the Ark Royal for only a month when that ship was also torpedoed.

    Plucked from the sea a third time – and described by his rescuer as “angry but quite unharmed” – Unsinkable Sam was first transferred to HMS Lightning, and later HMS Legion, before finally reaching shore at Gibraltar. Both Lightning and Legion would eventually be sunk by the Germans.

    Sam did not serve aboard another ship again after reaching Gibraltar. He was later sent back to the United Kingdom, and spent the rest of his life(s) at a seaman’s home in Belfast. Sam passed away in 1955.


  7. AWW 😀 Many kitties and dogs helped save civilian and military human lives during the second World War and are fondly remembered by those they help save 😀

  8. whawhawhatsis says:

    And we mustn’t forget Smoky, the Yorkshire terrier who was found, of all places, in a foxhole the jungles of New Guinea (he later figured out that she had belonged to an Australian woman originally), and who accompanied her human, William Wynne, for the rest of the war and for the rest of her life. She was the smallest dog to actually work during the war by running a telegraph wire through a small pipe under a crucial airfield in Luzon, saving the engineers three days by avoiding having to avoid digging up the (very active) runway to get the wire through the pipe.

    She also learned a lot of tricks and she and her human put on regular entertainment for other troops all around the Pacific, and later back home in Ohio.

    There’s a lengthy article on Smoky, a book written by her owner (“Yorkie Doodle Dandy”), and even a monument to her erected atop her final resting place in Lakewood, Ohio, with a statue of her sitting in a helmet, based on a famous photo. The famous photo is in her Wikipedia article; she was a tiny thing, only 4 lbs!

  9. Second the nomination for Wojtek; he absolutely deserves it – as do the Polish soldiers who are constantly forgotten.

    In the sake of fairness, I’d like to submit this photo of German soldiers with a kitten: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/279434351852352974/ I take it as proof that you can’t necessarily judge by uniform. I was sent this photo by a Polish girl helping with WWII research and she told me the men in the photo later surrendered and actually were guards at the Nuremberg trials – which says a lot for their character. Can’t 100 percent verify this, but it is a source I trust.

    Besides, that kitty is CUTE! 😀