Few of the war time dog heroes, who had saved countless lives
Dogs are considered to be the men’s best friends. Due to their superior ability to sniff and hear troubles, dogs have always been a great protector of humans. We have heard the stories of many heroes who continued to inspire us even after their death. Below are stories of a few of the dog heroes, who have shown extreme courage during war time.
On February 19, 1942, the Japanese started bombing in the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory. After the initial attack, which sunk eight ships and badly damaged 37 others, soldiers went looking for the injured among the rubble. They found a six-month-old an Australian sheep dog under a destroyed mess hall. He had a broken leg. The injured pup was rescued by the Leading Aircraftman Percy Westcott. Westcott took the dog to the doctor, who said he couldn’t treat any man who didn’t have a name or serial number. So, Westcott named the pup “Gunner” and gave him the number 0000.
When Gunner’s leg began healing, he would join Westcott in his daily tasks. One day, when the people were working and repairing several planes in the airfield, Gunner started barking and jumping up and down. But, no one paid attention to the dog. Within a few minutes Japanese raiders swooped in and started shelling Darwin again. Luckily, everyone managed to dive to safety. Two days later, Gunner again started making the same uproar. This time, the men knew to find cover and prepare for the upcoming attack.
Over sixty air raids were commenced on Darwin from February 1942 to November 1943. Gunner warned the soldiers and saved countless lives. Another amazing aspect of this dog hero was that he never barked when Australian planes took off or was returning. It was his fantastic ability to differentiate between Australian air crafts and Japanese air crafts.
It was in 1940, when German commenced bombing in London, an Air Raid Warden named E. King found a hungry stray walking the streets. The dog followed King back to his post and, eventually they became inseparable. The dog was named Rip. Very soon Rip showed his worth.
One night, Rip came out with King after a bombing and his nose started twitching. Rip followed the scent to a collapsed building and started digging. Rip found a man, still alive, buried beneath.
Rip became England’s first urban search and rescue dog, despite never being formally trained. It was reported that he found and rescued over hundred people with his sensitive, life-saving nose. It is for Rip that today, London’s police force and military trains hundreds of dogs per year to be part of their urban search and rescue teams.
Rip was awarded the Dickin Medal for bravery in 1945. On the medal, it reads ‘For Gallantry. We Also Serve.’ Rip passed away in 1946 and is buried in Ilford Animal Cemetery in London.
Salty and Roselle
Salty and Roselle were both part of the Guiding Eyes for the Blind program in New York. Roselle was only one and half when she was introduced to Michael Hingson, the man she was to guide. Michael was working as a computer sales manager on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center Tower 1.
On 9/11, when the plane struck the 99th floor, Roselle was asleep. Calmly she guided Hingson, and several others in the office, down over 1400 hundred darkened stairs and out of the door. It took about an hour to the whole escape. But within moments of making it to the street, Tower 2 collapsed. Though Roselle was struck by pieces, but she continued moving, just like she was trained to do.
Omar Rivera had gone blind due to glaucoma, but continued to work for New York’s Port Authority as a senior systems designer. He was working on the 71st floor of the World Trade Center Tower 1 on 9/11. Salty was lying next to Rivera when the plane hit. Salty calmly got up, offered Rivera his guidance, and lead them down the stairs. They made it out the door and were two or three blocks away when the second tower collapsed.
Both Salty and Roselle were given the Dickin medal for their heroics despite the chaotic environment around them. Salty and Roselle, who are remembered as American heroes passed away in 2008 and 2011 respectively.
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