Meet Sgt. Stubby — The Military’s Most Famous War Dog

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Perhaps his most famous act during the war was when he singlehandedly captured a German spy. Stubby sniffed him out, bit him, and kept him pinned down until men could take him prisoner. When word got out of Stubby capturing a spy by himself, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, the only military dog to be given an official rank by the United States Armed Forces. Through thick and thin, he stayed and fought with his owner — whom he now out-ranked! — and lifted people’s spirits wherever they went.

The women of the French town, Chateau-Thierry, freed from the Germans by the American soldiers, were so grateful to Sgt. Stubby that they made him a chamois coat, which was then decorated with his many medals, stripes, and chevrons. Sgt. Stubby would wear that decorated coat during parades, marches, and public appearances. In 1921, General John Pershing, General of the Armies of the United States, personally pinned a special medal on Sgt. Stubby.

At the end of the war, after participating in 17 battles, Sgt. Stubby had to be smuggled home by Cpl. Conroy in the same way he brought him. But when they arrived, it was to a hero’s welcome. Sgt. Stubby became a national hero and was celebrated throughout the country, leading parades and meeting fans both young and old. He was inducted as a member of the American Legion and the YMCA. Sgt. Stubby met three presidents — Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding — and continued to help by selling war bonds and recruiting for the American Red Cross.

Photo: Smithsonian National Museum of America History -- General John Pershing awards Sgt. Stubby.

Photo: Smithsonian National Museum of America History — General John Pershing awards Sgt. Stubby.

Conroy then went to study law at Georgetown University, and Sgt. Stubby went right along with him. Soon the heroic dog was made the official mascot of the Georgetown football team, and the school has kept their mascot as a dog ever since.

In 1926, at 10 years old, Sgt. Stubby peacefully passed away in Conroy’s arms. The whole country mourned his loss, and the New York Times wrote a three-column obituary for him. Sgt. Stubby was then preserved and his remains, along with the medal-filled coat, are on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Now, more than 90 years after his passing, Sgt. Stubby is being honored once again. Fun Academy Motion Pictures, in an official partnership with the United States World War I Centennial Commission, is making an animated film about the World War I canine hero. Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero tells the amazing true story of Sgt. Stubby and Cpl. Conroy, starring the voices of Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter, and Gérard Depardieu. It is set for release in April, 2018.

Here is the trailer for the animated movie about this amazing military dog, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero!

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Click below to learn about other amazing military dogs throughout U.S. history!

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Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.
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