WII Ruff rider FROM NY lauded for saving lives
He was a very good boy.
A US Army dog who ran nose-first into machine-gun fire in World War II and took out a shoooer by the throat has been recognized with Britain’s highest honor for animal bravery on Monday.
Westchester County pooch Chips, a German Shepherd-husky hybrid, was awarded the Dickin Medal for his courageous actions during the appropriately titles Operation Husky.
“It has taken over seven decades, but Chips can now finally take his place in the history books as one of the most heroic dogs to serve with the US Army,” said Jan McLoughlin, director general of the UK’s People Dispensary for Sick Animals, which created the award in 1943.
Chips was just a regular pet living with the Wren family in Pleasantville when the Army asked civilians to donate their dogs to the war effort. Some 40,000 patriotic pooches were signed up, but only 10,000 made the cut - including Chips.
Upon landing at the beach in Sicily in 1943, Chips’ platoon immediately came under fire -- and the canine broke free of his leash and ran into enemy machine-gun nest.
“There was an awful lot of noise and the firing stopped,” his handler, Pvt. John Rowell, later recalled. “Then I saw one soldier come out of the door with Chips at his throat. I called him off before he could kill the man” - adding that three other Italian soldiers then emerged with their hands over their heads.
Chips suffered some injuries in the melee, but sniffed out another 10 combatants later that day - leading to their surrender, according to The Washington Post.
He survived his 3 ½ years in action and was able to return home to Pleasantville to live out his days as a war hero. He died in 1946.
Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart for his efforts, but they were later rescinded because those awards are not actually meant for dogs.
John Wren, who was just a baby when Chips shipped off to war is now 76, accepted the award on Chips’ behalf in England.
It was presented at the Churchill War Rooms in London on the 75th anniversary of the Casablanca Conference between US president Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill - where CHips also served as a sentry and met both leaders.
Chips later met then-Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower - and bit the future president’s hand when he tried to the pet the pooch.
In 1990, Disney made a TV movie about him, “Chips, the War Dog.”
Source: New York Post