3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 24, 2021 12:39 PM by Rachael Salyer

    Dogs for Defense / finding U.S. Army dog from 1943-44

    Heather Lusk Newbie

      I'm writing content for a book and am trying to track down specific information about a dog who served in WWII. I know roughly when he returned to the states and where he was recruited, but beyond that the family wasn't given much information when the dog returned.
      I see there's one other inquiry here about Dogs for Defense but I've tried the links in that reply and they've yielded more general information. Thanks for any direction you can give.

        • Re: Dogs for Defense / finding U.S. Army dog from 1943-44
          Rachael Salyer Ranger

          Dear Ms. Lusk,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located this overview of the War Dog Training School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina that may be of interest to you. The training school created and maintained the series War Dog Service Books, ca. 12/1942 - ca. 6/1946, which is part of the Records of the U.S. Marine Corps (Record Group 127). This series consists of war dog service books for canines volunteered by their owners for military service during the Second World War. The first subseries relates to dogs prepared for U.S. Marine Corps units, while the second subseries pertains to dogs trained by the Marine Corps but provided to the U.S. Army. Each book provides the name, serial number, and date of enlistment for an individual dog, plus details on vaccinations and training the dog received (obedience, scouting or attack, messenger, guard duty, or mine detection), if the dog actually received training. These records have not been digitized. They are arranged in two parts: the first part is arranged numerically by dog serial number, and the second part is arranged alphabetically by name of dog. For access to and additional information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at archives2reference@nara.gov. Be sure to include as much information about the dog you are researching as possible (e.g. name and/or serial number) in your inquiry.


          You may also wish to use the Catalog to review descriptions of other records related to Dogs for Defense and War Dogs. Some of these records have been digitized and can be viewed online via the Catalog. Most of the records have not been digitized. You may contact the National Archives reference unit listed in each Catalog entry for additional assistance with those particular records.


          Additionally, just this week (June 1–4, 2021), the Eisenhower, Roosevelt, and Truman Presidential Libraries are presenting their Inaugural WWII Emerging Scholars Symposium to commemorate D-Day, and Hannah Palsa presented on Children and Dogs for Defense. Her presentation can be viewed online. You may also be interested in the article Let the Records Bark! In the National Archives’ Prologue Magazine, and there are several posts related to War Dogs in the National Archives’ blog The Unwritten Record – Exploring History with the National Archives Special Media Division.


          Finally, I assume that this is the inquiry about Dogs for Defense that you mentioned, but if you may wish to review it and these other History Hub posts related to War Dogs if you have not done so already.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2 or other NARA reference unit. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We hope this information is helpful, and best of luck with your research!


          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: Dogs for Defense / finding U.S. Army dog from 1943-44
            Heather Lusk Newbie

            Thank you so much! I've sent a message though I believe this dog was trained at Fort Royal, Virginia. That's what the local newspaper reported. Hopefully the Camp Lejeune records include other facilities.