03 June 2013

Marine Naps While War Dog Stands Guard

Image size: 1600 x 1280 pixel. 700 KB
Date: Tuesday, 20 February 1945
Place: Iwo Jima, Bonin Islands, Japan
Photographer: Staff Sergeant M. Kauffman, USMC

Private First Class Rez P. Hester of the 7th War Dog Platoon, attached to the 25th Regiment, 4th Marine Division, takes a nap while Butch, his war dog, stands guard. Each Marine Division had a war dog platoon attached. The Marines procured many of their dogs from the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, leading to a press release that the Marines did not favor the breed exclusively. The Marines focused on the quality of the individual animal rather than the breed. Most other branches of the Armed Forces already had their K-9 units in operation when the Marines started theirs, but they were quickly adopted for use in many Pacific campaigns. Experts are divided as to whether the short coat of the Doberman was best suited for warmer tropical climates. 

NARA (National Archives) FILE #: 127-N-110104 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 882

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