I meant to reblog this when IHRA first posted it earlier in the year but I got sidetracked and forg…oh look! A butterfly just went by! Wait, what was I talking about?
Anyway, I remembered it after I posted this the other day, so here ’tis.
Source: 9 Photos of Dogs in the Pacific Theater during World War II
We thought we’d do something a little different this week and show you some of the furry, four-legged friends that were adopted by various men as pets during their stay in the Pacific Theater.
In 1944, 1/Lt. Robert L. Mosely of the 89th Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group stands in front of his A-20G, RAPID ROBERT, in Hollandia. The name of the dog is unknown. (Robert L. Mosely Collection)
Sometime during the 38th Bomb Group’s stay in New Guinea in 1943, this picture of Ralph Cheli sitting in a Jeep with a puppy was taken. We do not know to whom the puppy belonged. (Garrett Middlebrook Collection)
1/Lt. John D. Cooper, Jr., pilot, 1/Lt. Raymond Bringle, navigator, and Capt. Franklin S. Allen, Jr., pilot–all from the 19th Squadron–and Blondie, the Squadron bulldog who flew many missions. The men are resting on a gas tank after a mission to Buna on August 27, 1942.
At some point during the war, the 3rd Bomb Group’s 13th Squadron adopted this dog as their mascot. (Joseph Brown Jr. Collection)
Lieutenant Phillip Baldwin poses with his dog Duffy for a picture in October 1945 at Fukuoka, the 38th Bomb Group’s final base in Japan. (Phillip Baldwin Collection)
These men in front of the 43rd Bomb Group B-17 nicknamed BLACK JACK/JOKER’S WILD have a cute addition to their ground crew sitting on someone’s shoulders. The names of all four are unknown. (Charles R. Woods Collection)
Colonel Jim Davies and “Pappy” Gunn give this happy dog some attention at Charters Towers in early 1942. (Alexander Evanoff Collection)
Here, Major George Marzolf sits in a 38th Bomb Group B-25 at Lae with his dog Ack Ack in 1943. (George Marzolf Collection)
Pilots on leave in Australia might return to New Guinea with dogs as pets. Butch, a German shepherd belonging to 1/Lt. John D. Field of the 89th Squadron, was a favorite of the pilots, especially Robert L. Mosley. Once, Mosley even took Butch on a medium-altitude mission to Manokwari when he was the pilot of the B-25 leading the A-20s over the target. Butch was fine until he was startled by the noise from the bomb bay doors opening and he began barking. Butch’s antics helped to relieve the tension, claims Mosley. “Here I was getting shot at, trying to blow up a bunch of airplanes and people below … and I’m in hysterics, looking back at Butch and his antics. The only dying that went on that day was me dying laughing at Butch. The bombs probably went into the ocean. We used to call that ‘bombing the sea plane runway’”. [sic] (Robert L. Mosley Collection)
And all we caught was this Kingfisher. And some netting…
OS2U Kingfisher aircraft being recovered by battleship USS Texas, off Iwo Jima, at 1700 on 16 Feb 1945; note netting of recovery sled hooked on pontoon’s recovery hook
Source United States National Archives Identification Code 80-G-309140
RAF P-47 Thunderbolt MkIIs
I don’t know if this is a wartime picture or postwar. They appear to have non-SEAC roundels and fin flash (for those that don’t know, South East Asia Command did away with the standard red in the national markings to avoid being mistaken for the Hinomaru of Japan) but from what I’ve read, other than an Operational Training Unit in Egypt very few Jugs were used by the RAF outside of the PTO. And the ones used in the PTO were primarily used in Burma.
The 64th Squadron struck the Ring Ring coconut plantation near Gasmata, New Britain on November 24, 1943. On the way home, Henry J. Domagalski and crew, in the B-24D #42-40913, ZOMBIE, were attacked over the Dampier Strait by 12 Japanese Zeros.
For a short time in November 1943, the 43rd Bomb Group was flying missions to a Ring Ring, a coconut plantation near Gasmata. Although these weren’t the most exciting missions, the area was being prepared for a December ground invasion, which made the mission necessary. It was observed in the 43rd’s Group History that, “Our combat crews don’t seem to think much of this type of target, preferring to hit something that will blow up with a loud noise and a satisfactory amount of flame and smoke, but the Army seems quite pleased with the results of our bombing and apparently considers the destruction of these targets essential.”
Flying from Port Moresby to Ring Ring on November 24th was 1/Lt. Henry J. Domagalski and his crew in their B-24 nicknamed ZOMBIE. Their mission was an armed reconnaissance to the area, with the crew running into no trouble as ZOMBIE’s bombs were unloaded over Garove Island. As the B-24 flew over the Dampier Strait, the crew encountered a formation of nine Japanese “Lily” bombers accompanied by 12 “Oscar” fighters returning to Wewak from a mission to Finschhafen.
Head over to A Zombie that Almost Lived up to its Name for [Paul Harvey]the rest of the story. Gooood day![/Paul Harvey]