The Most Decorated Dog In History: Sergeant Stubby

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Until it is thought that he wandered the streets of New Haven, Connecticut scrounging for scraps of food. But he was no ordinary stray: just a few years later — following the end of the First World War — the tenacious canine had become known as the most decorated dog in American history. By the time the unit had left for France, Private Conroy had become so devoted to his new furry friend that he stowed him on the ship.

The Sad Ending Of Sergeant Stubby - The most decorated WWI hero dog

Stubby was involved in many battles while stationed overseas, including the second battle of Marne July and the battle of Chateau-Thierry July He was present for four offensives and 17 battles in total, serving for around 18 months. Hearing a sound in the stillness of the night, the dog, who guarded sleeplessly, stole out of the trenches and recognized—a German. Attempts by the German to deceive the dog were futile.

Seizing his prisoner by the breeches, Stubby held on until help arrived. For his efforts that night, Stubby was issued an Iron Cross medal that had originally been given to the German spy. The obituary in full here was given a great deal more column space than many other notable people of the time.

Following the war, Stubby returned home to America. A: I came across Stubby while working on a series of history documentaries about the American experience of the First World War.

Sgt. Stubby Was 'The Most Decorated Dog' of the 20th Century |

I realised immediately that Stubby was a fantastic potential conduit to bring history alive to children: he was an amazingly inspirational character for a little dog, and children relate to animals. Although his story is theoretically an American one, the First World War was something we were all involved in and can relate to. Whether he met George Patton [the famed US military commander who led troops in the First and Second World War] is up for debate, but we do know they were once in the same place at the same time.

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On this matter, we took the view: why not? That would take hours! But on the whole, most of the elements relating to Stubby are true. A: The problem we faced was this: how do we tell a family film about one of the worst events in modern history? It was a real challenge, but we tried to be as sensitive as possible. Stubby was an amazing opportunity to bring some of the realities of history to children in an age-appropriate way.

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From sniffing incoming gas attacks; finding wounded allies in No Man's Land, to catching a German infiltrator in the trenches - nothing is too much for Stubby. Stubby is still recognised as the most decorated dog in American history and the first canine ever promoted to the rank of Sergeant in the United States Army.

Sergeant Stubby of the First World War: the heroic story of America’s most decorated war dog

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