"This book will delight both animal lovers and military buffs!" — Elizabeth Letts, bestselling author of The Eighty Dollar Champion
Meet the forgotten members of the Greatest Generation: the war animals who guarded American coasts against submarine attack, dug out Londoners trapped in bomb wreckage, and carried vital messages under heavy fire on Pacific islands during World War II. They kept up morale, rushed machine gun nests, and even sacrificed themselves picking up live grenades.
Now Robin Hutton, the bestselling author of Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse, tells the heartwarming stories of the dogs, horses, mules, pigeons—and even one cat—who did their bit for the war effort. American and British families volunteered beloved family pets and farm dogs to aid in the war effort; President Roosevelt was among many who bought honorary "commissions" in the reserves for their pets to raise money to defeat Hitler and Tojo. Many of these gallant animals are recipients of the prestigious Dickin Medal, the "Animals' Victoria Cross."
In War Animals: The Unsung Heroes of World War II you'll meet:
- Judy, the POW dog who helped her beloved human survive brutal Japanese prison camps
- Cher Ami, the pigeon who nearly died delivering a message that saved American troops from death by friendly fire
- Beauty, the "digging dog" who sniffed out Londoners buried in the wreckage of the Blitz—along with pets, including one goldfish still in its bowl!
- Olga, the horse who braved shattering glass to do her duty in London bombings
- Smoky, the Yorkshire terrier who did parachute jumps, laid communications wire through a pipe so small only she could navigate it, became the first therapy dog—and starred on a weekly TV show after the War
- Simon, the war cat whose campaign against the "Mao Tse Tung" of the rat world saved food supplies and his ship's crew
- Chips, who guarded Roosevelt and Churchill during the Casablanca Conference, and was the only dog to earn a Silver Star for his heroics
The shining loyalty and courage of these heroes is a testimony to the enduring bond between us and the animals we love.
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About the Author
Robin Hutton has spent her adult life working in major event productions and the motion picture business. She is the author of Sgt Reckless: America's War Horse, a national bestseller that received a starred review in Publishers Weekly.
She is president of Angels Without Wings, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that spearheaded the development and dedication of a national memorial to hero horse Sgt. Reckless. The monument was dedicated at the National Museum of the Marine Corps on Friday, July 26, 2013, and an exhibit inside the museum was also opened at that time. A second monument is planned for Camp Pendleton to be dedicated at a later date, as well as one in South Korea.
Hutton was named "Patriotic Citizen of the Year" by the local chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars and the Military Order of the Purple Heart for her charitable work. She will be awarded that honor at the Ronald Reagan Library in June 2014. Hutton currently lives in Santa Rosa Valley (Camarillo), CA.