Chips the Dog


Chips the dog was the most decorated of dogs in the military to have served in WWII. He was a German Shepherd / Collie / Husky mix owned by Edward J. Wren of Pleasantville, NY. At the time, many private citizens donated their dogs for the war effort.

In 1942, Chips the dog was trained as a sentry dog at the War Dog Training Center in Front Royal, Virginia. He was assigned to the 3d Military Police Platoon, 3d Infantry Division and served in North Africa, Italy, France, Germany and Sicily.

Chips the Dog

Chips the war dog was one of the first dogs to serve overseas with the Military Police in WWII. He was handled by Pvt. John P. Rowell.

In addition to patrol duty with the infantry, he was posted to sentry duty in Casablanca during the January 1943 Roosevelt-Churchill Conference. Through eight campaigns across Europe, Chips was also a POW guard and tank guard dog.

Chips the War Dog Hero

Later that year, during the invasion of Sicily, Chips and his handler encountered a nest of machine gunners. Chips broke away from his handler and jumped into the pillbox to attack the concealed gunners. They were forced to leave the nest and surrendered to US troops.

During the skirmish, Chips sustained injuries, including a scalp wound and powder burns, "... showing that a vicious fight had taken place inside the hut and that the soldiers had attempted to shoot the dog with a revolver. But the surrender came abruptly indicating that Chips was solely responsible."

Later that same day, he assisted in the capture of 10 more enemy soldiers. 

For his actions during the war, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star for bravery and a Purple Heart for wounds received in action. 

On November 19, 1943, Chips was awarded with the medals in a churchyard in Pientravairano, Italy. An excerpt from the citation reads:

For a special brand of courage, arising from love of master and duty. Chips' courageous act, single-handedly eliminating a dangerous machine-gun nest, reflects the highest credit on himself and the military service.

Chips the War Dog

The awards were later taken away due to an Army policy which prevents official commendation of animals. Apparently, he had also broken the rules when he left his handler's side.

But, his unit took matters into their own hands and unofficially awarded him a Theater Ribbon with an Arrowhead for an assault landing, and Battlestars for each of his eight campaigns.

Chips the Dog Returns Home a Military K9

Chips the War Dog MovieIn December, 1945, Chips was discharged from the military and returned home to the Wren family. Sadly, Chips died just seven months later due to complications from injuries sustained in the war. He was just six years old. Chips is buried in The Peaceable Kingdom Pet Cemetery in Hartsdale, NY.

Gone, but Not Forgotten

In 1990, Disney produced a TV movie based on the life of this heroic, life-saving dog. Get your copy of Chips the War Dog.

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