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 war dog was one of the first dogs
overseas with the Military Police in WWII. He was handled by Pvt. John
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
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.
19, 1943, Chips was awarded with the medals in a churchyard in
Pientravairano, Italy. An excerpt from the citation reads:
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
The awards were later taken away due to an
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
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
In 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
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.