Animals At War In Normandy

This page is dedicated to the memory of the animals who faithfully served in Normandy during the Second World War.

Animals At War Series 001 Glen 490px

‘Glen’ served with The Parachute Regiment. He was an Alsation, shepherd dog who served with the 9th Parachute Battalion, 6th Airborne Division and landed in Normandy, France, on D-Day. Both he and his keeper, Private Emile Servais ‘Jack’ Corteil, were killed on the 6th June 1944 by, so called, ‘friendly fire’. A combination of errors led to the mistake after some paratroopers had landed in the wrong location and while making their way towards their objective, an RAF Typhoon pilot mistook them for a German column of soldiers and strafed the paratroopers with anti-personnel mines. ‘Glen’ and 19 year old Private Corteil are buried together in Ranville Commonwealth War Cemetery. Plot IA, Row G, Grave 13. Their epitaph reads:





Animals At War Series 002 Blackout  490px

‘Blackout’ served with the United States Coast Guard.
He earned three battle stars on his service ribbon; Sicily and Italy in 1943 and then Normandy in 1944. His fellow crew members even provided him with a specially made life jacket.


Animals At War Series 003 Bing 490px

Known as ‘Brian’ in civilian life, ‘Bing’ was his name while he served with the The Parachute Regiment.
He was an Alsation, Collie cross who served with the 13th Parachute Battalion, 6th Airborne Division and landed on D-Day near Ranville, Normandy, France.
While in Normandy ‘Bing’ was wounded in the neck and eyes. After the war he was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal (No. 48) for Gallantry. His citation reads:
Brian – Alsatian
Date of Award: 29 March 1947
This patrol dog was attached to a Parachute Battalion of the 13th Battalion Airborne Division. He landed in Normandy with them and, having done the requisite number of jumps, became a fully-qualified Paratrooper.”


Animals At War Series 004 Knobby 490px

‘Knobby’ served with the United States Coastguard.
He was a Mongrel pup and mascot on a United States Coast Guard Rescue Cutter. On D-Day, and throughout the Normandy campaign, ‘Knobby’ wore his specially made life jacket while the ship’s crew went about rescuing soldiers, sailors and airmen in the English Channel waters.


Animals At War Series 005 Pete the Pooch 490px

‘Pete the Pooch, Able Seaman’ served with the United States Coast Guard.
He helped handle many vessels, including the 83 foot cuter he is helping tie up in the photograph, and would jump into the sea to retrieve ropes. ‘Pete the Pooch’ worked in the captured port of Le Havre in Normandy during 1944/45.


Links to Stories and Reports of Animals At War In Normandy

17th December 2013. Spiegel Online International. Britain’s Luftwoofe: The Heroic Paradogs of World War II.

26th June 2013. Mail Online. D-Day, the first tweet! Medal given to homing pigeon who was first to deliver  news of successful landings set to be sold at auction.

26th June 2013. Paul Fraser Collectables News. Pigeon’s ‘Duke of Normandy’ WWII Dickin Medal valued at $15,500 with Bosleys.

4th December 2012. onty relaxing with Rommel (his pet dog) and laughing at George Formby: WWII  snaps show hero of El Alamein on and off-duty.

2nd November 2012. The Telegraph. Quest to crack secrets of lost D-Day pigeon.

18th April 2012. Mail Online. Bing, the dog of war who parachuted into France to become a D-Day hero.

24th Sept 2010. BBC News. Wartime hero pigeon ‘Paddy’ honoured with fly-past.

August 2007. America in WWII. Pigeons of War.

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If you can provide any links to stories for animals at war in Normandy during the Second World War, please add details below

Thank You

2 Responses to “Animals At War In Normandy”

  1. I found your site by accident while looking up my grandfather’s details. I wish I had a photo of him I could send, but I found out more about him from your website than I have known in my life. Thank you for acknowledging animals caught up in wars. They are the forgotten heroes, regardless of which ‘side’ they were with. Your tribute page to these beautiful creatures is rewarding, and I look forward to reading more posts. Thank you.

  2. It is rare for me to uncover something on the web thats as entertaining and intriguing as what you have got here. Your page is sweet, your graphics are great, and whats much more, you use source that are relevant to what youre saying. That you are undoubtedly one in a million, well done! eaakbeadkebe

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