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The New Photo Book “Buddies” Salutes World War II Military Dogs

Among the dogs honored are Max, a parachuting trooper, and Knobby, the official mascot of an 83-foot rescue cutter.

Phillip Mlynar  |  Aug 13th 2015


According to the blurb that accompanies military historian L. Douglas Keeney’s new book, Buddies, photos of dogs in service were used as a morale-boosting tactic during World War II. Known as buddy photos, the pics were a form of propaganda that was meant to reassure the folks back home that “despite the horrors of the war, their boys were still boys.”

In honor of Buddies‘ Aug. 7 release, here are some of the standout images from the book.

BuddiesBookCover

Photo via Buddies.

Max

BuddiesBookMax

Photo via Buddies.

This high-flying pooch was called Max. He was the mascot of the 505th Parachute Infantry and became officially certified as a fully fledged parachute trooper.

Sinbad

BuddiesBookSinbad

Photo via Buddies.

This proud chap was named Sinbad — and he had something of a laid-back approach to the whole going to war thing. It’s rumored that during an encounter involving six submarines being depth-charged, he napped through it all!

Saki

BuddiesbookSaki

Photo via Buddies.

A Cocker Spaniel, Saki formed a strong bond with coast guardsman Kenneth Smith. An anti-aircraft gun anchors the photo in the background.

Kelly

BuddiesBookKelly

Photo via Buddies.

Kelly — or H. E. (High Explosive) Kelly to give this dog his full and honorable title — was active in the Far Pacific. According to the book, he displayed “exceptional barking at Saipan.”

Knobby

BuddiesBookKnobby

Photo via Buddies.

Knobby held down duties as the official mascot of an 83-foot rescue cutter. He was present and correct during the D-Day operation.

Salty

BuddiesBookSalty

Photo via Buddies.

This chap with the sterling posture is Salty. He was said to be a “first class goldbrick” and loved to perch on a gun barrel.

Puppies

BuddiesBookPuppies

Photo via Buddies.

These pups were captured taking part in a photo opportunity. From left to right, their names were Laddie, Big Dog, Ace, Scout, and the serious-faced Hans.

Sparky

BuddiesBookSparky

Photo via Buddies.

In case of emergency, Sparky was always ready to abandon ship thanks to a bespoke lifejacket tailored by his shipmates. According to military lore, “Sparky knows the smell of battle and has seen an enemy sub go to the bottom.”

Buddies: Heartwarming Photos of GIs and Their Dogs in World War II, published by Zenith Press, is in stores now.

Do you work with a military dog or live with a retired military dog? Show us your patriotic pups in the comments!

Read more about military dogs on Dogster:

About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.