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.
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.
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!
A Cocker Spaniel, Saki formed a strong bond with coast guardsman Kenneth Smith. An anti-aircraft gun anchors the photo in the background.
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 held down duties as the official mascot of an 83-foot rescue cutter. He was present and correct during the D-Day operation.
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.
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.
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:
- Caring For 12 Military Dogs Has Put This Kennel Owner $150,000 in Debt
- Experts Fear ‘Max’ Will Cause a Surge in the Popularity of Belgian Malinois
- We Talk to ‘Soldier Dogs’ Author Maria Goodavage About Her New Book
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.