Add this content to your
profile or group
Gunner the Air Raid Alert Dog
Gunner was a stray male Kelpie born in August, 1941. He became famous for alerting allied air force personnel when Japanese aircraft were approaching Darwin during WWII.
He was originally found under a bombed mess hut -- a six-month-old pup whimpering with a broken leg. After being taken to a field hospital to be surgically repaired and plastered, he was given the name "Gunner" and the serial number 0000. He entered the air force as a service dog on that day.
Aircraftman Percy Westcott became his master and whilst working on the airfield one day, he noticed Gunner starting to whine. Not long after, he heard the sounds of approaching aircraft and a few minutes later a Japanese bomber appeared in the sky. This became a regular pattern and Gunner’s hearing proved to be so acute that he could warn aircraft personnel up to 20 minutes before they arrived. This was certainly long before they showed up on radar.
Interestingly, he never whined in relation to allied aircraft -- only enemy aircraft. Gunner was so reliable that the Prescott’s Wing Commander gave Westcott permission to sound a portable air raid siren whenever Gunner got distressed.
Eventually Prescott was posted to Melbourne and Gunner lived out his years with the local butcher.
Sarbi the Explosives Detection Dog
Sarbi is an Australian special forces explosives detection dog that served in Afghanistan and went M.I.A. (missing in action) for almost 14 months following an ambush in 2008. She was eventually found by an American soldier and was repatriated to Australia.
Sarbi is a female black Lab/Newfoundland mix who was trained in explosives detection – particularly improvised explosive devices (IED’s). Sarbi served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and it was during her second tour that she went missing in action. On the 2nd September, 2008, a joint Australian, American, and Afghan vehicle convoy was ambushed by insurgents. It was reported that she vanished soon after a rocket exploded near her. This ambush was the same one in which SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson was awarded the Victoria Cross.
More than 14 months later, an American man noticed a Labrador with a local man. Knowing that the Aussies were missing Sarbi, he determined (using commands) that she was military trained. He took her back to base.
When asked about how he felt, Trooper Donaldson said, “Having Sarbi back gives some closure for the handler and the rest of us that served with her in 2008. It’s a fantastic morale booster for the guys.”
It is said she saved many lives during her two tours of duty.
< Previous post All posts of this blog Most recent post >