At Jinx we praise boldly those defenders of liberty and justice who put their lives on the line for our freedoms. So now let us honor Stubby, the single most decorated dog in United States military history, and an American Pit Bull Terrier. This heroic animal, a member of a breed that is today despised by an ignorant population, was given the rank of Sergeant for his bravery and loyalty during his many battles against the Germans in World War I.
This proud beast was adopted by a young army Private who was training at Yale University in 1917. Stubby stayed at the camp long enough to learn the basics of army life: he knew the bugle calls and marching routines and even learned how to do a special doggy salute, lifting his paw to his eyebrow at the appropriate moment.
When it was time for the camp to move out to Europe, Stubby stowed away on the naval transport ship that carried his master to the front lines. Soon he was in France with the 102nd infantry, having been given special orders from the commander that made him a member and special mascot of the division.
But life in the trenches was not easy for Stubby. It was freezing cold and wet when they arrived in the winter, and the soldiers had to face daily sniper fire. The water and mud made for unhealthy living conditions, and Stubby had to work overtime to keep up his troops' morale. But soon he would have even greater responsibilities.
Not long after his arrival on the front, the Krauts launched a vicious gas attack on the American soldiers. The gas was extremely deadly: it burned skin and eyes and blistered the lungs. Severe injuries, including blindness, loss of limbs, and mortality, ensued. Even Stubby was not immune to its effects, and he had to be taken to the nearest field hospital to recover.
Luckily, Stubby now knew the dangers of German gas and was hypersensitive to its presence. A few weeks later, the Jerrys launched another attack while the men were sleeping. Stubby immediately sensed the presence of the deadly toxins and began to alert his companions, loudly barking and running through the trench, stopping only to pull at his fellow soldiers uniforms in an attempt to rouse them from their slumber. Due to the valor of Stubby, the men were saved.
When it became obvious that Stubby had an extraordinary aptitude for military life, the division's top brass didn't hesitate to heap more responsibilities on Stubby's willing shoulders. He began to work at locating wounded men in the area between the German and Allied trenches, known as the no-man's land. By finding the injured men and barking out their location, he allowed medics to find and rescue them. One day in no-man's land, Stubby encountered a German spy gathering intelligence on the American trenches. His doggy heart filling with righteous fury, Stubby began to bark at the barbarous Hun. The spy began to run away, but Stubby was not about to let him get off so easy. He chased the spy, biting his legs until he fell. Then Stubby delivered the ultimate insult: a well-placed chomp to the Kraut's backside, holding him in place until Allied soldiers arrived to deposit him in a POW camp. By now, Stubby's commanders realized what they had to do - they awarded him the rank of Sergeant, making him the first pit bull to be given rank in the armed forces.
Sergeant Stubby continued to battle the Germans until the end of the war in 1918, surviving near death after a grenade exploded near him during one attack. After the war, Sgt. Stubby met President Wilson and gave him his patented doggy salute. Wilson was delighted.
In the years that followed, Stubby received a gold medal from General Pershing, joined the American Legion, and met with Presidents Harding and Coolidge. It seems unfair that now, 80 plus years after Sgt. Stubby's heroism, a gutless populace and fear-baiting media has turned on the Sergeant's noble descendents, his fellow American Pit Bull Terriers. As members of the Jinx Project, we must do our utmost to rehabilitate the reputation of this proud creature, who only want to love and serve their masters with all their hearts.