An Exceptional Dog called Chips Home
People may be surprised to hear that one of America's most decorated veterans is in fact German.
A German Shepherd that is, named Chips.
This brave pooch initially joined the war in 1942 when he was donated by the Wren family to serve as one of our
nation's canine units.
Chips was initially a sentry dog and with his handler, Pvt. John P. Rowell, he served as a guard for the Roosevelt-
Churchill conference in 1943.
Little did those great men know that a hero was sniffing just outside their meeting room. Chips was an exceptional
sentry but it seemed that his heart was set on the excitement of the American Infantry.
He was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa and his actions would make him the pride and joy of the
Participating in the landings at Sicily, Chips and his handler became pinned down by an Italian Machinegun team.
Pvt. Rowell tried to control the dog and keep his head down but Chips, sensing his handler's danger, broke free and
made a heroic dash right towards the relentless fire.
He leaped into the pillbox and attached the Italian gunner crew.
Wounded, he continued to fight until the four Italian soldiers were forced to abandon the pillbox and surrender to the
Allied Forces. Despite his scalp wound and extensive powder burns, he stayed in the fight and helped secure the
surrender of a further 10 Italian POW's.
For his actions he was rightly awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star.
Later these were revoked when the military realized that Chips was not a GI's nickname but that the recipient had in
fact been a dog. Undeterred, his unit unofficially awarded him a Theatre Ribbon with an Arrowhead for an assault landing,
and Battlestars for each of his eight campaigns. Chips is an example of how this war didn't leave a single one of us
unaffected and how it took bravery of behalf of all to bring it to victory.
Chips has been given an honorable discharge and will be returning home in December.
In related news, another famous canine of the war, Smokey the Yorkshire Terrier, will be showing off his war time tricks
at the Veterans hospital in Cleveland on 5th December.