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V13 2010 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 29, July 18, 2010, Article 16

CHIPS, THE DOG WITH A PURPLE HEART

Regarding the British Dickin Medal and PDSA Gold medal for animal bravery, last week I asked, "Is there any such medal for animals in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world?". -Editor

David Klinger writes:

During WWII a dog named Chips was awarded a Silver Star and a Purple Heart.

David forwarded a link to the following article from the Military.com web site. Thanks! -Editor

Chips the War Hero Dog Spirited and quick to learn, Chips served bravely as a tank guard dog, traveling throughout Europe, Africa, and Italy with General Patton's Seventh Army.

On one occasion, Chips alerted to an impending ambush. Then, with a phone cable attached to his collar, Chips ran back to base, dodging gunfire so that the endangered platoon could establish a communications line and ask for the backup they so desperately needed.

Perhaps the event that most exemplifies his courage and devotion occurred early one morning on a beach in Sicily. As he and his handler proceeded up the beach, they came under fire from a disguised pillbox. Chips broke free from his handler and launched himself right into the pillbox. Moments later several bitten and surrendering Italian soldiers emerged, all shepherded by a very determined Chips.

Though wounded in the melee, Chips returned to duty that night, and alerted troops to an approaching group of Italians. This allowed his handler and squad time to capture all of them.

Chips was a true hero. He was awarded a Silver Star for valor, and a Purple Heart for his wounds. The newspapers heralded his exploits. Unfortunately, the press attracted the attention of the Commander of the Order of the Purple Heart. He complained to both President Roosevelt and the War Department, claiming that by so honoring Chips, they were demeaning all the men who have been awarded a Purple Heart. Chips' medals were taken away, and he was given an honorable discharge and returned to his family in Pleasantville. No military dog has received an official decoration since.

To read the complete article, see: Chips: Decorated War Hero (www.military.com/NewContent/0,13190,K9_051605,00.html)

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: THE PDSA GOLD MEDAL: "THE GEORGE CROSS FOR ANIMALS" (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n28a26.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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