6th Airborne Para Dogs

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by Ludo68000, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Ludo68000

    Ludo68000 Junior Member

    Hi all,
    I don't know if the subject has already been brought to this forum, but it could be interesting to know more about the para dogs that 6th Airborne Division took to Normandy.
    Of course the most known is the 9th Para dog Glenn & Emil Corteil:
    upload_2018-11-18_10-19-17.png
    But who were the other ones?
    on a September 1944 photo of 13th Para there are 2 dogs. Were they in Normandy?
    upload_2018-11-18_10-22-58.png

    On this one of 4th Airlanding Anti Tank Battery,was this one also taken to Normandy?
    upload_2018-11-18_10-25-6.png
    Who were the ones in the other units.
    What was the role of the dogs in the Airborne Divisions apart from being mascottes?
    Thanks for you help, & Regards,
    Ludo
     
  2. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    There are 3 dogs in the 13th battalion officers photo!
    Lt Col Luard at the back, Major Jack Watson front right ( not sure who’s got the other dog)
    Not 100% but my guess is these dogs are their own and not service dogs.

    Alex.
     
  3. Bruneval

    Bruneval Well-Known Member

    What about Sgt Kowalski and Johnny Canuck from the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion; both jumped into Normandy.

    Bruneval
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Bruneval

    Bruneval Well-Known Member

    The other officer is Lt Malcolm Town.

    Bruneval
     
  5. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi,

    Any dog chosen for parachute duties had to first pass the course at the War Dog School in Hertfordshire where they were trained "to sniff out anti-personnel mines and carry messages, as well as alert soldiers when the enemy was close."

    As far as I can make out there were two dogs * that jumped on D-Day with 13 Para - Bing (Brian?) and possibly Monty. A third dog, Ranee, who belonged to L/Cpl Ken Bailey was left behind for fear she would be wounded or killed. Bing and perhaps Monty also parachuted into Germany during Op Varsity. There is quite a lot of information on Bing in various news articles on the web. Also a children's book on Bing by Gil Boyd was published in 2012.

    bing-and-monty-with-cpl-walton-Paradata.jpg the-amazing-adventures-of-bing-the-parachuting-dog-by-gil-boyd.jpg

    Another photo of Johnny Canuck with RSM W.J. Clark, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.

    Johnny Canuck & RSM Clark.jpg

    Regards ...

    Edit: * According to Lt-Col Luard below there were 3 dogs from 13 Para that jumped on June 6th.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  6. Ludo68000

    Ludo68000 Junior Member

    thanks for this.
    were all dogs alsatians?
    Regards, Ludo
     
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  8. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Ludo,

    I think the dogs were all Alsatians? Brian apparently was an Alsatian-Collie cross. Paradata claims that Bing and Brian were two separate dogs whereas in other sources he is said be the same dog.

    According to Lt-Col Peter Luard, CO 13 Bn, in the book "13 - Lucky For Some":

    "Of the 3 dogs dropped, one was missing, one was wounded, but "Bing", though slightly wounded by mortar fire survived. This Alsatian with his handler, Lance Corporal Ken Bailey, held the right hand post, adjacent to the Bois de Bavent. They were on duty all night in their own personal trench."

    Here are a few scans from Andrew Woolhouse's book telling of the acquisition and training of the dogs by the 13th Parachute Battalion prior to June 6th.

    13-Lucky For Some-Page 42.jpg 13-Lucky For Some-Page 51.jpg 13-Lucky For Some-Page 52.jpg

    If you are interested in the British Paras you can't go wrong in purchasing Andrew's book "13 - Lucky For Some".

    Regards ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
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  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current
    Name: Pvt Emile Servais Corteil
    Death Date: 6 Jun 1944
    Cemetery: Ranville War Cemetery
    Burial or Cremation Place: Basse-Normandie, France
    Has Bio?: Y
    Children: Glenn Dog
    URL: https://www.findagrave.com/mem...

    Name: Glenn Dog
    Death Date: 6 Jun 1944
    Cemetery: Ranville War Cemetery
    Burial or Cremation Place: Ranville, Departement du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
    Has Bio?: Y
    Father: Emile Servais Corteil
    URL: https://www.findagrave.com/mem...


    ‘Glenn' served with The Parachute Regiment. He was an Alsatian shepherd dog, who served with the 9th Parachute Battalion, 6th Airborne Division, and landed in Normandy, France, on D-Day. Both he and his keeper, Private Emile Servais ‘Jack' Corteil, were killed on the 6th June 1944 by ‘friendly fire'. A combination of errors led to the mistake after some paratroopers had landed in the wrong location and while making their way towards their objective, an RAF Typhoon pilot mistook them for a German column of soldiers and strafed the paratroopers with anti-personnel mines. ‘Glen' and 19 year old Private Corteil are buried together in Ranville Commonwealth War Cemetery. Plot IA, Row G, Grave 13.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    TD

    Gravestone of E S Corteil and his paradog Glen, Ranville War Cemetery | ParaData
     
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  10. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Neil Barber in his book on the the 9th Parachute Battalion, The Day the Devils Dropped In, has some excellent information on Pte Emile "Jack" Corteil and his dog Glenn. In a footnote he describes how Jack Corteil became a dog handler:

    Footnote 15 - One Sunday afternoon in 1944, Corteil and Private Bolingbroke were caught poaching on Salisbury Plain. Lieutenant Colonel Lindsay handed them a modest punishment. He asked them if they would like to be dog handlers, to which they happily agreed. Bolingbroke's dog was eventually transferred to the 13th Battalion.

    When it came time to jump on D-Day Glenn cowered under a bench due to the noise of flak exploding nearby and had to be forced out the door. Corteil and Glenn were successfully reunited on the ground and eventually joined a party of 42 men led by Brigadier Hill. Unfortunately the column was stuck by low-flying aircraft carrying out anti-personnel pattern bombing resulting in many deaths and injuries. Among them was Jack Corteil still holding Glenn by his leash.

    Emile Corteli and Glen 1944.jpg Emil Corteil and Glenn KIA June 6, 1944.jpg Field Graves Brig. Hill's Party.jpg

    Paradata also mentions the dog 'Bereda" and his handler Jimmy Gardner of 9 Para. I couldn't find any further information on them.

    Jimmy Gardner and Bereda 1944.jpg

    --------------------------------

    There was an interesting comment in the Daily Mail article linked above concerning the Paradogs that took part in the Normandy jump:

    Peter, Ipswich, Suffolk, 7 years ago

    Bing was not the only dog to jump into action with the 6th Airborne Division on the night of 5th/6th June 1944. There were at least four others, including Glenn, who served with A Company of 9th Parachute Battalion, and Johnny Canuck who went into action with the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion which, like the 9th Para Bn, was part of 3rd Parachute Brigade in 6th Airborne Division. Johnny Canuck was well known for his enthusiasm for parachuting, and would almost tow his handler out of the door. Sadly, Glenn was killed on 6th June with his 19-year old handler, Pte Corteil, with whom he is buried in a grave in the cemetery in the village of Ranville. Another dog was separated from his handler and was taken back to England by a glider pilot who thought he was a stray and adopted him. A fourth dog 'defected' to the Germans and was never seen again.


    So according to him there were 5 dogs. However, some of his facts are without source and therefore not confirmed.

    Regards ...
     
  11. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    There is a very long article by Christy Campbell on the Pets in Peril site titled the "The Brian Identity" that establishes that Bing and Brian were indeed two separate dogs. It's a rather convoluted and somewhat controversial story on how the two dogs were merged into one. Bing was not returned to his original owner, Mrs. Marjorie Cory of Rochester, Kent, who agreed to sell him to the government. Sadly he was put down after his military service was no longer required.

    THE BRIAN IDENTITY

    So which three dogs belonging to 13th Parachute Battalion actually dropped into Normandy? Well there are a few variations in different web articles with most maintaining that Bing and Brian were the same dog. For example Der Spiegel and the Famous Dogs in History site both claim Brian/Bing, Monty and Ranee were the dogs involved on the D-Day jump. Whereas in a 2015 Sun article titled "Pawatroopers" by Clare Campbell the three dogs were said to be Bing, Brian and Monty.

    As it turns out Christy and Clare Campbell are husband and wife. The Sun article is said to be an extraction from their book "Dogs of Courage"(2015) by Corsair. They have looked deeply into the subject of Bing's identity so for the moment I'll go with their determination that the 3 paradogs belonging to the 13th Battalion that jumped on D-Day were Bing, Brian and Monty.

    It should be noted, however, that their assessment of events doesn't accord entirely with what Lt-Col Luard claims occurred with the 3 dogs.

    Regards ...

    Edited to note the Clare and Christy Campbell connection.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
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  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    But what about Glenn ??

    TD
     
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  13. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    What about Glenn?

    Well we know both Glenn and Johnny Canuck dropped on June 6th. There is some confusion as to which dogs belonging to 13 Para actually participated in the Normandy Campaign. It would be nice, however, to have a few more anecdotes about Glenn and Johnny.

    Regards ...
     
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  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    According to (Dogs of Courage) Airborne Forces Museum curator in 1997 Brian and Bing were one and the same dog

    "Brian was a male Alasatian known as Bing during periods of active service, to prevent him being confused with soldiers in the Battalion who had the same name ........................"

    Betty Fetch and Brian receiving his PDSA Dickin Medal from Air Chief Marshall Sir Frederick Bowhill, 1947 | ParaData

    Having recd a copy of "13 - Lucky for some ............." I am tending to agree that Brian and Bing were one and the same, another interesting point to note is that the PDSA Dickin Medal for Gallantry was awarded to Brian, its his name that appears on the certificate, and I assume because that was his real name


    TD
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
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  15. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    TD,

    I have ordered "Dogs of Courage" by Clare and Christy Campbell but it's going to take weeks to arrive. What the Campbells claim occurred with the Paradogs that went into Normandy does not entirely agree with short accounts by the men on the ground.

    There are several photos of Brian who survived the war and was awarded the Dicken Medal for his deeds in Normandy. The only official photo that alleges to be of Bing I could find was published in the Soldier magazine while he was at WDTS in Sennelager Germany, 1946 (from the "Brian Identity" article.) There are many photos on Paradata that purport to show Bing in Germany but you really have to look at them carefully as the13 Para Scout Platoon picked up a number of German dogs while travelling through to Wismar.

    Paradog Brian .jpg Paradog Brian with owner Betty Fetch.jpg Soldier Magazine 1946.jpg Cpl Walton with Bing the Para dog, probably near Wismar, 1945.JPG

    To my eyes they are two different dogs. Brian has distinct dark markings on face, ears and neck, with a noticeable patch of white on his breast. His muzzle is narrow, an indication perhaps of the Collie side of his breeding. Whereas Bing is of lighter colouration on his face and chest with a hint of darker markings on his back.

    The fourth photo from Paradata is titled "Cpl Walton with Bing the Para dog, probably near Wismar, 1945". A fine looking dog who is similar in colouration to the one in the Sennelager photo?

    The more you look into the subject of Paradogs the more puzzling it gets.

    Regards ...
     
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  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Yes - I am puzzled

    In Brian Identity they state:

    "Medal-winning, Rhine-storming ‘Bing’ has had a fund-raising children’s book published about him (doubtless based on information believed to be correct at the time). There is a special display entitled ‘Bing’, featuring a parachute-equipped, faux-fur clad mannequin at the Airborne Assault Museum, Duxford, Cambs, out-station of the Imperial War Museum – which includes a replica Dickin Medal engraved with the inscription ‘Brian – Airborne Division Normandy, June 1944."

    and further on:

    " He then returned home via quarantine in Hampshire in autumn 1946 to his youthful owner, Miss Betty Fetch of Loughborough, Leics, to resume his life as ‘Brian.’ He died in 1955

    To me that reads that Brian/Bing are (were) one and the same

    My interest continues
    TD

    Just to add, running those photos side by side then photos 1 & 2 are the same dog, photos 3 & 4 could be the same dog, BUT not the dog in 1 & 2
     
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  17. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    The odd thing is the Paradata site, which is associated with IWM Museum in Duxford, in their Paradog article acknowledge that Bing and Brian are two different dogs. They may have updated their display of the Paradog mannequin at the Duxford Museum to show it is Brian rather than Bing - I don't know? Old photos with accompanying write-up maintain it is Bing and merge the story of the two dogs. The mannequin itself appears to be based on Brian.

    Mannequin Duxford-1.JPG Mannequin Duxford-2.JPG

    The quote you posted from The Brian Identity is laying out the official position at time of writing concerning the Brian/Bing story. They go on in a rather complicated way to show they are in fact two separate dogs with supporting documents. Brian was buried at the PDSA Pet Cemetery, Ilford, east London. As for Bing the Campbell's suggest, "The real Bing’s likely resting place is the small war-dog cemetery at Sennelager ...".

    Was the well-loved Bing left behind in Germany after the war where he ends up at Sennelager? Apparently the Scout Platoon took a number of German dogs back to England with one party sneaking them by the Customs Officials at Gravesend.

    Regards ...
     
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I still feel though that if Bing & Brian where different dogs then they would have each received a Dickin medal, instead only one seems to have been issued.

    I was reading about how they drugged the dogs and surrounded them with kit to hide them, pus once of the boat they drove 'very' quickly out of the port to be as far away as possible in case they were rumbled.

    TD
     
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  19. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Gravesend is my Home town by the way!
     
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    https://history.blog.gov.uk/2014/06...-d-m-and-the-future-of-military-working-dogs/

    Paratrooper Brian, D.M. and the future of military working dogs

    In March 1947, an Alsatian patrol dog with the 13th Parachute Battalion received the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) Dickin Medal for service in the Second World War. In addition to patrol duties, Bing, or Brian as he was known in peacetime, was ‘a fully-qualified Paratrooper’ and joined the battalion when they jumped over Normandy on D Day: 6 June 1944.


    The 13th Parachute Battalion taught four patrol dogs, including Bing, to parachute from aeroplanes ............ the dogs learned to jump immediately after their handlers

    In the 9th Parachute Battalion, dogs were taught to jump before their handlers. Glen, an Alsatian attached to the battalion, was known to enjoy parachuting. On D Day, however, Glen refused to jump due to the heavy anti-aircraft fire over Normandy and had to be pushed from the aircraft by his handler.

    TD
     

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