When the USA joined the war on the 6th April 1917 many people were relieved to have their help in fighting the Central Powers of Germany and her allies.
As the Americans prepared to go to Europe to join the war against Germany, a soldier called Corporal Robert Conroy was training in a parade ground when a bulldog ran across the square. He made friends with the dog, which appeared to be a stray, and decided to keep him as a pet. He gave him the name “Sergeant Stubby” and managed to smuggle him aboard his troop ship to the trenches in France.
Stubby soon settled into trench life and was a favourite mascot of all the soldiers in the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division. He served in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in 17 different battles. During this time he was constantly under shell and rifle fire and the fact that he survived it all was an inspiration for all the soldiers around him.
In April 1918, in a place called Schieprey, Stubby was wounded in the leg by a German hand grenade. He was sent to the hospital to recover and while he was there he continued to make friends with all the injured soldiers. When he recovered from his wounds, Stubby returned to the trenches like a lot of the soldiers at the time.
Soon after, he was gassed with poisoned gas but this meant that he knew what it smelled like, so every time there was a coming gas attack he would warn the soldiers before the gas came too near, probably saving many lives and injuries.
He also became good at hearing gun shells being fired in the distance long before they hit the trench and started to whine loudly to warn the men. He was also solely responsible for capturing a German spy!
When he helped his unit to retake the town of Château-Thierry in 1918, the women of the town made Sergeant Stubby a coat on which were pinned his many medals. By the end of the war, Corporal Conroy smuggled Stubby home and both him and Stubby toured the country to receive many medals for their bravery.