Lucky (war dog)
|Other name(s)||3610 AD|
|Breed||German Shepherd Dog|
|Nation from||United Kingdom|
|Employer||Royal Air Force|
|Notable role||Dogs in warfare / Detection dog|
Lucky was a German Shepherd Dog, trained by the Royal Air Force to track terrorists. His RAF identification number was 3610 AD. Lucky was one of four dogs posted to the conflict known as the Malayan Emergency between 1949 and 1952. The other three dogs were called Bobbie, Jasper and Lassie. They were used to track Communist forces in the jungles of Malaysia including assisting in the capture of Lan-Jang-San in February 1951. They were attached to a number of different regiments during this period, including the Gurkha Rifles and the Coldstream Guards. During this period, Lucky's handler was Corporal Beval Austin Stapleton. Lucky was the only one of the four dogs to survive their time in Malaysia.
Lucky was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals on 6 February 2007 at a ceremony at the Imperial War Museum in London alongside another dog, Sadie. It is considered to be the animal's equivalent to the Victoria Cross. The medals were awarded by Princess Alexandra, and Lucky's was received by Corporal Beval Austin Stapleton, who said "Every minute of every day in the jungle we trusted our lives to those four dogs, and they never let us down, Lucky was the only one of the team to survive our time in the Malayan jungle and I'm so proud of the old dog today. I owe my life to him." It was on behalf of the four RAF tracker dogs posted to the Malaysian campaign between 1949 and 1952.[A]
- The commendation notes in part: "an exceptional team, capable of tracking and locating the enemy by scent despite unrelenting heat and an almost impregnable jungle." The four dogs were principal participants in capturing "hundreds of communist terrorists including, in February 1951, the notorious gang leader Lan-Jang-San", who had caused deaths of many local persons.
- "Dickin medal dogs". People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- "Birds and animals who have won the Dickin Medal". Lost and Found. 11 April 2011. Archived from the original on 16 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- Long (2012): p. 166
- "Lucky and Sadie awarded the 'animal VC'". Ministry of Defence. National Archives. 26 January 2007. Archived from the original on 8 January 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Long (2012): p. 167
- "Hero dogs Sadie and Lucky honoured for wartime heroism". PDSA. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Gallant soldier dogs to be honoured with Dickin Medal". Our Dogs. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Long, David (2012). The animals' VC: for gallantry and devotion: the PDSA Dickin Medal – inspiring stories of bravery and courage. London: Preface. ISBN 9781848093768.