Sergeant Stubby

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Sergeant Stubby
Sergeant Stubby.jpg
Sergeant Stubby c. 1920
Born1916
DiedMarch 16, 1926 (aged 9–10)[1]
Place of display
Smithsonian "The Price of Freedom" exhibition
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
Years of service1917–18
RankWW1-Sergeant.svg Sergeant
Unit102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th (Yankee) Division
Battles/warsWorld War I
AwardsHumane Education Society Gold Medal
Wound stripe
Other workmascot for Georgetown Hoyas

Sergeant Stubby (1916 – March 16, 1926) was a dog and the official mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment (United States) and was assigned to the 26th (Yankee) Division in World War I. He served for 18 months and participated in 17 battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and allegedly once caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him there until American soldiers found him.[2] His actions were well-documented in contemporary American newspapers.[3][4][5]

Stubby has been called the most decorated war dog of WWI, and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat.[6] Recognized in connection with an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution.[3][4][6]

Stubby is the subject of a 2018 animated film.

Early life[edit]

Stubby was described in contemporaneous news items as a Boston Terrier or "American bull terrier"[a] mutt.[5][8] Describing him as a dog of "uncertain breed," Ann Bausum wrote that: "The brindle-patterned pup probably owed at least some of his parentage to the evolving family of Boston Terriers, a breed so new that even its name was in flux: Boston Round Heads, American...and Boston Bull Terriers."[9][10] Stubby was found wandering the grounds of the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut in July 1917, while members of the 102nd Infantry were training. He hung around as the men drilled and one soldier in particular, Corporal James Robert Conroy (1892-1987), developed a fondness for him.[4] When it came time for the outfit to ship out, Conroy hid Stubby on board the troop ship. As they were getting off the ship in France, he hid Stubby under his overcoat without detection.[11] Upon discovery by Conroy's commanding officer, Stubby saluted him as he had been trained to in camp, and the commanding officer allowed the dog to stay on board.[6]

Military service[edit]

Sgt. Stubby wearing his coat, dog tag and medals.

Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry Regiment in the trenches in France for 8 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. He entered combat on February 5, 1918, at Chemin des Dames, north of Soissons, and was under constant fire, day and night for over a month. In April 1918, during a raid to take Seicheprey, Stubby was wounded in the foreleg by retreating Germans throwing hand grenades. He was sent to the rear for convalescence and, as he had done on the front, improved morale. When he recovered from his wounds, Stubby returned to the trenches. He ultimately had two wound stripes.[4][12]

In his first year of battle, Stubby was injured by mustard gas. After he recovered, he returned with a specially designed gas mask to protect him.[13] Thus learning to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, locate wounded soldiers in no man's land, and—since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans—became very adept of alerting his unit when to duck for cover. He's solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the Argonne, leading to their units' Commander nominating Stubby for the rank of Sergeant.[6] Following the retaking of Château-Thierry by the US, women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat upon which his many medals were pinned. He was later injured again, in the chest and leg by a grenade. At the end of the war, Robert Conroy smuggled Stubby home.[6]

After the war[edit]

Gen. John Pershing awards Sergeant Stubby with a medal from the Humane Education Society at a White House ceremony, 1921

After returning home, Stubby became a celebrity and had marched in, and normally led, many parades across the country. He met Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding.[6] He also appeared on vaudeville stages owned by Sylvester Z. Poli and was awarded lifetime memberships to the American Legion and the YMCA.

In 1921, General of the Armies John J. Pershing presented a gold medal from the Humane Education Society to Stubby, the subject of a famous photograph and other artistic media.[4][5][12][14] During that same year, he attended Georgetown University Law Center along with Conroy, and became the Georgetown Hoyas' team mascot.[14] He'd be given the football at halftime and would nudge the ball around the field to the amusement of the fans.[15][16] While still a student at Georgetown, Conroy was also employed as a special agent of the Bureau of Investigation, precursor to the FBI.[17]

Stubby died in his sleep in March, 1926.[4] After his death, he was preserved with his skin mounted on a plaster cast. Conroy later presented Stubby to the Smithsonian in 1956.

Legacy[edit]

Sgt. Stubby's brick at Liberty Memorial

Stubby received an obituary in the New York Times following his death in 1926. The obituary was half a page, much longer than the obituaries of many notable people of that time period.[14]

He's also the subject of a portrait by "Capitol artist" Charles Ayer Whipple.[5] He was featured in the Brave Beasts exhibit at the Legermuseum in Delft, The Netherlands July 18, 2008 – April 13, 2009.[18] During a ceremony held on Armistice Day in 2006, a brick was placed in the Walk of Honor at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City to commemorate Sergeant Stubby.[19]

Stubby became the subject of at least 4 books.[11][20][21][22] In 2014, BBC Schools WWI series used Stubby as a Famous Figure to help teach children about the war, along with creating an animated comic strip to illustrate his life.[23][24]

Stubby has his portrait on display at the West Haven Military Museum in Connecticut.[11]

The descendants of Robert Conroy dedicated a life-size bronze statue of Stubby named "Stubby Salutes," by Susan Bahary, in the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial at Veteran's Memorial Park in Middletown, Connecticut, in May 2018. The statue pays tribute to fallen Connecticut Veterans, where both Stubby and Robert Conroy are from.

Animated Film[edit]

Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero is an animated feature-length film based on the life and times of Stubby. Theatrically released on April 13, 2018,[25][26] the film features the voices of Logan Lerman,[27] Helena Bonham Carter,[28] and Gérard Depardieu[29] with music by Academy Award nominee Patrick Doyle. The animation is made by the studio Mikros Image [30] and produced by Irish-American studio Fun Academy Media Group.

The film received high marks from film critics and was officially endorsed by several high-profile institutions, including the Humane Society of the United States, the Armed Services YMCA, the Westminster Kennel Club, and the United States World War One Centennial Commission. Unfortunately, the film's nationwide release coincided with studio tent-poles Avengers: Infinity War and Rampage, as well as the expansion of Wes Anderson's critically acclaimed, animated dog movie Isle of Dogs.

The film currently holds an 88% Tomatometer score on film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and has received numerous awards including the Parents' Choice Foundation Gold Award and The Dove Foundation's All Ages Seal of Approval, despite the film not containing any explicit faith-based messaging.[31][32][33]

Despite the initial theatrical setback, Sgt. Stubby has been released in over two dozen countries and picked up festival awards in Australia, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In December 2018, Sgt. Stubby was acquired for home media distribution by Paramount Pictures.

In November 2019, Fun Academy announced a new subscription-based fan club, The Stubby Squad, which offers members-only video programming, downloadable activities, and a crowdfunding element to help develop future Stubby projects. The website also offers a free web comic for non-members, Stubby & Friends, and details regarding their plans to tell the rest of Stubby's life – including his time on vaudeville and accompanying Conroy on missions as a G-man – as well as an animated television series serving as a prequel to his adoption by Conroy.

The series was announced to be developed by writers Scott Christian Sava (Animal Crackers, The Dreamland Chronicles), Audry Taylor (Pet Robots), and David Wise (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman: The Animated Series).[34] Wise passed away months after the announcement.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ American bull terrier is an archaic name for Boston terrier.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bausum, Ann; Sharpe, David E., Foreword (2014). Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation (Print). Washington, D.C: National Geographic. p. 220. ISBN 978-1426213106.
  2. ^ Goldsmith, Connie (2017). Dogs at War: Military Canine Heroes. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books. p. 23. ISBN 978-1512410129.
  3. ^ a b "Stubby, World War I Canine Hero 1921". History wired. Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on November 17, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Kane, Gillian; Larson-Walker, Lisa, Illustrator (May 7, 2014). "Sergeant Stubby: America's original dog of war fought bravely on the Western Front—then helped the nation forget the Great War's terrible human toll". Slate.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014. Reprinted in Kane, Gillian (May 24, 2014). "The story of Sergeant Stubby, WWI's most decorated dog". Stars & Stripes. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Stubby's Obituary: Stubby of A.E.F. Enters Valhalla". The New York Times. Connecticut Military History. April 4, 1926 – July 16, 2003. Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f ""The Price of Freedom" exhibition". Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on June 24, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  7. ^ "Boston Terrier Dog Breed Information". akc.org. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  8. ^ "Evening Public Ledger. (Philadelphia [Pa.]) 1914–1942, July 9, 1921, NIGHT EXTRA, Image 18". Chroniclingamerica.loc.gov. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Library of Congress. July 9, 1921. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  9. ^ Kane, Gillian. "Sergeant Stubby: America's original dog of war fought bravely on the Western Front—then helped the nation forget the Great War's terrible human toll". Slate. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  10. ^ Bausum, Ann; Sharpe, David E., Foreword (2014). Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation (Print). Washington, D.C: National Geographic. p. 23. ISBN 978-1426213106.
  11. ^ a b c Bausum, Ann; Sharpe, David E., Foreword (2014). Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation (Print). Washington, D.C: National Geographic. p. 112. ISBN 978-1426213106.
  12. ^ a b "Dog Hero Again Honored". Roundup Record-Tribune & Winnett Times. October 28, 1921. p. 10.
  13. ^ Marie Lux, Anna. "Janesville author breathes new life into Stubby the war dog". The Janesville Gazette (WI). 2014.
  14. ^ a b c Martin, Major General Thaddeus (April 12, 2011). "Stubby the Military Dog". Connecticut Military department. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  15. ^ "A Connecticut Hero: Sgt. Stubby". Archived from the original on January 17, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  16. ^ *Richmond, Derek (November 4, 2003). From Mascot to Military, Stubby Left Pawprints on Hilltop and Beyond. The Hoya. Georgetown, Washington, D.C: Georgetown University. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014.
  17. ^ Bausum, Ann (2015). Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation. National Geographic Books. ISBN 978-1-4262-1465-3.
  18. ^ "Brave Beasts". Legermuseum. July 18, 2008. Archived from the original on December 9, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  19. ^ "Stubby". Snopes.com. November 11, 2006. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  20. ^ Bausum, Ann (May 13, 2014). Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog (Hardcover/audio). Washington D.C.: National Geographic Children's Books. p. 80. ISBN 1426314868.
  21. ^ Glendinning, Richard; Glendinning, Sally; Amundsen, Richard (1978). Stubby, Brave Soldier Dog. Famous Animal Stories (Hardcover). Champaign, Illinois: Garrard Pub. Co./Olympic Marketing Corp. p. 48. ISBN 0811648648.
  22. ^ George, Isabel (2012). The Most Decorated Dog In History: Sergeant Stubby (Print) (Kindle ed.). Harper Collins. p. 304. ASIN B00739VSKW.
  23. ^ "BBC Schools World War One". BBC. Archived from the original on February 19, 2015.
  24. ^ "Animation: Sergeant Stubby". BBC. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015.
  25. ^ "Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero". Official Homepage. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  26. ^ "Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero". IMDb. Archived from the original on January 8, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  27. ^ Pictures, Fun Academy Motion. "Logan Lerman Enlists for Fun Academy Motion Pictures' Animated Feature SGT. STUBBY". www.prnewswire.com. Archived from the original on March 8, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  28. ^ "Helena Bonham Carter joins cast of animated tale "Sgt Stubby"". The Slanted. July 26, 2016. Archived from the original on July 27, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  29. ^ Studio, Fun Academy Motion Pictures. "Award Winning Actor Gérard Depardieu Joins Cast of Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero". www.prnewswire.com. Archived from the original on July 15, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  30. ^ Hero, Sgt Stubby: An American (January 24, 2017). "Fun Academy and Mikros Image's SGT. STUBBY Slated to Open on April 13, 2018". Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero. Retrieved June 12, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ "The Movie". The World of Sgt. Stubby. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  32. ^ Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero (2018), retrieved December 16, 2019
  33. ^ "Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero | Dove Family Friendly Movie Reviews". Dove.org. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  34. ^ Stubby: The Series | Meet the Creative Team, retrieved December 16, 2019

Further reading[edit]

  • Bausum, Ann; Sharpe, David E., Foreword (2014). Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation (Print). Washington, DC: National Geographic. p. 112. ISBN 978-1426213106.
  • Bausum, Ann (2014). Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog (Hardcover/audio). Washington DC: National Geographic Children's Books. p. 80. ISBN 1426314868.
  • Furstinger, Nancy (2016). Paws of Courage: True Stories of Heroic Dogs that Protect and Serve (hardcover) (1st ed.). National Geographic Children's Books. p. 160. ISBN 978-1426323775.
  • Garden, Joe; Pauls, Chris; Ginsburg, Janet (2007). The Dangerous Book for Dogs: A Parody by Rex and Sparky (hardcover) (1st ed.). Villard. p. 208. ISBN 978-0345503701.
  • George, Isabel (March 8, 2012). The Most Decorated Dog In History: Sergeant Stubby (Print) (Kindle ed.). Harper Collins. p. 304. ASIN B00739VSKW.
  • Glendinning, Richard; Glendinning, Sally; Amundsen, Richard (October 1978). Stubby, Brave Soldier Dog. Famous Animal Stories (Hardcover). Champaign, Illinois: Garrard Pub. Co./Olympic Marketing Corp. p. 48. ISBN 0811648648.
  • Goodavage, Maria (March 15, 2012). Soldier Dogs (Hardcover) (1 ed.). New York: Dutton Adult. p. 293. ISBN 0525952780.
  • Stone, Barry (2012). The Diggers' Menagerie: Mates, Mascots and Marvels – True Stories of Animals Who Went to War. Australia: HarperCollins/ABC Books. p. 215. ASIN B0062GO7FK.

External links[edit]