“Pluto” ship’s dog of Tribal-class destroyer HMS Cossack

Onboard Royal Navy Tribal-class destroyer HMS Cossack, 1940. Petty Officer Scott with “Pluto”, the destroyer’s mascot. Pluto has been in all the ship’s battles including Narvik and Altmark episode.© IWM (A 1597)

Ship’s dog ‘Peter’ (a.k.a. Pétain), mascot of Royal Navy submarine HMS Ursula

Peter, also known as ‘Pétain’ (one assumes after the French collaborator), was the mascot of HMS/M Ursula (N59), a U-class submarine commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1938. Peter was rescued from the German-crewed merchantman ‘Sainte Marguerite II’ which was torpedoed by Ursula on 2 December 1942. Described as “terrified” (and who wouldn’t be?) Peter was rescued from the water and adopted as the submarine’s mascot.

February 1943. Officers of HM SUBMARINE URSULA stand in front of the conning tower, which has been draped with the Jolly Roger. Left to right, they are: Sub-Lieutenant W Burley, RNVR; Lieutenant A R Profit, DSC, RN; and Lieutenant A R Marshal, RN. Lt Profit is holding their pet dog ‘Peter’.

Ship’s dog ‘Shrapnel’ on Royal Navy minesweeper off Salerno, Italy 1943

“On board HM Motor Minesweeper 88 during minesweeping operations off Anzio, Italy. On the left is “Shrapnel” the dog, ship’s mascot, who has seen only 6 months service, having joined the ship during the Salerno landing. He is fond of chocolate, and is trying to wheedle himself a share of Stoker Whadcoat’s chocolate ration. Whadcoat is from Redditch, Worcestershire.” (via formerdays.com)

Ship’s dog ‘Bruce’ escaped through Japanese lines with crew of MTB 11

MTB 11 (Lt. C.J. Collingwood, RN) was scuttled at Hong Kong on 26 December, 1941 to prevent capture by the Japanese. The ship’s dog, Bruce, accompanied the escape party through Japanese lines and on a 1,380-mile (2,221-km) trek to safety. Now that is a heck of a dog.

Ship’s dog ‘Bruce’ with Sub-Lieutenant David Legge on MTB 11. (via hongkongescape.org)

Ship’s dog ‘Bruce’ with Lt. Collingwood and escape party at Kukong, China. (via hongkongescape.org)

Ship’s dog ‘Judy’

Judy sits up and listens to a sailor’s commands on the deck of HMS GRASSHOPPER.

Judy (1937 – 17 February 1950) was a ship’s dog on board HMS Gnat and HMS Grasshopper before and during World War II. She helped save the lives of the crew of the Grasshopper following the sinking of the ship, and, once captured by the Japanese, helped the men in the Prisoner-of-war camp. She struck up a friendship with Frank Williams, with whom she spent the rest of her life. She was the only dog to be registered as a Second World War Prisoner of War, and survived for a while in the jungles of Sumatra after the guards had sentenced her to death. Following the war, she came to the United Kingdom with Williams and was awarded the Dickin Medal by the PDSA, considered to be the animals’ VC.


Ship’s dog ‘Inky’

Inky, the amphibious dog.

Inky belonged to Lt (jg) Paul Rork, who was the ship’s 1st Lieutenant. Lt. Rork bought Inky in California before the ship sailed for Hawaii. Inky later achieved some measure of fame because of her habit of eating cigarette butts.

As Lt. Rork tells it: “… Not the crew, but the army or the marines that were aboard, would smoke and throw their butts over the side, but didn’t know the lee side from the windward side, and the butts would fly back on the deck and Inky would come over to a butt and sniff it. It would burn her nose. She would knock off the ash and eat the cigarette, literally eat it. And she did this for over two and a half years.”

“When she had her puppies, and when we brought them home, the veterinarian called me over, and he said, “You have to tell me the history of this dog.” I said, “What’s wrong?” He said, “There’s not a worm in any puppy.” … He said, “Tell me what she did.” I said, “Well, she was famous for eating cigarettes.” “Awww,” he said, “You know what a worm capsule is made out of? What kills the worms? Nicotine!” He said, “I have to write this up for the Cornell Veterinary Journal.” . . . which he did.