Friday, February 26, 2010

Fort MacArthur K-9 Command

Ft. MacArthur in San Pedro, California started training dogs and turning them into sentries and "soldiers" even before the well-known "Dogs for Defense" program was fully formed in the early years of World War II. 

The following story is from the Dallas Morning News, October 13, 1942:

Sentry Dog AWOL Over Attachment For Motorcycle

FORT MACARTHUR, Calif., Oct. 12 (AP).-- Every time a motorcycle went by it made King, a big black and tan shepherd sentry dog, homesick.

So the other day when one passed he jumped an eight-foot barbed wire-topped fence and went A.W.O.L. for the second time. A bewildered man later turned him over to San Pedro police with the explanation he had found King curled up contentedly beside his motorcycle.

Police checked King's licence tag and solved the puzzle. The dog has belonged to Motorcycle Officer Orville Clutterman of Van Nuys, who gave him to Fort MacArthur for sentry duty.

King is back at the fort, ordered confined to quarters for two days, but Sergt. Robert Pearce, trainer and handler of sentry dogs, is keeping a motorcycle around until King forms new affections.

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