Two of my favorite things - dogs and airplanes.
I had noticed, long ago, - the tendency for soldiers to have mascot dogs. You can even see this in many photos from the U.S. Civil War, and all Wars since. And further back, from paintings made, for example, during the Renaissance, of wars long ago. They occupy a very prominent and honored place in the group pictures - they weren't just wandering by when someone snapped a photo.
The Linked article below brought back memories of many hangar dogs, including Sidney in Moses Lake. When they started requiring picture ID's at MWH, she had her own badge with picture, and Title: Ramp Dog. In my monthly trips there to work on the 737 Prototype, I used to "borrow" her badge. I remember one day when the Grant County Sheriff came around to watch us work. I was prominently wearing Sidney's badge, which I could see him looking at from time to time - but he never mentioned it. Perhaps you recall your own ramp, hangar, and military dogs.
Here are a two of mine:
My beloved dog Chiba (who sadly died last year) helping me restore the 727 Prototype for one more flight.
As I am deeply into genealogy, I recently uncovered this picture of my Uncle Gene's brother Jerome. I never knew Gene had a brother at all. Since finding this, I have uncovered much about Jerry, including his complete military history, all missions and airplanes flown, etc. Here, he is seen in England with his crew (including - of course - their Squadron Dog) in front of his B-17F "Tech Supply". He's in the back row on the far left - he was the Navigator. Sadly, he was killed in Nov 1943 after completing 27 missions.
With the above as a preamble, it was great to receive the following
from my friends in Canada, detailing dogs and airplanes:
Since the very first flight by the Wright brothers, dogs have been part of the fabric of aviation. Follow this link to learn more about this remarkable phenomenon: http://www.vintagewings.ca/Home/tabid/40/language/en-CA/Default.aspx
Be sure to read the story about Roscoe, the faithful dog who waited for his master to return from a mission over N. Viet Nam. Sadly, he was shot down and became MIA, never to return. Roscoe, himself named after a dead pilot, waited faithfully for his return - he waited for 10 years. That's why I like dogs.
About squadron dogs ... attached is a picture of Sabre. Sabre was a native Vietnamese dog that the Squadron (480 TFS) adopted. The dog could think and reason almost like a human. He was a left over from the F-100 outfit that was stationed at our base (Phu Cat, RVN) a couple of years earlier. The rumor was that he would ride with the Hun drivers on missions once in a while but probably not. Sabre used to hang around the BOQ or the Squadron depending on his fancy. He would wait for a ride at the bus stop since their were some miles between the flight line squadron and the Q. A lot of the time he would jump in the crew van when we went to brief for flights. Same for the mess hall when he got hungry. Sabre would sleep in one of the guys rooms or at the squadron or at the flight alert shack but never became attached to anyone in particular. He never had anything to do with our sister sguadron (389 TFS). He was really a cool dog. Like a lot going on over in Vietnam, he was a real survivor.