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Swabby and American War Dogs from WWI to Iraq

Swabby and American War Dogs from WWI to Iraq | Mobile Ranger

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Swabby sounds like a great dog of history!

Swabby was a German shepherd and member of the Marine K-9 Corps during WWII. His remains lie in a grave at the slightly dilapidated Pine Knoll Pet Cemetery, in Santa Cruz, California. He was one of several dogs sent to the Pacific Theater. Swabby and his handler Don Sprauge, served in Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. Sprauge and Swabby saw fierce fighting and Swabby is said to have saved his unit more than once. 

Swabby was honorably discharged and after the war went through a retraining program in California with Sprauge. Sprauge gave him to his neighbor John Heuvers, who moved to Santa Cruz in 1949. Swabby died in 1952. His story was unearthed by Dan Model who discovered the old grave while exploring at the Pine Knoll Pet Cemetery and was intrigued by the U.S. Marine Corps medal. Model honored Swabby by placing a U.S. flag by his grave last Veterans Day (read the Sentinel article here).

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