Animals were often gladly taken as unit mascots. Pets rarely participated directly in a fight during any battle, but often provided comfort from the monotony and dangers of a soldier’s duty. Given the movement of troops and the attrition of war, their fate is largely unknown.
Species: Felis catus
Allegiance: Allies, HMS Prince of Wales
Date & Place: 1944, Normandy
There are a lot of famous cats from World War II, especially on ships, because they were useful in ridding of rodents. This one fluffy fellow has found some interest in the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.
Species: Canis lupus familiaris
Allegiance: Allies, Royal Navy, HMS Vansittart
Date & Place: 1941, HMS Vansittart
The English bulldog mascot of Royal Navy Destroyer HMS Vansittart. She does look dashing!
Species: Ovis aries
Allegiance: Allies, R.A.F. Squadron
Date & Place: 1939, France
Little Aloysius is fed by his comrades. The war has sometimes benefits.
Allegiance: Allies, Australian Army, 2/2nd Battalion
Date & Place: 1940, Palestine
On the picture with Cpt. Michelson. Note the signs on a shell.
Species: Panthera leo
Allegiance: Axis, Luftwaffe, JG3
Date & Place: 1940, Germany
Mascot owned by a famous pilot, Franz von Werra. What can we say…it’s a cute cub! During World War II and I, there were other lion-mascots too. Whiskey and Soda, famous pets of the Lafayette Escadrille’s, or Dolly, the Lioness of The South African Pioneer Corp.
6 POLAR BEAR
Species: Ursus maritimus
Allegiance: Allies, Royal Navy
Date & Place: 1940, Whale Island, England
This bear cub was rescued from a drifting ice off Greenland by Royal Navy. In the picture, Barbara is greeting her old shipmates.
Species: Capra hircus
Allegiance: Allies, New Zealand Engineers
Date & Place: 1918, France
Egyptian goat proudly posing for photographers on his straw throne.
Name: Lady Moe
Species: Equus africanus asinus
Allegiance: Allies, USAAF, 96th Bombardment Group
Date & Place: 1943, Unknown
Lady Moe was rescued by a bomber crew when they landed in Algeria at the half-way stage of the “Regensburg-North Africa Raid”, where they found her lost and starving.
Species: Vulpes vulpes
Allegiance: Allies, UK, R.A.F.
Date & Place: Probably 1917, France
This foxy mate was fond of flying! And he attached himself to the R.A.F.
10 BALD EAGLE
Name: Old Abe
Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Allegiance: Union Army, 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Date & Place: Date unknown, United States
“Old Abe” was named after President Abraham Lincoln. She accompanied her unit in nearly 40 battles. Her image appears also as the screaming eagle on the insignia of 101st Airborne Division.
11 SYRIAN BROWN BEAR
Species: Ursus arctos syriacus
Allegiance: Allies, Poland, II Corps, 22nd Artillery Supply Company
Date & Place: 1944, Italy
Wojtek earned even a Corporal rank. He had few addictions, like drinking beer, eating cigarettes and wrestling. He also liked sitting in the truck, which was sometimes shocking view for passersby’s.
Allegiance: Allies, Australian 9th, and 10th Battalions
Date & Place: 1914, North Egypt
A kangaroo playing with soldiers in the foreground. It was a common thing to bring animals from home.
Species: Eclectus roratus
Allegiance: Allies, 3 New Zealand Division, 37 New Zealand Infantry Battalion
Date & Place: Unknown
Private Hunt was recruited on Solomon Islands. When he was young, he was petted a lot, he walked a lot and because of that, he lost his long tail and become unable to fly any father. In the picture with his trainer, private Currie.
Species: Gallus gallus
Allegiance: Allies, Australia, 2nd Divisional Signal Company
Date & Place: 1917, France
Jack was a rooster brought by members of the unit from Egypt in 1916 when he was still a chick. The unit found Jack a better guard than a dog since he attacked any intruder who dared to enter the unit lines. In the picture with Walter Henry Farrell.
Species: Papio ursinus
Allegiance: Allies, 3rd South African Infantry
Date & Place: 1917, France
Jackie was a talented animal. He would salute, use a knife and fork as proper and lit up cigarettes for his mates. He survived the war and came back to home, though he lost his leg during a withdrawal of his unit during heavy shelling.