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Animals Afloat in the Korean War


The Korean War was fought many years ago, from 1950 to 1953. More than 26,000 brave Canadians served far from home . . . and animals served alongside them, too.

There was a bird named Joe the Crow who kept the sailors company at a Royal Canadian Navy training base in Nova Scotia during this time. There were other kinds of animals in the Navy during the Korean War, too. Alice the dog served on the destroyer HMCS Cayuga. Given the rank of O.D. (Ordinary Dog), she had her fair share of adventures, including once when she fell into the water between two big ships. There was no way Alice could climb out by herself and the sailors were afraid she might be crushed.

Alice wearing her new sweater aboard HMCS Cayuga.
(Photo: Crowsnest Magazine CA-448)

The captain called for all hands on deck to rescue the pup. In the end, someone was lowered down to pull her to safety. Imagine that, a sailor risked his life to save his canine friend.

Animal mascots are no longer officially allowed on our navy’s ships, but the tradition does continue in another way. Today, Sonar, a Newfoundland dog, is the official mascot of the Royal Canadian Navy. Bark on, Sonar!

Hughes the Donkey Helps
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