To the frightened young men of World War II, dogs provided unconditional love and companionship during the most unpredictable circumstances.
“Mascot photography,” where men staged photos of their canine friends, was one way for soldiers to relieve the pressure and constant fear of combat.
, author L. Douglas Keeney culled through more than 2.5 million photographs at the National Archives to bring together a collection of pictures illustrating the cherished bond between man and dog during wartime.
The photos were taken between 1941 and 1945 at stateside training bases and battlegrounds abroad.
In the Pacific, where dogs were rare, soldiers adopted cats, donkey, goats, monkeys, frogs, and other unconventional pets.
Although many of the featured animals became mascots of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard, most were low-bred mutts that were simply looking for a place to call home.
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