Sergeant Stubby, The Most Decorated Dog Of WWI, Circa 1920

May 26, 2021

Who was one of the heroes of World War I…who saved his regiment from a mustard gas attack and single-handedly caught a German soldier by the seat of his trousers? He wasn’t a soldier, marine, or airman. He was Sergeant Stubby, the most decorated dog of the war. 

Sergeant Stubby, ready for duty. (Duriez)

Seen here in this colorized photograph from 1920, Stubby was a diminutive pooch – a small Boston terrier mutt – but he had the heart of a soldier. In his 18 months of active duty, Sergeant Stubby joined his regiment in 17 battles of World War I’s Western Front. Here is the story of Sergeant Stubby and his impressive military career.

Of Dubious Origins

Stubby enlisted in the army when he joined the 102nd Infantry training on the grounds of Yale University. (

Nothing is known of Stubby’s parentage. Although he appeared to resemble the Boston terrier, it seemed likely that there were many dog breeds running through Stubby’s DNA. Luckily, he was able to glean the best qualities from each of these breeds to help him become an outstanding soldier. In July, 1917, members of the 102nd Infantry were doing training exercises on the grounds of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The small brindle pup, a stray running around the campus, took an instant liking to one of the soldiers, Corporal James Robert Conroy. The two shared a tight bond, but Stubby, as he was named, was popular among all the soldiers.