Pets at war: Animal mascots of WWII

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Humans weren't the only ones who participated in World War II -- fluffy, four-legged friends were also on the front lines, lending a hand in completing important missions or representing their troop as official military mascots.

While cats and dogs were common, some soldiers adopted more exotic animals, like monkeys, lions and bears, to accompany them during service. Here is a collection of animals that served in World War II, and the humans who cared for them.

Flight Sgt. James J. Hyde, of San Juan,
(Credit: AP)

Flight Sgt. James J. Hyde, of San Juan, Trinidad, West Indies, and Dingo, the mascot of Hyde's squadron in England, hang out together on Feb. 8, 1944. Sgt. Hyde did his flight training in England.

A lion cub, mascot for a German flying
(Credit: AP)

A lion cub, mascot for a German flying unit based at a channel station in Nazi-occupied France, paws a machine gun barrel in the leading edge of a wing on Aug. 8, 1940. A German pilot plays with the young lion.

Coast Guard Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Chester Mason,
(Credit: AP)

Coast Guard Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Chester Mason, of Fort Scott, Kansas, holds Stinky the skunk in 1944, the beloved pet that has captured the hearts of the Coast Guardsmen at a port security barracks in New York. The animal, they said, is perfectly harmless as is demonstrated by Mason, but if anything happens Stinky would get sea duty in a hurry.

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Sally, a Great Dane and mascot at a
(Credit: AP)

Sally, a Great Dane and mascot at a Royal Air Force Spitfire base in Italy on Feb. 23, 1944, keeps an eye on her six offspring held by Cpl. R. Pickering, of Ipswich, Suffolk, England.

The Cape Gloucester Press Club's new mascot, Talasea,
(Credit: AP)

The Cape Gloucester Press Club's new mascot, Talasea, prepares to step out of her helmet-bedroom, May 27, 1944 for a clear view of the day's activities on New Britain. The tin helmet, slung from the side of her master's bunk, provided cozy quarters for the cat.

Capt. Francois Marshal of Alsace, France, pilot of
(Credit: AP)

Capt. Francois Marshal of Alsace, France, pilot of the Halifax bomber known as Q for Queenie, which completed 58 missions over enemy territory, holds his pet rabbit, Bunny, a passenger on every mission. They are at a French heavy bomber station in the North of England, Feb. 25, 1945.

Cpl. A.J. Mishak of Campbellville, Ontario, and a
(Credit: AP)

Cpl. A.J. Mishak of Campbellville, Ontario, and a canary he found and befriended on Oct. 12, 1944, when he entered the captured French port of Calais on a mopping-up mission.

Sgt. Emile Manara, Jr., of Inwood, holds one
(Credit: AP)

Sgt. Emile Manara, Jr., of Inwood, holds one of two 6-months-old leopard cubs which he adopted at a base in India, April 20, 1945. A mess sergeant, Manara reports that complaints are a minimum since he added the leopard cubs his mess hall staff.

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Two British tank officers, somewhere in North Africa
(Credit: AP)

Two British tank officers, somewhere in North Africa on Jan. 28, 1941, grin at war cartoons in an Italian newspaper. One holds a puppy found during the capture of the Egyptian town of Sidi Barrani, one of the first Italian bases to fall in the Africa campaign.

Sgt. 1st Class Antonio G. Nicosia, of Detroit,
(Credit: AP)

Sgt. 1st Class Antonio G. Nicosia, of Detroit, feeds a seal pup that he and John McCormack, of St. Louis, found near an amphibious training base at Little Creek, Va. Condensed milk mixed with water and flavored with cod liver oil is the diet fed from a bottle on March 16, 1945.

With his helmet liner as a pillow and
(Credit: AP)

With his helmet liner as a pillow and the coral ground as his bed, Private John W. Emmons, of Sheffield, Ala., and his pal take a well earned rest on June 27, 1945 in front of a 105-mm howitzer on Okinawa. The tired artillery man is with the 6th Marine Division and his friend is a unit mascot.

Pvt. Heiner Ord, right, of Oklahoma's 45th Division
(Credit: AP / Ernest K. Bennett)

Pvt. Heiner Ord, right, of Oklahoma's 45th Division on duty in Japan, gets prettied up before going ashore in San Francisco on Aug. 11, 1951. Pvt. Ord and his attendant arrived aboard the S.S. Trade Wind. Ord is a Japanese bear and was division mascot. He was en route to the Oklahoma City Zoo with a few days rest in the San Francisco Zoo. The gentleman wielding the hose is ship's crewman Wayne Hamilton of Terre Haute, Ind.

These Yanks with the American forces in India
(Credit: AP)

These Yanks with the American forces in India on Dec. 18, 1942 try to get Mousie, their monkey mascot, to smile for the photographer, but Mousie was having none of it. The soldiers are, from left, Sgt. Irving Stern of New York, Sgt. Leon Van Hevele of Michigan, Sgt. Seymour Roffer of New York, and Sgt. Frank Martintoni of Illinois.

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George, a mascot of the Army Air Force
(Credit: AP)

George, a mascot of the Army Air Force cadet detachment at Turner Field in Albany, Ga., chews his lead attached to a duffel on Sept. 3, 1942, as his group is about to move on.

American GIs returning to the United States on
(Credit: AP)

American GIs returning to the United States on the Thomas Nelson Page, a Liberty ship which docked in New York City on March 18, 1946, show the dogs they acquired during their service in Europe.

Curly, perches proudly atop a cannon muzzle above
(Credit: AP)

Curly, perches proudly atop a cannon muzzle above British Tommies who adopted him as their mascot while on a coast to coast demonstration tour. The British, members of the First Composite Antiaircraft Battery, are making their first stop of the tour at the Antiaircraft Artillery school in Camp Davis, North Carolina July 30, 1943.

Sailors at a British naval camp in the
(Credit: AP)

Sailors at a British naval camp in the Hudson Valley of New York show their mascot puppy, Winston, a St. Bernard on Aug. 20, 1942. About 500 British sailors live in the camp, resting between strenuous sea assignments.

Mopey the monkey acts as lookout on Aug.
(Credit: AP)

Mopey the monkey acts as lookout on Aug. 12, 1942, while Pvt. Robert W. Schroeder, 22, of Dumont, N.J. drives through tropical underbrush to a hidden fighter command air base in the Caribbean.

The West Lancashire Squadron of the Royal Air
(Credit: AP)

The West Lancashire Squadron of the Royal Air Force has received high commendation from Headquarters for their fine work in night-fighting and bomber escort. They have recorded many successes against enemy aircraft. On Jan. 10, 1942, Joker, the bull terrier mascot, leads the way after the alarm went off and the pilots jumped to it.

Larry the Lamb, mascot of an antiaircraft unit
(Credit: AP)

Larry the Lamb, mascot of an antiaircraft unit in the London area, tosses one of the gunners on June 20, 1941, while playing. Larry, a year old, has been the mascot of the unit since birth. He knows and follows all the routine of the station and goes to the cookhouse at the right time, attends parades, alarms and drills.

These Australian infantrymen, on duty on Malaya in
(Credit: AP)

These Australian infantrymen, on duty on Malaya in the Malay Archipelago on May 5, 1941, display their mascot, a kangaroo. Most Australian regiments had kangaroos as mascots no matter where they were assigned.

Two pilots of a South Africa bomber squadron
(Credit: AP)

Two pilots of a South Africa bomber squadron play with baby cheetahs, tamed as mascots in an unknown location on Jan. 31, 1941.

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