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Mascots: Animals & the Armed Forces

Of course we are familiar with the use of animals within the Armed Forces, but what is often overlooked are the intangible ways in which animals have served their human brothers-in-arms. Animals and humans are able to form emotional bonds which serve to decrease a soldier's stress and boost morale. Even before this was known to be scientific fact, it was an accepted truth, and therefore the Armed Forces has a long tradition of gentleman Officers bringing their pets to war, mascots living on aboard ships or submarines, and troops bonding with the foreign fauna they encounter. For your consideration, here is a selection of photos that capture emotional relationships between animals and soldiers.

Koala in Cairo, 1915

Soldier with Sleeping Cat, 1915

Staff Sergeant Major Morgan, and Dog, 1915

Messenger Dogs and Handler near Villers Bretonneux, 1918

Cat on HMS Encounter, 1935

Captain Michelson and 'Tim' the Turtle, date unknown

Mascots Aboard HMAS Sydney, 1940

Soldier with Donkey, 1941

Evacuation from Tobruk, 1941


An American Soldier with a Joey, 1942

Mascot Pup After a Bath, 1943

Squadron Mascots, 1943

'Ferdie' the Pygmy Flying Phalanger, 1945

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