A Salute To Australia’s Animal Military

We love you, brave war dogs, ship cats, turtle and kangaroo mascots, koala pets, and more. Happy memorial day to all the furry (and feathered) friends who helped out with Australian military efforts.

An American soldier with his pet kangaroo joey, 1942.

A corporal holds a koala, 1915.

Two squadron mascots, 1943.

Man with a member of the donkey team, 1941.

Staff Sergeant Major Morgan and a dog wearing a cap, 1915

Ferdi the Pygmy Flying Phalanger and Robert Addison

“Ferdie spent a wild youth, but now is a reformed character. When he reached the larrikin stage, he acquired a taste for beer and could drink a long tablespoon with any squirrel, but at aerobatics, his judgment went to pieces after twenty minutes intermittent drinking, he even fell into a full glass of beer. Since then, not a drop of liquor has passed his lips. As one of the squadron’s mascots, the teetotal possum met with a lot of competition. Among his rivals were fifteen dogs, a cat, another possum and a rooster. FO Addison claims Ferdie’s success was due to his reputation for temperate living.”

Sergeant Eric Campbell Lawther says goodbye to veteran mine dog, Dean, in Korea. 1956.

Seaman J. T. Walker with his pup Shrapnel and Seaman Gamble with his cat Salvo.

Messenger dogs and handler near Villers-Bretonneux, 1918.

Two tracking Labradors with Thomas Douglas (Tom) Blackhurst L Cpl Norman Leslie (Norm) Cameron. 1967.

A pet ring tailed possum examines department of information movie camera, 1943.

The mascot of a cookhouse at the 9th Australian division, 1943.

Captain Michelson with a turtle named Tim, mascot of the 2/2nd Battalion, 1940.

Camp mascots of No. 1 Camp, Tatura Internment Group, Whacko the sulphur crested cockatoo, and Cobber the dog, 1943.

The feline mascot of the light cruiser HMAS Encounter, peering from the muzzle of a 6 inch gun.

Two soldiers and friend with a pet or mascot koala, Broadmeadows Army camp, 1915.


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