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Ep. 44: Sgt. Reckless, Mad Dogs, War Animals, and the Unsung Heroes of WWII (Interview with Robin Hutton)

Did you know that animals are awarded medals of honor in war?  Or that many dogs are used to sniff out bombs, and that pigeons were used to transport messages before the digital age?  Join us for a special Veterans Day podcast episode as we interview bestselling author Robin Hutton, author of the bestselling “Sgt. Reckless”, and author of the new book War Animals: The Unsung Heroes of WWII.


  • 4:30 Hear about “G. I. Joe,” the American pigeon who flew 20 miles in 20 minutes and saved 100 British lives by stopping planes from bombing a town occupied by the British. “G. I. Joe” was awarded the Dickin Medal — the “Victoria Cross for animals,” Robin says, and the greatest award for gallantry and bravery in a military action that an animal can receive.
  • 6:35 Discover how, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, thousands of American families donated their pets to “Dogs for Defense,” contributing 40,000 dogs to the American war effort!
  • 7:45 Learn about the job descriptions for these “war dogs,” including how they were trained as sentries, messengers, and even as casualty dogs, finding unconscious soldiers who couldn’t cry for help.
  • 11:10 Robin tells us how homing pigeons were trained from just one month old to find their home lofts. When mature, these birds could fly across the English Channel in fog or even the dead of night carrying sensitive information.
  • 16:30 Robin shares her passion to tell the story of the valiant animals who have served through wartime and peacetime without a voice – until her book, War Animals!

OUR GUEST AUTHOR – Robin Hutton 

  • Robin is the author of national bestseller Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse and the newly-released, War Animals: The Unsung Heroes of WWII
  • She is the president of Angels Without Wings, Inc., a non-profit corporation that spearheaded the development and dedication of three national monuments to Sgt. Reckless, and was named Patriotic Citizen of the Year by the Military Order of the Purple Heart for her work.
  • Robin lives in California and is currently working to erect a memorial in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the war animals who fought side-by-side with our military war heroes.

BOOK OVERVIEW – War Animals: The Unsung Heroes of WWII

  • America’s highest military award, the Congressional Medal of Honor, was awarded to four-hundred-forty deserving members of “The Greatest Generation” that served in World War II. But in 1943, before the war was even over, Allied leaders realized they needed another kind of award to recognize a different kind of World War II hero — animal heroes.
  • Founded in 1943, the prestigious PDSA Dicken Medal is the highest award an animal can achieve for gallantry and bravery in the field of military conflict. It was given to fifty-five animals who served valliantly alongside the members of the Greatest Generation.
  • In War Animals, national bestselling author Robin Hutton (Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse) tells the incredible, inspiring true stories of the fifty-five animal recipients of the PDSA Dicken Medal during WWII and the lesser-known stories of other military animals whose acts of heroism have until now been largely forgotten.



Elizabeth Letts, author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse that Inspired a Nation, says of War Animals:

“The book will delight both animal lovers and military buffs.”


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