Marine Corps News From World War Two: First Marine Raider Dog Killed On Bougainville


Rollo, a brave-hearted Doberman-Pinscher attached to a Raider unit, became the first dog to be killed in action on the battlefield when it was machine gunned to death by Japs here.

The dog’s handler, PFC. Russell* T. Friedrich of Andover, Conn., was wounded in the same skirmish. Another handler, PFC. James H. White of New York City related:
“We were assigned to an army patrol which wanted Rollo to point Jap positions in dense jungle along the Torokina River. When we got near the Japs, Rollo alerted and pointed. Then the dog attacked and threw the Japs into an uproar. We were on the ground up near a Jap pillbox.

“We could hear the Japs hollering, ‘Doggie, doggie. Fredericks whistled and Rollo came back unharmed. He was just about to send Rollo back out of danger when the Japs began firing at him and he sent Rollo over to me. “The Japs were intent on getting the dog. I don’t think they knew I was down there in the grass, too. The Jap fire grew intense. The bullets as they crossfired kept coming closer to me. “I was debating how to get out. Friedrich was only eight feet from me but behind a tree. I sent Rollo to him as the bullets came closer. I thought I was a goner. Just as Rollo got to Friedrich he was hit. Rollo whined for a minute and then died.”


Friedrich was shot again a few seconds later. White narrowly escaped death when a Jap bullet tore through his helmet and grazed his scalp. Rollo, who celebrated his second birthday Dec. 7, was regarded as the best “point” dog in the Raider unit. Caesar, a shepherd, once wounded, is the best messenger dog, according to the Marines.

By TSgt. Theodore C. Link, Combat Correspondent

From the 18March1944 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron

Public Domain

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