Vietnam War Dogs MemorialPrint Page Print this page

The silver plated dog's bowl commemorates the eleven war dogs that were left behind in Vietnam during the Vietnam conflict from 1965 to 1971. 

The dogs were the core of Combat Tracker Teams that were used from 1967 until the last combat troops left in late 1971. Trained from the age of about 10 months at the Tracking Wing of the Ingleburn Infantry Centre, NSW, two dogs were assigned to each of the Australian battalions based at the Task Force base at Nui Dat, in Phuoc Tuy Province.

The fate of Australia’s war dogs, once their service came to an end in Vietnam, caused consternation in Army circles and anguish to their handlers. The main reason for keeping the dogs ‘in country’ was the Army’s reluctance to cover the quarantine costs involved.

After much discussion about the issue, and with the matter having been raised in Parliament, the Army decided in 1968 that at the end of their working lives the dogs would be kept by the battalion as a reserve, then given as pets to European or Australian families resident in Saigon. Only as a last resort, if no home could be found, would they be destroyed. In the event, none of the 11 dogs who served in Vietnam was put down, with homes being found for the ten who survived. (One dog, Cassius, died of heat exhaustion after a training run.)


Address:Orange & Memorial Avenues, Behind War Memorial, Salisbury, 5108
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.76575
Long: 138.642859
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:1967
Actual Event End Date:1971
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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