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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Dog Soldiers in Vietnam Memorial, Durham

  • Type

    War Memorial

  • Subjects

    Vietnam War

    Animal Monuments

  • City

    Durham

  • County

    Durham

  • Description

    The memorial is an L-shaped bench made of polished dark granite resting atop a base of light granite. Although the marker is meant to honor all dog soldiers that served in Vietnam, this marker memorializes a specific dog named Bernie. Both the bench and back of the marker contain carved images of Bernie, a German Shepard. The back contains an inscription honoring dogs that served and were killed in Vietnam.

    Images: Inscription on bench | Inscription on back

  • Inscription

    Back: BERNIE / 74 M8 / DOG SOLDIERS IN VIETNAM / OVER 4000 CANINE SOLDIERS / SERVED IN VIETNAM… 281 DOGS / WERE OFFICIALLY LISTED AS / KILLED IN ACTION… ONLY ABOUT / 200 OF THE DOGS THAT SERVED / WERE RETURNED TO THE U.S…. / IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THESE / DOGS AND THEIR HANDLERS / SAVED OVER 10,000 LIVES… / SSGT DONNIE TAYLOR, / BERNIE’S HANDLER / DEDICATED NOVEMBER 11, 2005

    Bench: CANINE SOLDIERS

  • Custodian

    City of Durham

  • Dedication Date

    November 11, 2005

  • Decade

    2000s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.030410 , -78.900100 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Dog Soldiers in Vietnam," Markeroni.com, (accessed January 18, 2013) Link

      "War Dogs," US Army Quartermaster Foundation, (accessed January 18, 2013) Link

      Leepson, Marc. "The Tar Heel State Honors Its Vietnam Veterans," The VVA Veteran, June 2001/July 2001, (accessed January 21, 2014) Link

      “U.S. War Dog History,” United States War Dogs Association, (accessed January 18, 2013) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Subject Notes

    Although dogs have been used by the U.S. military since World War I, the Vietnam War saw the most use of dogs in combat. A list created by NIH Veterinarian Dr. Howard Hayes confirms 3,747 dogs used in Vietnam, although estimates of the actual number of dogs used is around 4,900 between 1964 and 1975. No official records were kept until 1968. Of the thousands of dogs in Vietnam, only around 200 returned, and none returned to civilian life. As many as 10,000 handlers served in Vietnam with these dogs.

  • Location

    The marker is located in Rock Quarry Park, directly south of the tennis courts and east of the Museum of Life and Science bike path. Rock Quarry Park is located off Murray Avenue.

  • Landscape

    The marker appears in a wooded area of the park, surrounded by foliage and embedded in the ground.

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