A US Army dog that attacked a machine-gun nest during World War II was posthumously awarded Britain's highest honor for animal bravery on Monday. Chips, a German shepherd-husky cross, was awarded the Dickin Medal for actions during a 1943 beach landing in Sicily. According to the US soldiers, Chips raced into an Italian machine-gun nest, attacking an enemy soldier by the throat and pulling the gun from its mount. The medal was awarded in a ceremony at the Churchill War Rooms in London and accepted by 76-year-old John Wren of Southold, New York, whose father donated Chips to the war effort in 1942, reports the AP. Chips suffered scalp wounds and powder burns in the battle but survived the war, returning to his owners in Pleasantville, New York.
Lt. Col. Alan Throop, who attended on behalf of the US Army, said that shortly after the battle Chips was recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart. The awards were later rescinded because army policy didn't allow animals to receive medals. "It has taken over seven decades, but Chips can now finally take his place in the history books as one of the most heroic dogs to serve with the US Army," the director general of the veterinary charity that awarded the honor said. Since 1943, the Dickin Medal has recognized gallantry by animals serving with the military, police, or rescue services. Recipients include 33 dogs, 32 messenger pigeons, four horses, and a cat.