The lifesaving WWII German Shepherd | TeamDogs
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The lifesaving WWII German Shepherd

Jet the rescue dog helped saved 150 lives

Paul McAuley

Posted 46d ago

Jet rescuing survivors from a V1 flying bomb attack in London in 1944. Liverpool Echo

Bravery comes in many forms, some much bigger than others.

For me, it’s not running up the stairs once I have turned the lights off behind me.

For Jet, the Second World War rescue dog, it’s putting his training into action when needed - and that is exactly what he did.

Officially named ‘Jet of Lada’, the Alsatian from Liverpool was recruited to help find people who had been trapped in collapsed buildings that had been destroyed in the London Blitz.

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The pup served with the Civil Defence Services of London and saved 150 lives in total. 

From doing so, Jet was rightfully awarded the Dickin Medal (the animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross) as a thanks for his wartime heroics.

Later, the black German Shepherd was also awarded the RSPCA’s Medallion of Valor for his contribution in helping those in need after a pit explosion in Cumbria.

A monument was set up in Calderstones Park to celebrate his life after he sadly died aged seven in 1949.

The Memorial for hero search and rescue dog, Jet of in Calderstones Park. @oldpicposter

This park was chosen as Jet’s resting place as it was the place he used to walk.

Jet’s former owner, Lilas Ward, grew up with him in Allerton. 

She recalled how Jet led the VE day parade in London after victory was declared in Europe. 

As he led soldiers past Buckingham Palace, much to everyone's surprise, Jet spontaneously sat down and barked three times.

Amongst the countless memories of Jet that Lilias cherishes, she remembers how Jet used to boss his brothers around and when the other dogs ran off he would be sent to herd them back home.

Jet searching ruins for victims of a V1 flying bomb with his handler.  IWM

Jet was well travelled as he attended ‘war dog school’ in Gloucester from the age of nine months before being first stationed in Northern Ireland.

Stationed in Gloucester, Jet was trained in anti-sabotage work and following 18 months work on airfields in this area, he returned to the school for further training in search and rescue duties.

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Partnered with Corporal Wardle, the duo were relocated to London where Jet was known for calling out every night until the end of the air attacks. 

The corporal and Jet were the first handler and dog to be used in an official capacity in Civil Defence rescue duties.

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