Vietnam War Dog MarcianPrint Page
A Plaque commemorates Marcian, a tracker dog used in the Vietnam War.
In Vietnam, there were two black Labrador tracker dogs attached to each Australian battalion. An integral part of a small team of 6 soldiers, they were working dogs rather than pets, which made the bond between the animals and their handlers that much stronger. The men relied on them to locate the enemy and to prevent them walking into ambushes and enemy booby traps. They entrusted their lives to the tracker dogs. A handler’s dog was ‘his best mate’, so it was heart-breaking for the handlers to have to part with their dogs when they finished their tour of duty in Vietnam.
The dogs had a 3 year tour of duty, unlike their handlers who usually spent one year there. Australian quarantine laws prohibited the dogs from returning home with their handlers. In 1968 the Army decided that the dogs would be kept in the battalion as ‘reserves’ when they finished their ‘active service’. They were then to be passed on as pets to European or Australian families living in Saigon.
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Vietnam War Dog Marcian
Served South Vietnam 1967-71 with the Royal Australian Regiment