War Dog MemorialPrint Page Print this page

(Diane Watson)
(Diane Watson)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Clive Muchamore

The moument commemorates tracker dogs used by the Australian Army in the Vietnam War. Eleven of the most popular contributors to the Australian war effort in Vietnam could not return home when their tour of duty ended.

They were the black Labrador tracker dogs used by the Australian Task Force. It was Australian Army policy that the dogs not be brought home at the end of their service. 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 in New South Wales, 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. 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.


Address:Alexandra Parade, Alexandra Headland, 4572
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -26.675282
Long: 153.115338
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:03-August-1962
Actual Event End Date:01-January-1973


Front Inscription

War Dog Memorial.

Dedicated to the Australian tracker dogs that served in South Viet Nam  
1967 - 1971.

They did not return from the war.  

Caesar, Janus, Juno, Mercian, Mila, Trojan, Cassius, Julian, Justin, Marcus, Tiber.

Down jungle tracks, through shot and shell,
Ears pricked, keen sense of smell;
Our tracker dogs with care and poise,
Alert to ambush, foreign noise;
Never whimper, whine nor bark,
Their service honoured with this plaque,
No medals pinned to hairy chest,
They stayed behind, they were the best. 

All gave something, some gave all,
Those that knew you will never forget you.


Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au