John Conroy met his best friend, Stubby, while an undergraduate at Yale in 1916. Despite the fact that Stubby was not yet 18, and thus ineligible for the American army, Conroy smuggled Stubby aboard the transport SS Minnesota when the 26th “Yankee” Division set out for France. Although Conroy’s commanding officer wanted to ship Stubby stateside, Stubby had learned a modified salute, and the hardnosed CO was so charmed he let Stubby say.
The Yankee Division served in four separate offensives, and Stubby, while still not officially a member of the U.S. Army, took shrapnel from a German grenade in the leg, and survived a German gas attack. Stubby became so adept at knowing when German gas shells were incoming, that during an early morning attack while doing sentry duty, he successfully roused the men of the Division from their deep slumber, saving many a life. Stubby even took down a German spy, earning a promotion to Sergeant. All told, Stubby saw 17 battles .
Returning stateside, Stubby was given a hero’s welcome, meeting President Woodrow Wilson. His military service done, Stubby volunteered for many causes, but especially took to heart his work with the Humane Society.
Here’s a picture of Stubby, wearing his many decorations:
Oh, and while Conroy was studying law as Georgetown, Stubby served as the Hoya. He met Presidents Harding and Coolidge, and passed away in 1926. If you want to meet Stubby, his remains currently reside at the Smithsonian.