World War Two Parachute Dog - Bing and the Dickin Medal
Before joining the army, Bing was known as Brian. He was born in 1942 and was half Alsatian, half collie. For his first two years he lived with his owner Betty Fetch.
Bing joined the army in 1944 and began his basic training at the Army War Dog Training School, near Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. Having qualified as a patrol dog, he was posted to the Recce Platoon, 13th Parachute Battalion where he completed his parachute training.
On 6 June 1944, Bing parachuted into France with his handler and trainer Ken Bailey and saw action during the Normandy campaign, where he was wounded in action.
After returning from Normandy, Bing recuperated at the Vet Kennels at Chillbolton Downs near Stockport.
Once fully fit, he was taken to Larkhill, near Salisbury, and assigned a new handler Cpl 'Jack' Walton. Bing went on to take part in Operation Varsity, the Rhine crossing, and the advance into Germany in 1945.
At the end of the war, Bing was demobbed from the army and returned to live with Betty Fetch. On 26 April 1947, he received the PDSA Dickin Medal during a ceremony at the PDSA Headquarters. His citation reads:
“This patrol dog was attached to a Parachute Battalion of the 13th Batt. Airborne Division. He landed in Normandy with them and, having done the requisite number of jumps, became a fully-qualified Paratrooper.”
On 26 October 1955, Bing passed away, aged 13 years old, and was buried at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford, Essex.