Cappy and the Devil Dogs of the Marine Corps

By | June 26, 2018

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'Andy', a devil dog, pointed out two strong Japanese machine gun nests with Pvc. Robert E. Lansley (left) and First Lt. Clyde A. Henderson, Commander of the Dog Platoon. (Getty Images)

Few breeds of dog are as intimidating as the Doberman. Powerful, strong, and imposing, this breed was designed to be scary enough to ward off danger, which is why the Doberman breed was adopted by the United States Marine Corps as their canine companion of choice. The USMC’s Devil Dogs, as they became known, served alongside the Marines…and the heroism of one of the Devil Dogs, Cappy, saved the lives of hundreds of men during the Battle for Guam. 

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A Marine dog handler and his Doberman war dog on the island of Saipan, 1944. (Orange County Register)

Dobermans were the Marine’s Best Friend

Even before the U.S.’s involvement in World War II, the United States Marine Corp recognized the value of Dobermans as war dogs. During the Banana Wars in Central America during the first few decades of the 1900s, the Marines encountered guard dogs situated around the perimeter of guerrilla encampments that thwarted their efforts at surprising the enemy. For their own team of sentry dogs, the Marines looked to the Doberman, a dog breed that was specially created to be a guard dog.