Tuesday, July 22, 2008
CANINE HEROES - THE TRUE STORY OF SOOCHOW THE MARINE
Soochow was a bulldog-terrier mix who was born in Shanghai in 1938. The scruffy little dog had miraculously survived on his own, avoiding numerous attempts on his life by hungry Chinese cooks. Then one rainy night this tough pup found his destiny while accompanying U.S. Marines patrolling the Wu Chin Bridge in Shanghai, marching right along with the Marines in the pouring rain. One Marine sentry was so impressed by the little dog’s loyalty that he smuggled the pooch back to his barracks. The pup would soon capture the hearts of America’s finest and thus the legend of Soochow was born.
Soon the pooch was given his own uniform and was promoted. But he was a scrappy mutt who had a Marine Corps temperament and he found himself tossed in the brig for conduct unbecoming (on one occasion he had lifted his leg to the flagpole, which is obviously against Marine Corps regulations).
When the 4th Marine Division headed for the Philippines at the outbreak of World War Two so did Soochow. He was, after all, a Marine and his place was with his buddies in the trenches. When the embattled Marines were forced to surrender, Soochow found himself, along with his buddies, in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp where he would spend the next three years and a half years. During those trying times, Soochow gave hope and companionship to his fellow Marines encouraging them to hold out until they were rescued.
After the war, Soochow found himself headed toward America where he began a pampered and coddled retirement on a Marine Base in San Diego, California thus ending his military career. It is unclear exactly when Soochow went to the Rainbow Bridge but his legacy continues even to this day and he will live forever in Marine Corps history.
For more information on Soochow and the 4th Marine Division please visit The History and Lore of the Old Corps at http://www.scuttlebuttsmallchow.com/maschina.html
ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF http://www.scuttlebuttsmallchow.com/