Tracker Dog Justin
If you are fond of dogs your heart will
go out to the war-weary Justin, a Labrador-Kelpie cross, used as a
tracker dog by 5RAR in 1969 during its second tour of duty in the
Vietnam War. Justin, here shown with a greying chin and jaded eyes,
was retired from combat action after the traumatic jungle battles of
Operation Camden in August 1969. However the exhausted Justin was
retained by the battalion at Nui Dat as a companion dog (with Tiber)
to the combat-hardened Caesar and Justinšs replacement, Juno.
Justinšs handlers in 5RARšs Tracker Platoon were Privates Peter
Mathie and Dennis Rowlands. Sadly, Australiašs quarantine laws
prevented these wonderfully courageous war dogs from returning home
with their human mates so good homes were found for them in Saigon
with expatriate English or Australian families. When 5RAR departed
South Vietnam Justin was presented to the manager of the Chartered
Bank in Saigon.
See the book review of "Trackers" on this website.
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