Military Working Dogs honoured at Moorebank Intermodal Precinct

General News, Media Releases
Thursday 6th June 2024

Three new street names have been unveiled within Moorebank Intermodal Precinct, just in time for National Military Working Dog Day on Friday 7 June 2024.

Marcus Street, Trajan Place, and Tiber Place in the Precinct are all named after Australian Military Dogs who served in the Vietnam War, as a tribute to Moorebank’s long military history.

“They were all Labradors or Labrador crosses. Their main role was their ability to track,” John Quane, the Secretary of the Australian Defence Force Trackers and War Dogs Association, and Vietnamese War Veteran, explained. “Now, we would often say if they caught anyone, they’d lick them to death. They weren’t aggressive dogs at all.”

Marcus served across several Royal Australian Regiments (RAR) from 1967 until he retired in 1971. He was then homed with an Australian Lieutenant Colonel in Vietnam.

Trajan was deployed in South Vietnam in 1968 and served across several RARs until at least 1971, his fate is unknown.

Tiber arrived in Vietnam in 1967 and worked until 1969 when he was injured in the Battle of Coral, following the battle and injury he was spooked and had to retire after he started barking at the bush at night.

He was then given to employees at the Australian Embassy in Saigon and stayed there until the North Vietnamese arrived. He was then sent to live with a South Vietnamese family, and to the best of the Australian Army’s knowledge, he died in Vietnam of natural causes in the late seventies. At that point he was the last remaining Australian military dog from the Vietnam War.

“They had an incredible ability to track in under, at times, trying circumstances,” John says. “When they came close to the enemy, they’re able to point to where the enemy were. At the time, you were able to, look up and, basically see the enemy from where the dog pointed. They were really well trained.

John says that street names and other monuments help our communities remember and commemorate the contributions of military working dogs.

“The dogs were out there, basically the whole time. And they didn’t go back. They played an important role [in the war] – protecting troops and saving lives.”

“They also provided an avenue for soldiers to come up and pat the dogs and say g’day, which was something different.”

“Those who have served with the dogs have never forgotten them. At the end of the day, they did not come home. They were out there first, but while the troops came home, the dogs didn’t,” John said.

Thank you to the Australian Defence Force Trackers and War Dogs Association for sharing their history and helping us to honour these three special dogs at Moorebank Intermodal Precinct.

Pictured above:  Marcus with fellow Military Working Dog Caesar in Vietnam; Tiber on duty in Vietnam. Photos courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

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