War Dogs of the Pacific
It’s 1942, somewhere in the Pacific: Deadly ambushes by entrenched Japanese in the thick jungles take a heavy toll on American troops. Marine commanders were willing to try anything, including using dogs to sniff out the hidden enemy. But even with their superior senses, nobody anticipated just how effective they would be.
“War Dogs of the Pacific,” a one-hour documentary directed by Harris Done, tells the incredible story of the Marine Dog Platoons of World War II. It’s a heart-warming exploration of the unique bond that formed between the young marines and their dogs. They teamed up to perform dangerous missions, but their success at finding the hidden enemy saved countless lives in the Pacific. These dogs proved themselves worthy of the title, ‘man’s best friend.’
Filled with tales of devotion, bravery and sacrifice, the story is told by the dog handlers themselves, the film follows the men and their dogs through training and into combat, from the invasion of Guam to operations on Saipan, Okinawa and Iwo Jima. The film is filled with exciting historical footage and many never before seen photos.
Done, the cinematographer of “Trekkies”, “Price for Peace” and the 1999 Academy Award winner for best Feature Documentary, “The Last Days” makes his documentary directing debut on “War Dogs of the Pacific.”
Dogs are man’s best friend. There have been many great stories which chronicle this relationship. But I believe the bond between man and animal has never been stronger than that experienced by the Marine dog handlers and their four legged friends during the second world war.
I was so moved when I heard Dr. William Putney talk about his experiences as a young lieutenant with the dog platoons that I knew I had to make this film. If for nothing more than to preserve the stories of these young brave Marines and their trusted canine comrades.
‘War Dogs of the Pacific’ tells the incredible story of the Marine Dog Program which started as a desperate experiment and went on to become a major combat success, saving countless American lives in the dangerous jungles of the Pacific. It’s a moving tale of trust and devotion and it’s told by the men who trained and fought with these animals by their side.
It will tug at the heartstrings of anyone who has ever loved a dog.