On July 11, 1951, at the outset of hostilities between North and South Korea, a new Army War Dog Receiving & Holding Station was activated at Cameron Station, Alexandria, Virginia. The war dogs were processed and conditioned before being shipped to the Army Dog Training Center, Fort Carson, Colorado.
Officially, the United States called its military involvement in Korea a police action — the "Korean Conflict." It is also referred to as "The Forgotten War" or "The Unknown War" because it got far less attention than World War II, which preceded it, and the Vietnam War, which succeeded it. Following the failures of both sides at holding the land captured, the battles quickly evolved into World War I type trench warfare in January 1951, lasting until the essential border stalemate at the end in 1953. In China, the conflict was known as the "War to Resist America" but is today commonly called the "Korean War."
Some of the most historical and brutal ground battles were; "Bloody Ridge" – "Heartbreak Ridge" – "Old Baldy" – "Battle of Hill Eerie" and the battle for "Pork Chop Hill."
A cease-fire was established on July 27, 1953, and the line in the sand was the 38th parallel, separating North Korea from South Korea. This is now known as the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and presently defended by North Korean troops on one side and by South Korean, American, and United Nation troops on the other.
Air Force Sentry Dogs. Most of the dogs used during the Korean War were trained at the Sentry Dog Training Center at Showa Air Station on the main island of Honshu, Japan. The K-9 Sentry Dogs Handlers (all volunteers) trained with their dogs for several weeks before returning to Korea for deployment. The sentry dogs were used mostly at night, like the Army, for patrolling the air base perimeters, guarding fuel storage sites, bomb dumps and supply areas.
"YORK" – U.S. Army Scout Dog was decorated for outstanding service while serving with the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon in Korea. His silent alerts on enemy locations had saved many American lives. York was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by General Samuel T. Williams after performing 148 combat patrols during the periods of June 12, 1951 and June 26, 1953.
The 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon saw plenty of combat action and their success saving lives made them invaluable to ground operations in Korea. One regimental commander remarked that after using a scout dog team for a while, the infantry patrols did not want to go out without them.
General Orders 114 Headquarters, Eighth United States Army, Korea, January 18, 1953
CITATION: "The 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon is cited for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services in direct support of combat operations in Korea during the period 12 June 1951 to 15 January 1953. The full value of the services rendered by the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon is nowhere better understood and more highly recognized than among the members of the patrols with whom the scout dog handlers and their dogs have operated. Throughout its long period of difficult and hazardous service, the 26th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon has never failed those with whom it served; has consistently shown outstanding devotion to duty in the performance of all of its other duties, and has won on the battlefield a degree of respect and admiration which has established it as a unit of the greatest importance to the Eighth United States Army. The outstanding performance of duty proficiency, and esprit de corps invariably exhibited by the personnel of this platoon reflect the greatest credit on themselves and the military service of the United States.