Dogs and Cats of Shipdham


Dogs and Cats of Shipdham


Airmen at Shipdham “adopted” a huge number of cats and dogs while on base during the war. Some were strays, others came from local English villagers. The animals brought some levity and comfort on base.“They [dogs and cats] belonged to all of us,” one airman recalled. To that end, the cats and dogs called the sprawling base home - living in Nissen Huts on Living Sites and Line Shacks next to the runway.

After the war, some of the airmen wished to bring the beloved dogs stateside, but the British Kennel Club wouldn’t allow it. One such ground crewman, John Weber, paid a local English farmer to care for his “adopted” dog El Champo. Weber made several trips to England post-war to visit his wartime pup at Shipdham.

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