Bear, The Second Dog, Det A, 75th/600th ASA Company, Aviano AFB & Ravenna, Italy
Bear was a good watch dog when he wasn't out chasing what he shouldn't. Fairly certain that most if not all of the detachment got along with Bear. If anyone knows when and how The Bear died -- wish they would speak up -- ?
Bear was born in Aviano, Italy a few months before the detachment was moved to Ravenna. Bear's mother, "Lady", was the then detachment's mascot, God only knows what Breed. Bear's father was most likely one of the Air Force's German Shepherd guard dogs. We were located across the runway from the ALERT PAD and often at night Lady would disappear and after a while you could hear disturbances among the guard dogs across the way. The Shepherds were well trained but they could not maintain their cool when Lady visited while in-heat.
Jim Keating with Bear at the site (left photo) and Jim DeChurch and Bear in the hut entry (right photo). Both are Jim DeChurch photos.>
We did not bring Lady with us to Ravenna because she had been gotten "rid-of" by the order of the Air Base Commander. This happened after one, of many, of Lady's running across the runway. The last time some fool F-100 pilot on takeoff roll aborted and broke the nose gear by running off the runway. This was the last straw for the AB CO. He ordered our site-chief, Benny Sutton, to get rid of her. I think Benny gave her away to some Italian family, but I'm not sure.