George Bjotvedt ’51 (Scout Dogs)

Geroge BjotvedtGeorge Bjotvedt arrived at PMC in the fall of 1947. The transformation to cadet #224 began when the college tailor fitted him for his uniform. That year freshmen were assigned to Old Main where a cadre of senior cadets enforced the rules and regulations. By his junior year, cadet life was “second nature,” and he realized the structure was preparing him for the future. He was a Distinguished Military Student and upon graduation received a regular army commission. Like many of his classmates he would be asked to perform as a leader of men in combat during the Korean War.

When he arrived in Korea, he was transported to the 65th Puerto Rican Regiment. There he was assigned to A Company of the first battalion. Bjotvedt soon found himself conducting the bulk of ambush patrols for the battalion. At first the men of the 65th Puerto Rican Regiment suffered numerous casualties while patrolling in “No-Man’s Land.” To make these dangerous assignments more manageable, a scout dog and handler were assigned to each patrol.

Scout Dogs on patrolGerman Shepherds were used because of their temperament, size, and toughness. Bjotvedt described these dogs as being able to “detect hidden enemy far in advance of the patrol’s ability to see, hear or smell the enemy.” When a scout dog sensed the enemy he would alert the patrol, “much like a bird dog’s rigid stance.” Each night a patrol, following a predetermined route and position, would advance into “No-Man’s Land” escorted by a scout dog. The patrol would advance in single file with the scout dog clearing the way. The patrol relied on the dog’s night vision and keen hearing throughout the patrol.

Many thankful soldiers will remember the outstanding service of the scout dogs.