Seventy years ago, on June 6, 1944, Allied forces executed Operation Overlord, where thousands of troops stormed Normandy Beach in France during World War II. Its success turned the tide of the war in Europe.
One of the participants in the invasion was Bing, a two-year-old Collie–German Shepherd mix, who was dropped with the British 6th Airborne Division behind enemy lines. Although the dog had trained for the actual jump, he needed a little “encouragement” from a fellow soldier’s boot to actually leap from the plane.
On the ground, Bing provided invaluable assistance to his men. The dog would keep watch while troops were sleeping, and would guide them through occupied territory — if he sensed danger ahead, he would freeze to signal the men. Later, Bing paired with an Army sniper named Jack Walton, and he was part of the crossing of the Rhine.
He was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for bravery in 1947.
After the war, Bing returned to owner in Essex, where he lived until 1955, when he died of natural causes.