The Vietnam vets left behind: Few of the dogs that served on the ground in the Vietnam War were allowed to return back to their native countries once the war was over. When U.S. troops withdrew in 1973, most of the 4,000 U.S. military dogs on the ground there were deemed "surplus equipment," and left behind. Some were given to South Vietnamese forces, while others were euthanized.
At least one Aussie war dog fared far better than most of the canines who were deployed to Vietnam. A Black Labrador -- like the two sniffer dogs in this photo taken in 1967 in South Vietnam -- this fortunate dog, named Julian, was "a troop scout and explosives detector." He was adopted by an embassy worker in Saigon and eventually made the journey back to Australia with his new owner.
The dogs above who were perhaps not so lucky were part of the 7th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment during the war. Justin (left) and Cassius (right) were tasked with tracking Viet Cong fighters through the jungle. The soldiers pictured with them are Private (later Lance Corporal) Thomas Douglas and Cpl. Norman Leslie. Cpl Blackhurst, a radio operator, was killed in action in April 1971 while calling in a helicopter for a medical evacuation. The helicopter crashed, killing L Cpl. Blackhurst, another officer on the ground, as well as the medic on board.