Not long after the onset of WWII the Germans began to bomb London. The English authorities found that locating civilian casualties in the rubble of destroyed homes was difficult. That is because there was no way to find them as were no search and rescue dogs – until Rip. At first just a mascot of a military unit, Rip soon turned into a premier finder of those trapped under fallen buildings. Self-taught, Rip spontaneously began to dig where he smelled a hidden victim. He seemed to sense it was his duty to rescue others as he would start searches all by himself. The governmental authorities quickly realized that dogs who could sniff out bomb victims were necessary, which led to the establishment of a search and rescue dog school. For his pioneering and excellent work, Rip was awarded the Dickin Medal in July 1945. Next: Doc Sunshine.