Alexandra Headland National War Dog Memorial
The memorial at The Bluff, Alexandra Headland, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast is the first War Dog memorial in Australia and is classified as the National War Dog Memorial.
This was an initiative of the Vietnam Veterans Association of the Sunshine Coast. Under the direction of Vietnam veteran Ian Atkinson, VVAA Sunshine Coast branch was granted council approval to erect a monument to the 11 tracker dogs that served with the Australian Army during the Vietnam War.
The memorial is located in a small park overlooking the Pacific Ocean and was dedicated on 7 April 2001.
The memorial is constructed of a sandstone block approximately 1.4 metres high featuring a carved profile of a Labrador dog. The carving was created by Vietnam veteran and stonemason Dick Meisenhelter. At the base of the monument is a drinking trough where local dog owners can water their animals while walking their dogs.
WAR DOG MEMORIAL
DEDICATED TO THE AUSTRALIAN TRACKER DOGS
THAT SERVED IN SOUTH VIETNAM
THEY DID NOT RETURN FROM THE WAR
CAESAR, CASSIUS*, JANUS, JULIAN, JUNO, JUSTIN,
MARCIAN, MARCUS, MILO, TIBER, TRAJAN
*Died on active service
Down jungle tracks, through shot and shell
Ears pricked high, keen sense of smell
Our tracker dogs with care and poise
Alert to ambush, foreign noise
Never whimper, whine nor bark
Their service honoured with this plaque
No medals pinned to hairy chest
They stayed behind, they were the best.
ALL GAVE SOMETHING, SOME GAVE ALL
THOSE WHO KNEW YOU, WILL NEVER FORGET YOU
Plaques have since been added to the memorial in recognition of active service in Malaya, Borneo, Singapore, Somalia, Bougainville, East Timor and Solomon Islands.
Australian Army Trackers & War Dogs Association
- Conflicts commemorated
- Malayan Emergency, 1948–1960
- Indonesian Confrontation, 1962–1966
- Vietnam War, 1962–1972
- Somalia, 1992–1994
- Unit memorials
- Memorial type
- Additional information
It was Australian Army policy that the tracker dogs not be brought home at the end of their service. Established in 2001.
The memorial is located at GPS Latitude: -26.675273°, Longitude: 153.115324°
- Recorded by
- Dennis Stocks/Sunshine Coast Vietnam Veteran's Association
- Date recorded
- 25 March 2009