In 1942, Australia could practically feel Japan looking at them across the Pacific and salivating at the thought of all the bizarre, hilarious animals they could suddenly own if they expanded their empire. And so, in February of that year, Japanese forces began bombing the Australian city of Darwin.
America In WW2
Actual Japanese attack plan for the Pacific.
The first time Japan bombed the city, Leading Aircraftman Percy Leslie Westcott's dog, Gunner, was wounded by one of the explosions, and the experience had a profound effect on the little dog (which isn't surprising, considering that even a vacuum cleaner traumatizes them). What no one suspected was that, like in a comic book, the explosion also gave the dog superpowers.
Keystone / Stringer / Hulton / Getty
It gave a lot of people superpowers, too, assuming "PTSD" counts as a superpower.
You see, one day Gunner began freaking out for no apparent reason and tried to get Westcott to go with him to shelter. Being kind of on duty in the military, Westcott was unable to just drop everything and head in for a break ... until, that is, the Japanese showed up and started bombing the place again. A few days later, the same thing happened -- Gunner started going apeshit for no reason and, like before, Japanese planes were soon overhead dropping death from the skies.
That's when Westcott figured it out: Gunner could hear the Japanese planes coming, like 20 minutes before their instruments picked them up. This would have been impressive enough if the dog didn't live in the middle of an airbase, which he did. Either Gunner had exceptionally discerning ears (he didn't seem to be bothered by non-enemy planes coming and going all the time), or the fucker had psychic powers.
So the next time your dog starts barking for no reason, take heed: The Japanese might be about to bomb your backyard.
After confirming his dog's abilities, Westcott told his superiors about them in what must have been an interesting conversation. Gunner proved to be so good that they gave Westcott a portable air raid siren for him to activate when the dog told him to, saving many lives in the process. Think about that: With all the strange and magical animals they have in Australia, in the end they were saved by a regular dog.
Step up your game, platypus.
Evan V. Symon is a moderator in the Cracked Workshop. Find him on Facebook, and be sure to bookshelf and vote for his new book, The End of the Line.
Related Reading: War actually has an extensive history of being adorable. Did you know Robert E. Lee once risked his life to save a wounded bird, mid-battle? And at one point in World War 2, squads of Nazi and American soldiers wound up sharing a lovely Christmas dinner. And surprising tales of compassion aren't limited to battling armies. Violent crime syndicates can do great things too.