Updated: K9 Memorial Project Set to Break Ground in September
Ribbon cutting and dedication planned for K9 Veterans Day in March 2023
Following a successful fundraising campaign in March, the Coast Guard Foundation is moving forward with plans to establish a memorial at Coast Guard Base Alameda where Coast Guard service dogs can be honored.
Plans call for a six-foot tall cornerstone memorial “in honor and remembrance of all the faithful and brave U.S. Coastie canines” and features an image of World War II Coast Guard dog handler Seaman First Class Jack Ayre and his military dog Mal. The center monument will be flanked by two memorial walls that will display tributes to individual service dogs. Memorial panels can be personalized by each Coast Guard handler in honor of their dog. The 15’x30’ space will also feature a landscaped border that will create a warm, welcoming area to honor the Coast Guard’s dedicated canines.
The memorial design, granite work, and installation is being carried out by Bell Memorials and Granite Works, Inc. of Clovis, Calif. Site work will begin in September.
The Coast Guard K9 memorial is dedicated to Seaman First Class Jack Ayre, a Coast Guard member who served in World War II as a member of the beach patrol, an important mission to protect America’s shores against German and Japanese spies who attempted to land ashore from submarines positioned along the Eastern Seaboard. Ayre’s patrol companion was a German shepherd named Mal, who as a military working dog, accompanied him on assignments from the Coast Guard’s Rehoboth Beach Lifeboat Station in Delaware.
We are grateful for Coast Guard Foundation Director Fred Brodsky, who in addition to his lead gift, spearheaded the design plan and coordinated work with Coast Guard leadership in California. The many donors who answered the call ensure that we will create a lasting legacy to the Coast Guard’s most faithful companions.
In the top photo, Coast Guard K-9 Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly waits to begin K9 hoisting operations at Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, California, on March 23, 2022. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Hunter Schnabel.