During World War II a dog named ‘Gunner’ could warn Australian Air Force personnel of approaching enemy aircraft – 20 minutes before they arrived!
On 19 February 1942 Air Force personnel of Australia's Darwin Air Force base found a six month old puppy with a broken front leg under a destroyed mess hut.
The hut was destroyed in the first wave of Japanese bombings of Darwin.
The doctor at the field hospital said he could not fix a "man" with a broken leg if he does not know his name and his serial number.
The male kelpie was immediately named 'Gunner' and his serial number, 0000, was assigned to him on the spot.
Gunner entered the Air Force that day and his leg was fixed and plastered. Leading Aircraftman Percy Westcott, one of the two men who found Gunner, adopted him and became his handler.
The bombing must have traumatized Gunner, but a week after becoming a member of the Air Force, his memory of the event paid off and he demonstrated his incredible hearing skills.
Gunner became agitated, whining and jumping every time he heard enemy aircraft approaching. What was most remarkable is that he would display this behavior 20 minutes before enemy aircraft arrived!
He was so accurate that permission was granted to sound a portable air raid siren whenever Gunner started whining and jumping.
As if that is not impressive enough, Gunner could tell the difference between enemy and allied planes and would not perform at all when allied aircraft approached for landing!