15 Feb 2008

Polish WWII Veterans Seek Memorial For Mascot Bear

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Voytek, a Eurasian Brown Bear picked up as a cub in Iran in 1943 by the Second Polish Transport Company, accompanied the unit through the rest of the war. In order to transport the bear to the European theatre, he had to be listed on the unit’s rolls, and was even given a rank and serial number. The bear served through the Italian campaign, including the Battle of Monte Cassino, and was trained to carry mortar rounds.

Rather than be mustered out in Communist Poland, many Poles remained in Britain, including Voytek, who spent his retirement in the Edinburgh Zoo. Voytek died in 1963.

Daily Mail story.


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