Rifleman Khan: Heroism and Devoted Duty

Rifleman Kahn was a German Shepherd who won the Dickin medal during the Second World War. He was awarded the medal for saving the life of his handler, Lance Corporal Jimmy Muldoon.

Kahn was volunteered for Army service by the Railton family and given the number ‘147’. After training as a mine detection dog, he was assigned to Jimmy Muldoon, 6th Battalion, The Cameronians.

Rescuing Jimmy

During ‘Operation Infatuate,’ Canadian troops on the Walcheren Causeway were unable to break the German defences and needed support and supplies.

Attempts to get his material to them had failed and the Cameronians were tasked to support the Canadians with a seaborne landing on the 2nd November.

During the landing, Jimmy and Khan’s assault craft came under heavy fire and capsized. Jimmy was not a strong swimmer.

Rifleman Khan spotted him struggling in the water and jumped into action, pulling him to shore with his teeth through a hail of gunfire and explosions.

Jimmy Muldoon and Rifleman Khan pose for a photo
Jimmy Muldoon and Rifleman Khan. Credit: PDSA
Rifleman Khan statue in the Tank Museums WW2: War Stories exhibition
Rifleman Khan statue in the Museum's WW2: War Stories exhibition

Khan spent the rest of the war in Europe with Jimmy Muldoon. Due to the bond they had developed, Jimmy appealed to the Railton family to keep him.

They initially refused, but after a parade organised by ‘The Star’ newspaper in 1947, the family saw them together and allowed Khan to stay with Jimmy, saying, ‘He is yours, take him home with you!’

Khan and Jimmy’s story is remembered in our World War Two: War Stories exhibition. Jess Lucas, a sculpture student at Arts University Bournemouth, produced a model of Riflemen Khan for her final year project.

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