The AFS Drivers from the First World War enjoyed each other’s companionship in between the difficult and often dismal hours transporting wounded men. In addition to each other, they also enjoyed the company of different animals who were adopted by some of the sections during the war. Dogs were the most popular of the section mascots, as evidenced by the photographs of Khaki, the Section Sanitaire [États-] Unis (SSU) 1 mascot pictured here, and of the unnamed dog sitting on top of an SSU 64 ambulance here.
Similarly, the men of SSU 8 adopted a section dog they named “Booze” during the war. Sadly, Booze was hit and killed by a truck on a Châlons road on June 4, 1917, and was buried by six of the AFS Drivers shortly afterward. In addition to their beloved dog, SSU 8 can also claim Teddy the goat (pictured above), who was adopted as the section mascot shortly after the death of Booze. The American Field Service Bulletin published on August 8, 1917 notes:
“It is worth recording that Section 8 now has a goat. Do not try and “get it” however,
as it is not that kind of a goat, but one with four legs which they are pleased
to call their “mascot.” Here’s hoping it brings them all the luck in the world.”
In addition to the section mascots, the AFS Drivers were surrounded by a number of service animals used by other organizations or military units. These animals included mules (pictured here), often used to transport supplies in the trenches by the military, and service dogs, including the ones depicted with their trainer in Lorraine in this photograph