U.S. Army veteran Dwight Pierceall of Normal received quite a shock on June 6, 1946, when he opened a crate sent from Europe. Inside was Bella, a canine refugee from war-torn Europe. That wasn’t the surprise though, as Pfc. Pierceall had received the part Airedale about a year earlier when he was stationed with U.S. Army combat engineers in Heidelberg, Germany. Dwight and Bella then became constant companions during Pierceall’s last year in Europe, and when he returned stateside he arranged to have her shipped to his residence in Normal.
The surprise was that Bella had puppies sometime after leaving the port at Le Havre, France, a month earlier!