Kolchak – King of the Wolfhounds

Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak      

In 1918 during World War I, a regiment from the 27th Infantry was sent on a reconnaissance operation along the Trans-Siberian Railway. At that time, 15,000 German and Austrian prisoners of war, along with Bolsheviks headquartered in the Ussuri Valley, threatened Vladivostok. Despite the frigid temperatures and difficult ground, the regiment marched over 1,000 miles in pursuit of the retreating Bolsheviks, resulting in the capture of Blagoveschensk. The Russians, impressed with American drive, nicknamed the 27th Infantry the "Wolfhounds".

Kolchak II, circa 1939    

 

The first Wolfhounds mascot, a pure bred Russian Wolfhound, was presented to the regiment in 1929. He was named after Admiral Aleksandr Vasilyevich Kolchak, who fought the Bolsheviks during the regiment's stay in Siberia.

 

Elaborate ceremonies marked Kolchak I's adoption as mascot of the Twenty-Seventh Infantry. The organization was formed on the regimental drill field, and after a brief address by Colonel William E. Hunt announcing the acquisition of the dog, Chaplain Oscar W. Reynolds made a short talk on the significance of mascots. Sergeant John Martin (who served with the regiment in both the Philippines and Siberia) took charge of Kolchak and promised to see that he attended all appropriate gatherings of the regiment.

 

Kolchak II entered service in 1939. He was often found rooting for Wolfhound athletic teams, and marched with the regiment in all ceremonies. The Cossack hats (or Shaktoes), belts, and boots worn by the color guard and the Regimental Band may have been designed to please Kolchak II as well as the spectators at ceremonies who approved of the colorful trappings of a colorful regiment. 

 

Kolchak in Steel      

The stainless steel sculpture of Kolchak shown at right was a gift from Mr. Akio Aoyama, president of a successful post-war steel manufacturing company, a long time supporter of the Holy Family Home, and an ardent fan of the Wolfhounds.

 

 

 

Kolchak I and all his successors are more than mere mascots. They embody the regiment's nickname, and personify the tenacious and ferocious fighting nature of the regiment. The Regiment has a reputation of utter ferocity in combat and gentle compassion in peace. Our enemies have felt the ruthlessness of the Wolfhound's bite, our friends have found us to be loyal and steadfast, and the innocent have found the Wolfhounds second to none in compassion.

 

 

 

 

In the photo galleries below, click any image to see a larger version.

 

Kolchacks of the Past
Kolchak with the Regiment
Kolchak XV
Kolchak XVI

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