By Sgt. Robert Ryan

YANK Staff Correspondent

FORT AMADOR, PANAMA—As Pvt. George Kline of Bellingham, Wash., scanned the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, his binoculars focused on a bobbing buoy. At first the sentry thought there was a child clinging to the float, but closer inspection revealed that it was a monkey.

Kline notified Pvt. Bruno Matteucci of Chicago, Ill., Pvt. Stanley Markish of Shenandoah, Pa., and Pvt. William S. Burns of Louisville, Ky., who sped to the rescue of the seagoing simian in a crash boat. The monkey didn’t want to let go of the buoy for love or peanuts, but after a minute or two, the Yanks hauled him aboard the boat.

Just how the monkey got on the buoy, nobody knows. But that isn’t his native habitat. Bought to shore, the seasick animal scampered up a coconut tree and made himself at home.

wwii panama canal uss bunker hill

The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill going through the locks of the Panama Canal.

For Further Reading on the Panama Canal Check Out:

The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914

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