Cast & Crew
S. Roy Luby
After grocery store owner Sam Stoner has his errand boy, Billy Freeman, arrested for stealing two dollars from the cash register, the boy is sentenced to reform school by juvenile court judge Roger Davis. Billy is released, however, after Roger's wealthy social worker girl friend, Joan Allen, discovers that Billy took the money to free his German Shepherd dog, Pal, from the pound. When Roger additionally learns that Stoner only paid Billy one dollar for an entire week of work, he gives Billy the money for Pal's license. Joan is grateful to Roger for his compassion, but refuses his twenty-ninth proposal because she wants to marry a "man of the people." Having learned that Billy's father is a shell-shocked World War I veteran who has been unable to find work, Joan takes Billy home with his dog, and learns from the boy that his father had been a decorated officer. Billy's father William comes home drunk, but he and Billy take up Joan's suggestion that they enlist Pal in the Army for special training as an Army Patrol dog. After visiting the "Dogs for Defense" training camp, William visits Roger at his office, and Roger tells him that his son has been diligently paying off the two dollar loan. William then reveals that he is now sober and has been working odd jobs in the hope of getting back into shape for the Marines. When he returns home, William discovers a homesick Pal awaiting him. When William returns Pal to camp, the trainers demonstrate how a patrol dog is trained to hunt and attack an enemy. When William hears the gunfire, his fearful memories of battle overcome him, and he runs away. When he returns home he is drunk, and Billy is disappointed because he had just gotten a call from the Marines saying that they would allow his father to re-enlist. Roger understands the veteran's pain, and asks his friend, David J. Titus, who owns a defense plant, to hire William. Roger also convinces David to get a patrol dog, as David is worried about saboteurs. William is soon working at the plant as a stocker, while Pal patrols outside. One night, German saboteurs attack the plant and throw a corrosive gas bomb inside the laboratory where William happens to be working. Although William is initially frightened by the sound of gunshots, he reacts quickly and carries out the bomb himself. William is killed by the explosion, and Pal fulfills his training by capturing one of the saboteurs. William's self-sacrifice makes the newspaper headlines, and Billy remorsefully packs his father's belongings. After consoling the boy, Joan tells Billy that she plans on accepting Roger's proposal and would like to adopt him. Roger is delighted that Joan will finally be his wife and tells Billy that he will have to take care of Joan while he is away, as he has just enlisted in the Marines. Pal, on temporary leave, joins the proud new family.
S. Roy Luby
This film was also reviewed in Variety as Pride of the Army. The film viewed was a re-release print, which bore the title Unsung Heroes. Dog trainer Earl Johnson received onscreen credit in the cast list underneath the listing for Ace as follows: "Earl Johnson, Trainer." According to the Daily Variety review, footage of the dog training program was shot at the Carl Spitz Canine School.