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New Memorial Pavilion honors Camp Rimini

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Posted at 9:51 AM, Sep 15, 2023

RIMINI — A new memorial pavilion honoring Camp Rimini will be dedicated on Saturday, September 16 at 12:00 p.m. at the site of the original camp off Rimini Road.

“The mission of Camp Rimini was to train dogs in dog mushing and security dogs and pack dogs,” said David Armstrong III, a Director on the Board with the Montana Military Museum.

From 1942 to 1944, over 150 men and over 800 dogs lived and trained at Camp Rimini. The dogs were being trained for the Invasion of Norway mission in World War II. Camp Rimini was one of just two camps with the dog training program.

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On Thursday, MTN visited the memorial while the three storyboards were hung up. One focuses on stories of training the dogs through the different seasons.

“One of the means of training the dogs in the summer months was pulling a chassis. Obviously running dogs during the winter,” Armstrong said.

Two other boards show missions the men and dogs were involved in after being deployed to Newfoundland, a project of moving a repeater station.

“From the rail siding below to the top of Table Mountain,” said Armstrong.

Armstrong created the idea for the memorial, partially to honor his father. Dave Armstrong Jr.’s duty at the camp was to train the dogs, but the invasion of Norway ended up being canceled. The dogs and soldiers at Camp Rimini transitioned into search and rescue teams for planes downed in winter and arctic climates.

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“My dad. It’s not only to honor his memory but to honor the memory of the 150 or so men that served in World War two as non-combatants,” said Armstrong.

The project took about four years to complete.