Dexter – The Last US Naval Horse

Pacific Paratrooper

Naval Square, Philadelphia, PA, the 24-acre plot of land on Grays Ferry Avenue has been associated with the Navy since 1827 and has the unusual distinction of being the final resting place of Dexter, the Navy’s last working horse.

The Philadelphia Naval Asylum, a hospital, opened there in 1827.

From 1838 until 1845, the site also served as the precursor to the U.S. Naval Academy, until the officers training school opened in Annapolis with seven instructors, four of them from Philadelphia.

In 1889, its name was changed to the Naval Home to reflect its role as a retirement home for old salts, as they used to call retired sailors.

It was in the service of the Naval Home that Dexter came to Philadelphia.

Originally an Army artillery horse foaled in 1934, Dexter was transferred to the Navy in 1945 to haul a trash cart around the Naval Home.

Despite his…

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