Barney the Bear
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Barney was a small Malayan Sun bear, the mascot of Company Alpha, 5th Special Forces Group, Airborne, Ben Hoi, South Vietnam. Discovered by the soldiers as an orphan cub, he would be put in a knapsack when the company parachuted on missions.
Sgt. Jerald Hilleson was especially fond of Barney. When the sergeant's tour of duty ended, he decided to take the bear with him, and managed to ship him home in a 727.
Barney lived at Fort Bragg for two years before dying of pneumonia. Sgt. Hilleson, ever the pal, decided to have him stuffed. The taxidermist didn't do a very good job, and when Barney was donated to the fort's Special Warfare Museum, people soon complained of the horrible smell. Still, Barney was a base legend, so the Museum couldn't just throw him away. Instead, they sealed him inside a Plexiglas box, where his lumpy, half-hairless form is still an object of conversation.