Clonakilty, Ireland, is a town of less than 5,000 people, but it knows hospitality, and it knows how to draw tourism. A new monument unveiled today honors an incident of the town's hospitality in 1943. An American B-17 bomber carrying ten crewman and a monkey named Tojo headed for Norway landed in Clonakilty when it went low on fuel. The police took them into custody at a hotel where the Yanks and the locals held a three-day party.
During their stay, the US airmen were able to reciprocate the warm Irish welcome they had received by sharing their 36 bottles of rum with their hosts and Tojo.
After several days, the crew were taken to Cork before they were driven from the neutral Irish Republic into Northern Ireland where they were handed over to the RAF.
But one very important primate was missing when the the airmen left the west Cork town.
Tojo had taken too much of a liking to the rum and other beverages.
"The efforts of local doctors, chemists, and vets failed to save the monkey and Tojo died of pneumonia," said Mr Tupper.
"It was a great tragedy and people lined up and queued to see the dead monkey laid out on a sheet in a bed upstairs in the hotel."
But Tojo had made a lasting impression during his short stay and was given a funeral, with full military honours.
The townspeople still talk about Tojo, the first monkey most of the residents at that time had ever seen. To commemorate the occasion 70 years later, the town unveiled a bronze statue of Tojo today, created by local sculptor Moss Gaynor. Link (with video) -via Arbroath