Smoky was found in a foxhole in New Guinea in Feb 1944. The American thought she must have been a Japanese soldier’s dog, but when he took her to a POW camp, they found out she didn’t understand commands in Japanese of English. The soldier sold Smoky to Cpl. William Wynne of Cleveland OH for 2 dollars Australian.
Over the next two years Wynne carried Smoky in his backpack, fought in the jungles of Rock Island and New Guinea, flew 12 air/sea rescue, She survived 150 air raids on New Guinea and made it through a typhoon at Okinawa, made a combat jump in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, in a parachute made for her. She would warn G.I’s of incoming artillery and was dubbed the “angel from a foxhole.”
Early in retaking the Philippines combat engineers were setting up a telegraph line to an airfield. The joints collapsed filling them in with sand. Cpl. Wynne knew that Smoky could climb through the pipe with a new line and that is what she did. Smoky’s work saved approximately 250 ground crewmen from having to move around and keep operational 40 fighters and reconnaissance planes, while a construction detail dug up the taxiway, placing the men and the planes in danger from enemy bombings. What would have been a dangerous three-day digging task to place the wire was instead completed in minutes.
In her down time she preformed tricks with the Special Services to improve the moral of the troops and visited hospitals in Australia and Korea. Visiting with the sick and wounded, she became the first recorded “therapy dog”.
After the war she became a sensation back int the states, had a live TV show, and often visited Veterans hospitals. Smoky’s work as a therapy dog continued for 12 years. Wynne had Smokey 14 years before she passed away. He buried her in a 30 caliber ammo box in Rocky River Reservation, Ohio.
Smoky, the smallest war hero weighing in at 4 lbs even and standing 7 inches tall.
Pictures copyrighted by William A. Wynne (1996) and used by permission.
Read the book “Yorkie Doodle Dandy” (1996) by William Wynne!