Thursday, September 3, 2020

Smokey, the smallest war hero weighed in at 4 lbs even, and stood 7 inches tall.

 Via Cousin Colby

Smoky (dog) in helmet.jpg

"Smokey" 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. The soldier sold Smokey to Cpl. William Wynne of Cleveland, OH for 2 dollars Australian.

Over the next two years Wynne carried Smokey in his backpack, fought in the jungles of Rock Island and New Guinea, flew 12 air/sea rescue missions, 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 Smokey could climb through the pipe with a new line and that is what she did. Smokey'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 performed 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 in the states, had a live TV show, and often visited Veterans hospitals. Smokey'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.


  1. What a great story. Those little terriers have a lot of courage
    though not much to back it up and very intelligent. Thanks for
    the heartwarming story. Smokey played an important pa for the war
    cause too not to mention the enjoyment he brought to all.
    Reminds me of the lion pet in Vietnam.

    1. Reminds me of the lion pet in Vietnam.

      That was great for sure.

  2. Great tale! I am reminded of Simon, who won the Dicken Medal.

    Smokey looks like a Yorkie. Good girl.. well done.. enjoy the bacon tree across the Rainbow Bridge.

  3. Good morning, and thanks for a great story to start my day.

    1. & thank you. Wonder how many more good stories are out there?