Smoky The Yorkshire Terrier Was Probably The Cutest Service Member In WWII

This Dog Was The Cutest Service Member In WWII

This is Smoky, a female Yorkshire Terrier that served in World War II.

Taken on Biak Island, Indonesia in Sept. 1944. About 5,000 enemy soldiers were trapped in caves two miles away.

Smoky was found in a foxhole by an American solider during the war and later sold to Cpl. Bill Wynne. She became a wartime sensation, backpacking through the New Guinea jungle and visiting injured soldiers to become one of the first therapy dogs.

Wynne found her exceptionally easy to train and she was soon aiding in the war effort, including an assignment to help string communication lines between outposts in the Philippines. You can read Wynne's description of the event in the caption below.

Bob Gapp and Bill Wynne set up Smoky when it became imperative that phone wires be strung to the airfield from three squadron areas. A culvert 8" in diameter and 70-feet-long under the taxiway was the logical place. If dug up by hand it would have required many men three days work and the planes to remain operational would have to be moved to the steel matting along the runway. The runway was being bombed daily. Wynne coaxed Smoky through from the far end. She had to climb 4" mounds of sifted sand every 4" feet. She did it in a few minutes. She did it because she was asked to.

This was a stunt I dreamed up in New Guinea to draw judges' attention to Smoky for the Best Mascot of the Southwest Pacific Area, SWPA, Theater of Operations. It worked as Smoky was chosen First Prize Mascot in the YANK Contest over more than 400 entries. In my book, you will find the wind collapsed the chute and Smoky was blown clear of the catching blanket on the seventh jump -- one jump too many. She could have been killed.

June 1945. The U.S. Army 120th General Hospital in Manila, took in the Battle of Luzon casualties. Smoky is held by Barbara Wood Smith American Red Cross on a bed of a wounded GI.

After the war, the pair traveled the country, visiting Hollywood and performing on local television shows.

Smoky died in 1957, but a statue in Cleveland, Ohio immortalizes her, and at 91, Wynne still remembers his companion's heroic efforts.

Smoky Yorkie Doodle Dandy and Dogs of All Wars Memorial, Cleveland Metroparks. Dedicated Nov. 11, 2005.

If you'd like to read more about Smoky and Bill, head on over to Facebook, or you can pick up a copy of Wynne's memoir, "Yorkie Doodle Dandy: Or, the Other Woman Was a Real Dog."

Take a look at more photos of the pair below, and if you're looking for a companion of your own, head on over to the ASPCA adoption site or

Smoky served as a therapy dog in Army and Navy/Marine hospitals in Australia. She began in Nadzab, New Guinea in July 1944 at the 233rd Station Hospital when she was taken on rounds with C/O Maj. Dr. Charles W. Mayo of the Mayo Clinic.

YANK Down Under Magazine selected Smoky as the best Mascot in the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations in July 1944. Her silver trophy is in her display case at the AKC Museum of the Dog in St. Louis.

Newly discharged Cpl. Bill Wynne of Cleveland and Smoky are glad to home from the far Pacific. Smoky spent 18 months in combat. Dec. 1945.

Photos and captions courtesy of Bill Wynne.

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