Smoky was a Yorkshire Terrier born in 1943. She is one of the most famous dogs in history for having served in World War II. Smoky was only 7 inches tall and weighed 4 pounds. However, thanks to her, the Yorkshire Terrier breed came to the breeders’ spotlight once more.
In 1944, an American soldier found Smoky in an abandoned foxhole located in the New Guinea jungle. At that time she was already fully grown. The soldiers took her to a nearby prisoners-of-war camp, thinking the dog had once belonged to the Japanese. However, Smoky did not understand commands in either English or Japanese. She was sold to Corporal William A. Wynne for two Australian pounds.
Smoky and the Corporal spent the following two years in the jungles of New Guinea. She backpacked through the harsh terrain and visited injured soldiers, becoming one of the first therapy dogs. Wynne found her very easy to train and soon enough she had an even more active part in the war. Smoky helped string communication lines between outposts in the Philippines. The Corporal also credited his dog with saving his life. While on a transport ship, Smoky guided Wynne to duck from a fire that hit the 8 men standing next to him.
Describing his dog, Wynne said: “Smoky Served in the South Pacific with the 5th Air Force, 26th Photo Recon Squadron [and] flew 12 air/sea rescue and photo reconnaissance missions.” She was credited with 12 combat missions and awarded 8 battle stars. She survived 150 air raids and even a typhoon in Okinawa. After the war, Smoky became a national sensation. During the next ten years, Wynne and Smoky toured the world and the Yorkshire Terrier showed her numerous skills.
She lived till the age of 14 and died in 1957. Do you know other famous war dogs?