When most people imagine military dogs, they think of big, powerful, aggressive dogs. But if there is anything that Smoky the Yorkshire Terrier’s story can show us, it is that courage does not discriminate based on size.
When soldiers first found Smoky, she was in an abandoned foxhole in New Guinea. Shortly after, Corporal Bill Wine purchased the Yorkshire Terrier for two Australian Dollars.
Corporal Bill Wine quickly became emotionally attached to Smoky, allowing the dog to sleep in his tent and share his food. Because Smoky was not a “war dog,” the military could not give her veterinary care or food, but under Corporal Wine’s watchful eye, she remained healthy.
Over time, Smoky became an unofficial member of the Fifth Air Force 26th Photo Recon Squadron, surviving several missions, multiple bombing raids and even a typhoon. During her time with the squadron, Smokey earned eight battle stars.
Smoky only grew more popular over time, learning several tricks from the troops and providing an essential morale boost to the beleaguered troops. In 1944, Yank Down Under Magazine named Smoky the Champion Mascot in the Southwest Pacific Area.
But Smoky did more than provide emotional support for the military. She was an integral member of the team. During the Luzon Campaign in the Philippines, Smoky helped solve a telegraph malfunction that kept 40 planes and combatants functioning.
Almost fifty years after Smoky passed, the United States created a commemorative monument in her honor. The United States dedicated the monument to “Smoky the Yorkie Doodle Dandy and the dogs of all wars.”