Smoky the Yorshire Terrier – War Hero from WWII was awarded the RSPCA Australia Purple Cross on 17th November 2015.
But there was Smoky, waiting for someone to take her home.The young pup was picked up by a U.S soldier, who apparently sold her to Corporal William Wynne for two pounds. Soon after becoming the mascot for SWPA’s 26th Recon Squadron, Smoky won “Yank Down Under” magazine’s first prize in their 1944 mascot contest. Her status was soon elevated to that of War Dog and Heroine.
As she travelled with Corporal Wynne, she learned to parachute from combat planes, and completed a dangerous underground solo mission.
Smoky – or Yorkie Doodle Dandy as she was also known – became the world’s first therapy dog. Her service began in July 1944 when Wynne was unwell with Dengue Fever in a New Guinea hospital and Smoky started accompanying nurses to see the incoming battlefield casualties.
Charles Mayo, of the famed Mayo Clinic, was the commanding officer who allowed Smoky to go on rounds and also permitted her to sleep with Wynne in his hospital bed for five nights. Smoky’s work as a therapy dog continued for 12 years, during and after World War II.
Smoky’s special mission in the combat area of the Lingayen Gulf on Luzon resulted in teletype and phone lines being activated for the U.S. and Allied forces.After surviving kamikaze attacks, the Luzon invasion, typhoons, a sting from a 6″ jungle centipede, and many other challenges, Smoky faced being left behind as U.S. troops headed home after the war.
The little dog Corporal Wynne could not leave behind was smuggled aboard ship in an oxygen-mask carrying case, heading to her new home in the United States. She lived out her days in Ohio as a therapy dog until 1957.
There are six memorials dedicated to Smoky in the United States of America.
Smoky was posthumously awarded the RSPCA Australia Purple Cross Award on Tuesday 17th November 2015,in Wacol, Queensland.