L/CPL Robert J. Slattery, Marine Corps League Det #206, NEWSLETTER, Jun 2020 - #7
Smokey

Smokey was found in a foxhole in New Guinea in Feb 1944. The American troops thought she must have been a Japanese soldier's dog, but when they took her to a POW camp, they found out she didn't understand any commands in Japanese of English. The Veterans then sold Smokey to a Cpl. William Wynne of Cleveland OH for 2 dollars (Australian).

Over the next two years Cpl. Wynne carried Smokey in his backpack, fought in the jungles of Rock Island and New Guinea, flew 12 air/sea rescues. Smokey survived 150 air raids on New Guinea and made it through a typhoon at Okinawa. She Made a combat jump in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, in a parachute made just for her. She would always warn the Veterans of incoming artillery and was dubbed the "angel from a foxhole”.

Early in retaking the Philippines - the combat engineers were setting up a telegraph line to an airfield. And then The line collapsed & filled was completely filled with sand. Cpl. Wynne knew that Smokey could climb through the pipe with a new line and that is what she did. Smoky'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 preformed 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. Smoky's work as a therapy dog continued for 12 years.

Cpl. Wynne had Smokey for 14 years before she finally passed away. He buried her in a 30 caliber ammo box in Rocky River Reservation, Ohio.

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