War hero pup honoured

It’s fair to say a tiny yorkshire terrier named Smoky led a far more interesting life than most people.


She was also a hell of a lot braver.

On Tuesday the Brisbane-born pup, who died in 1957, was posthumously bestowed with the RSPCA’s national award for animals for her bravery and efforts during World War II.

She began her life in a pet shop in Brisbane before being taken to Papua New Guinea by an Australian man who sold the pup to US Corporal William (Bill) Wynne for two pounds after losing a bet.

The aeroplane mechanic was based in Australia for three years during WWII and would fly between Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

Smoky joined her new owner on 12 combat missions by being smuggled into the countries under Corporal Wynne’s uniform.

She even went on combat flights with the soldier and parachuted out of planes strapped to him.

In January 1945 on Luzon Island in the Philippines Smoky helped a group of engineers with the difficult task of threading a wire through a small 20 metre long tunnel under an airstrip by running through it with the wire attached to her collar.

Her efforts meant the task took just a few minutes rather than three days and saved hundreds of ground crew from being exposed to enemy fire.

Smoky also became a “therapy dog” by joining nurses on their rounds at hospitals in Papua New Guinea and Brisbane, and later in the US.

After returning to Ohio with Corporal Wynne after WWII she became a star by performing tricks on a weekly TV show.

Nigel Allsopp, who wrote a book about Smoky’s adventures, told AAP the corporal’s love for the dog is still strong almost six decades after she died.

“Even today at age 95 it’s like Bill is still with Smoky now – she’s had a huge impact on his life,” he said. “There isn’t a day goes by that he doesn’t think of her.”

The RSPCA’s purple medal is the ninth award bestowed on Smoky who also has eight battle stars to her name.

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