Smoky the war dog

Nigel Allsopp

How a tiny Yorkshire Terrier became a hero on the frontline.

In March 1944, deep in the New Guinean jungle, a little Yorkshire Terrier was found hiding in a foxhole. Her presence there was a mystery, but American soldier Bill Wynne became her new owner. He named her Smoky, never dreaming that his little mate would turn out to be quite so extraordinary.

When Bill fell ill with dengue fever, he asked to have Smoky by his side and she was soon visiting other soldiers on the ward, bringing happiness to the sick and wounded. This experience inspired Bill to visit injured soldiers with Smoky while on leave in Australia and she is recognised today as the first therapy dog.

Smoky performed other daring deeds as part of her war effort, including laying wire to take over a Japanese held airfield, and went on to become a beloved performer on children’s television.

In Smoky the war dog, historian and former military dog handler Nigel Allsopp tells the story of Smoky and Bill, long forgotten in Australia, and chronicles his own efforts to see Smoky formally recognised for her war work. He interweaves Smoky’s story with remarkable tales of other military dogs, past and present, and the vital roles they play in wartime.

Hard cover, small format, photographs, 112 pages.