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Ep 21 - Smoky the War Dog Part 2

Ep 21 - Smoky the War Dog Part 2

David Tabar David Tabar
21 minute read

Ep 21 - Smoky the War Dog Part 2 

Welcome everyone again to Mighty Line Minute. In our last podcast, we talked about Smoky, her World War II accomplishments, her efforts post-war with Bill Wynne, and how they worked hard to create a better world and help humanity.

Lear more about Mighty Line floor signs and  floor tape

Today we will follow on last week's podcast regarding Smoky and Bill and cover some of those resources that are important to learn from. And at the end of the day, you may learn more in terms of what you can do to help make the world a better place. I'll begin by looking at some books, then periodicals and film. So here we go. Let's get started.

Bill documented his story about Smoky in the self-published book, Yorkie Doodle Dandy. It was released in 1996 and it's now in its eighth printing going on ninth. It has sold more than 50,000 copies, and it's available in hardback. It's also accessible electronically in audio book format. Many other books have been written about Smoky; they stack several feet high. I’ll be covering ones that deal most directly with Smoky and that had been authorized by William A Wynne himself. Here's the best of the best:

The very best book about Smoky, of course, is Yorkie Doodle Dandy, written by Corporal William Wynne following his return to the United States in 1945 from war in the Pacific. While that effort from Bill took many years to construct, there is an excellent publication by the 26th Photo Squadron of the Fifth United States Army Air Force in World War II. The book, published in 1946 by members of the 26th Photo Squadron, consists largely of photography that accurately recorded the Squadron’s World War Two experiences as they were happening.

Smoky, the 4 pound Yorkshire Terrier that was found in a New Guinea foxhole, commands a full page 100, where she is pictured in her famous jacket sewn by American Red Cross nurse. She is also pictured pedaling a scooter, jumping through a hoop and standing with her silver award cup, as well as appearing later in her famous helmet.

The final 10 pages of the 26th Photo Squadron book are a must-read for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in real-time events that occurred to those traveling the Southwest Pacific during wartime. Albert J. Miller accurately logged the departure, arrival, inter-island travel and return of the Squadron to U.S. shores in a well-written rundown of events. A link to the entire book, including photos, can be found at smokywardog.com.

The book Yorkie Doodle Dandy by William A. Wynne was first self-published in 1996, and is currently in its 8th printing. In this gem of animal history, Bill chronicles his pre-war life in Cleveland, finding his love, and becoming a renowned reconnaissance photographer, therapy dog trainer, and entertainer with his Yorkshire Terrier, Smoky.

For anyone interested in the bond between humans and animals, Yorkie Doodle Dandy is essential reading. Smoky’s connection with injured service personnel and hospital staff provides an early glimpse of the beginnings of the therapy dog movement.

Bill’s Memoir documents several events where Smoky saved lives, such as personnel and planes subject to imminent attack, his own survival, and as an early warning ahead of airborne attacks. He also includes post-war stories and images from time in Hollywood, visits to hospitals and orphanages, and performances in a traveling zoo and on live television.

Here are several more books that are essential reading involving Smoky and Bill:

Smoky The War Dog: How a Tiny Yorkshire Terrier Became a Hero on the Frontline, by Nigel Allsopp, is a condensed version of Bill’s 150 page book at 112 pages. As a dog lover, if you can find the hardback version, don’t pass on it. Nigel is the founder and president of the Australian War Animal Memorial Organization, Australia’s premier war animal and service animal charity. Mister Allsopp also authored the 32 page illustrated children’s book titled SMOKY, No Ordinary War Dog, perfect for ages 4 through 8.

Smoky is one of four dogs covered in a wonderful 304 page book titled Beyond The Call of Duty: Heart-warming Stories of Canine Devotion and Bravery. The book was first published in 2010 by Isabel George, a best-selling UK author. She later published A Dog With Destiny, Smoky. as an e-book in 2012.

In his later years, Bill worked with Ohio Author Nancy Roe Pimm to help write his biography. The book wonderfully captures Bill Wynne’s stories from youth to becoming a wartime reconnaissance photographer, a loving husband and father, Hollywood and television dog trainer and entertainer, and a NASA research photographer and Plain Dealer photojournalist. The book, The Bill Wynne Story, otherwise known as Smoky The Dog That Saved My Life, is an easy read at 168 pages; The book is part of the Young Readers Collection published in 2019 by Ohio University Press.

Angel in a Foxhole, Smoky The Therapy Dog is a one-of-a-kind, high-quality coloring book created for both adults and children. It was written by Dave Tabar and beautifully illustrated by artist Samantha Williams. The book contains 18 unique hand-drawn illustrations that include scenes from World War II, the 2019 film Angel in a Foxhole, and certain photographic works created and authorized specifically by William A. Wynne prior to his passing in 2021.

In our next podcast, Smoky The War Dog Part 3, I’ll be covering the amazing animal sculpture work of artist Susan Bahary of San Francisco. I will also update you on some very recent efforts involving the creation of an anticipated Animals of War Memorial in Washington D.C., as well as some behind-the-scenes moments that occurred during the filming of Angel in a Foxhole.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to learn more about Smoky and Bill, and how their World War II story transcends into today's world. They worked hard to make the world a better place. So does Mighty Line. Take a look at their products at mightylinetape.com, and you'll see how shapes, angles, floor signage and floor tape can make the industrial environment a safer place to be.

Smoky the war dog part 2

Dave Tabar with Billy Wynne and a picture of Smoky The War Dog

Watch the First Part of Smoky the War Dog

Chronicling Smoky the War Dog's Legacy: Books, Films, and Beyond

by Alec Goecke 

In our previous podcast, we delved into the remarkable life of Smoky, the tiny Yorkshire Terrier who became a World War II hero and pioneered the therapy dog movement. Today, we'll explore the various resources that have immortalized her story, ensuring her legacy lives on and inspires generations to come.

Section 1: The Quintessential Memoir - "Yorkie Doodle Dandy"

Penned by Smoky's beloved companion, Corporal William A. Wynne, "Yorkie Doodle Dandy" stands as the definitive account of their extraordinary journey. First self-published in 1996, this memoir has captivated readers with its heartwarming tales and insights into the unbreakable bond between a soldier and his furry friend.

The Origins and Impact of "Yorkie Doodle Dandy"

  • Initially released in 1996, the book has undergone eight printings, a testament to its enduring popularity.
  • With over 50,000 copies sold, it has reached a vast audience, spreading Smoky's story far and wide.
  • Available in hardcover and audiobook formats, ensuring accessibility for readers of all preferences.

A Comprehensive Chronicle of Smoky's Life

  • Wynne's memoir provides a detailed account of his life before the war, his transition into a renowned reconnaissance photographer, and his transformation into a therapy dog trainer and entertainer alongside Smoky.
  • It documents Smoky's pivotal role in saving lives during combat, her early contributions to the therapy dog movement, and her post-war adventures in Hollywood and on live television.
  • Readers gain a deep appreciation for the remarkable bond between Wynne and Smoky, as well as the impact they had on countless lives.

Section 2: The 26th Photo Squadron's Visual Narrative

While Wynne's memoir captures the essence of their story in words, the 26th Photo Squadron of the Fifth United States Army Air Force in World War II offers a visual chronicle of Smoky's journey through their 1946 publication.

A Photographic Masterpiece

  • Consisting primarily of photographs, this book accurately depicts the squadron's experiences during World War II as they unfolded.
  • Smoky, the four-pound Yorkshire Terrier discovered in a New Guinea foxhole, commands a full-page spread (page 100), immortalized in her famous jacket sewn by an American Red Cross nurse.
  • Additional images capture Smoky pedaling a scooter, jumping through a hoop, standing with her silver award cup, and donning her iconic helmet.

A Real-Time Account of the Southwest Pacific Campaign

  • The final ten pages of the book provide a must-read account of the squadron's travels throughout the Southwest Pacific during wartime.
  • Albert J. Miller's meticulous log details the squadron's departures, arrivals, inter-island movements, and eventual return to the United States, offering an immersive experience for readers.
  • This invaluable resource can be accessed in its entirety, including photographs, at smokywardog.com.

Section 3: Exploring the Realm of Smoky the War Dog Inspired Literature

While Wynne's memoir and the 26th Photo Squadron's publication serve as foundational resources, Smoky's legacy has inspired a diverse array of literary works, ensuring her story reaches audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Condensed Accounts for Dog Lovers

  • "Smoky The War Dog: How a Tiny Yorkshire Terrier Became a Hero on the Frontline" by Nigel Allsopp offers a condensed version of Wynne's memoir, spanning 112 pages.
  • Allsopp, the founder and president of the Australian War Animal Memorial Organization, has also authored a 32-page illustrated children's book titled "SMOKY, No Ordinary War Dog," perfect for introducing Smoky's story to young readers aged 4 to 8.

Anthologies Celebrating Canine Courage

  • Smoky's tale is featured in Isabel George's 304-page book, "Beyond The Call of Duty: Heart-warming Stories of Canine Devotion and Bravery," published in 2010.
  • George, a bestselling UK author, later released an e-book titled "A Dog With Destiny, Smoky" in 2012, further expanding Smoky's reach.

Bill Wynne's Biography for Young Readers

  • In his later years, Wynne collaborated with Ohio Author Nancy Roe Pimm to create "The Bill Wynne Story," also known as "Smoky The Dog That Saved My Life."
  • This 168-page book, part of the Young Readers Collection published by Ohio University Press in 2019, offers a captivating biography of Wynne's life, from his youth to his roles as a wartime reconnaissance photographer, a loving husband and father, a Hollywood and television dog trainer and entertainer, and a NASA research photographer and Plain Dealer photojournalist.

Section 4: "Angel in a Foxhole" - A Unique Coloring Book Experience

Stepping beyond traditional literary formats, "Angel in a Foxhole, Smoky The Therapy Dog" offers a one-of-a-kind coloring book experience for both adults and children. Written by Dave Tabar and beautifully illustrated by artist Samantha Williams, this book contains 18 unique hand-drawn illustrations that transport readers into the world of World War II, the 2019 film "Angel in a Foxhole," and select photographic works authorized by William A. Wynne himself before his passing in 2021.

Section 5: Upcoming Explorations of Smoky War Dog 's Legacy

As we continue our journey through the resources that have immortalized Smoky's story, the next installment of our podcast series promises to delve into exciting new avenues.

The Artistry of Susan Bahary

  • We'll explore the remarkable animal sculpture work of Susan Bahary, a San Francisco-based artist who has captured Smoky's essence in her creations.

The Animals of War Memorial

  • Updates on the highly anticipated Animals of War Memorial in Washington D.C. will be shared, shedding light on the efforts to honor the sacrifices and contributions of animals like Smoky during times of conflict.

Behind the Scenes of "Angel in a Foxhole"

  • Get an exclusive glimpse into the making of the 2019 film "Angel in a Foxhole," as we uncover behind-the-scenes moments that brought Smoky's story to life on the silver screen.

Section 6: The Enduring Impact of Smoky the War Dog and Bill Wynne

As we conclude our exploration of the resources that have preserved Smoky's legacy, it's essential to reflect on the enduring impact of her story and the tireless efforts of her companion, Bill Wynne.

Smoky and Bill's Mission for a Better World

  • Throughout their lives, Smoky and Bill Wynne worked tirelessly to create a better world and help humanity, transcending the boundaries of World War II.
  • Their unwavering dedication to promoting the therapy dog movement and providing support for those suffering from PTSD left an indelible mark on society.

Mighty Line's Commitment to Safety and Efficiency

  • Inspired by Smoky's story and the principles it embodies, Mighty Line continues to strive for a safer and more efficient world through its innovative products and solutions.
  • By exploring Mighty Line's offerings at mightylinetape.com, you'll discover how their shapes, angles, floor signage, and floor tape can transform industrial environments into safer and more organized spaces.

As we bid farewell for now, we invite you to join us on this incredible journey of discovery, where the legacy of Smoky the War Dog continues to inspire and shape our world for the better.

Section 7: Smoky the War Dog Impact on the Therapy Dog Movement

Smoky's remarkable story extends far beyond her wartime heroics. Her interactions with injured soldiers and hospital staff during and after World War II played a pivotal role in pioneering the therapy dog movement, paving the way for the widespread recognition and integration of these invaluable companions into various therapeutic settings.

The First Documented Therapy Dog

  • According to Animal Planet's "Breed All About It" series, Smoky is recognized as the first documented therapy dog on record.
  • Her well-documented and photographed visits to military hospitals, where she provided comfort and support to wounded troops, laid the foundation for the therapy dog movement.

Smoky's Healing Presence in Military Hospitals

  • When Corporal William A. Wynne fell ill with dengue fever, Smoky's presence not only aided his recovery but also brought solace to other soldiers in the hospital ward.
  • As Smoky accompanied nurses on their rounds, patients who had been unable to speak for months began to communicate once again, highlighting her innate ability to heal and comfort.

Paving the Way for Future Therapy Animals - Smoky the War Dog

  • Smoky's early contributions to the therapy dog movement were groundbreaking, demonstrating the profound impact that well-trained animals can have on individuals facing physical and emotional challenges.
  • Her story inspired countless others to follow in her footsteps, leading to the widespread integration of therapy animals in various settings, from hospitals and nursing homes to schools and rehabilitation centers.

Section 8: Smoky the War Dog Wartime Heroics and Lifesaving Feats

While Smoky's role as a pioneering therapy dog is widely celebrated, her remarkable wartime heroics and lifesaving feats deserve equal recognition. This tiny Yorkshire Terrier proved that size is no obstacle when it comes to courage and intelligence, accomplishing remarkable feats alongside her beloved companion, Corporal William A. Wynne.

Surviving the Perils of War

  • Smoky endured more than 150 Japanese air raids in New Guinea and flew on 12 rescue and photo reconnaissance missions, showcasing her resilience and bravery.
  • She survived Japanese kamikaze attacks and a typhoon on Okinawa, even warning Wynne of an incoming attack while aboard a landing craft, potentially saving countless lives.
  • Wynne credited Smoky with saving his life and the lives of others by alerting them to incoming fire, solidifying her status as a true wartime hero.

A Skilled and Intelligent Companion

  • Smoky's intelligence and trainability were exceptional, as evidenced by her ability to learn and execute an impressive array of tasks.
  • She mastered over 200 hand signals and commands, demonstrating her adaptability and eagerness to learn.
  • Smoky ate C-rations and slept in Wynne's tent, accompanying him wherever he went, often tucked away in his backpack.

The Lingayen Gulf Airbase Construction

  • One of Smoky's most remarkable feats occurred during the construction of an airbase at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon.
  • She aided engineers by running a communication wire through a 70-foot-long pipe only 8 inches in diameter, an invaluable contribution to the airfield's construction.
  • By completing this task in mere minutes, Smoky saved an estimated 250 ground crewmen from having to move around 40 U.S. fighters and reconnaissance planes, preventing them from being exposed to enemy and anti-aircraft fire.

Smoky's unwavering spirit, intelligence, and bravery earned her eight battle stars and a place in history as one of the most remarkable war dogs ever known. Her feats serve as a testament to the invaluable role that animals have played in times of war and the unbreakable bond between humans and their faithful companions.

Section 9: Smoky the War Dog Post-War Life and Celebrity Status

After the war, Smoky's remarkable journey continued, as she and Wynne embarked on a new chapter filled with fame, entertainment, and a continued commitment to serving others.

A Star in the Spotlight

  • In 1946, Smoky became a star in a traveling circus, showcasing her incredible talents and capturing the hearts of audiences everywhere.
  • The following year, in 1947, Smoky landed a role in a children's show called "Castles in the Air," further cementing her status as a celebrity.
  • Wynne's career also flourished in Cleveland, as he accepted a job with the Cleveland newspaper, "The Plain Dealer," in 1953, working as a photographer, writer, and photojournalist.

Honoring a Hero - Smoky the War Dog

Smoky's bravery and service did not go unnoticed, and she received numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions:

  • The prestigious Australian "War Dog Medal" for her service.
  • The Australian Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' "Purple Cross," another notable recognition of Smoky's bravery and dedication.
  • The Animals in War & Peace Distinguished Service Medal, of which Smoky was the first dog to receive, recognizing her exceptionally meritorious service to the nation in a duty of great responsibility.

A Legacy That Lives On - Smoky the War Dog

  • Smoky's gravesite and marker can be found in Rocky River Reservation in Cleveland, Ohio, where her legacy continues to inspire.
  • This memorial serves as a tribute to her and other animals who made life easier while supporting their comrades in arms, ensuring that their contributions are never forgotten.
  • Smoky's story has become larger than life, and she is remembered as a true war hero, a trailblazer for the therapy dog movement, and a symbol of the unbreakable bond between humans and animals.

Section 10: Smoky War Dog Influence on Canine Military Roles

Smoky's remarkable service during World War II not only left an indelible mark on the lives of those she touched but also paved the way for the recognition and acceptance of therapy dogs in the military. Her unwavering dedication and the positive impact she had on wounded troops set a precedent for the vital role that canines could play in providing emotional support and comfort to those in need.

The First Documented Therapy Dog - Smoky the War Dog

Smoky's journey as a therapy dog began in 1944 in New Guinea, where she visited military hospitals and offered solace to injured soldiers. Her presence brought joy and relief to those facing the physical and emotional challenges of war, showcasing the powerful bond between humans and animals.




New Guinea


Smoky the War Dog began her work as a therapy dog, visiting military hospitals and providing comfort to wounded troops.

Pacific Theater of WWII


Smoky the War dog continued her visits to military hospitals throughout the Pacific Theater, offering emotional support to soldiers recovering from injuries.


1945 onwards

After seeing the positive effect Smoky the War Dog had on people, Bill and Smoky continued their therapy work even after the war ended.

A Mascot, Personal Pet, and Emotional Support Dog - Smoky the War Dog

  1. Smoky served as a mascot for the troops, boosting morale and providing a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos of war.
  2. As Bill Wynne's personal pet, Smoky offered unwavering companionship and loyalty, helping him cope with the stresses of combat.
  3. Smoky's role as an emotional support dog extended beyond Bill, as she frequently visited wounded troops in military hospitals, offering comfort and a welcome distraction from their injuries.

Smoky's influence on canine military roles cannot be overstated. Her service as the first documented therapy dog laid the foundation for the recognition of the invaluable role that dogs can play in supporting the mental health and well-being of military personnel. Today, therapy dogs are an integral part of many military programs, providing comfort, reducing stress, and helping service members cope with the challenges they face.

Section 11: Smoky War Dog Enduring Legacy and Inspiration

As we reflect on Smoky's extraordinary journey, it becomes clear that her legacy extends far beyond the realm of military history. She has become a symbol of hope, resilience, and the enduring power of the human-animal bond, inspiring generations to come.

The Power of One Small Dog - Smoky the War Dog

  • Despite her diminutive size, Smoky's impact on the world was immense, proving that even the smallest of beings can make a profound difference.
  • Her story serves as a reminder that courage, intelligence, and unwavering loyalty know no bounds, transcending physical limitations.

Celebrating the Human-Animal Connection

  • Smoky's tale is a celebration of the unbreakable bond between humans and animals, showcasing the profound impact that our furry companions can have on our lives.
  • Her ability to bring comfort, joy, and healing to those around her, even in the darkest of times, is a testament to the unconditional love and support that animals offer.

Smoky the War Dog - Inspiring Future Generations

  • Smoky's story continues to inspire people of all ages, reminding us of the importance of compassion, resilience, and the power of perseverance.
  • Her legacy serves as a beacon of hope, encouraging us to embrace the extraordinary in the ordinary and to never underestimate the impact that one small act of kindness can have on the world.

As we conclude our exploration of Smoky's remarkable journey, we invite you to delve deeper into her story by visiting the official Smoky War Dog website, exploring the World War II History resources, or watching the heartwarming movie "Angel in a Foxhole" on Vimeo. Together, let us honor Smoky's legacy and continue to spread her message of hope, courage, and the enduring power of love.

Section 12: Smoky War Dog- Lasting Impact on Safety and Efficiency

While Smoky's wartime heroics and pioneering role in the therapy dog movement have rightfully earned her a place in history, her legacy also resonates deeply with organizations dedicated to promoting safety and efficiency in various industries. Her remarkable story serves as a powerful reminder that even the smallest interventions can have a profound impact on safeguarding lives and optimizing operations.

Smoky the War Dog - Contribution to Workplace Safety

During the construction of the Lingayen Gulf Airbase, Smoky's ability to run a communication wire through a narrow 70-foot-long pipe prevented the need for extensive excavation work. This simple yet ingenious solution not only saved valuable time and resources but also protected countless ground crew members from potential enemy fire and anti-aircraft attacks.

Smoky's actions exemplify the principle that well-designed safety measures can significantly enhance efficiency while minimizing risks. Her story inspires companies like Mighty Line to develop innovative solutions that prioritize both worker safety and operational optimization.

Promoting Clear Communication for Safe Workplaces

Smoky's role in establishing vital communication lines during wartime underscores the importance of clear and effective communication in ensuring a safe working environment. Workplaces with well-defined communication protocols and visual cues tend to operate more safely and efficiently, reducing the likelihood of accidents and miscommunications.

Mighty Line's extensive range of floor tapes, signs, and marking solutions are designed to facilitate clear communication and promote a culture of safety within industrial and commercial settings. By drawing inspiration from Smoky's legacy, these products aim to create organized, visually-guided workspaces that prioritize the well-being of employees and visitors alike.

Empowering Individuals to Make a Difference - Smoky the War Dog

Smoky's story reminds us that every individual, regardless of size or perceived limitations, has the potential to make a significant impact. Her unwavering determination and resourcefulness in the face of adversity serve as a powerful reminder that even the smallest actions can have far-reaching consequences.

By fostering a culture of empowerment and encouraging employees to actively participate in safety initiatives, organizations can tap into the collective wisdom and ingenuity of their workforce. Mighty Line's commitment to providing comprehensive safety solutions empowers individuals to take an active role in creating safer and more efficient workplaces, echoing the spirit of Smoky's remarkable contributions.

As we continue to explore Smoky's enduring legacy, it becomes evident that her story transcends the boundaries of military history and the therapy dog movement. Her unwavering courage, resilience, and resourcefulness serve as an inspiration for organizations striving to achieve excellence in safety and efficiency, reminding us that even the smallest actions can have a profound impact on the well-being of those around us.










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