As dog lovers gathered recently for the yearly Dog Days Festival at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois, a World War II veteran reminisced about his war days, sharing stories of his heroic canine sidekick, Smoky.
Air Force Cpl. Bill Wynne, 93, recalled the day he bought the Yorkshire Terrier, whom he had found in a foxhole, from a combat buddy who needed cash for a poker game. Wynne paid $6.44.
According to Wynne, he and Smoky were quite a team — rescuing bombers who had been shot down, flying combat missions and crawling through long pipes to run cables underneath roadways. (Smoky would crawl through as Wynne coached her along.)
Smoky was named champion mascot of American forces in the Southwest Pacific by Yank Magazine in 1944. Eventually she was known as “the unofficial war dog of World War II.”
Smoky died in 1957 at age 14, but her memory lives on in Wynne’s heart. He stills carries with him Smoky’s patchwork blanket, which kept her warm on cold nights.
Wynne is working on a memoir of Smoky’s life, Angel in a Foxhole, which may someday become a movie.
Source: Daily Herald