War pigeons and the Pigeoneers

5 April 2011

The message sent by Cher Ami that saved troops lives

The message sent by Cher Ami that saved troops lives

Cher Ami (translated ‘Dear friend’), was one of the most famous pigeon’s that served in the US Army Signal Corps in WWI (1918). Despite being shot through the breast, leg and blinded in one eye, she managed to fly 25 miles in 25 minutes, to deliver a message that saved the lives of the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the battle of Argonne (194 survivors). Cher Ami was awarded the Croix de Guerne medal for delivering 12 important messages from the Verdun front to Rampont, France.

Two pigeons were shot down trying to send a message for help, before the last pigeon- Cher Ami was sent.  The message delivered by Cher Ami was:

‘We are along the road parallel to 276.4 our artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake stop it!’

G.I. Joe was awarded the Dickins medal for saving 1000 British troops

G.I. Joe was awarded the Dickins medal for saving 1000 British troops

G.I. Joe, served in the US Army at the loft of Fort Monmouth in New Jersey in WWII. He saved 1000 British troops and the lives of the inhabitants of the village of Calvi Vecchia in Italy. He flew 20 miles in 20 minutes to deliver the message, to stop the planes from bombing the city, on 18 Oct 1943.  Learn more about war pigeons

Pigeoneer is the term given to those that were part of the armed forces, with the responsibility of training and handling pigeons to deliver messages. As part of the US Army Signal Corps; Colonel Clifford A. Poutre, was Chief Pigeoneer of Service and Head of the Pigeon Breeding and Training centre, during WWI. He trained pigeons, including Long John Silver and Kaiser (German pigeon captured by the US Army).


About Lucy Stevens

Lucy Stevens’ artistic practice examines the acoustic ecology of the natural environment, using field recording, digital illustration, performance and printmaking as a tool to visualise sound produced by wildlife, weather and other natural phenomena.
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2 Responses to War pigeons and the Pigeoneers

  1. This is great information for my project. Thanks. I believe I have 11 pigeon war bands given to me by my uncle during WWII. Trying to find information about them.

  2. Lucy Stevens says:

    That’s really fascinating Vinnie. You should definitely get in touch with http://www.pigeonsincombat.com or the National pigeon Association.
    Let me know what they say, good luck!

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