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5 Carrier Pigeon Stories

2

Cher Ami and the Lost Battalion

Cher Ami rescued a lost American battalion during World War I with its messages.  In World War I, the Germans effectively used pigeons as spies, attaching small cameras to the birds and setting them to take pictures over enemy territory at certain times.
Cher Ami rescued a lost American battalion during World War I with its messages. In World War I, the Germans effectively used pigeons as spies, attaching small cameras to the birds and setting them to take pictures over enemy territory at certain times.
GLEB GARANICH/Reuters/Corbis | Bettmann/CORBIS (2) | Hulton Archive/Getty Images | FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images | PhotoQuest/Getty Images

During World War I, an American 77th Infantry Division battalion accidentally wandered into enemy territory and found itself surrounded. Luckily, it had trained carrier pigeons with them, so soldiers sent them out. Amidst the enemy fire, only one pigeon emerged: a British-trained pigeon by the name of "Cher Ami."

A veteran, Cher Ami had already delivered about a dozen messages for the Americans. Flying 25 miles in 25 minutes, Cher Ami successfully arrived with the message and saved the lives of "The Lost Battalion." However, the heroic pigeon suffered a blow to the foot and head during his trip, dying later from the wounds.

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Cher Ami was decorated by the French government, and is now stuffed on display in the Smithsonian's Museum of American History.

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