WW1 Commemoration: Homing pigeons in the First World War

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“For the pigeons winged through the rolling barrage of high-explosive shells, they braved bursting shrapnel and gas and made their way through the rat-tat-tat of machine and anti-aircraft guns just as did the men who flew in things of steel and wood and gasoline.”

The American Legion Weekly August 29, 1919.

DURING the Great War, man-made communication systems were crude and unreliable.

The homing pigeon played a vital part in sending messages.

This compact flying machine, perfectly adapted to the job of finding its way home, could be found just about anywhere on the Western Front.

More than 100,000 pigeons were used with an astonishing success rate of 95 per cent getting through to their destination with their message.

At the First Battle of the Marne in 1914, French troops stopped the German advance on Paris.

As the French troops advanced and pushed back the Germans, their pigeons advanced with them. See P46 for Winged Aviator Exhibition

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