They were completely surrounded, taking fire from all sides. They had advanced too far into enemy territory, not only were they being shot by the Germans but their own American French Allied forces had mistaken them for the enemy and began firing. They had no radio and no means of escape. They were trapped! Shells and debris were flying everywhere. What would they do? Would they ever see their loved ones again? Their only means of communication was a small bird named Cher Ami; they had used to relay messages from the front. Would he make it? Could he make it? He had to! He was their only hope! Tying a message with their co-ordinates to his leg they released him.
The Germans immediately began firing. Cher Ami was badly wounded, but refused to give up. He flew the entire 25 miles back through enemy lines to the Allied command post. Arriving with one eye shot out, a bullet in its breast, and most of the leg carrying the message was missing. The message stopped the shelling and a rescue force was dispatched. The men had been saved! Thanks to a pigeon named Cher Ami.
After healing, Cher Ami was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm, an honorary service cross, and taken back to America where he lived until 1919. You can now see him on display at the Smithsonian Institute near Washington, D.C.
This story and others like it have happened throughout history. In ancient times pigeons were the fastest way to send messages. From the first Olympic Games and the 5th Egyptian dynasty, WWI, King Cyrus and Julius Caesar, pigeons have made history.
© Copyright 2016 JL Musgrave. All rights reserved.