Anniversary of a heroic WWI Pigeon: Cher Ami, Savoir of the Lost Battalion.

On this date in 1919, Cher Ami, a carrier pigeon and recipient of the Croix de Guerre Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster for Heroic Service in World War I, passed away in Fort Monmouth, NJ as a result of wounds suffered in war.  A pigeon of the Lost Battalion suffering both enemy and friendly fire, she was the only pigeon to avoid death long enough to deliver a message to Allied Forces to save the remaining members of the Lost Battalion.  She was severely wounded, and eventually lost a leg.  Members of the Battalion made her a wooden one.  She is now stuffed and in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.  This was discovered in one of the Steele Memorial Library’s copies of “History and Rhymes of the Lost Battalion,” now in our reference collection, the book was given to members of Elmira’s American Legion Post, so we wouldn’t forget the sacrifices of the Lost Battalion.  In the end, 197 men were killed, 150 captured or missing, and 194 were rescued.

http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmah/cherami.htm
http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmah/cherami.htm
The message Cher Ami delivered to Allied Troops who were dropping friendly fire on the Lost Battalion
The message Cher Ami delivered read, “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.”

 

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History and Rhymes of the Lost Battalion: Reference 973.91 M129.
History and Rhymes of the Lost Battalion: Reference 973.91 M129.
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U.S. Official Photograph taken in France shortly after the men were relieved and near the famous “pocket” the men were trapped in.

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