The Pigeon That Saved More Than 100 Men While Flying Through Hell

This pigeon is not an ordinary pigeon. This homing pigeon, named Cher Ami, was awarded the Croix de Guerre Medal for its help in saving the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the Battle of the Argonne.

Here’s the story.

On October 3, 1918, more than 500 men were trapped behind enemy lines, surrounded by Germans with no food or ammunition, while also receiving friendly fire from allied forces who weren’t aware of their position. In order to send a message to the allied troops for help, major Whittlesey started dispatching messages by pigeons. (the article continues after the ad)

The first one was carrying the message “Many wounded. We cannot evacuate”, but it was immediately shot down. The second one was sent with the message, “Men are suffering. Can support be sent?” but it was also shot down. The last pigeon was Cher Ami and left with the message: “We are along the road paralell (sic) to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heavens sake stop it.”

As Cher Ami was flying, the Germans opened fire until it was eventually shot down like the two birds that were sent before it. But Cher Ami didn’t give up. Despite being blinded in one eye, shot in the breast and with one leg hanging, it managed to fly again and delivered the message. When the message was received, the allied forces moved on and rescued all the living trapped allies who, at the time, were more than 100 (400 were killed by the Germans).

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: This Is How Agents Could Tell If A Safe House Was Convenient To Visit During WWII

Photo: Smithsonian Institution

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