Cher Ami, the Carrier Pigeon

Cher_Ami_Carrier pigeons played a valuable role during WWI for carrying messages between units and troops in battle.  The most famous, Cher Ami, was a Black Check cock carrier pigeon, one of 600 pigeons owned and flown by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France.  She saved the lives of 194 American soldiers (the “Lost Battalion” of the 77th division) by carrying a message across enemy lines on October 4, 1918. Cher Ami was shot in the chest and leg, blinded in one eye, losing most of the leg to which the message was attached, but continued the 25-mile flight avoiding shrapnel and poison gas to get the message home. Cher Ami was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for heroic service. She later died from the wounds received in battle and was enshrined in the Smithsonian Museum (Museum of American History) in Washington, DC.