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Cher Ami
Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Cher Ami

Catalog #: 30714    Accession #: 65695
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 9.5" H x 11" W x 5.5" D

Physical Description

Stuffed carrier pigeon.

Specific History

Cher Ami was a registered Black Check cock carrier pigeon, one of the 600 birds owned and flown by the US Army Signal Corps in France during World War I. He delivered twelve important messages within the American sector at Verdun; on his last mission, 4 October 1918, he was shot through the breast and leg by enemy fire but still managed to return to his loft with a message capsule dangling from the wounded leg. The message Cher Ami carried was from Major Charles S. Whittlesey's "Lost Battalion" of the 77th Infantry Division that had been isolated from other American forces. The message brought about the relief of the 194 survivors of the battalion, and they were safe behind American lines shortly after the message was received.

For his heroic service, Cher Ami was awarded the French "Croix de Guerre" with palm. He was returned to the United States and died at Fort Monmouth, NJ on 13 June 1919, as a result of his wounds. Cher Ami was later inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame in 1931, and received a gold medal from the Organized Bodies of American Pigeon Fanciers in recognition of his extraordinary service during World War I.


Country: France
War: World War I
Service: Army
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