Eureka – Distinguished Signal Corps Pigeon
Pigeons were vital to communications during both war and peacetime. The Pigeon Program operated as a part of the Signal Corps from 1918, until its discontinuance in 1957. In 1919, the pigeon program was transferred from France where it was a part of the American Expeditionary Forces, to Fort Monmouth. The program was headquartered for most of its active life at Fort Monmouth.
This “mini-series” of pigeon blogs is a presentation of biographical information for some of the more distinguished pigeons in this program. This entry is about Eureka, a veteran of World War II. Eureka was recognized by the Signal Corps and was one of fifteen World War II Hero Pigeons that were still living in 1957, when the program ended. She bore the number “29434 USA 43 SC.”
Eureka, a blue check female, was hatched in England in 1943. She distinguished herself as a WWII pigeon heroine with a record of over twenty successful combat missions in the European Theater. She won recognition and acclaim of American and Allied forces in many war sectors, returning unscathed, despite hazardous flight conditions while furious fighting was in progress. It is recorded that one of her flights was made at the speed of a mile a minute.
After the War, Eureka and the other Pigeons declared to be World War II Hero Pigeons were housed at the “Churchill Loft”, the Army’s “Pigeon Hall of Fame” at Fort Monmouth.
When the Signal Corps discontinued the Pigeon Program, Eureka along with another hero Pigeon, Geronimo, were shipped via Air Express (18 April 1957) to the Woodland Park Zoological Gardens, in Seattle, Washington. Eureka died 26 November 1961.