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Distinguished Pigeon: Yank


In the past year, this site has presented biographical information for a number of Signal Corps Messenger pigeons. Pigeons were used from WWI, through the mid 1950s. In those blogs we presented the term “Hero Pigeons.” What is a Hero Pigeon? “Hero Pigeon” was a term that was bestowed upon a number of Pigeons who served in wartime and, for example, may have flown a large number of missions, been responsible for delivery of a message that may have saved a number of human lives, or other heroic deed.

Distinguished Pigeon, the term created by the CECOM History Office to address this series of blogs includes those pigeons that could be Hero Pigeons as designated by the Signal Corps, War Veteran Pigeons, pigeons who performed feats of valor during peace time, or other pigeons that are deserving of recognition for their service record. Distinguished pigeons served at any point during the program’s existence.

A photo of Yank, from December 1956

Yank carried many important messages in the French Moroccan and Tunisian Campaigns during WWII. On March 17, 1943, Yank made a 90-mile flight in 115 minutes, bringing the first news of the fall of Gafsa in Tunisia. Another famous flight was achieved on April 1, 1943 when other forms of communication were unavailable because of intense enemy activity and extremely bad weather. He carried this vital message from Lieutenant General George Patton, a distance of 90 miles in 100 minutes.

After the War, Yank, and was housed in the Churchill Loft, a sort of living “Pigeon Hall of Fame” located at Fort Monmouth.

When the Pigeon Program was discontinued, in 1957, Yank was sent to the Baltimore, Maryland, and lived at the Baltimore Zoo in Druid Hill Park, Maryland.

Note: This entry composed by Floyd, and edited/posted by Chrissie.

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