Pro Patria – Distinguished Signal Corps Pigeon
During the first half of the 20th century, pigeons were vital to communications during both war and peacetime. The Signal Corps Pigeon Program operated from 1918, until its discontinuance in 1957. In 1919, the Pigeon Program was transferred from France, where it had been part of the American Expeditionary Forces, to Fort Monmouth. The program was headquartered for most of its active life at Fort Monmouth. This “series” of blogs is a presentation of biographical information for some of the more distinguished Pigeons in this program.
Pro Patria was hatched in Italy in 1944, as 10004 USA 44 SC. Pro Patria, according to available biographical information is credited with carrying thirty five combat messages in Italy during WWII. This blue male pigeon, during fierce fighting in the Allied push to the north of Rome successfully delivered many key messages for American and British units critical for ammunition and supply needs.
After the War, Pro Patria, and was housed in the “Churchill Loft”, the Army’s “Pigeon Hall of Fame” located at Fort Monmouth.
When the Pigeon Program was discontinued, in 1957, Pro Patria was sent to the Cleveland, Ohio, Zoological Gardens in Brookside Park.