The Army’s homing pigeon program was headquartered at Fort Monmouth from 1919 until the program was discontinued in 1957. Pigeons were used for carrying messages back and forth. Heavily used in WWI and WWII, and also in Korea , but the advances in radio technology made the pigeons obsolete.
Pigeons were used to deliver the outcome of battles, request supplies, report on enemy activity, transport maps and photos.
Pigeons were very useful in combat operations because of the conditions of battle, limitations of technology at the time and their ability to home. Artillery barrages often interfered with radio and phone systems. There were times when radio silence was required and places where wire couldn’t be strung like the Pacific jungles.
Note: Come check out our booth at APG’s Armed Forces Day event on May 16th, 2013 – military and civilians welcome!