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President Wilson, the Pigeon

Distinguished Pigeon, the term created by the CECOM History Office to address this series of blogs includes Pigeons considered distinguished as 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 programs existence.

President Wilson was a veteran of WWI. He was hatched in France, apparently in 1918. He was a black cock 9T-pattern. He was designated USA-18-16374.

Photo of President Wilson from the Smithsonian

Photo of President Wilson from the Smithsonian

President Wilson was first on duty with the Tank Corps during WWI. He was also dropped from airplanes according to his biographical information. Subsequently, he was transferred to the First Division. His claim to fame comes from his assignment to this Division. President Wilson was credited with saving the lives of many American soldiers. His biography describes an instance on 5 November 1918, when some of the infantry units of the Division on the Verdun front were unsupported and became cut off from the remainder of the Division. All lines of communication were severed and Division Headquarters at Rampant, twenty-five miles to the rear, could not be contacted. As well, all of the wires were down and all of the couriers had failed. President Wilson was released with a message. Though wounded in the breast and with one leg shot away, he still found his way to his loft at Cuizy through fog and heavy machine gun artillery fire and got his message through.

Photo of the distinguished pigeon from a newspaper

Photo of the distinguished pigeon from a newspaper

President Wilson died on June 8, 1929, at Fort Monmouth. After his death, he body was mounted and placed on exhibit in the West Hall of the Arts and Industries Building, at the Smithsonian.

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

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