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Mocker – Distinguished Pigeon

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 War-time 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 Pigeons considered distinguished are 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.

Mocker was a veteran of WWI. Mocker was a red check pied cock, who wore band number AU-17-4084. Mocker’s biographical information is contained in his obituary which was found in Signal Corps Information Letter No. 14, 9 July 1937. Mocker passed away on 14 June 1937. As described in his biography, his breeding was unknown.

Biographical information for Mocker from the CECOM archival collection

Biographical information for Mocker from the CECOM archival collection

Mocker’s claim to fame was that with his eye destroyed by a shell splinter and his head a “welter of clotted blood” this game pigeon as his biography described him, homed in “splendid time” from the vicinity of Beaumont, France, early in the morning of 12 September 1918 bearing a message of “great importance that gave the location of certain heavy enemy batteries.” The information Mocker delivered enable American artillery to counter enemy guns within 20 minutes.

Besides being a hero of WWI, Mocker had the distinction of being the last WWI hero pigeon to die.

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

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