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The Case of the Missing Bird Bath

I know the title sounds silly, but it’s true.  The pigeon memorial – which was in the shape of a bird bath – which used to be at Fort Monmouth, actually went missing after it was taken down.  The CECOM Historical Office has no record of why it was taken down, where it was stored, or what happened to it.  I can’t imagine it’s easy to misplace a big, heavy memorial shaped like a bird bath, but I suppose stranger things have happened.  The rumors about it must have been great.  If any of our readers has heard stories about this thing, we’d love to hear from you!  Leave us a comment below or contact us through the link on the top of the page. The blog below was written by Floyd, and posted by Chrissie.

Pigeon Monument

The Pigeon Program was operated as part of the Signal Corps from WWI, through 1957. During most of that time, the program was headquartered out of Fort Monmouth. Pigeons played a vital role in the Army as message carriers, carrying messages that resulted in saving hundreds of lives. The incredible stamina and the heroic feats of these birds can sometimes defy logic. There are instances of birds with a leg shot off, with bullet or shrapnel wound, flying at incredible speeds “to get the message through.” This blogger urges the reader to view some of the “Pigeon Programs on this site, and/or contact the CECOM Historical Office if interested in more information.

Pigeon Center Sign

Pigeon Center Sign

Pigeons that were part of this program have been commemorated with declarations as Hero Pigeons, received honors, and been decorated in other ways. As well, the entire program was commemorated with a monument at Fort Monmouth.

How does one misplace something like this?

How does one misplace something like this?

Because of their feats of heroism the pigeons that were part of the Signal Corps “Pigeon Program” were commemorated by the construction of the pigeon memorial. This memorial was constructed and dedicated on 14 July 1960 as part of the centennial celebration for the Signal Corps.

Ceremony dedicating the memorial

Ceremony dedicating the memorial

The Memorial was located in a wooded area at Fort Monmouth on the east side of Malterer Avenue, near site buildings 550 and 551. The guide booklet for Fort Monmouth monuments states that the Pigeon Memorial commemorated the winged couriers who got the message through during WWI, WWII, and Korea.

Front page of the program for the ceremony

Front page of the program for the ceremony

The monument was removed at some point later. The exact date is unknown.

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