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GI Joe – the pigeon, not the cartoon

G.I. Joe, probably one of the most famous of the famous Pigeons is believed to have made the most outstanding flight by a homing pigeon during WWII. He carried a message from the British 10th Corps Headquarters which resulted in saving 1,000 British Soldiers. The British 56th Infantry Division requested air support to break the German defensive lines at the heavily fortified village of Colvi Vecchia, Italy. On the morning of October 18, 1943, just in time to intercept a unit of Allied XII Air Support Command planes about to take off for the bombing, G.I. Joe arrived with the message that the British had just captured the village of Colvi Vecchia. G.I. Joe made this historic flight of 20 miles in 20 minutes which avoided a great catastrophe.

G.I. Joe with a medal

G.I. Joe with a medal

In 1946, the Lord Mayor of London personally presented G.I. Joe with the Dicken Medal, awarded for gallantry. He later received congressional recognition in this country. G.I. Joe was hatched on March 24, 1943 at the Pigeon Section in Algiers, Algeria, North Africa. The dark chest splash cock was later taken to the Tunisian front, and then to Bizerte, and then to the Italian front.

Celebrating his heroic actions

Celebrating his heroic actions

After WWII, G.I. Joe was housed at the Army’s Churchill Loft ”Pigeon Hall of Fame” at Fort Monmouth. After discontinuation of the Pigeon Program at Fort Monmouth, G.I. Joe was sent to the Detroit Zoological Gardens, in Detroit, Michigan. He passed away 3 June 1961. His body was returned to Fort Monmouth. He was placed upon display after taxidermy at Fort Monmouth.

GI Joe in the museum

GI Joe in the museum

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

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