Skip to content


Pigeon Droppings

Don’t be gross, it’s not what you think.  *smile*

Pigeon Containers for Releasing from High Speed Airplanes

Since its inception, the CECOM history blog has included a number of blogs about pigeon program. This program was operated by the US Army’s Signal Corps, and for most of the years of its existence, based out of Fort Monmouth. Pigeons were used from WWI, through the mid 1950s to carry messages, messages that in some cases were the cause for many lives to be saved.

Image # 1787

Image # 1787

During WWII, pigeons were extensively used on all levels of military involvement. To use the birds, they had to be moved to various locations. As such, varieties of ways to transport or to move pigeons to had to be devised! One such way was by air. This entry presents a collection of photographs of the containers used move the birds by air.

Image # 1788

Image # 1788

The photographs used in this blog depict containers used to deliver pigeons from airplanes (our readers should note that the Historical Office does have photographs of pigeons being released from planes without any container at all, too). Only one of the photographs includes a legend. Photograph 1787 is titled “Blimp or Zeppelin Type One Bird Containers.”

Image # 1790

Image # 1790

A propeller on a threaded swivel would open the containers to free the bird from the plane. Photograph 1787 includes notes that indicate that the types of containers pictured were used for the release of pigeons traveling at high speeds.

Image # 1791

Image # 1791

In photograph 1787, the top and center container were used with a parachute. The right and left containers were equipped with time release devices.

Image # 1792

Image # 1792

For bibliography purposes, these images can be cited:

Image #—, “US Army Photo collection, C-E Museum Acquisition” from the CECOM Historical Office archive, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.

Make sure to double-check your style guide for the appropriate method of citation for your work. Need a higher resolution version of this same photo? Leave us a comment below or click on our contact page above, and reference the image number. Each of the scanned originals is approximately 2-11 MB.

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

Posted in Pigeons.

Tagged with , , , , , , .

Read Comments