Monday, November 22, 2021

The "Lost Battalion" back in the news

Well, the homing pigeon who carried the message that saved them is:

The United States’ bravest pigeon warrior, Cher Ami, of the U.S. Army Signal Corps’ Pigeon Intelligence Service, has been confirmed to have been male, more than a century after Army records labelled the English blue-checked pigeon as a “hen.”

Cher Ami showed the mettle that would make him a global celebrity in October 1918 when almost 600 men from the 77th Division were trapped behind enemy lines during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. After taking days of heavy fire from German forces and once from Allied forces who didn’t realize the Lost Battalion was there, on October 4th commander Major Charles Whittlesey sent his last surviving homing pigeon, none other than Cher Ami, to the American lines with a desperate plea: “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.”

 Cher Ami got shot up pretty badly but got through.  The link above gives Cher Ami's story, which is worth the read.


Beans said...

There's a pretty good movie about the Lost Battalion starring Ricky Schroeder as Major Wittingsley. Pretty damned graphic, too. One of those nightmare inducing one that good war movies are like.

McChuck said...

I've still got a battered copy of "The History and Rhymes of the Lost Battalion" on the bookshelf. I've carefully read it several times, but not recently. It's amazing how much history happened to so many people in such small places.