Source(s): *The United States Army in World War 2, Technical Services, Signal Corps, The Emergency (to Dec.
1941)* by Dulany Terrett
Stock Number: 008-029-00048-2
Price (non-U.S.): $32.50
Description: CMH Pub. 10-16. L.C. card 56-60002.
Publisher: Defense Dept., Army, Office of the
Chief of Military History
Year/pages: 1956: 383 p.; ill., plate.
Center of Military History Publication 10-16
SuDocs Class: D 114.7:SI 2/V.1
Author: Terrett, Dulany
Extra Description: individual mailing box
Weight: 2 lbs 3 oz
Quantity Price: discount
"Pigeons, for example, received considerable use in this theater of war. (((North Africa))) Before the birds can be used in any situation, their home loft must remain in one place at least a week before they will settle there, having become so familiar with the location that they return to it invariably. Three lofts of the North African Pigeon Platoon, part of the 829th Signal Service Battalion, were located early in 1943 at Constantine, Tebessa, and Sbeitla.
"Pigeons homing on a loft at Beja in northern Tunisia were employed for a period of seventeen days during campaigns in the vicinity. During this time birds that had been parceled out to the front-line units brought back seventy-two important messages and many less urgent ones. In some cases they got the message through first, as upon the retaking of Fafsa in March during the southern Tunisia Campaign.
"The first complete report of the recapture reached the Corps headquarters carried by the pigeon 'Yank' returning to the home loft near Tebessa, having made the 90-mile flight from Gafsa in 110 minutes. It was the first report to arrive because wire had not yet caught up with the advancing troops and because a radio net had not yet been established. Pigeons could be valuable during the periods of radio silence, especially if at the same time wire lines happened to be incomplete or out of action."
(((James Agenbroad remarks: I have left out the thorough footnoting of original sources in the texts.)))
James Agenbroad (jagenbroad@stinger.ARL.MIL)