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Dead medium: Military Pigeoneers of World War Two: Loft Equipment; Pigeoneer Supplies
From: bruces@well.com (Bruce Sterling)

Source(s): War Department Technical Manual TM-11-410, "The Homing Pigeon." War Department, U. S. Government Printing Office, January 1945

page 39

"29. Loft Equipment

"a. T/O and E 11-39 prescribes the authorized allowances of nonexpendable pigeon equipment for signal pigeon companies and is the basis for requisition.

"b. Army Service Forces Catalog SIG 4-1, Signal Supply Catalog, Allowances of Expendable Supplies, prescribes the authorized allowances of expendable items for signal pigeon companies and is the basis for requisition."

(((bruces remarks: Any news on the location of these documents, especially the aforementioned Signal Supply Catalog, will be gratefully received. Subsection 29 is followed by an extensive table bearing "stock numbers," "requisition nomenclature," the "unit of issue" and "brief descriptive nomenclature." The stock numbers are of dubious relevance and ASCII doesn't handle tabulation all that well, so I will summarize this surprisingly extensive pigeon supply train while using the official "descriptive nomenclature" verbatim.)))

Leg bands "PG-15," in assorted colors, light blue, black, dark blue, green, pink, red, yellow, "pigeon, leg, marking, celluloid."

Leg bands "PG-16," "pigeon leg, identifying, aluminum; 1 pair to each pigeon."

"Blow gun, disinfectant, 1-qt. capacity."

Pigeon's water bowl "PG-75". "Pigeon, pressed wood pulp. Supersedes Bowl PG-29."

Loft-cleaning brush. "Pigeon loft, counter duster."

Cage. "10-bird, training."

Multivitamin capsules.

Quassia chips. Used to create a disinfectant rinse for bathing the pigeons.

Two-bird collapsible pigeon carry case, made of fiberboard. "Container, assembled 11 1/2 x 6 x 6 in.; dismantled (folded flat) 15 x 12 x 1/2 in.; net weight, 1 lb."

Half-pint pigeon drinking cup with attachment hooks.

Pigeon transport crate. "20-bird, transportation."

Dummy pigeon egg. "Pigeon nest, white glass."

Message holders, of transparent plastic.

Pigeon bathing pan.

Parachute equipment for pigeons "PG-100/CB." "Pigeon; a collapsible cylinder type container; 4-bird capacity; attached to a 6-ft parachute with quick release clip."

Parachute equipment for pigeons "PG-101/CB." "8-bird capacity; attached to a 9-ft. parachute"

Pigeon field equipment set including 2-bird parachute, twelve bird-mountable message holders, map overlay pad, a message book and two black pencils.

Jumbo field equipment set with 4-bird parachute, 24 message holders, message book, map overlay pad and two pencils.

Pigeon vest "PG-106/CB" "Shaped to form a pigeon's body permitting neck, wing tips, tail and feet to protrude, made of porous fabric and has strap for carrying pigeon on paratrooper's or scout's chest, adjustable to any size pigeon." (((bruces remarks: See Working Notes 35.0 and 35.2)))

Cedar shavings.

Scraper. "Similar in shape to a putty knife except blade is 3 in. wide. Supersedes scraper PG-34, Stock No. 9A2034." (((presumably used for scraping pigeon dung)))

Sieve for pigeon feed.

Tobacco stems (((favored nesting material.)))

Disinfectant. "Black Flag (liquid), 1 qt. or equal."

Plus paperwork: Pigeon Breeding Records, Pigeon Pedigree forms both short and long, map overlays, Pigeon Breeding Cards, Monthly Pigeon Report, and a Pigeon Flight Record.

The Army also issued six different mixtures of pigeon feed, for breeding, molting, training and conditioning, and for tropical climates, as well as two kinds of pigeon grit.

Bruce Sterling (bruces@well.com)