Cher Ami

There’s a been a one-legged robin hopping around in my back yard for the last couple of weeks, but it’s been missing for the past few days. It used to hop around in the grass balancing on its one good leg, picking at bugs. I wonder what happened to it, I think it was chased away by aggressive Purple Martins. Whenever I saw the poor robin, I thought of the story of Cher Ami.
Cher Ami was a carrier pigeon of the US Army Signal Corp, it delivered the message of the Lost Battaliion. The story was recently featured in the TBS made-for-cable movie The Lost Battalion. It follows the path of Cher Ami as he is carried deep into enemy territory in a wicker backpack. The battalion was cut off in enemy territory, lost, bombarded by their own artillery, and could not get a message back to HQ for relief from friendly and enemy fire. Cher Ami was the last pigeon the force carried, it was their last chance to send a message. The movie shows his release, the Germans loosed a volley of small arms fire, hitting the pigeon in the breast and leg. Cher Ami arrived at HQ with the message capsule dangling from his half-detached leg. For meritorious service above and beyond the call of duty, including 12 successful flights during the Battle of Verdun, Cher Ami was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm. Cher Ami survived but succumbed to his wounds after a few months. He was preserved and is on display at the Smithsonian, standing proudly on one leg.

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