In the first world war American pigeons were used to carry messages from the front lines to command centers. The information they carried was vital to allied officers who then could plan attacks or counter attacks. Two of the first American hero's were Gunpowder a black check hen and Pretty Baby black pied hen.. They were sent into action on March 15, 1918 on March 17, Gunpowder delivered the first message and later in the day Pretty Baby delivered the second message to Major General Clarence Edwards commanding the 26th division . Pretty Baby was killed by an allied soldier thinking she was a enemy pigeon.
Gunpowder however made it through the war and was returned to her breeder Herman Moser. She went on to breed many fine record birds. Her body was mounted and placed on display at the Aurora, Illinois American Legion Hall trophy room.
(USA 43 SC 6390) Blue Checker splash cock
Trained and raised by American forces in North Africa in 1943.
On duty with British Tenth Corps In Italy.
The 56th Infantry had requested air support to soften the German held town of Colvi Vecchai. On October 18 1943 the troops broke through and captured the town. G. I. Joe was sent on a Do-or-Die mission.
He flew twenty miles to in 22 minutes arriving as the engines were warming up. Had he arrived 5 minutes later the thousand troops in town would have been bombed by allied planes. G.I. Joe was awarded the Dickens Medal. He was the first animal outside of the British Empire to receive this award and as far as I know the only to this day.