Monday, September 26, 2016

Establishing pigeon lofts in Palestine, 1943.





(c) Crown copyright images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, UK
WO169/11222  #3, #4, #6, #7, #20

These pages are from the War Diary for the Middle Eastern Pigeon Service from January and February 1943.





Thursday, September 22, 2016

Notes on training for Middle Eastern Pigeon Service, January 1943



(c) Crown copyright images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, UK
Catalog numbers:  WO169/11222 #3, #8, #9, #10

These notes are from the 1943 War Diary for the Middle Eastern Pigeon Service.




Saturday, September 17, 2016

World War II pigeon saves lives of 1000 British troops


(c) Crown copyright images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, UK
Catalog number WO204/3930  #40

Here is a link you can copy and paste to see the video from 1946 about GI Joe:


The file has a typo stating that GI Joe saved the lives of 100 troops.  He saved 1000, and the inhabitants of the town.  Peter Huntington’s and David Long’s books on the Dickin Medal winners, published in 2012, verify that 1000 troops were saved.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Reports on use of pigeons in combat operations-Tunisia and Italy




The British Army in Italy 1945

Commando Signallers prepare to release a carrier pigeon, Lake Comacchio area, April 4, 1945
  
Imperial War Museum Collection; originally from War Office Second World War Official Collection

(c) Crown copyright images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, UK
Catalog numbers WO204/3930  # 34, #35, #36, #37, #38, #39


 





Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pigeons required for British troops occupying Austria, 1945






(c) Crown copyright images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, UK

Catalog number WO170/5604  #001, #018

This page from the 1945 War Diary for the 21 H.Q.C. Pigeon Section documents in May the need for pigeons for British troops occupying Austria.  Also, a note is made about a discussion of pigeon sections needed in the Far East.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Request for pigeon equipment for sea rescues, 1943






Pigeon in Rome by D. Truong

(c) Crown copyright images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, UK
Catalog number WO204/3930 #16

 
If you would like to learn about the how the RAF used pigeons for sea rescues, you could listen to John Appleton on the Imperial War Museum site.  Here are the notes from the July 24, 2015 post with the link to John Appleton.

Australian John Appleton who served with British Royal Air Force explains procedure for releasing pigeons from downed aircraft
Here is the description of John Appleton from the Imperial War Museum site:

Australian served as apprentice with RAF Aircraft Apprentice Scheme in GB, 1940-1942; aircraftman and NCO served with RAF Coastal Command in GB, 1942-1943; NCO served with No 210 Sqdn RAF Coastal Command in GB, 1943-1944 including operations over Atlantic and Arctic and sinking of U-347; served with No 131 Operational Training Unit RAF Coastal Command in Northern Ireland, 1944-1945; officer served with No 4 Operational Training Unit RAF Coastal Command in Northern Ireland, 1944-1945

On reel 12 of this interview conducted by the Imperial War Museum, he explains the procedure for how the 2 pigeons carried on board RAF aircraft in WWII were released.  Each station for Coastal Command had a Corporal Pigeon Keeper, 2 Aircraft Pigeon Keepers, and 100 or more pigeons.

Here is the link to listen:

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80015083


This interview is not about how pigeons delivered intelligence in WWII, but it is a detailed account of how pigeons were used by the RAF.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

Recommendation for pigeons to be used in North Africa because of successful use in Middle East, 1943






The British Army in Italy 1945

Commando Signallers prepare to release a carrier pigeon, Lake Comacchio area, April 4, 1945

Imperial War Museum Collection; originally from War Office Second World War Official Collection


(c) Crown copyright images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, UK
Catalog number WO204/3930  #11