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Author Macalaster, Elizabeth G., author.

Title War pigeons : winged couriers in the U.S. military, 1878-1957 / Elizabeth G. Macalaster.

Publication Info. Jefferson, NC : McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, [2020]

Item Status

Description 1 online resource
text file
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary "For more than seven decades, homing pigeons provided the U.S. military with its fastest most reliable means of communication. Originally bred for racing in the early 1800s, homing pigeons were later trained by pigeoneers to fly up to 60 mph for hundreds of miles, and served the United States for almost 75 years, through four wars on four continents. Barely weighing a pound, these extraordinary birds carried messages in and out of gas, smoke, exploding bombs and gunfire. They flew through jungles, deserts and mountains, not faltering even when faced with large expanses of ocean to cross. Sometimes they arrived nearly dead from wounds or exhaustion, refusing to give up until they reached their objective. This book is the first complete account of the remarkable service that homing pigeons provided for the American armed forces, from its fledgling beginnings after the Civil War to the birds' invaluable role in communications in every branch of the U.S. military through both World Wars and beyond. Personal narratives, primary sources and news articles tell the story of the pigeons' recruitment and training in the US, their deployment abroad and use on the home front."-- Provided by publisher
Contents Cover -- Acknowledgments -- Prologue: John Silver -- Preface -- Chapter 1. The First Feathered Recruits -- Chapter 2. Pigeons for Sea Duty -- Chapter 3. Put to the Test -- Chapter 4. Into the Breach -- Chapter 5. More, Farther, Faster -- Chapter 6. A Call for Champions -- Chapter 7. Staying Power -- Afterword -- Appendix A: Instructions on Reception, Care and Training of Homing Pigeons in Newly Installed Lofts at U.S. Navy Air Bases -- Appendix B. Henri Marion's Patent for a Message Holder -- Chapter Notes -- Bibliography -- Index
Local Note eBooks on EBSCOhost EBSCO eBook Subscription Academic Collection - North America
Subject Homing pigeons -- War use -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Homing pigeons -- War use.
United States.
Chronological Term 20th century
Subject Homing pigeons -- War use -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Chronological Term 19th century
Genre/Form History.
Other Form: Print version: 1476680809 9781476680804 (OCoLC)1148901610
ISBN 9781476640563 (electronic book)
1476640564 (electronic book)