1919: Method of wrapping carrier pigeons for dropping from air-craft

“One of the more unusual (but still fascinating) exhibitions at Bletchley Park is all about the role pigeons have played in the First and Second World Wars. Aircrews used them as rudimentary black boxes, writing their coordinates on a message and releasing the pigeon if they had to ditch or crash land.

There was also a cull of birds-of-prey all along the south coast during World War Two to ensure the pigeons could get back safely.”

- Garrett Coakley

3 Responses

  1. Siobhan King

    That exhibit is by far my favourite at Bletchley Park. An unexpected delight! I didn’t see this flyer though, I was too distracted by the documentary “Pigeons of War” which showed as part of the display. I will have to go back to BP to watch it in full. As far as I can see it’s unavailable anywhere else.

    Reply
  2. James Russell

    Eric Ravilious (1903-42) painted ‘Corporal Stediford’s Mobile Pigeon Loft’ at RAF Sawbridgeworth in 1942. There aren’t too many other references to carrier pigeons, which played an important part in the war. Numerous birds received awards for bravery, having carried vital information hundreds of miles, on some occasions injured.

    Thanks for a strange and wonderful post!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.