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Meet the hero carrier pigeon that saved US troops during a WWI battle 100 years ago

By Elizabeth McLaughlin
via the ABC News web site

In the third floor hallway of the Pentagon, just outside the Army Chief of Staff's office, there is a pigeon.

Walking the corridors, the lifelike pigeon stands out among the cases of military history that display Revolutionary-era bayonets, Civil War uniforms and replicas of helicopters used in Vietnam. Upon closer inspection, one might notice the pigeon is so life-like because it has been taxidermied. It's also missing one leg.

military carrier pigeon abc mt 181004 hpMain 4x3 992The military carrier pigeon "President Wilson" conducted a heroic flight to deliver a life-saving message to U.S. troops on October 5, 1918.That pigeon's name is "President Wilson" -- an unsung hero of World War I that made a daring flight to save U.S. troops exactly 100 years ago on Friday.

President Wilson was a military carrier pigeon, one of many in the U.S. Army Signal Corps that delivered messages between commanders and troops on the front lines. The pigeons were especially useful tools of communication during World War I when the telephone and telegraph were still unreliable new technologies.

According to U.S. military accounts recorded in the U.S. Army Center of Military History and the National Archives, Wilson was born in France and first assigned to the U.S. Army's newly formed Tank Corps, delivering messages to Tank Battalions commanded by Col. George S. Patton in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel.

But soon afterward, Wilson was assigned to an infantry unit conducting operations near Grandpré during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Read the entire article on the ABC News web site here:

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