She was donated by the British, and trained by Americans, to serve in war torn France. In spite of wounds that cost her eye and a leg, after being shot down, she took flight to save 194 soldiers.
Cher Ami, or Dear Friend, was a carrier pigeon, the band was the “Lost Battalion” of the 77th division. American Major Charles Whittlesey and his men were pinned down in the battle of the Argonne between the enemy and allied forces. Having lost over 400 men, a message had to get through.
“We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.”
Two other pigeons had been sent with messages, both had been shot down. Cher Ami had to survive. The enemy saw her rise from the camp and opened fire for several minutes. She was shot down once, but continued on.
The messenger arrived at camp, covered in blood, and shot through the breast. Traveling 25 miles in 25 minutes, she saved the lives of 194 men. Army medics worked feverishly to save the pigeon’s own life. In the end she survived, albeit half blind and minus a leg.
None other than General Black Jack Pershing escorted her to a boat for America. Once in the states, Cher Ami became the mascot of the Department of Service. France gave her the same medal it gave to French and American soldiers.
This was only one of the twelve important notes that she had delivered. Cher Ami knew that, in spite of the bullets fired at her, the message must get through. This small carrier pigeon defied everything to fulfill her mission.
Today in cities across this world, pigeons are called pests, in war they’re called heroes. The difference isn’t the bird, but the message it carries. Don’t allow those who view you as a pest, to keep you out of the air. You have a mission and a message, carry it through to victory!