Thursday, February 15, 2018


The AU's lobbyist, Greg Smith, has been working with various governmental agencies to include them in a tribute honoring the 100th anniversary of Cher Ami, which will take place on October 4, 2018, in Washington, D.C. 

Two small tours will be given at the Smithsonian Institution. These tours will allow the invited guests to see Cher Ami and other World War I artifacts. The AU will be represented in Washington, D.C., by our Northeast Zone Director, Robert McKenna, as well as our lobbyist, Greg Smith.

Let's keep the anniversary celebration going through Veterans Day! We hope you will join us for a month of events to honor Cher Ami's service.

We encourage clubs to designate a race to commemorate Cher Ami. We have a club in Maryland that has announced they will name one of their season races as the "Cher Ami Classic." We hope many clubs will join us in honoring Cher Ami between now and Veterans Day.

Cher Ami was a registered Black Check cock carrier pigeon, one of 600 birds owned and flown by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I. He delivered twelve important messages within the American sector at Verdun; on his last mission, October 4, 1918, he was shot through the breast and leg by enemy fire but still managed to return to his loft with a message capsule dangling from the wounded leg. The message Cher Ami carried was from Major Charles S. Whittlesey's "Lost Battalion" of the Seventy-seventy Infantry Division that had been isolated from other American forces. The message brought about the relief of the 194 battalion survivors, and they were safe behind American lines shortly after the message was received.
For his heroic service, Cher Ami was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with palm. He was returned to the United States and died at Fort Monmouth, N.J. on June 13, 1919, as a result of his wounds. Cher Ami was later inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame in 1931, and received a gold medal from the Organized Bodies of American Pigeon Fanciers in recognition of his extraordinary service during World War I.