81. US WWII
PIGEONEER Photo & Unit
History Book - RARE!
45 original wartime photos, many captioned on reverse and some marked "secret," from the estate of Gordon HAYES who served in the Pigeon Corps during WWII & wrote the book The Pigeons That Went To War. Comes with a very rare copy of this book. the photos are wartime original, not copies. Great photos showing details of the Pigon service training in the US and also in the fielf in ITALY! Rare material!
During World War II, Hayes served
in the "pigeon corps" of the U.S. Army, where his expertise with racing pigeons
was recognized and he was placed in charge of a large group of new men with
little experience in racing pigeons. The company started as the 829th Pigeon
Platoon or the Africa Pigeon Corp. Later in South Italy, it was changed to the
6681st Signal Pigeon Co. (Prov). Lastly, the name was changed from the 6681st
Signal Pigeon Co. to the 209th Signal Pigeon Co. Hayes's duties took him to the
front lines of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy and France, where he worked
closely with the U.S. and British intelligence services. Often in the dangerous
front lines or in covert operations, he worked with such famous pigeons as "G.I.
Joe," "Yank," "Rain in the Face," and many more. When the war ended in Europe,
Hayes finished his duty in the service as a Master Sergeant. Continuing as a
successful bird breeder, the epitome of his career was the breeding of an
American dark green and cobalt Indian ring-necked parakeet. The first in the
world; a new color mutation. In 1981, Hayes self-published his book, The Pigeons
That Went To War about his experiences in the army's pigeon corps. Scope and
Content of Collection The collection documents the use of racing homer pigeons
during World War II to carry messages. The collection consists primarily of
publications, photographs, and documents related to WWII and the use of racing
pigeons. Also included are messages carried by the pigeons.