Cher Ami

Cher Ami
Cher Ami
Cher Ami cropped.jpg
Cher Ami on display
Died June 13, 1919
Fort Monmouth, New Jersey
Place of display Smithsonian Institution
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1918
Unit 77th Division
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Croix de Guerre Medal
Other work Department of Service mascot

Cher Ami (French for "dear friend", in the masculine) was a registered Black Check Cock homing pigeon which had been donated by the pigeon fanciers of Britain for use by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I and had been trained by American pigeoneers. It helped save the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the battle of the Argonne, October 1918.[1]


World War I service

On October 3, 1918, Charles Whittlesey and more than 500 men were trapped in a small depression on the side of the hill behind enemy lines without food or ammunition. They were also beginning to receive friendly fire from allied troops who did not know their location. Surrounded by the Germans, many were killed and wounded in the first day and by the second day, just more than 200[verification needed] men were still alive. Whittlesey dispatched messages by pigeon.[2] The pigeon carrying the first message ("Many wounded. We cannot evacuate.") was shot down. A second bird was sent with the message, "Men are suffering. Can support be sent?" That pigeon also was shot down. Only one homing pigeon was left: 'Cher Ami'. He was dispatched with a note in a canister on his left leg,

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!

As Cher Ami tried to fly back home, the Germans saw him rising out of the brush and opened fire. For several moments, Cher Ami flew with bullets zipping through the air all around him.[3] Cher Ami was eventually shot down but miraculously managed to take flight again. He arrived back at his loft at division headquarters 25 miles to the rear in just 65 minutes, helping to save the lives of the 194 survivors. In this last mission, Cher Ami delivered the message despite having been shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, covered in blood and with a leg hanging only by a tendon.

Cher Ami became the hero of the 77th Infantry Division. Army medics worked long and hard to save his life. They were unable to save his leg, so they carved a small wooden one for him. When he recovered enough to travel, the little one-legged hero was put on a boat to the United States, with General John J. Pershing personally seeing Cher Ami off as he departed France.


Upon return to America, Cher Ami became the mascot of the Department of Service. The pigeon was awarded the Croix de Guerre Medal with a palm Oak Leaf Cluster for his heroic service in delivering 12 important messages in Verdun. He died at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, on June 13, 1919 from the wounds he received in battle and was later inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame in 1931. He also received a gold medal from the Organized Bodies of American Racing Pigeon Fanciers in recognition of his extraordinary service during World War I.[4]


To American school children of the 1920s and '30s, Cher Ami was as well known as any human World War I heroes. Cher Ami was later mounted by a taxidermist and enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution. He is currently on display with Sergeant Stubby in the National Museum of American History's "Price of Freedom" exhibit.[5]


  • Cher Ami by Marion Cothren
  • Cher Ami a poem by Harry Webb Farrington
  • Finding the Lost Battalion - Beyond the rumors, myths and legends of America's famous WWI Epic by Robert J. Laplander


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cher Ami — Cher Ami, préservé au Smithsonian Institution Naissance Grande Bretagne Décès 13 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cher Ami — Título Cher Ami Ficha técnica Dirección Miquel Pujol Guion Miquel Pujol Ibán Roca Música …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cher Ami — Präparierte Cher Ami Cher Ami († 1919) war eine berühmte Brieftaube des United States Army Signal Corps in Frankreich zur Zeit des Ersten Weltkrieges. Sie zählt neben G.I. Joe zu den berühmtesten Brieftauben der Welt. Der Name Cher Ami stammt aus …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cher Ami, Je T'écris Pour Savoir… — est une émission de télévision québécoise sous forme de monologue diffusée en 1977. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Distribution 3 Scénarisation 4 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cher ami, je t'ecris pour savoir… — Cher ami, je t écris pour savoir… Cher ami, je t écris pour savoir… est une émission de télévision québécoise sous forme de monologue diffusée en 1977. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Distribution 3 Scénarisation 4 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cher ami, je t'écris pour savoir… — est une émission de télévision québécoise sous forme de monologue diffusée en 1977. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Distribution 3 Scénarisation 4 Réalisation …   Wikipédia en Français

  • cher — cher, chère [ ʃɛr ] adj. et adv. • chier 980; lat. carus I ♦ 1 ♦ (Attribut ou épithète) Qui est aimé; pour qui on éprouve une vive affection. Cher à qqn. Ses enfants lui sont chers. L ami le plus cher. Ses chers amis. « Aux bras d un être cher »… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • ami — ami, ie [ ami ] n. et adj. • Xe; lat. amicus, amica I ♦ N. 1 ♦ Personne liée d amitié avec (une autre personne), ou qui est l objet de l amitié de qqn. ⇒fam. copain, pote. « Qu un ami véritable est une douce chose ! » (La Fontaine). Un de mes… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • cher — CHER, [ch]ere. adj. Qui est tendrement aimé. Ses plus chers amis l ont condamné. c est une personne qui luy est extremement chere. de tous ses enfans celuy qui luy est le plus cher c est ... sa memoire me sera tousjours chere. le souvenir m en… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • cher — cher, chère (chêr, chê r ) adj. 1°   Auquel on est attaché par une vive affection. Un homme cher à sa famille. •   Vous parlerai je de ses pertes et de la mort de ses chers enfants ?, BOSSUET Marie Thér.. •   Hermione, seigneur, peut m être… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

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