Saturday, July 3, 2010

DC Trip - Oddments, part 1 . . . Cher Ami



One can not see everything at the Smithsonian museum complex. The scope is just too vast. So, you have to plan ahead to make sure important exhibits are not missed. For the Fife clan, this amazing pigeon was near the top of the list of things to see. Located in the Price of Freedom: Americans at War exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Cher Ami was awarded the French "Croix de Guerre" for heroic service. This is an award that was given to other notables such as Pa's hero Alvin York and fighter ace Eddie Rickenbacker! Cher Ami, which means "Dear Friend," carried vital messages for American forces in the Argonne Forest. However, his last mission is why Cher Ami is one of the most notable birds in history. Remnants of the "Lost Battalion" were not only cut off and surrounded by Germans, but were also enduring "friendly fire." A note stating "WE ARE ALONG THE ROAD PARALELL 276.4. OUR ARTILLERY IS DROPPING A BARRAGE DIRECTLY ON US. FOR HEAVENS SAKE STOP IT" was attached to Cher Ami's leg. He was their last hope as all other runners and pigeons dispatched did not make it. As Cher Ami rose to the sky the Germans opened a barrage to bring him down. And they were successful, for Cher Ami was shot and plunged toward the ground. But miraculously, the pigeon rose again to fly 25 miles in 25 minutes. When he arrived, the message dangled from a leg that was only connected by ligaments. He had been shot through the breast and he was missing an eye! Medics worked to save his life, but they could not save the leg. He was fitted with a wooden leg, but Cher Ami died from his wounds about nine months later. Out of some 550 men in the "Lost Battalion," only 194 walked out. The rest were captured, wounded or killed.


In the background is another animal hero from WWI . . . Sergeant Stubby.

5 comments:

Adonis said...

Having just returned from my boring holiday, I am intensely jealous of your wondrously awesome holiday, of which, this is yet another glowing example.

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

Wow, that is the nicest thing you have ever said to me. Unfortunately, I made up our entire trip. I got the photos from the internets (I had to go to a lot of trouble to photoshop Dudeboy in practically all of them!), and I made up the story about Cher Ami as well. And the next entry about a giant human hairball will be fabricated also. So, actually doing nothing but laying on a beach waiting for a giant oil slick is a much better vacation.

Dude Boy said...

Merkin J. Pus-Tart is a complete butt-head for lying in the comment just above this. He has ruined the entire trip in one paragraph!

Adonis said...

I forgot that Merkin was on the trip, which would have been it's only troubling aspect. His presence would probably have left me muttering,"Who put the fly in the ointment? Who put this fog on my brain?'

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

I'll tell ya who put the fly in the ointment, and who put this fog on your brain. It was . . . The Bull of the Woods!