On Tuesday 6 June 1944, Gustav the grizzle coloured war pigeon was released on Sword Beach in Normandy to deliver the first news of D-Day back to UK. Today, the Royal Pigeon Racing Association and NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, re-enacted this scene with a Royal Signaller and the liberation of a racing pigeon from the same location, 75 years on.
Carrier pigeons played a vital part in both world wars acting as military messengers with their homing ability and speed. More than 100,000 pigeons were used in the war with a success rate of 95% in delivering their messages. For his act, Gustav was awarded the Dickin Medal for bravery, considered to be the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps teamed up with the Royal Pigeon Racing Association in #Cheltenham to release our ‘pigeon voyageur’ from Normandy back to the UK #DDay75🇬🇧🇫🇷 | 📻 @BBCGlos http://bit.ly/PigeonGlos (from 54:18)
Verified account @HQARRC
23h23 hours ago
📺 Early Bird – Royal Signaller recreates first message back from D-Day beaches | Full story http://bit.ly/Pigeon75 #DDay75 #WeAreNATO🇬🇧🇫🇷
24h24 hours ago
We’re pleased to announce that our pigeon has arrived safely back to its home in Portsmouth. #DDay #DDay75 #dday75th
#DDay75Anniversary #DDayLandings @NATO @HQARRC