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Quiz about Tales of the War Pigeon
Quiz about Tales of the War Pigeon

Tales of the War Pigeon Trivia Quiz


I have heard of war elephants, war horses, and war dogs, but are there really war pigeons? Are you serious? Yes, I am! Pigeons that carry messages are called post pigeons, and when they carry messages during war they become war pigeons!

A photo quiz by ponycargirl. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
ponycargirl
Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
401,581
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
271
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Muttley211 (9/10), Guest 2 (8/10), Bymeself (9/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Carrier pigeons, also called homing pigeons, have been successfully used to send messages for centuries.


Question 2 of 10
2. What aptly-named breed of pigeon was commonly used during WWI and WWII to carry messages? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Believe it or not, pigeons in the United Kingdom have been decorated for their wartime bravery. What is the name of the medal they receive? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. With which of the following support groups of the British Army were pigeons associated during WWI and WWII? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. During which major battle of WWI did the pigeon Cher Ami deliver twelve messages in 1916? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. On which ship, the U.S. Navy's first aircraft carrier, was a pigeon house included in 1922? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The United States Army also had a unit that was called the United States Army Pigeon Service. Which aptly-named pigeon, trained by this group, was awarded a medal for "the most outstanding flight made by a United States homing pigeon in World War II"? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. The Irish carrier pigeon Paddy was the first to arrive in England in June of 1944 with an important message regarding which of the following? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. During World War I and World War II there was an attempt to use carrier pigeons for aerial reconnaissance.


Question 10 of 10
10. Which of the following senses, well developed in pigeons, is not present in humans? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Carrier pigeons, also called homing pigeons, have been successfully used to send messages for centuries.

Answer: True

This makes total sense considering that ancient soldiers, just like their modern counterparts, needed a viable way to communicate! The ancient Egyptians used pigeons to send out news of a new pharaoh; the Greeks used pigeons to announce winners of ancient Olympic events. Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire, used pigeons to keep tabs on the many parts of his empire, and Julius Caesar used them to communicate during the Gallic Wars. Genghis Khan used them to convey messages to the corners of his vast empire.

Although the invention of the telegraph in 1844 made the use of carrier pigeons theoretically obsolete, pigeons were found to be useful in later wars as they were sometimes faster than the people who laid the wiring and more mobile, and, at the very least, a good Plan B if Plan A didn't work out.

In modern times, during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, they were used while Paris was under siege, carrying an estimated one million messages during a four-month period.
2. What aptly-named breed of pigeon was commonly used during WWI and WWII to carry messages?

Answer: Racing Homer

Bred for greater speed and homing instinct, the Racing Homer pigeon was developed in Belgium and England in the 1800s. Many breeds were crossbred to develop the Racing Homer; among them, the English Carrier genes helped it to fly home, and the French Cumulet genes gave it the ability to fly for long distances. Consequently, pigeon racing became a sport, and owners had an opportunity to win handsome sums of money - if their bird won! Pigeon shows were also held, where judges would examine the birds and choose a winner.

The pigeons in the picture belong to Queen Elizabeth II and were raised on her Sandringham Estate to be racing pigeons.
3. Believe it or not, pigeons in the United Kingdom have been decorated for their wartime bravery. What is the name of the medal they receive?

Answer: Dickin Medal

In 1943 the Dickin Medal was established by Maria Dickin to recognize animals that had bravely aided humans during World War II. From 1943-49, 54 awards were given to pigeons, dogs, horses, and a cat, with names that some may still recognize today. Rip, a mixed breed dog, and Irma, a German Shepherd, helped to rescue people after the air raids in Britain during the course of the war. The animals who made contributions during World War I all were given an honorary medal in 2014, and as of October 2018, the medal has been given 71 times.
4. With which of the following support groups of the British Army were pigeons associated during WWI and WWII?

Answer: Royal Corps of Signals

The Royal Corps of Signals, also called the Signal Corps, was one of the groups that arrived early to the battlefields. Their job was to take care of necessary communications, which they did using things such as visual signals, the telegraph, field phones, and pigeons. Members of the group would lay communication wires, parachute in, or ride motorcycles to deliver messages.

The United States Army Signal Corps also used pigeons, which carried messages and received information using small canisters that were attached to one of their legs.
5. During which major battle of WWI did the pigeon Cher Ami deliver twelve messages in 1916?

Answer: Verdun

Cher Ami was one of an estimated 600 pigeons used by the United States in France during World War I. Trained by Americans, she had been given to the U.S. Army Signal Corps by a pigeon enthusiast in the UK. If winning the Croix de Guerre with Palm Medal, a French award typically given to soldiers, after delivering twelve messages during the Battle of Verdun wasn't enough, Cher Ami also became a hero during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918.

She helped to rescue a group of 194 men, known as the Lost Battalion, who were being bombarded both by the Germans and friendly fire.

In spite of being critically injured with a shot through the breast, a severely broken leg (that held the message canister), and being blinded in one eye, Cher Ami delivered the message that aided in the group's rescue.

Although medics tried to attend to the bird's wounds, Cher Ami, whose autopsy revealed that she should have been named Chere Ami, eventually died from them. You will notice in the picture that medics could not save her leg.
6. On which ship, the U.S. Navy's first aircraft carrier, was a pigeon house included in 1922?

Answer: USS Langley

By the end of WWI, the U.S. Navy was sold on the fact that pigeons provided invaluable service to the war effort. It is estimated that during the war 829 pigeons flew in almost 11,000 missions. When the war ended, there were over 1500 pigeons still in use by the U.S. in France.

Interestingly, the pigeons that were housed on the USS Langley were trained at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. It was discovered that when only a few pigeons were released, they would return to the ship. But when the entire group was released from Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay, they flew approximately 72 miles back to Norfolk rather than to the ship!
7. The United States Army also had a unit that was called the United States Army Pigeon Service. Which aptly-named pigeon, trained by this group, was awarded a medal for "the most outstanding flight made by a United States homing pigeon in World War II"?

Answer: G.I. Joe

After flying an estimated 20 miles (32 kilometers) in 20 minutes, G.I. Joe saved an Italian town called Calvi Vecchia. The town had been occupied by German soldiers; the Germans suddenly evacuated the town, however, the British infantry, who were planning to bomb Calvi Vecchia, did not know.

It is estimated that G.I. Joe saved at least 1,000 people that day, including the villagers and British soldiers.
8. The Irish carrier pigeon Paddy was the first to arrive in England in June of 1944 with an important message regarding which of the following?

Answer: D-Day

Imagine the relief felt in the UK when Paddy arrived to bring news of the successful Allied invasion of Normandy! In spite of poor weather conditions, and the presence of German falcons who tried to stop him, Paddy flew 230 miles in four hours and fifty minutes. He was the only Irish-trained pigeon to have been awarded the Dickin Medal during World War II.
9. During World War I and World War II there was an attempt to use carrier pigeons for aerial reconnaissance.

Answer: True

Julius Neubronner, a German pharmacist, is credited with being the first to use pigeon photography in 1907. He combined his pharmacy business with his love of photography, to not only deliver medications, but also to keep track of where his pigeons flew. Neubronner attempted to market his invention during WWI; the use of war pigeons to carry messages became more wide-spread, and even though his pigeon photography was used somewhat successfully at the Battle of Verdun (1916) and the Battle of the Somme (1916), the German war ministry told him that they were not interested. During WWII, however, it appears that the German War Ministry did train pigeons for aerial photography missions, and France also was developing the same technology.

It is still uncertain how much the technology influenced any outcome in WWII.
10. Which of the following senses, well developed in pigeons, is not present in humans?

Answer: Magnetoreception

Carrier pigeons, also called homing pigeons, use magnetoreception, the ability to detect magnetic fields, to assist them in orienting themselves in navigation. Scientists are still unsure as to the source of this ability; at one time they thought there were cells that contained iron in their beaks. Now it is believed that the receptors may be found in their inner ears or perhaps a region of their brain. Some believe that pigeons even recognize both natural and man-made landmarks leading to home. Whatever it is, they are able to fly hundreds of miles back to their home base.

WWII fighter pilots, like the one in the picture, carried homing pigeons with them on missions. In case of a crash or communication problem, the pilot depended on his pigeons to fly back to the home base for help.
Source: Author ponycargirl

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor gtho4 before going online.
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