Thursday, 20 October 2016
Paddy the Pigeon
When making a stop at Carnlough in Northern Ireland (during an excursion from the Oriana), I came across this memorial plaque to Paddy the Pigeon. What had he done to deserve it?
Only won the Dicken Medal for bravery, the equivalent of the Victoria Cross. Paddy had been taken to RAF Hurn in Hampshire (now Bournemouth Airport) in time for the D-Day Normandy landings in June 1944. Two days later he was one of 30 pigeons taken to France by the US 1st Army. He was released at 8.15 a.m. on June 12 carrying coded information about the Allied advance and was home in four hours and 50 minutes. A record-breaking time.
Well done, Paddy. After the war he was returned to Carnlough and his owner and died in 1954, aged 11.
Paddy first gets a mention by me in my article on the Antrim countryside which can be found on www.auntiestravels.blogspot.com