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An American Hero. Cher Ami.

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Forum Name: Wars and Battles
Forum Description: Spirited discussions on all military conflicts throughout history
Printed Date: 10 Aug 2020 at 01:21
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Topic: An American Hero. Cher Ami.
Posted By: Buckskins
Subject: An American Hero. Cher Ami.
Date Posted: 29 Mar 2012 at 08:45
                                                       Cher Ami 
                                                  An American Hero

October 3, 1918 Major Whittlesey an American commander with more than 500 men were trapped in a small depression on the side of a hill. They were surrounded by German infantry, many were killed and wounded. By the second day only a little more than 200 men were alive unwounded. The commander dispatched several pigeons to tell his commanders where his unit was located. The following day there was but one carrier pigeon on hand. Enter the hero of this true tale, Cher Ami.

American Artillery tried to send some protection by firing hundreds of artillery rounds into the depression where the Germans surrounded what was left of the battalion. American artillery gunners never knew exactly where the Americans were located, and started firing rounds directly on top of them by accident. After all they had been through they were being fired on by their own army. There was one little hero waiting to get home, Cher Ami. They wrote a quick note informing the artillery commander where they were located in order to stop the shelling on their position.  The note that was put in the canister on Cher Ami's left leg was,

     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. 

Cher Ami took off for his home, the enemy saw him and opened fire.  For several minutes Cher Ami was under intense small arms fire from the Germans. The encircled American infantrymen were hoping against hope, their last hope looked like an inescapable situation. Cher Ami was hit. Cher Ami spread his wings and tried again, off he flew beyond the reach of German small arms fire. Our little hero flew 25 miles in 25 minutes to deliver his message. The shelling ceased, and more than 200 American lives were saved to fight another day. 
    On this his last mission, Cher Ami was severely wounded. When he finally reached his coop, He was blind in one eye, and a chunk missing from his little breast. From that awful wound, hanging by just a few tendons, was the almost severed leg of the brave little bird.  Attached to that leg was a small canister with the all-important message.  Once again, Cher Ami wouldn't quit until he had finished his job. Cher Ami became the hero of the 77th Infantry Division, and the surgeons worked long hours to try and save our little hero.  When French soldiers learned  of Cher Ami's bravery  they gave him the French Croix de guerre with palm leaf.

    Though the surgeons saved Cher Ami, they couldn't save his leg, but they did obtained a small wooden leg for him.  When Cher Ami recovered from his wounds, our little hero was on a boat to the United States. The commander of the United States Army, General John J. Pershing, personally saw Cher Ami off as he left France. Cher Ami died of his multiple war wounds on June 13, 1919.  On his death a taxidermist preserved the small pigeon for future generations, a bird that became an inspiration over the years.

    Visitors to the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. can still visit Cher Ami, preserved forever alongside his French Croix de Guerre with palm. General John J. Pershing awarded an additional medal to our brave little hero, Cher Ami.

May you live as long as you want to,
and may you want to as long as you live.

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 29 Mar 2012 at 10:36
That's a really great story, thanks for sharing it.

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