Dickin Medals are awards given to animals for bravery in wartime. Dogs, horses, and even pigeons have been recipients. Here's a new article on Irish Dickin winner Paddy the Pigeon, published on the anniversary of the World War II D-Day landings. I added images from earlier articles.
Paddy the Pigeon, who was hatched in Co Antrim, was the fastest of the flock when he was released on June 6, 1944, to deliver the news of the successful D-Day landings back to England.
Paddy battled through bad weather and avoided the falcons released by the Germans as he made his way back to his home loft at RAF Hurn in Dorset, England with a coded message attached to his leg.
Having traveled some 230 miles (368km) in four hours and 50 minutes, Paddy beat off the other 31 pigeons to claim the honor of handing over the first message from Normandy, flying his way into history.
For his flying feat, Paddy was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal "For the best recorded time with a message from the Normandy Operations, while serving with the RAF in June, 1944" on September 1, 1944.
The Dickin Medal is the highest award any animal can receive whilst serving in military conflict that is recognized worldwide as the animals' Victoria Cross.
His medal went up for auction in 1999 but was bought by businessman and racing pigeon enthusiast Kevin Spring, who was determined to keep this fascinating piece of Irish history in the country.
"Paddy was the last pigeon to be let go by the Americans in Normandy and he was the first one home," McMullan said at the time. "He was the best of the lot, the best of thousands."
To read the complete article, see:
The Irish pigeon that played a vital role in World War II's D-Day landings
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
DICKIN MEDAL-WINNING PIGEON PADDY HONORED WITH PLAQUE
DICKIN MEDAL WINNER PADDY THE PIGEON
D-DAY DICKIN MEDAL HERO PADDY THE PIGEON
Wayne Homren, Editor
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