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WILLIAM OF ORANGE - Carrier Pigeon

Holder of the Dicken Medal (Animals VC) for Gallantry.
During the 2nd World War, pigeons were used to carry highly classified and secret messages. Birds, usually pigeons have been used, all over the World, for hundreds of years, to do this.
In September 1944, a pigeon called William of Orange, bred by Sir William Procter Smith, performed an unequalled feat.
The bird had been trained by Army Pigeon Service of Royal Signals.
He flew 260 miles, 135 of these over the ocean, in only 4 hours and 25 minutes. This was flying at almost 60 miles an hour for 4 and a half hours.!!
He saved 2,000 servicemen at Arnheim by this unparalleled flight.
He was awarded the PDSA DIcken medal, which is the Animals VC for this gallantry.
Sir William had to buy him out of Service for 185 pounds.
He survived the War and although still alive in 1954 he was too old to race. Though he had become the grandfather of many outstanding racing pigeons.


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