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PG - 106C/B Pigeon vest


ken88
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General Apathy

post-344-1345584032.jpg

 

 

Hi Ken, Gregory & Craig, here is an 8 bird wire container out of the carton and erected for use along with it's 9 foot chute, there was also a larger version of the wire container which I don't have to hand at present.

 

( photograph appears on page 259 of ' Doughboy to G.I. ' and used with permission of the author )

 

ken

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craig_pickrall
Craig,

 

Thank you very much. This (your) image suggests that I was wrong and US Army parachuted their pigeons in containers, isn't it?

 

 

Gregory, I can't really say. That could be just one of several ways. You previously mentioned a 4 bird container too. I wonder about the drift of a nine foot parachute compared to that used by paratroopers. It maybe intended that the container was dropped separate from paratroopers. That could include dropping to paratroopers or other troops already on the ground as well as OSS types behind the lines. I wonder too if the vest was intended to carry the birds after they were on the ground? Maybe the photos of paratroopers with the birds was to confuse the enemy. Seems to be more unknown that what is known.

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craig_pickrall

Good job Ken. You answered the questions I asked before I asked them. How did you manage to get the authors permission so quickly. I thought he was old, feeble and in an asylum now.

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craig_pickrall
That is so awesome! :blink:

 

That's the kind of chute and container I was talking about.. So were they used by US forces as well, or just made for commonwealth forces?

 

Very neat item to own btw! Congratulations. I wouldn't open it as well, it's worth a lot more mint in box.

 

Cheers

 

The one I show and also the one Ken showed is a US item.

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General Apathy
Good job Ken. You answered the questions I asked before I asked them. How did you manage to get the authors permission so quickly. I thought he was old, feeble and in an asylum now.

 

Hi Craig, I got it on good authority that he is still hanging on in there, I think his catch phrase is ' it ain't over until it's over ', you could join me if you wish to, because I for one wish him well. :lol: :thumbsup:

 

ken

 

 

 

:blink:

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What about the picture in post #1 that looks like a late type of vest?

My hands are up, I capitulate. Maybe am overtired today but am not a hundred percent sure what is it. I have another photo of this man and checked it when I wrote a post for you and was under impression that what can be seen on this man is 1st Pattern vest but I will not be defending this theory like an independence.

 

Here's the picture you are probably looking for Gregory

Yes, something like that, though I meant another photo. The British Commandos also used message pigeons but this is story not for this forum.

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General Apathy
post-344-1345586278.jpg]

 

 

Hi Ken, Gregory & Craig, here is an early WWII four bird transport box ( not used in parachuting ) it shows most of the ancillary pieces required for use with the pigeons and held in a shallow tray under the removable top lid. On the left of the box just under the pigeons tail is a two section galvanised container for water and seed, there were four of these one for each bird position.

 

( photograph appears on page 259 of ' Doughboy to G.I. ' and used with permission of the author )

 

 

ken

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General Apathy

post-344-1345586733.jpg

 

 

Hi Ken, Gregory & Craig, here is an early WWII four bird transport box seen in an official Signal Corp photo at Fort Benning, I believe the vehicle is a civilian pre war Dodge ' VC ' model, quickly adapted to military use post Pearl Harbor, note the civilian chromed wheel cap on the rear wheel below the bird box. It was a panel van version that has had the side panels cut out and wire mesh inserted with roll down canvas cover for bird transport.

 

( photograph appears on page 259 of ' Doughboy to G.I. ' and used with permission of the author )

 

 

ken

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craig_pickrall
Hi Craig, I got it on good authority that he is still hanging on in there, I think his catch phrase is ' it ain't over until it's over ', you could join me if you wish to, because I for one wish him well. :lol: :thumbsup:

 

ken

:blink:

 

I certainly wish him well too. He tried his best while he was able and made a decent contribution. Do you have his address or email at the asylum? We could all send him a big WELL DONE.

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craig_pickrall
post-344-1345586733.jpg

Hi Ken, Gregory & Craig, here is an early WWII four bird transport box seen in an official Signal Corp photo at Fort Benning, I believe the vehicle is a civilian pre war Dodge ' VC ' model, quickly adapted to military use post Pearl Harbor, note the civilian chromed wheel cap on the rear wheel below the bird box. It was a panel van version that has had the side panels cut out and wire mesh inserted with roll down canvas cover for bird transport.

 

( photograph appears on page 259 of ' Doughboy to G.I. ' and used with permission of the author )

ken

 

I sure would like to know what is behind that white censor disc on his cap. It looks like about the same size and location as the parachute cap patch but surely there were no paratroopers at Ft Benning. Or was there?

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General Apathy

post-344-1345587601.jpg

 

 

Hi Ken, Gregory & Craig, here is the later WWII redesigned four bird transport box, note it has been shortened in length and the feed and water trays are now exposed outside the box itself and only hooked on when required, normally stored in the top tray under the hinged lid.

 

The one shown above is the four bird box, however there is also a two bird version which is basically half the height of the four bird box.

 

( photograph appears on page 260 of ' Doughboy to G.I. ' and used with permission of the author )

 

 

ken

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Gregory, I can't really say. That could be just one of several ways. You previously mentioned a 4 bird container too. I wonder about the drift of a nine foot parachute compared to that used by paratroopers. It maybe intended that the container was dropped separate from paratroopers. That could include dropping to paratroopers or other troops already on the ground as well as OSS types behind the lines.

That's right. A very good technical-tactical observation. Equally well a para after jump could tell "Bye, bye, my pigeon". And the wind (and weight difference between para and pigeon container) could do the rest.

 

I wonder too if the vest was intended to carry the birds after they were on the ground?

Heh, heaven knows, you may be right, theoretically those vests (according to wartime information) were for jumps but... the OWI was able to prepare not such messages ;) I have an article of WWII where (I guess thanks to OWI) the CG-4A is called the greatest glider ever built in the world... :o:)

 

Maybe the photos of paratroopers with the birds was to confuse the enemy. Seems to be more unknown that what is known.

Yes, I agree, all is possible. There is strange Associated Press/Signal Corps case study I mentioned earlier in this thread. Why a para's pic with pigeon vest was embargoed for a week, what so important in WWII development could occur in that time... :think:

 

Thanks Craig, best regards

 

Gregory

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General Apathy
I sure would like to know what is behind that white censor disc on his cap. It looks like about the same size and location as the parachute cap patch but surely there were no paratroopers at Ft Benning. Or was there?

 

Hi Craig, yes the U.S Army Airborne test platoon were at Fort benning in 1941, plenty here at the link to read on all the cadre and events of that time.

 

http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&gs_nf=1...024&bih=560

 

The photograph before copying does show it as a parachute patch and it's an official Signal Corp photo taken in 1942 when I believe censoring photographs had not started, otherwise they would have blanked out the door as well.

 

ken

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General Apathy
Ken (L.) -- thanks a lot for all photos and education.

 

Gregory, thanks also to yourself, Ken88 and Craig for all the further in-put to the topic, a shared enjoyment.

 

I have less of a ' general apathy ' when the topic takes off like this. :lol:

 

ken

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I have less of a ' general apathy ' when the topic takes off like this. :lol:

:lol::lol::lol:

Yes, where is this "apathy"? I did nothing today, completely nothing other than posting here, checking books, photographs, my archive, my materials for the article on war pigeons I wrote some time ago, my materials for next article on this subject I plan, etc., etc., etc.

 

B)

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General Apathy
:lol::lol::lol:

Yes, where is this "apathy"? I did nothing today, completely nothing other than posting here, checking books, photographs, my archive, my materials for the article on war pigeons I wrote some time ago, my materials for next article on this subject I plan, etc., etc., etc.

 

B)

 

 

Gregory, how funny that you should put into words the thoughts that have pervaded my mind most of the day, I was actually going to start a new topic, I know one with little chance of success but it was a suggestion and this was it.

 

Today's topic :- Should this US militaria forum be off-line between the hours of 08.00 and 17.00 hours so we can all get some damn work done. :dunno:

 

General Apathy ( aka Ken )

 

 

 

:blink::blink::blink:

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Thank you guys for all the information posted! It's now pretty clear to me that pigeons were an indispensable sort of communication at the time. Although some of the birds ended up in hostile hands it seems that they did a pretty good job!

 

If I scroll through all the extra information it sure looks like the PG 106C/B pigeon vest was a vest intentionally designed for parachute jumps. Am I right? Thus meaning use by signal corps paratroops and signal corps paratroops only. Leaving the risk of killing the bird aside, it's a pretty clever design. Pigeons that were dropped in containers could easily have landed behind enemy lines, as was the case with tons of other army supplies.

 

I now know a lot more, i.e. that there were at least two patterns, and that the first one appeared in circa 1943. A second pattern was designed in 1944 and had tiny meshes in the design to let the bird's feathers breathe or to cool the bird down as much as possible in tropical environments.

 

British forces dropped pigeons in containers, US forces probably did the same in some cases according to the existence of the 9ft. parachute and container.

 

Provided the pictures of the embarkation areas prior to D-day, U.S. paratroops aslo jumped equipped with containers housing several birds at once strapped to their harnesses. A plausible explanation could be that keeping several pigeons in vests would be impractical as it would be against regulations to not keep the birds in the vests in excess of 6 hours (given the distance the armada had to travel + the waiting they had to do prior to the D-day jump).

 

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Thanks again for the ton of information!

 

Cheers,

Ken

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Johan Willaert

At least one platoon (maybe more) of the 282nd Pigeon Signal Company was deployed to Normandy on D-Day or shortly after... There is a website reference somewhere on the www, but I cannot locate it right now...

 

This site lists some pigeon carriers of the WW2 US Army SC...

http://www.qsl.net/pe1ngz/army/army-us/us-pigeon.html

 

Meanwhile here's a shot of my PG106 and the carton PG107 box...

The PG107 is listed as a scan of the manual in VolI of the GICG, but that's about the only reference there is to this item...

post-92-1345624757.jpg

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Johan Willaert
post-344-1345586733.jpg

Hi Ken, Gregory & Craig, here is an early WWII four bird transport box seen in an official Signal Corp photo at Fort Benning, I believe the vehicle is a civilian pre war Dodge ' VC ' model, quickly adapted to military use post Pearl Harbor, note the civilian chromed wheel cap on the rear wheel below the bird box. It was a panel van version that has had the side panels cut out and wire mesh inserted with roll down canvas cover for bird transport.

 

( photograph appears on page 259 of ' Doughboy to G.I. ' and used with permission of the author )

ken

 

When a friend finished the restoration of their rare WW2 Dodge WC-37 Panel Van, he turned to me to come up with some original markings for it.... So I gave him a scan of that picture from Ken's book...

 

So this is how it looks now.... The back is filled with pigeon baskets and containers...

You can see the Fort Benning picture in the passenger door window..

post-92-1345626000.jpg

post-92-1345626084.jpg

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General Apathy
At least one platoon (maybe more) of the 282nd Pigeon Signal Company was deployed to Normandy on D-Day or shortly after... There is a website reference somewhere on the www, but I cannot locate it right now...

 

This site lists some pigeon carriers of the WW2 US Army SC...

http://www.qsl.net/pe1ngz/army/army-us/us-pigeon.html

 

Meanwhile here's a shot of my PG106 and the carton PG107 box...

The PG107 is listed as a scan of the manual in VolI of the GICG, but that's about the only reference there is to this item...

 

Hi Johan, six months ago one of those PG107 cartons in unused condition appeared for sale in a small junk store in Carentan, unfortunately I talked myself out of buying it :blink: :crying:

 

ken

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Johan Willaert
Hi Johan, six months ago one of those PG107 cartons in unused condition appeared for sale in a small junk store in Carentan, unfortunately I talked myself out of buying it :blink: :crying:

 

ken

 

Don't worry, Ken... Hayes Outopalik sells them for only 95$... :w00t:

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Johan Willaert

While this picture doesn't show the use of the PG-106 harness, it does illustrate the use of Pigeons by the US Army in the ETO in WW2... Picture from our own Jon Gawne's US Army Photo Album, Page 60

post-92-1345626924.jpg

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