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TOPIC: Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields

Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields 12 May 2008 10:36 #1

  • PETERTHEEATER
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Good Morning Members,
Whilst browsing another topic, I came across this photo (Ludford
Magna) showing 'the' pigeon loft.

http://airfieldarchaeology.fotopic.net/p22586645.html

I am aware that homing pigeons were used at one stage during RAF
bomber ops but had not considered that some of the 'chimney' type
structures that I usually associate with water tanks were actually
pigeon lofts. I don't suppose that it mattered to the pigeon whether
the loft was up high or low down as long as it could be found.

I would have thought that the example shown would have been
difficult of access to the pigeon minder.

Are there other examples extant? Were they purpose built or is the
Ludford specimen an adaption?
> Peter

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Last Edit: by netcompsys. Reason: Fotopic web site gone away

Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields 12 May 2008 19:30 #2

  • mawganmad
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Not extent anymore, but found a pic of RAF St Evals WWII pigeon loft recently, will post when I learn photobucket usage. It was sited on the ground and about as tall as a wardrobe - and stuffed with homing pigeons!

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James Thomas

Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields 12 May 2008 20:24 #3

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mawganmad wrote: Not extent anymore, but found a pic of RAF St Evals WWII pigeon loft recently, will post when I learn photobucket usage. It was sited on the ground and about as tall as a wardrobe - and stuffed with homing pigeons!


Mawganmad - hope you're not referring to the pigeon loft at Ludford! Haven't been out that way for a while. If that's gone then what future for the rest of the buildings around it?

Chris

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"We either stand down or blow up - which do you want!"

Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields 13 May 2008 21:25 #4

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Ah sorry CDP, it's my grammer! St Evals' pigeon loft is no longer around.

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James Thomas

Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields 13 May 2008 22:04 #5

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PHEW! Thanks Mawganmad! Was a little worried there! The tech site, although a bit cluttered is still pretty much intact at Ludford.

Pity St. Eval's loft has gone. It's probably a little-known area of aircrew life and which might might be a godd topic for discussion?

Chris

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"We either stand down or blow up - which do you want!"

Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields 22 Jul 2009 18:22 #6

  • Richard Drew
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RAF Dale had a pigeon loft next to its ops block, its the first I have found so far, but no pictures yet.
http://www.atlantikwall.co.uk/atlantikwall/Wales/dale12/html/page02.htm will take you to the page and also links to a pigeon site and their bravary awards. Yes they recieved awords as well. It makes good very good reading.

An example
Dutch Coast
Pigeon * NURP.41. A.2164
Date of Award: March 1945
“For delivering an SOS from a ditched Air Crew close to the enemy coast 288 miles distance in 7½ hours, under unfavourable conditions, while serving with the RAF in April 1942.”

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from the site plan, its the far right building.

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Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields 23 Jul 2009 10:26 #7

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There were instances of German soldiers with shotguns weighting on the coast to shoot down pigeons, several had important messages from the Resistance about the D-day beaches.

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Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields 30 Apr 2010 17:26 #8

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Hi all
I cant find a image of a loft, but got one of the pidgeon and its transit box used on the aircraft, carried by a airman, no idea of the base though ??

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Llanbedr History not to be forgotten!!!!!!!

Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields 06 Jan 2013 09:44 #9

  • mbriscoe
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Not sure which forum this should go in but I came across this site when following a link to an interesting file about SOE codes so then explored the rest of the site and came across this.

The Use of Pigeons by the RAF in WW2
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Pigeons and Pigeon Lofts on ww2 airfields 13 Mar 2015 17:47 #10

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I have been talking to a friend whose father supplied homing pigeons to the RAF, and it seems that the pigeons would return to their home loft and not to the airfield one. She also alerted me to this in 'Essex at War' published by the local newspaper.
"The Pigeon' Part. Twenty-two Colchester pigeon fanciers played behind the scenes their part in the winning of the war. Prior to 1939 these men trained their birds for show purposes and for racing, but when in April 1943, a Special Section Carrier Pigeon Service was formed, efforts were wholeheartedly turned towards war.
Mr Arthur A. Finch, of 12, Speedwell Road, Colchester, was appointed Pigeon Service Officer for the Colchester Section, and Colchester fanciers supplied approximately 300 birds for special secret service work in Occupied Europe. Several were used by the Maquis and gave the exact position of flying bomb sites. Several of the 300 birds never returned, many being wounded."

My friend is Mr Finch's daughter and she tells me that the birds were collected by army or RAF personnel and taken to the loft on the airfield. The birds when released in France or wherever would then return to their home loft. Her father had had a telephone installed by the Government and he had to be informed when a bird returned to its loft, and he then had to telephone immediately to tell the police as
any message had to be delivered to them. She remembers that some pigeons would be injured when they returned as the Germans would try to shoot them down.

There is more about this in "They had no choice. Racing Pigeons at War" by Gary Mc Cafferty. Many of the pigeons were awarded The Dickin Medal for their bravery.

Pauline.

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