DD43T139 DM

b.  ?  d. ?

DATE OF DM ACTION: 07/1945 Huron Gulf, New Guinea.

DD43T139 DM

Trained by Mr Adams in Victoria, Australia, the blue cock pigeon had completed 23 successful operational flights covering over 1,000 miles unscathed and had therefore been chosen by the 1st Australian Pigeon Service.

In July 1945, the American cargo ship 1402 moved through waters near Madang off the coast of New Guinea. During an exceptionally heavy tropical storm the cargo ship crashed onto Wadou Beach, and became stuck in thick sand and was unable to move. The engine broke down and radio contact was not established. The captain had little choice but to release DD43T139. Hopes were not high as the storm was still raging. The journey, even though it was just 40 miles to Madang, was seen as impossible.

Incredibly, the pigeon made it to Madang in just over 50 minutes, and a rescue ship was immediately dispatched to save the men and cargo on 1402. The men were indeed rescued and the cargo salvaged. For making the journey, the pigeon was awarded the Dickin Medal by Reverend West in St Dunstans-in-the-East on 26th February 1947.



For carrying an SOS message from an Army boat stranded in Huron Gulf in a tropical storm in June 1945, which resulted in the saving of the craft, crew and valuable cargo.