The Animal Victoria Cross - The Dickin Medal

Awarded to 3 year old pigeon NURP.41.SBS.219 The Duke of Normandy, 21 st Army Group, D-Day 6/6/44, AFS, No. 1086, DM No.45.

The citation states:

"For being the first bird to arrive with a message from Paratroops of the 21 st Army Group behind enemy lines on D-Day, 6 th June 1944 while serving with the APS (Allied Pigeon Service)."

The Duke was dropped behind enemy lines in June with a group of paratroopers tasked with silencing the powerful Merville Battery, which overlooked Sword Beach. As radio silence was crucial the Duke was carried to take back the message that the battery had been taken. Of over 600 men, who were dropped, only 150 managed to reach the target and after fierce fighting the objective was overcome with heavy loss. The Duke was duly released and after 26 hours and 50 minutes flying landed back at his loft with the news of a successful operation. He was awarded the medal in 1947 during a televised ceremony at the BBC Alexandra Palace.

The Dickin medal has been awarded 64 times; 32 of which were for pigeons.

Available for Private Treaty Sale £15,000