OCR Interpretation

The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, April 20, 1918, Image 10

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-04-20/ed-1/seq-10/

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8 GAS ATTACK Pigeoneers and Their Fleet Messengers. ROAD WORK WITH THE PIGEONEERS. Bird Men Here Busy Training Feath­ ered Messengers. T h e re is no tru th in the report th a t one of the pigeon-tam ers of the Pigeon section, Signal Corps, is in the Base H o spital as a r e ­ sult of being kicked by one of the pigeons. T h e s section is intact and on the job. Buck­ ing pigeons are being broken every day, and m ade bridle-wise. The pigeon rem o u n t station is th a t little green building not far from the camp post office and the w ireless station, and has tin rat-guards on the posts th a t support it. The m en in the pigeon section are quar­ tered w ith the Division H e a d q u a rters Troop. The w ork they will do in the field is con­ sidered one of the m o st im p o rtant branches of signaling, and m ore than one of us is apt to be grateful to the fleet, feathered m e s­ sengers th a t these bird-men are training. Pigeon-training is a delicate art. The pigeoneers here (they like to be called pig­ eoneers), have a flock of young thorough­ breds in their charge. W h en the birds came here they had never seen anything but the inside of an egg and the inside of a box. The pigeoneers, many of whom have flown racing pigeons all their lives, tackled the job of m aking dependable m e ssengers of the green birds. T h e ir task is to develop the birds so that if the birds are liberated w ith a m e ssage any place w ithin a thousand miles of Spartanburg, they will speed back here and report prom p tly a t the loft. A pigeon th a t is A. W. O. L. is absolutely no good. They m u st return at once to their home nest so th a t the m e ssage can be de­ livered. W ell trained birds do not lose any tim e about starting for home. A flirt, a flutter, a w h irl and they are off alm o st as fast as the bullets. The Sweet-Tempered Pigeoneers. The birds are taught to love their home nest. Pigeoneers never strike their charges. They speak to them only in gentle voices; they call them only endearing term s. Pig­ eons are not mules. The home nest repre­ sents POOD to the birds. To get the best results the pigeons m u st be a little hungry when they sta r t on their errand. The need of food speeds them up. H u n g er makes them “trap ” quickly. They trap when they push through a little w ire gate, which elec­ trically rings a bell announcing the arrival of a m essenger. Teaching the birds to trap at once is now the principal work of the pigeoneers. They give the birds road work, i. e., send them up for flights around the loft and then rattle a pan of corn to bring the flock back to the loft. Those th a t are slow in returning to “trap,” do not get any corn. A fter a bird has m issed out on mess a few tim es for his slowness, he gets it into his head that it is a good thing to trap prom ptly. The pigeon section is composed of the following expert pigeoneers: Corporals Swain, H aggas, Sheehan, T a intor, and P r i­ vates Juber, Brady, W eiss, Thorn, Vande- veer, Odell, H eninger, and Swain. Saving scraps over here will save the scrap over there.—S. O. S. MAJ. GEN. O’RYAN LAUDS 105TH INFANTRY. Praises Men for Good Shooting, Hiking and Discipline. M ajor General O’R y an w as so pleased w ith the work of the 105th Infantry on its trip to the range th a t he has w ritten a letter of com m endation to the com m anding offi­ cer of th a t regim e n t as follows: April 9. Commanding General, 27th Division, U. S. A. Commanding Officer, 105th Infantry, Camp W adsw o rth, S. C. Comm endation of 105th Infantry. 1. Please convey to the officers and en­ listed m en of your regim e n t my com m enda­ tion of the m a n n e r in which the regim e n t has perform e d its duty during the past few weeks. Its record has been satisfactory from the beginning, but during the period m entioned its discipline, rifle practice, com­ bat exercises and m a rching abilities have placed the regim e n t on a high plane of effi­ ciency. 2. In the com b a t firing exercises on T h u rs­ day, April 4th, 1918, the regim e n t fired a large am o u n t of service am m u n ition in- broken country, including much wooded land, and its attention to detail and fire dis­ cipline w ere such th a t no accidents occur­ red. On Friday, A pril 5th, 1918, the regi­ m e n t occupied a position prepared to as­ sault an outlined enemy trench system on a front of 500 yards. The assault was pre­ ceded by a barrage fired by the batteries of the 104th and 105th R egim ents of Field A r­ tillery. Although the field batteries fired 480 rounds of shrapnel over the heads of the regim e n t, some of w h ich burst w ithin 65 yards of its first wave, the discipline and zeal of the command throughout were m a rk­ ed and w o rthy of special mention. The ad­ vance of the regim e n t in three waves behind was satisfactorily executed. 3. The 105th Infantry gives every prom ise of being an efficient, dependable unit in ac­ tual combat. (Signed) JOHN F. O’RYAN, M ajor General. In th a t “Sahjunt at Camp P ike” a cor­ respondent discovers a dear old friend, and recalls the following anecdote: “Pat, doing guard duty, was asked by his sergeant if he had seen the colonel in th a t part of the camp. No, he had not; but two hours later,, when an officer passed, P a t asked: ‘And who m ight you be?’ Drawing him self up: ‘I am Colonel Sm ith.’ ‘Oh, sure, you’re th e colonel, are ye? W ell, you’re going to get hell. The sergeant’s been looking for you for two hours.’ ” Do not stint the soldiers in the trenches by w a sting food in the camps.—S. O. S.

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