Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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World War II Carrier Pigeon's Message Cracked

Monday, December 17, 2012

PORTLAND, ENGLAND—A coded World War II message discovered earlier this year in England has been cracked. Researcher Gord Young of Ontario had a World War I code book that had been kept in his family. This was a key factor in solving the riddle, since war-time code books and computers in England had been destroyed. The message, which was found strapped to the skeletal remains of a carrier pigeon that had never reached its destination, had been sent by a paratrooper who had been dropped into occupied Normandy. He was killed a few weeks after sending the message.