Did you know that the most highly decorated war animal was a pidgeon? "Cher Ami" was a registered Black Check Cošk carrier pigeon, one of 600 birds owned and flown by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I.
He delivered 12 important messages within the American sector at Verdun, France. On his last mission, "Cher Ami," shot through the breast by enemy fire, managed to return to his loft. A message capsule was found dangling from the ligaments of one of his legs that also had been shattered by enemy fire. The message he carried was from Major Whittlesey's "Lost Battalion" of the 77th Infantry Division that had been isolated from other American forces. Just a few hours after the message was received, 194 survivors of the battalion were safe behind American lines .
"Cher Ami" was awarded the French "Croix de Guerre" with Palm for his heroic service between the forts of Verdun. He died in 1919 as a result of his battle wounds.
You can read a detailed account of him here: http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmah/cherami.htm
"Do not forget your dogs of war, your big guns, which are the most-to-be respected arguments of the rights of kings."
- Frederick the Great, King of Prussia