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WW II pigeon message finally decoded

Posted on Dec 17, 08:04AM | IANS

A coded message strapped to the leg of a carrier pigeon during World War II has finally been deciphered.

Only the words "Pigeon Service" at the top of the strip of paper were ­comprehensible. The rest of the message that read "AOAKN HVPKD FNFJW" baffled codebreakers for years.

The message was from a British soldier who had been parachuted down into occupied ­Normandy to tip off RAF Bomber ­Command about the ­locations of German forces prior to the D-Day landings, the Daily Express reported.

The pigeon made it back to Britain but got stuck in the chimney of a house in Surrey.

The bird was not discovered until 1982 when a fireplace was ripped out and the message was found in a red capsule strapped to the bird's leg.

Canadian researchers have now used a First World War artillery code book to reveal that the message was sent by Sergeant William Stott, a 27-year-old paratrooper from the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1944.

His message to HQ Bomber Command at RAF High Wycombe said he was updating as required and also requesting information after being parachuted behind enemy lines early that morning.

Sadly he was killed in action a few weeks after the message was sent.