Contributed by Dundee Art Galleries and Museums

During World War Two, Winkie the carrier pigeon was on an RAF Beaufort Bomber when it crashed in the North Sea on 23rd February 1942. Winkie was set free and flew 120 miles home to Broughty Ferry, where her owner George Ross discovered the exhausted pigeon. He alerted the airbase at RAF Leuchars in Fife, and a desperate search and rescue mission was launched. The Bomber crew were all saved thanks to Winkie, and owed their lives to her heroic flight.

Winkie was later awarded the Dickin Medal, which is the Animal version of the Victoria Cross. It is awarded to animals that have shown outstanding bravery and devotion to duty while serving with the Armed Forces. Animals awarded the Dickin Medal include 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, 3 horses and 1 cat.

When Winkie passed away, Mr Ross donated her and her Dickin Medal to Dundee Art Galleries and Museums.

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