arundel history

September 03, 2006

During the depths of World War II, there was time and space in The Evening Sun to print an occasional squib of lighthearted news from abroad.

On Sept. 3, 1943, a story with a dateline of "Somewhere in England" bore the intriguing headline "Marylander's Pet Crow Has Run Of Post."

The Associated Press reported that "Oscar the Crow, a young bird adopted by Private Richard E. Reedy of Mayo, near Annapolis, is now listed officially on the roster of a United States ordnance depot in Great Britain."

Reedy took the crow from a nest and tamed him, turning Oscar into "a first-class yard bird."

Oscar reportedly rode around camp on Reedy's shoulder, perched on the fire-alarm bell and walked with Army guards, sitting on the ends of their rifles.

Soldiers awarded their avian comrade a handful of honorary titles, including assistant fire marshal, corporal of the guard, chowhound No. 1, and bugler.

The writer clearly enjoyed the diversion from filing war dispatches: "Army discipline sits lightly on his [Oscar's] black wings and ordnance soldiers have learned to tie their laundry on the clothesline to counter his penchant for tearing it down. He is considerably more nosy than behooves a rookie with just four months service behind him, prying boldly into pockets and removing pencils, coins or anything else interesting to him."

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