15 August 2012


Felines of the US fleet and the sailors who loved them. Photos and captions from the United States Naval Institute.

Crew of USS Nahant with their two cats, ca 1898. Nahant was an ironclad monitor that joined the fleet of Rear Admiral Samual Francis du Pont in the attack on Charleston Harbor in 1863.     

Crewmen on the deck of USS Olympia using a mirror to play with their cats in 1898. Olympia served as Admiral George Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manila during the Spanish American War. Olympia, currently docked in Philadelphia, is the world's oldest floating steel warship.
Crewman of USS Texas pose with mascot dog and cat on the muzzle of one of the ship's guns, ca 1900. Built in 1892, Texas was the first US battleship and gained a reputation for being jinxed because of a series of accidents.
The cats of USS Mississippi climb ladders to enter their hammock, ca 1925. Mississippi was involved in several fierce battles in the Pacific during World War II and was hit by kamikazes twice. It survived to be among the ships in Tokyo Bay that witnessed Japan's surrender.
Pilots on an aircraft carrier relax by playing with the ship's mascot. Probably USS Ranger, July 1944.

The new mascot 'Saipan' of USS New Mexico. New Mexico provided support during the US Marine invasion of Saipan in 1944, so it's likely the cat was rescued after the battle.

'Bilgewater' the mascot of the Coast Guard Academy, circa 1944.

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