Unbelievable Story of UNSINKABLE SAM
UNSINKABLE SAM – There was a cat who survived not just once, but three times on the sea while so many human crews lost their lives. He is definitely a good luck cat during the time of WW2 and his story astonishes us. How Johnny feels about his unbelievable journey…?
Table of Content
- The First Ship: German Battleship Bismarck
- The Second Ship: The Destroyer HMS Cossack
- The Third and the Last Ship: The Aircraft Carrier HMS Ark Royal
POINT BREEZE KINGDOM – EARLY AFTERNOON
Johnny is looking out the window with his tail waging. Servant H comes in.
Have you seen your friends lately, your majesty?
Johnny stays still, showing his back to H.
Friends? Who are you talking about?
Those squirrels you used to watch. We’d watched them everyday say a month ago? Two months? Hmm.
Ah. They haven’t visited me for a while. They must have forgotten about me.
What’s wrong with you, your majesty? You sound… downbeat so to speak.
Even you call me as a
curiosity driven creature which I am for sure, but I have my ups and downs.
Of course you do. I totally understand you, your majesty. It’s very natural.
Well, H. To be honest with you, I think I’m bored now. I didn’t want to tell you this because it might hurt you some way.
Oh, it’s totally fine with me, your majesty. Your body language already told me about your mood. It is your freedom to feel boredom. It’s a good thing as well.
Is that? I can’t imagine why boredom is good…
Can I tell you a tale you might be interested in?
Is it exciting?
Sure, it is extremely exciting and even encouraging.
Johnny turned himself towards H and said
Let’s hear it!
Ship’s Cat: From No Name to Oscar, then Sam. Unsinkable Sam’s Story
Ok, it’s a cat story. First of all, we need to know about
ship’s cats as this was Unsinkable Sam’s occupation.
Unsinkable Sam is his name?
It’s his nickname. Nobody really knows what’s his original name, but he was called Oscar as well on the way.
Wow, he had many names. Cool. And what did he do on a ship?
Ship’s cat is known as a mascot who console crew members on the ship. Not just being an object of comfort, but they also had a very important job on a ship. Just like ancient Egyptian people
hired cats for protecting their crop in storage warehouses from rodents and such, ship cats protect ship’s stores free from them. Also prevent electrical wiring nibbled from mice and rats.
I see. They are hard workers. Doing both duties, hunting for rodents and comfort human at the same is a daunting task. But I guess keeping human’s food intact gave them a sense of mission as well… Kinda like sense of achievement at the end of the day.
You have quite an insight. Well, let me get back on Sam’s story. All happened during WWII. Wartime. The first ship he served on was Bismarck.
1. The First Ship: German Battleship Bismarck
Sounds like German.
Exactly. Bismarck was the first two Bismarck-class battleships built for Nazi Germany’s Kriegsmarine. Our Sam, the black and white patched cat got on board on 18 May 1941 when it set sail on its first and only mission. Bismarck was involved in a battle with The Prince of Wales, damaged badly and finally she was sunk.
Wait a minute. Sam was on board, right? And it was sunk?
Certainly. Out of 2,200 crews, only 118 survived.
What about our friend?!
Hours later, he was found floating on a board and picked form the water.
2. The Second Ship: The Destroyer HMS Cossack
Dramatic thing about this is, he was the only survivor rescued by homeward-bound British destroyer HMS Cossack. And after the rescue, he was named as
Wow. So he switched sides from the Nazi to the Allied forces.
Yes. Only cats can do that. Then he started to serve on this destroyer for the next few months as she carried out convoy escort duties in Mediterranean and north Atlantic.
Sam is a genuine traveler.
Absolutely. However, on her escort duty from Gibraltar to the United Kingdom, it was severely damaged by a torpedo fired by the German submarine.
Oh my!! Now he’s hit by his old people? Goodness!!
Yeah. Cossack ultimately sank to the west of Gibraltar after attempting to tow her back to Giblartar failed.
What happened to our Oscar?!
Quite luckily, he survived this calamity by clinging to a piece of plank.
What a cat!!
3. The Third and the Last Ship: The Aircraft Carrier HMS Ark Royal
After British Officer learnt what happened to him, he named Oscar
Unsinkable Sam which lives up to his destiny quite well.
Now he is Sam. Well, hello Sam.
Fate has a funny way. This savior, HMS Ark Royal, ironically had been instrumental in the destruction of Bismarck. And even funniest, this ship couldn’t avoid sinking either. This time, U-boat torpedoed Ark Royal.
What a!! And Sam is…??
He was alive.
He was found clinging to a floating plank by a motor launch. And this time he was described as
angry but quite unharmed.
I feel quite dizzy now…
No more! Give me no more!
Rest assured, your majesty. His shipborne career ended there and he was transferred first to the offices of the Governor in Gibraltar. Eventually, he was sent back to the United Kingdom where he spent the rest of his life. Now, I think someone wanted to go on adventure for killing his boredom?
Who is that? I’m happy to be here and the most important, you can’t experience seasickness here. I have a feeling I would get a bad seasickness, so I’ll stay here.
Cats have ability to adapt to new surroundings naturally. Our friend
unsinkable Sam served on shipboard three times as a ship’s cat and survived from those sinking ships without fail. Quality of natural hunters for rodents made them the best
crew members for safe sailing and keeping their food intact. They also offered companionship, which played a big role in keeping sailers sane for a long period of time on shipboard especially in times of war. Now, we understand cats and humans have been great partners on board and off board.
Ship’s cat (Wikipedia)
Also published on Medium.