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Fascinating Historic Photos Of Cats Serving In The US Sea Services

According to Wikipedia, cats on board of sea service ships were a common feature on many trading, exploration, and naval ships, and dates back to ancient times. Cats have been carried on ships for many reasons, the most important being to catch mice and rats. These rodents aboard a ship could cause damage to ropes, woodwork, electrical wiring, the crew's food and the products itself. Rats and mice were also sources of disease, which is dangerous for ships that are at sea for long periods of time. Over the years, the crewmen of those ships have developed a special affection towards the adorable cats who have joined them for those long trips. 



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  • 1

    Apprentices aboard the USS Pensacola pose with mascot cat and dogs in February 1888. The Pensacola was a screw steamer that participated in Admiral David Farragut's capture of New Orleans in 1862.

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  • 2

    Crewmen on the deck of the USS Olympia using a mirror to play with their cats in 1898. The Olympia served as Admiral George Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manila during the Spanish American War.

    Cheezburger Image 9442344192
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  • 3

    The crew of the USS Nahant with their two cats, ca 1898. The Nahant participated in the attack on Charleston Harbor in 1863.

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  • 4

    Here is 'Bilgewater', the mascot of the Coast Guard Academy, circa 1944. He's modeling the new wartime grey cadet uniform.

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    Crewman of the USS Texas pose with mascot dog and cat on the muzzle of one of the ship's 12"/35 guns, ca 1900. Texas was the first U.S. battleship and gained a reputation for being jinxed because of a series of accidents. The crew probably hoped the cat and dog would change the ship's luck.


  • 6

    Two cats pose in the breech of a 4" caliber naval gun of an unidentified ship prior to World War One.

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    The cats of the USS Mississippi climb ladders to enter their hammock, 1925.

    Vehicle - TRAINEDCATS U.SS MISSISSIPPI
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    The Mississippi was involved in several fierce battles in the Pacific during World War Two and was hit by kamikazes twice. It survived to be among the ships in Tokyo Bay that witnessed Japan's surrender.


  • 8

    French sailors play with a cat as they wait to take over six LSSLs (Landing Ship Support, Light) being given to France by the US Navy under the defense aid pact. Seattle, 1950.

    Sailor - INE NATIONAL INE NATION RUNE N
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  • 9

    USS Flusser cat 'Wockle' on the capstan in Venice, Italy, 1924-25.

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  • 10

    Waiting instructions in the briefing room, pilots on a US Navy aircraft carrier relax by playing with the ship's mascot.

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  • 11

    War Veteran - 'Pooli', who rates three service ribbons and four battle stars, served aboard an attack transport during World War II. Los Angeles, 1959.

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