Unsinkable Sam was the nickname given to a ship’s cat who served on board three vessels in World War II and survived the sinking of each ship. He was originally part of the German battleship Bismarck which was sunk in May of 1941. Pulled from the sea by the British destroyer Cossack, the cat was nicknamed Oscar and began to serve on board. His new berth sank in late October and he then served on the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal and given the new nickname Unsinkable Sam. Again he was rescued at sea after the carrier was torpedoed in mid November. Sam was thereafter retired from active sea duty and spent the majority of the remainder of his life in Belfast.
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