Sam was a black and white cat that was supposedly owned by a sailor on the German WWII battleship Bismarck. When the Bismark was sunk, it was said he was picked from the water by the British destroyer HMS Cossack. The crew of Cossack named their new mascot “Oscar”, and he served on board Cossack as the ship carried out convoy escort duties. On 24 October 1941, Cossack was escorting a convoy when she was severely damaged by a torpedo fired by a German submarine. The crew of the Cossack were then transferred to the destroyer HMS Legion before the Cossack sank. Renamed “Unsinkable Sam”, the cat was soon transferred to the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. The Ark Royal was returning from Malta in November 1941 when it too was torpedoed and sank 30 miles from Gibraltar. Sam, who was described as “angry but quite unharmed”, was found clinging to a floating plank. After his rescue, Sam’s work as a ship-borne cat was over and he ended his naval career on land. Next: Rip the search dog.