November 8, 2023

Hero Cats of the U.S. Military

This Veteran’s Day, we’d like to recognize some of the feline heroes of the U.S. military – working to protect food stores from mice and providing much needed care and comfort to service men and women far from home. 

There is a long HISS-tory of cats aboard military ships. 

The USS Olympia was active during the Spanish American War. Here the crew is trying to play with their ship kitty, who clearly has more important things to do! 

This shot of the USS Texas’ cat and dog mascot was taken around 1900. Everyone seems very serious about their duties! 

Wockle the cat onboard the USS Flusser, around 1925. We wouldn’t want to face off in battle against Wockle! 

WWII Naval aviators take a much needed play break with their cat mascot. 

Pooli the cat earned three service ribbons and four battle stars for her service on an attack transport in WWII. 

Miss Hap the kitten was adopted by Marine Sergeant Frank Praytor during the Korean War. He received marriage proposals from all over the United States after this photo appeared in 1,700 newspapers, proving there’s nothing more appealing than a devoted cat daddy! 

Pfc Hammer was born at a US Military base in Iraq, and quickly set to work keeping the mice population clear of the dining hall and living quarters. With some help from Alley Cat Allies, Staff Sgt. Rick Bousfield was able to bring him home to the U.S. 

1st Lt. Buffe Stratofortress Grey provided aid and comfort to airmen at Minot Air Force Base in 2017.

More recently, a cat gave birth to kittens at North Carolina’s Hickory Aviation Museum in a HISS-toric Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star plane, proving the lure of  adventure and service runs deep in some cats! 

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