During WW II, soon after the German Battleship Bismarck sank the HMS Hood, the British targeted all available resources against the Bismarck. On 26 May, British Swordfish torpedo bombers (airplanes) crippled the Bismarck with a hit that jammed her rudder, rendering the ship unmaneuverable. The next day, a number of British warships engaged the Bismarck and sent her to a watery grave.
A couple of heroes emerged from the battle:
#1 Hero: Midshipman Joe Brooks rescued a German sailor who lost his arms during the battle. (Note: due to the U-boat threat, only 111 of the 2200 Bismarck crew were rescued by the British Navy.)
#2 Hero: The Unsinkable Sam was a German ship cat who survived the sinking of the Bismarck. He was rescued by the British Navy and then served honorably aboard the HMS Cossack, until the Cossack sunk, at which time Sam transferred to the HMS Royal Ark. Unfortunately, Sam was transferred again, this time to the HMS Lightning, when the HMS Royal Ark was sunk.
(Editor’s Note: are we starting wonder whether Sam brings good luck to her ships?) Sam’s water-borne naval career ended when he was transferred to desk job on Gibraltar. He survived the war and lived until 1955.