A new exhibit at the Imperial War Museum, The Animals War, celebrates courageous animals that have served side-by-side with United Kindoms soldiers. Part of the exhibit plays tribute to Simon, the cat who served on the HMS Amethyst during the late 1940s. The black-and-white cat was hit by shrapnel when the ship came under attack on the Yangtze River on April 20, 1949, yet he continued to perform his rat-catching duties.
For his efforts, Simon became the only cat to have been awarded the Dickin Medal, which some describe as the animals Victoria Cross. Simon won the hearts of British fans and received hundreds of letters via the Royal Navy. Many of these letters are now on display as part of the museums exhibit.
Other animals recognized in the exhibit include:
Winkie, a pigeon who carried home details of an air crew ditched at sea, which made their rescue possible.
Rob, the SAS dog who successfully completed more than 20 parachute drops during World War II.
Roselle, a service dog who led her blind owner to safety from the World Trade Center before it collapsed on September 11, 2001.
Posted: July 14, 2006, 5:00 a.m. EST