After the end of World War II, the British Navy sent the HMS Amethyst, an armed frigate, to patrol the Yangtze River and help keep the peace as the communist revolution unfolded. When the ship stopped in Hong Kong, a sailor spotted a weak and malnourished kitty that he smuggled on board.

Surprisingly, Simon got well and started catching rats and sleeping in the captain’s hat. When the ship came under attack from Chinese forces, Simon was wounded and the ship almost sank. The sailors plugged leaks in the ship using hammocks and bedding. Meanwhile, Simon recovered from his wounds and helped raise morale among the crew as the ship successfully escaped the attack.

For his actions in raising morale, Simon earned a military medal. To read more bout the cat that got awarded a medal, click here.