A ship's monkey?

This week’s staff pick is from the Clarence Leroy Shuping Papers collection (Manuscript Collection #553).

One of the donors of this collection, Hampton Shuping, is also featured prominently in the collection.  He was the second oldest of Clarence’s three sons, and he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  This photograph was taken by Hampton Shuping while on Leyte island in the Philippines.

Photograph of a kitten with a monkey, aboard ship

Front of photograph

Back of kitten and monkey photograph

Back of photograph

The ship in the background is most likely the USS LCI(L)-343 or the US 498.

As can be seen on the back, the photograph is dated October 17, 1945, nearly a year after the Leyte D-Day on October 20, 1944.

Of course, the interesting element of this photograph is the fact that there is nary a sailor in sight.  Instead, there is a kitten with a monkey!  Now, I have heard of the tradition of having a ship’s cat before, but this is the first time that I have ever seen a cat and monkey together aboard a naval ship.

If you’re interested in seeing other historical photos of cats (and a few dogs, too) in Naval Service (including one image of the Marine Nationale), check out this excellent post on the U.S. Naval Institute website entitled “Cats in the Sea Services“.