L2D 'Tabby'

L2D 'Tabby'

L2D 'Tabby'

The L2D “Tabby” was a version of the Douglas DC-3 built under licence in Japan, and which became the Japanese Navy’s standard transport aircraft during the Second World War. On 24 February 1938 Mitsui and Company Ltd, the American branch of the Mitsui Bussan Kaisha (Mitsui Trading Company) acquired the licence to built and sell the DC-3 in Japan and Manchuria. They also bought thirteen Cyclone powered DC-3s and nine Twin Wasp powered DC-3As, two of which were delivered unassembled.

The first 71 aircraft were built by Nakajima Hikoki KK, but most L2Ds were produced by Showa Hikoki Kogyo KK. They built a total of 414 aircraft during the war, giving a total of 485 Japanese-built and 22 imported aircraft.

The aircraft was designated as the Navy Type 0 Transport, reflecting its first appearance in 1940, or as the L2D, and was given the Allied codename “Tabby”. It was produced in personnel and cargo transport versions, some of which carried a dorsal turret armed with a single 13mm gun. The L2D was powered by two Mitsubishi Kinsei engines, a Japanese version of the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp. The Japanese aircraft could be identified by their modified engine cowlings, extra windows, propeller spinners and modified cargo door.

Designation

Engine

Power

Use

L2D2

Kinsei 43

1,000hp

Personnel transport

L2D3

Kinsei 51

1,300hp

Personnel transport

L2D3a

Kinsei 53

1,300hp

Personnel transport

L2D3-1

Kinsei 51

1,300hp

Cargo transport

L2D3-1a

Kinsei 53

1,300hp

Cargo transport

L2D4

Kinsei 51

1,300hp

Personnel transport with dorsal turret

L2D4-1

Kinsei 51

1,300hp

Cargo transport with dorsal turret

L2D5

Kinsei 62

1,560hp

Personnel transport with dorsal turret


L2D 'Tabby' - History

Posted By: Grant Goodale <mailto:[email protected]?subject=L2D Question>
Date: Saturday, 14 October 2000, at 6:28 p.m.

Does anyone have any information about operational tail codes?

I would like to build one and I see that Hasegawa produces one in an oddball scale. I would rather not shell out the money to buy the kit just to get tail codes. To me, the kit would definitely end up as "shelf-ware".

Posted By: Elephtheriou George <mailto:[email protected]?subject=Re: L2D Question>
Date: Sunday, 15 October 2000, at 2:02 a.m.

In Response To: L2D Question (Grant Goodale)

Konnichi wa,
to cut it short, the differences are: different engine (various types of Kinsei angine)and cowling, additional flight deck windows and in one version a dorsal turret, quite similar to the Betty's. Does anyone know if the propeller was also different?
All the above are from Francillon's book pages 500-503. In there you will find units allocated. For tail markings and camo., MA 406 (Japanese navy bombers), pages 154-157.
As for kits, I have the Italery in 1/72. A nice and easy kit but without Japanese decall options.
Domo
George

Posted By: hal tippins <mailto:[email protected]?subject=Re: L2D Question>
Date: Sunday, 15 October 2000, at 11:07 a.m.

In Response To: Re: L2D Question (Elephtheriou George)

I am in the process of converting aMonogram C-47 to an L2D? "TABBY" as we speak. I have looked for a long time and found very little reference to this aircraft. In addition, it appears that almost no two aircraft are the same! Some modifications include: cutting the bulkhead behind the cockpit down to the level of the top of the seats, cowls and air intakes , exhausts, moving the payload door one frame forward and adding a window to it, adding the additional windows behind the cockpit and the right rear one that is for the toilet, the pitot tube setup,the payload door is smaller, the crew entry door often has a circular window in it, different antenna ,propellors and often spinners. In all there were very few significant changes and they appear 99% the same panel line to panel line compared to the C-47. ANY comments on this subject are very welcome!

Posted By: Steve Nelson <mailto:[email protected]?subject=Re: L2D Question>
Date: Wednesday, 18 October 2000, at 11:50 p.m.

In Response To: Re: L2D Question (hal tippins)

I was told that the L2D's were based on the civillian DC-3, rather than the military C-47, hence the differnce in the cargo doors. That also means that in addition to the above differences, the Tabby had DC-3 landing gear, which is a bit different than the C-47.

Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro <mailto:[email protected]?subject=Re: L2D Question>
Date: Monday, 13 November 2000, at 10:57 p.m.

In Response To: Re: L2D Question (Steve Nelson)

This is just for your information. L2D was officially called "0(Rei)-shiki Yuso-ki", but usually called her original name "Douglas" by IJN soldiers during the Pacific War. Although one of my uncles was a pilot of IJA, not of IJN, he told me that Douglas DC-3 was the best aircraft he had ever experienced and he fell in love with her in spite of his unforgettable experiences of Ki-43 "Hayabusa", Ki-61 "Hien", Ki-84 "Hayate", Ki-102, etc..


L2D 'Tabby' - History


Aircraft History
Built by Tabby-Showa/Nakajima as a L2D license-built version of Douglas DC-3. Owned and operated by Dai Nippon Airlines(Greater Japan Airlines). Nicknamed "Cedar Tree".

Wartime History
This L2D was being used by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a contracted transport aircraft. All of the aircraft were civilian employees of Dai Nippon Airlines (Imperial Japanese Airways).

Aboard was passenger Hirohide Fushimi 伏見 博英 born October 5, 1912 as Prince Hirohide, the 4th son of Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu, he was the younger brother of Prince Fushimi Hiroyoshi, Prince Kachō Hirotada and Marquis Kachō Hironobu. In October 1932, he served as a member of the House of Peers in the Diet of Japan. On 1 April 1936, by order of Emperor Hirohito, he was allowed to establish his own household after renouncing his imperial title, and was named a count. He attended the Imperial Japanese Navy Academy 62nd class and rose to the rank of Lt. Commander.

Mission History
On August 21, 1943 this L2D was to make a flight from Kendari Airfield bound for Maccasar Airfield on Celebes. Before take off, passenger Lt. Hirohide Fushimi requested the flight be delayed for ten minutes to use the bathroom and as a result took off ten minutes late.

Over Bono Bay (Gulf of Boni), the transport was intercepted by B-24D "Juarez Whistle" 42-40496 of the 380th Bombardment Group, piloted by Captain Gus Cannery. The B-24 caught up with the transport engaged it with gunfire that set the left engine on fire and the right engine smoking. During the attack, the crew photographed this Tabby on fire and smoking over Bono Bay.

Damaged, this L2D made a controlled landing into Bono Bay. Pilot Yoshio Yamada was killed in the crash and passenger Lt. Hirohide Fushimi was wounded.

Fates of the Crew
After the crash, the survivors were rescued. On August 26, 1943, Lt. Kushimi died from the injuries he sustained.

The Japanese side of the photograph of the damaged Tabby was a mystery. Researcher Minoru Kamada was the first to identify the Japanese crew and reveal the rest of the story about this photograph.

Memorials
Fushimi is buried at Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo.

References
Thanks to Minoru Kamada for additional research and analysis

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?


Wreck Diving in Subic Bay, Philippines

There are a large number of WWII wrecks around Subic Bay. Subic Bay Wreck Diving is quite unique as we have a L2D “Tabby” (Japanese DC-3) airplane, Vietnam era F4 Phantom, a Douglas A-1 Skyraider and even a Spanish American Warship, the “San Quentin“.

Subic Bay offers a perfect habitat for these wrecks as they are tucked in away from most of the harsh weather that can hit the Philippines and which has preserved these historical monuments for decades.

What really makes Subic Bay Philippines a special place for wreck diving is that most of the wrecks fall within the recreational diving limits, which means visiting these fascinating worlds doesn’t require any special technical training.

The amazing history and preservation of these wrecks makes a visit to our community a great place to begin your Subic wreck diving adventure or to continue on what you already know and love.


– Subic Bay, Philippines

This week I took several newly graduated technical divers onto an unidentified aircraft wreck in Subic Bay. Within a short time of descending on the first dive, it seemed very likely that the wreck was some variant of a C-47 Skytrain (DC-3 Dakota).

The wreck lies inverted on a sandy bottom at 45m/150ft, with the engines torn off (one is lying on the seabed close nearby), the wheels raised to flying position and the cockpit seems torn-apart and tangled on the port side.

Having spent 2 days pouring over internet databases and wartime records, I can find no mention of a C-47, or variant, crashing in Subic Bay… we have a mystery to solve…and more dives to complete!

The latest update, based on further research and advice, is that the wreck is most likely a Showa/Nakajima L2D “Tabby” – the Japanese military version of the DC-3 / C-47. This is consistent with the Japanese occupation of Subic during the war, along with several reports of downed aircraft in the Bay.

First view of the wreck – with a distinctive tail

This tail was somewhat unusual for the regular C-47 design. Compared with the Showa L2D, it seems a much closer match. Note the “Revised Tail Cone” in the diagram below…

I was joined on the dive by Brian Ferguson and Tim Mathieson – who had both previously completed Tec Sidemount and Tec45 training with me. The dives were planned for 20 minutes with a maximum depth of 45m. We used double AL80 cylinders with an AL40 deco tank (100%O2).

Many thanks to Boardwalk Dive Center for the supporting the dives….especially Dante, who can claim rights to first discovering the wreckage..

Front landing gear on the port side – partially recessed under twin wing-mounted engines. The starboard wheel is significantly more damaged – hanging at 90 degrees off the wreck. Both engines, fore of the wheels are torn free. The wheel hub is not standard C-47 issue – another clue as to possible Japanese heritage..

Japanese Showa/Nakajima L2D “Tabby”, Clark Airfield, Angeles City, Luzon, Philippines, 1945 (photo from John Tewell)

Twin ‘tubes’ towards the rear of the cabin area – leading below the lower fuselage. Toilets or Flare Chutes? Further research on these may differentiate the aircraft variant and role.. The cabin seemed to be divided into (at least) three compartment, divided by a small doorway on the starboard side of the cabin..

The use of multiple bulkheads in the primary cabin is another indicator that the wreck is a Japanese L2D Showa. Very few C-47 or DC-3 sub-divided the cabins.

Detail of the propeller hub – it’s a three bladed prop. One prop standing proud of the sea floor, the other two buried. It lies about 8 meters behind the main wreck, near to a chunk of engine. Evidence that water impact tore the engines free, which then sank quicker?

Forward part of the engine block, located near the wreck and propeller. The big question: are they Pratt & Whitney R-1830 (American) or Kinsei 51/53 (Japanese) engines – further research and confirmation is needed.

Picture of the Showa L2D ‘Tabby’, with detail of the Kinsei 51/53 engines

Pratt & Whitney R1830 for comparison..

Photo shows the main passenger door on the port side, partially dislodged from the wreckage. Most C-47 had a large cargo door, in contrast many L2D ‘Tabby’ had a smaller passenger door. The door has a small window/port in it (very bottom). This is also consistent with the Japanese variants – some of the ports were used for mounting a self-defense machine gun. I removed this door to gain access into the fuselage for inspection.

Underside of the starboard engine and landing gear (looking rear to front). This section of the aircraft was very tangled – indicating significant trauma.

Pilot’s control stick (top-middle) with rudder pedals underneath. You can see the ‘cabriolet’ result of damage to the cockpit..

The co-pilots control stick (bottom-left). You can appreciate the damage to the cockpit… ripped open and twisted through 90 degrees.

Co-pilot’s seat. Torn from the aircraft and laying on the sand to the right of the twisted cockpit area.

How the C-47 Skytrain cockpit should look…

For more details about the PADI Tec Sidemount or Tec40/45/50 Courses, please contact me, or view the pages on my site…


Showa/Nakajima L2D in The War That Came Early [ edit | edit source ]

Sgt. Hideki Fujita flew, in stages, from Myitkyina to Midway in an Army transport plane that resembled an American DC-3. This wasn't surprising since the type had been built under license since before the war. Ώ]

1=denotes a character who was a POV for one volume
2=denotes a character who was a POV for two volumes
3=denotes a character who was a POV for three volumes

4=denotes a character who was a POV for four volumes
5=denotes a character who was a POV for five volumes
6=denotes a character who was a POV for six volumes
† denotes a deceased character.


Tabby-To-Kwanah, Man of Peace

Chief Tabiuna, or Tabby, as he was best known. A war chief of the Uintah and White River Utes, also along Green and Price Rivers, eastern Utah. He opposed General Connor’s command, in 1864, at Spanish Fork Canyon and other points in Eastern Utah. He was a most remarkable looking Indian, physically perfect. In 1892 he then claimed to be 113 years old, and was blind. He died in the Uintah Basin Country about 1896. — Dale Morgan (1930). Used in UHQ 105 years old.

In the quiet solemnity of the Heber City cemetery stands a simple sandstone marker bearing the initials T. T. A huge pine tree towers over the grave, shadowing the burial place of Tom Tabby, son of Tabby-To-Kwanah, a chief of the Ute Indians who lived at the reservation in the Uinta Basin in 1867. Chief Tabby, as the white settlers called him, wanted his son buried in the way of the Mormons therefore Tom Tabby’s remains were laid to rest among the graves of the Murdock family rather than on the reservation land.

It was during the Black Hawk War of the mid-1860s that Tom Tabby died accidentally while hunting. Chief Tabby, whose people had once freely roamed the Provo River Valley in which Heber City is located, carried his dead son in his arms to the town hoping that the boy could be buried there. Joseph Stacy Murdock consented to conduct a Christian burial service. According to a plaque at the cemetery, following the funeral Tabby said, “My son has been buried in the white man’s custom, now he will be honored in the Indian fashion.” The Indians laid cedar logs on the grave, led the boy’s favorite pony to the logs were it was killed, then ignited the funeral pyre. When the blaze had died to embers, the saddened chief mounted his horse and with his companions rode east to the reservation. Chief Tabby-to-Kwanah, the seeker of peace between the Native Americans and the settlers, had demonstrated his commitment to seek the best of both worlds rather than fight.

When the white settlers first arrived in Utah, Tabby was a young man but already a leader of one of the many bands of Utes in central and eastern Utah. Despite early conflicts in Utah Valley and more serious outbreaks in the 1850s led by Chiefs Wakara (Walker) and Tintic, the settlers and the Native Americans under Chiefs Sowiette and Tabby lived in relative peace. Tabby-To-Kwanah, whose name means Child of the Sun, and his people interacted peaceably with the whites for several years. However, by the early 1860s white-Indian conflicts intensified and the federal government decided that the Native Americans should be placed on reservations for mutual safety and so the settlers could occupy more land. The treaty of 1865 relegated the Uintah Utes to the Uinta Basin. If the Indians would move there they would receive payment for their land—including the Indian farms at Spanish Fork and Sanpete they were giving up—and services and supplies from the government. Sixteen chiefs signed the treaty, but Congress did not ratify it. The treaty goods and money were never delivered, and the Indians continued to roam in search of food. For Chief Tabby and his people, who traditionally located seasonally in the Uinta Mountains and Basin, the transition was not as difficult as for some bands, but all were distressed when the government did not deliver their “presents” and they faced constant hunger. Many Indians, angry about being forced off their native lands, rebelled under Chief Black Hawk. The more peaceful ones went with Tabby to the reservation and avoided bloodshed, although greatly disappointed in the word of the white man.

During 1865󈞰 followers of Black Hawk terrorized the settlers, stealing livestock and occasionally killing isolated whites. Because there had been little problem with Tabby’s Utes, one of the first acts of the Wasatch Militia was to make peace. According to Joseph S. McDonald, a member of the militia, Captain Wall and 24 men from Heber City took three wagon loads of supplies, plus 100 head of cattle as a gift from Brigham Young, to the reservation as a peace offering. The goods were taken to the Indian Agency on the west fork of the Duchesne River, where the Indians were gathered. Many males had gone to fight with Black Hawk, but tensions remained high. Even Tabby was angry, feeling betrayed by the white man, and he warned of possible trouble. The militia prepared defenses at the agency and waited three days for an attack. About 275 warriors surrounded the area. Tabby was inside the agent’s cabin when Captain Wall decided that it was time to talk. For three hours Tabby and Wall negotiated and then met again the next day. At last Tabby agreed to peace and accepted the cattle and supplies. The warriors, still hot for battle, were quieted by Tabby. Some young men were difficult to restrain, though, and incidents of raiding livestock continued. Heber City remained on guard, but for the most part Tabby’s followers avoided warfare.

In August 1867, according to John Crook, Chief Tabby and his whole band came to Heber City for a peace feast. Large tables were set up in the bowery, and townswomen made a “good picnic” for Tabby and his people. An ox was roasted barbecue style, and everyone filled up on food. The Indians stayed a few days and then went home with presents of food. This picnic created good will, and there were few raids in Wasatch County afterwards.

By 1868 the Black Hawk War was basically over, and by 1869 most Utes were located on reservation lands. Tabby’s good judgment, pragmatism, and ability to compromise won him respect from both sides. However, Tabby-To-Kwanah was not one to sit idly by and watch his people starve when the agents failed to provide necessities. In the spring of 1872, when provisions were inadequate and his people were hungry and frustrated, Tabby, as a sign of protest, led them off the reservation into Thistle Valley in Sanpete County on a hunting trip and to hold their ritual dances. The large group of Utes made the settlers uneasy, but the move got the attention Tabby wanted to make his grievances known. Dan Jones and Dimick Huntington, who were sympathetic with the Utes, convinced Agent Critchlow, Colonel Morrow from Camp Douglas, and local community leaders to meet with the Indians. Tabby explained his people’s dissatisfaction with conditions and lack of supplies on the reservation. He said that they would “as soon die fighting as starve.” Federal officials assured the Utes that supplies would be sent, and the Utes returned to the reservation. Luckily, for once the promised supplies did arrive. For many years, Tabby continued as an effective leader, serving his people, working for their rights, and maintaining peace.

Sources: Fred A. Conetah, ed. Kathryn L. MacKay and Floyd A. O’Neil, A History of the Northern Ute People (Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 1982) Peter Gottfredson, History of Indian Depredations in Utah (Salt Lake City, 1919) William James Mortimer, ed., How Beautiful Upon the Mountains, A Centennial History of Wasatch County (Wasatch County: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1963).


L2D 'Tabby' - History

The license to produce Douglas transports held by Nakajima saved Japan years of valuable development time, and made Pacific spotting difficult to both sides as they used the same basic transport. The Allied codename of "Tabby" was assigned to the militarized version of the Japanese built version of the Douglas DC-3. The type differed from the American version on only a few minor recognition points. In addition to the personnel transport version, other variants (such as the the L2D3-1 and L2D4-1) were configured to carry cargo instead of passengers. The L2Ds went into production in 1940. While normally unarmed, the L2D4 and L2D4-1 variants carried one flexible 13mm Type 2 machine gun in a dorsal turret and two flexible 7.7mm Type 92 machine guns that could be fired from fuselage hatches, but this type remained experimental only.

Nakajima L2D2

Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia HERE .

For a very nice scale color drawing of this aircraft, see here and here .

For a very nice scale color drawing of this aircraft, see here .

If you don't see the table of contents at the left of your screen, CLICK HERE to see the rest of this website!


The Magnificent "M"

One of the most consistent markings of tabby cats is the magnificent "M" centered on their foreheads just above the eyes. This M is the stuff of legends.

  • Named for Mau, the name which cats were called in ancient Egypt (likely the sound of "meow."
  • Named after Mohammed, who treasured tabby cats
  • Named after the Virgin Mary
  • Named for a brown tabby cat (Beloved of Bast), our favorite explanation.

While some people may think of tabby cats as "common" because they are seen everywhere, those of us whose homes are graced by their presence, think of them as royalty, as befitting their roots. We wouldn't have it any other way.


THE LEGEND OF THE TABBY CAT

There is a legend that says that the reason all cats have a very clear "M" on their foreheads is that a cat befriended the Holy Family and comforted the baby Jesus. And when The Blessed Virgin petted the cat on its head, an "M" formed in its fur, and it has been there ever since.

Judea, in Israel, is a desert region, but at night, even in the summer, the temperatures can drop quickly and it can get very cold. When the sky is clear, as it was on one special night some 2000 years ago, it can get even colder still. On this one night, the sky was so clear that three wise men traveling from their far off country were able to see a single massive star that guided them to the most unlikely place for them to seek. It was a night that would change lives forever.
On that night, a young couple was just arriving in Bethlehem after a journey of twelve long days of travel during which they had faced hunger and sleeping on the ground and avoiding robbers. The man's name was Joseph, and he was a carpenter. The woman's name was Mary, and in her womb she carried the King of Heaven.
The town was full to overflowing with thousands of people who, like them, had traveled to Bethlehem to pay the taxes levied by the Roman government. All the rooms and rooftops and places to set up tents on the ground were already taken. A kind innkeeper let the young couple take shelter in his stable for the night, because he saw that they were very tired. But more important, Mary was about to deliver her baby.
As in any place where lots of people live, there were also lots of pets, and whenever there are lots of pets, there will be some that go off to live on their own. As it happened, there was a large grey-striped tabby cat living in the stable where Mary and Joseph took shelter. The cat had gotten so large by eating rats and snakes that came into the barn to steal grain and chicken eggs. He didn't like people and would bite and scratch anyone who tried to touch him. The innkeeper offered to try to get rid of him, but Mary said, "He's cold, too, Please let him stay." And so he stayed.
Sometime after midnight, Mary delivered her baby, and dried him off with some clean straw and, having wrapped him in warm cloths, laid him in the hay manger on a bed of fresh hay. Even though she had wrapped the baby so warmly, though, he was still cold. The cat looked down at the family from his perch high on the loft, and pondered. He didn't like most humans, because they had always been mean to him and he had even been beaten many times by the people he used to live with. As he looked down at this family and at the small human in the manger, something in his heart told him that this family was different.
He climbed down from his loft and slowly walked towards the manger. He didn't go too close at first. He just walked back and forth making his way closer with each pass and sniffed to see what he could learn from the smells. He had lived in this barn for years, and he thought he knew every scent it held, but there was a new scent tonight. Tonight he could smell a clean fresh fragrance he remembered from the flower sellers in the market. He kept creeping closer.
As he got close to the manger, Joseph startled from his sleep and the cat jumped back, but Mary held out her hand to him, and he sensed no danger. He came to her and smelled her hand. Then he walked up to the manger and stuck his head over the edge to see the small human inside. This was where the beautiful scent was coming from. But the human was shivering as if he was cold. Without thinking, the cat climbed up into the manger and curled himself around the baby. The baby was very small and the cat was very big, so he was able to wrap himself almost all around the baby's head and sides. The baby was warmed by the cat's body and fell asleep with a smile on his face. Mary petted the cat's head and he began to purr for the first time in years.
As the days passed the cat guarded the family fiercely from the rats and snakes that tried to take shelter in the barn, and every night he would curl up in the manger with the baby to keep him warm. One night he was called to guard his new family as he had never guarded them before.
Earlier in the day, three men in fine robes had come to pay their respects to the new baby and to leave gifts for him. They also brought a warning. The evil king of Judea wanted to kill the new baby and would stop at nothing to do this. The family must leave that night and go to Egypt or they would die.
As the family was packing their belongings for the long journey, they heard the king's soldiers sweep down into the city and begin their night of terror. They heard the screams of mothers as the soldiers murdered their sons. Joseph put Mary and the baby Jesus up on the back of the donkey, but as he reached for the cat, he ran from him and towards the sounds of horror coming from the heart of the city. It worried Joseph to leave the cat behind, but he had to look for his family's safety, and so he left by another street that led toward the edge of town.
The cat looked back towards his new family. He wanted to run with them, but he knew he had a very important job to do. As the soldiers came down the side street towards their barn, he jumped up and attacked their horses tearing at their legs with his powerful claws and teeth. Soon other street cats smelled the fight and joined in. The cats caused such turmoil with the horses that they brought the soldiers to a halt as they fought to regain control of their huge animals. Soon, however, the soldiers did regain order and rode off down the alley. The cat's foot had been stepped on by one of the horses, and he had gotten some scratches and had lost a chunk off of one ear in the fight, but he was still alive. He only hoped that he had held them off long enough for his new family to escape.
As the street cleared, he began to make his way down the alley following the beautiful fragrance that he knew must be the small human. His foot was broken, and his whole body hurt from the effort of the fight, but he knew he must reach his family to make sure they had escaped.
Joseph and Mary could hear the terrible noise from the city for some miles as they made their way towards the border with Egypt. They had heard the soldiers heading towards their barn as they escaped, and they were sure that they would be over taken as the soldiers had powerful war-horses and they were traveling only on a donkey. As they traveled further on and realised that the soldiers were no longer following them, Mary looked back and a look of worry came across her face. Could that be why their cat had left them so suddenly?
When Joseph knew that they were far enough out of town on a back road where they would be safe, he stopped and set up camp for the night. As he and Mary sat down for their simple meal of smoked fish and bread given them by a lady at the inn, they gave thanks to God for their escape and prayed that their cat would be safe. And then they settled down to sleep.
Soon they heard a rustling in a rosemary bush near their camp. Mary awoke and saw their cat struggling to walk towards her. She ran to him and scooped him up in her arms crying to see him so bloodied and sore. She took one of the smaller cloths she had wrapped around the baby Jesus, and she poured some of their precious water on it and washed the cat's wounds clean. As she washed him the baby Jesus reached out and touched his head. Suddenly the air was filled with the fragrance of flowers and incense, and as Mary and Joseph watched, the cat's wounds began to heal and the bones in his foot mended themselves. Even the chunk that had been bitten out of his ear by another cat grew back. But one thing was different about him now. Where before on his head their had just been striped fur, there was now an "M" from where Mary had been petting him and washing his wounds.
As Mary watched this miracle, she gave thanks to God and blessed the cat saying, "My dear and precious guardian, I name you Michael, for you have done battle for the Kingdom of God and for your Saviour." Michael rubbed against her purring loudly and then walked over to the baby and curled himself around him and went to sleep secure in the knowledge that he had done his job well.
And from that time forward, there is an "M" on the foreheads of all cats to remember the cat who fought for the Kingdom of God and protected the baby Jesus and his family.


Watch the video: Japanese transport plane shot down - gun camera video