U.S.S. George E. Davis DE-357 Destroyer Escort

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Neptune, God of the Deep
Pollywogs and Shellbacks

Of Shellbacks and Pollywogs Page 1

     "In the U.S. Navy, when a ship crosses the equator a time-honored ceremony takes place. This is a Navy tradition and an event no sailor ever forgets. With few exceptions, those who have been inducted into the "mysteries of the deep"
by Neptunus Rex and his Royal court, count the experience as a highlight of their naval career. Members of Neptunus Rex's party usually include Davy Jones, Neptune's first assistant, Her Highness Amphitrite, the Royal Scribe, the Royal Doctor, the Royal Dentist, the Royal Baby, the Royal Navigator, the Royal Chaplain, the Royal Judge, Attorneys, Barbers and other names that suit the party."  Excerpted from an article by John Muldowney USS J. R. Y. Blakely,
DE 140...
For the full article visit http://www.desausa.org/pollywog_to_shellback.htm .

The men of the George E. Davis had their own little wangdoodle upon the high seas...and nobody was excepted...not even the pollywog captain. There were enough Shellbacks available on the George E. to assist Neptune and his ministers, to induct the rest of the crew into the "mysteries." It boded well for the Mighty George E. as good luck followed her ever afterwards...  


Pictures Comments
The mission or our website is not to present art, as the pictures below purely reflect. Rather, it is to do what is possible to show the life and times of the crews of the DE-357. The pictures are old and fading, some beyond repair of even the most talented artist. Even the most weary of the lot, though, is precious, as it reminds of us of a time and sacrifice that must not be forgotten. 
     Find to the left Good King Neptune, God Of The Deep.
Good King Neptune's helpers aboard the George E. Davis, DE-357, Shellbacks getting ready to administer the mystical rites to the pollywogs. If you know names, let us know so we can add them.
Some pollywogs were reluctant..
A pollywog is aided in receiving his ritual bath.
A gleeful Shellback administers the delightful fluid. It was said that the liquid was a concoction of the worst things aboard ship.
It looks like a Jacuzzi, but in reality it is the dunking pool used for the ritual bathing ceremony. Every bad and awful thing imaginable from kitchen wastes to...well, not that......But every other bad thing was put into this container and then the men were tossed over into it...backwards. Although only the Shellbacks were authorized by Neptune to run the ceremony, everyone, regardless of status, pitched in to help make the devices and donate the noxious substances that made it possible. Regardless of their good service to good King Neptune, each pollywog in their turn took the dive.
Another prepares to address the mysteries.
A shipmate, EM/2c Morrison reluctantly applies voltage to pollywog, Stanley Cohen, sitting in the electric chair. Morrison himself was a pollywog. Perhaps he was a good pollywog, and thus was allowed to actively participate to administer the Shellback Training Course.
Another view. Another participant.
This has always been my favorite picture. Even as a very small child, I loved this picture. I still like it a lot. I hope you do too.

Click here to go to the Neptune Pictures Page TWO


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Contact shipmate@de357.com

Contact shipmate@de357.com