Of Shellbacks and Pollywogs
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
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
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...
||Good King Neptune smiles upon a shipmate.
An audio description is now available. Click here:
, or visit the Morrison Collection Audio page!
||The proper way to enter the ritual dunking
Jacuzzi is head down and heels up. This ensures proper coverage by
the delicious liquid.
||Another shipmate receives the tasty liquid
refreshment which this time is administered orally. Perhaps someone will
donate the recipe.
||If you will look carefully, you will see a
polywog receiving a haircut so as not to offend King Neptune.
||Fate awaits us all, and especially upon the
high seas when Good King Neptune calls.
||One of good King Neptune's minions!
||The ship's electric chair designed by EM/2c
Morrison, who, by the way, was impervious to electrical shocks that would
kill most men. He took his turn as a pollywog, but it only tickled. Not so
the others, for he designed well.
||He's smiling now... It won't last.
||The men of the Mighty George E. were a hard,
but good lot. Often at sea for long periods of time, never in safety, they
took their pleasure where they could find it aboard ship. The ceremony of Neptunus
Rex was a way to have a brief time out from deadly business. They were
bonded even more closely after the ordeal.
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Pictures Page ONE