1956 Marine Crosses The Equator

Marine tradition


Ours was kind of interesting to the point that there were around 1070 Pollywogs on board and only about 50 Shellbacks, so really we could do just about anything we wanted on OUR day, which was the day before King Neptune's Party. We caught the Exec. twice and hosed him down. That one I remembered.

Now this was in 1956.

Party #1- This is where we started, lining up.


Party #2- This is where we are running the gauntlet. We had to get down on all fours and crawl through a canvas chute, while the shellbacks and the ones who had already gone through the initiation, beat us on our back through the chute. That wasn't to bad, if you got low enough, but they also had garbage in the chute.


Party #3- This is as we were coming out of the chute and you did get swatted a few times here.


Party #4- This where King Neptune was seated with his family and court. His baby was the Chief of the mess hall. Big heavy set man with a big belly. You had to pay homage to the baby by kissing his belly and if he felt whiskers, you had to go back and do it all over again. Even after shaving several times that morning, he still had a sore tummy afterwards and I heard he had to go to sickbay and have lotion rubbed in.


I didn't get a chance to go on around to other things they had for us to do, like asking if we thought we were a shellback yet. I think no matter what you told them, you got dumped over backyards into a big vat of garbage. Then on to the Operating Room or the Dentist. I was sent to the Dentist. They tell you that you need some teeth pulled and bring out this, I mean really great big needle and squirt red cake coloring into your mouth. I guess to make you thing it is blood.

Then the last place was the Barbershop. The first one that went though got it the worse. Took a pair of clippers and started the back of your neck and went up. They were asked to hold on that since were do to head back to the States shortly. I just got a lock cut off.


After that you were a Shellback


We crossed on Jan. 11, 1956 at Latitude 00-00 Longitude 105-02 E.

Right after left Singapore.


Was that the trip where the guys hid the paddle so someone substituted an oar from a lifeboat.


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