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Shellbacks and Pollywogs


Crossing the Equator is a very big event for a US Navy ship. Its time
to initiate new sailors to the realm of King Neptune's Kingdom. Veteran
sailors that have made a crossing of the Equator are know as Shellbacks
and the new sailors are know as Pollywogs. The Shellbacks put together an
elaborate initiation by dressing in costumes of King Neptune's court, Sea Lawyers
Davey Jones and others. The Shellbacks also build a canvas and wood pool on the
decks of the USS Arizona for dunking the Pollywogs. The fun and high jinks was
all part of a Pollywogs initiation into the Ancient Order of the Deep. The
USS Arizona would have three of these initiations, January 24, 1921, May 19, 1936
and July 24, 1940.

Below are photos of Shellbacks and Pollywogs from the USS Arizona.

Click on photos for larger picture!

USS Arizona Crew_a

USS Arizona Crew_b USS Arizona Crew_c

USS Arizona Crew_d

USS Arizona Crew_e

USS Arizona Crew_f USS Arizona Crew_g

USS Arizona Crew_h

USS Arizona Crew_i

USS Arizona Crew_j USS Arizona Crew_k

USS Arizona Crew_l

The Men of the USS Arizona


Photos courtesy of the University of Arizona, Arizona State Capitol Museum and personal collections.

 

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