Ship's company take part in a line-crossing ceremony aboard LST 554 during World War II
Pacific Ocean Date:1944, August 23 Duration:2 min 7 sec Sound:NO SOUND
U.S. Sailors and Marines participate in traditional nautical ceremonies marking the crossing of the Equator, aboard the Landing Ship Tank, LST 554, during World War 2. This involves "Shellbacks" (sailors who have already crossed the equator) intiating "pollywogs" (sailors who have never crossed the Equator) into the Kingdom of Neptune. "Pollywogs" are seen assembled below, and then brought up on deck where they are subject to various forms of horseplay and embarrassment (all in good fun). Some are seen in silly lookout poses. One is seen nearly atop the ship's mast. One, naked, pours water over the head of another. Another is made to dance with a mop. Then two are made to dance together, after which they must mop the deck. Finally, the Pollywogs have their heads shaved, and dunked in water, after which they run a gauntlet of shellbacks who hit them hard (with soft paddles). Initiates being sprayed with water on deck.
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