U.S.S. Allen M. Sumner DD-692
Arne Schumacher's Photo Collection

Operation Crossroads - target ship USS New York (BB-34) after being towed from Bikini to Pearl Harbor following the tests

In Drydock - Bremerton, Washington

The 1948 Cruise Book

Arne's views of the Cruel Sea, Arne got a little wet taking these

The USS Atlanta's Recon plane

Underway Replenishment

Going alongside a carrier or a cruiser can appear rather intimidating to a Sumner Class 'Can (last picture is an injured Sumner crewman being transferred)

DesRon 7 at Pearl

Kilroy's on Guam, M.I.

Dry Docking in Guam

The 40's in San Diego

Visitors in Sydney

Sydney & the Shangri-La

Arne's RdM Gang

Captain Edrington

On Hilo with his "date"

From Pollywog to Shellback
Crossing the Equator Ceremony

As told by Arne Schumacher
( Pollywog Initiate)

We crossed the equator at the 180th MERIDIAN on May 7, 1947.   We were bound for Australia from Pearl Harbor.
As you may know, the Navy has classified the initiation ceremonies as a hazing!! This is the Royal Family, they seem like a happy lot!

The filthy slimy Pollywogs are shaking in their boots awaiting their turn before the judge.

Standing before the judge a pollywog has his summons reviewed.   Incidentally, my summons was "for spying on Shellbacks", a most serious offense I was told.  Telling me that made me only more nervous.

Pollywogs were given a jolt of electricity to insure they stayed awaked during the remainder of the initiation.  I'm surprised some of us didn't get a heart attack.

A water tank was constructed of canvas and secured on the main deck.  It was filled with water and one or two of the biggest, meanest, conniving Shellbacks you could ever hope to see.  A Pollywog was asked (forced) to sit in the chair and then asked in the all too familiar words, "Are you a Pollywog or a Shellback?"  Regardless of the answer, the chair was pushed over and the Pollywog dropped backward into the water tank. After being unceremoniously dumped backward into the tank, the Shellback standing therein kept dunking the poor Pollywog again and again, each time asking the Pollywog, "Pollywog or Shellback".  Of course it didn't matter what the Pollywog said.  After the Pollywog was nearly drowned,   he was literally thrown out of the tank by the 10 foot, 300 pound giant Shellback onto the main deck (covered with life jackets).

The hinged char just tipped over and the poor Pollywog is underwater.  That giant Shellback there is scratching his head, saying to himself "I wonder what happened to that poor Pollywog.  Oh well, he will probably surface in a minute or two".

After being dunked in that tank and nearing a drowned state, the Pollywog was physically thrown out onto deck into the waiting hands of more Shellbacks who had ideas of their own on the next punishment to be delivered.

You must admit that Shellback doing the dunking is no small fellow. After the Shellback was certain that the Pollywog had about all he could take of the constant dunking in the water tank, he picked up the Pollywog and threw him over the side of the tank.  The Pollywog escaped injury if he landed squarely on the life jackets which were on the ships deck immediately below the tank.. Some Pollywogs were injured as parts of their anatomy missed the life jackets and landed on the ships steel deck.  Sometimes I think the scarcity of life jackets to cushion the Pollywogs fall was deliberate since a damaged arm or leg would surely slow the Pollywog in his next adventure, that of crawling through the Slop Chute.

The Slop Chute was made of a piece of canvas which was formed into a tube about two feet in diameter.   Inside the chute were leftovers from the mess-hall floating in about four inches of water. After being tossed from the tank, the Pollywog was made (forcibly) to enter and begin crawling through the Slop Chute.

There was no going back as water from a fire hose was directed into the end of the chute.  Similarly, a water hose was directed into the exit end of the chute.  As the Pollywog crawled through the chute, he had to lift the collapsed canvas ahead of himself and this was a definite deterrent to his forward progress. Progress through the chute was kept to a slow pace. If the Pollywog moved too fast, a Shellback would stand on the chute in front of the Pollywog thus prohibiting further forward progress.   Assuredly, crawling through a chute full of slop was bad, as were the fire hoses forcing water in each end. But the really bad part was the Shellbacks beating you with shallalies through the wet canvas. (The Shallalies consisted of a bat made of canvas with a rubbery substance inside  I am quite sure the Shellbacks spent considerable time and effort designing a shallalie which would maximum damage to the poor Pollywog. This picture shows a Pollywog attempting to exit the Slop Chute while unsavory Shellbacks direct a fire hose at him.

A Pollywog has successfully run the canvas gauntlet.  Now the filthy, smelly Pollywog is hosed down.  After being thoroughly cleansed, he is attacked by a group of Shellbacks who lift him by the arms and legs and throw him bodily over the side of the ship into the Pacific!!!!  In a previous picture, note the sea-state which was not particularly calm that day...in fact it was downright rough.   After rescue by kind Shellbacks in the water below, the Pollywog was magically transformed into a Shellback.  And if he did not have sufficient strength remaining, he was helped back aboard ship. I am not too proud to say I required some help!!

All these fellas had names but I can't recall what they were called.  I'll scratch my head on this one.  Perhaps one of you can provide the titles of the Shellbacks in charge of the initiation.  Let me see, there's King Nepture, Davy Jones ........

Final words before they pushed you over were "Pollywog or Shellback".  Of course it didn't matter what you said, over you go!!!

Another future Shellback in the making.

Captain Edrington obviously enjoying not being a Pollywog.

Many thanks to Arne and his faithful cat for scanning and forwarding these pieces of our history. They also sent me a little gift to indicate their feelings about working with your humble Webmaster. It is displayed below.