Commentary by George Larson of APA 159 USS Darke on the equator crossing ceremony:
It was very similar to the way our ceremonies were also held. The Royal surgeon was really a shocker . . . the surgeon's knife was connected to low current electricity and after dowsing you with water and then dragging the knife over your body . . . it felt like you were actually being cut!
The scenes of the water bath . . . after giving us crazy haircuts and applying hair lotion of rotten eggs, etc. . . they dumped us over backwards into the water tank and would dunk us under the water and when we came up for breath they would ask us "what are you" and we would, obviously say that we were pollywogs and they would dunk us again and again asking us what we were and we would then probably say that we were lowly, or lowly no good pollywogs, or some such. This would happen until we would finally realize that the initiation was over and we would say that we were now shellbacks.