|Letter sent by Leverette V. Pierce to his wife Edna. The letter is a refence to the ceremony for crossing the equator.
Nov. 12, 1942
Aboard the U.S.A.T.
The following is a description of the power and wrath bestowed upon us by his majesty Neptunus Rex, due too the heckleing and challenging of our ships captain, Cap. Ford Lt. Comm. U.S. Navy Reserve.
We are now sailing across that line comonely called the equator, beneath the flag of the Jolly Rodger [picture of skull and cross bones] churnning the water that said Rex may come forth.
Behold he has come forth: with his queen at his side, trailed by his wards and marshalls. They are Doctor, Law, Painter and Barber.
What a sight. A robe of unreconized hue, due too the many rinses in the briny deep. Whiskers and hair of hemp bedecked with a crown of platinum his scepter the deck swab stick (mop) pronged with bamboo pole thus. [picture of Neptune's trident]
Oh the queen, tresses of yellow hemp also bedecked with the usual crown, a skirt of sea weed and train of pink. (Quite a gentleman).
Here's the law dressed in those traditionally robes of black.
Now the XXXXXX [crossed out] doctor in his swallow tailcoat and bloody apron, too name the cure.
Well look who's next, it's chips the ship's carpenter. The barber with his sunshade of green and dull razor, which he tools with never a care for cuts on his prey.
Last but not least it's the chief warden non - other than our warrant officer Mr. Anderson who will select his majesties marshals.
Well who is the first to receive the penalty?
The law now reads the script;
Now that you have challenged you shall be punished as decreed.
A cry is up for Lt. Smith.
What now Lt. Smith? He has fled but shall not escape.
His Maj. I decree that these here men,
Harry Dingler, Andy Andrews,
Sarg. Johnson have punishment
Bestowed upon that they assist
Brinning in those other lowly
Creatures before me.
Andy Andrew; come forth.
His Maj. Queen what do you suggest
Qu. A shampoo (whack an egg on his head
A shave (brown paste for lather [picture of a cleaver]
Carved off by the razor)
Now kiss me - splash he's in the
Water. He's up he's down, he's up, he's
Down up again and out of the tank
Ah there goes the seal in paint on his chest. [picture of a trident] in red lead.
Harry Dingler; come fort [forth].
Maj. Doctor give this man a bracer he
Looks weal (castor oil)
Shampoo (the same) [picture of a saw]
Qu. I think he should kiss the kings
Qu. Gives a kick in the right place
He is almost in the water and
With numerous duckings receives the
Sarg. Johnson you are next;
Maj. Give the works. A shampoo, egg bath,
Medicine, kiss the queen, what a sight
Plus a slap where it does the most
Good, with a paddle. [picture of a saber]
Well, well, here comes the lieutenants in the
stocks, three of them [picture of stock w/three holes]
Too short Lt.'s. on the our side and
A tall lt. In the center who is Lt.
Smith nearly walking on his XXXXX[crossed] knees.
And so continue all the devilish pranks
That Rex could bring too mind. Now all the
Men aboard who had never crossed the line
Before received their just punishment and
Were made members of his realm.
So ends the day by freely use of
Kerosene plus soap and water.
-WORLD WAR II
-Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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