"In the U.S. Navy, when a ship crosses the equator a time-honored ceremony takes place. This is a Navy tradition and an event no sailor ever forgets. With few exceptions, those who have been inducted into the "mysteries of the deep" by Neptunus Rex and his Royal court, count the experience as a highlight of their naval career. Members of Neptunus Rex's party usually include Davy Jones, Neptune's first assistant, Her Highness Amphitrite, the Royal Scribe, the Royal Doctor, the Royal Dentist, the Royal Baby, the Royal Navigator, the Royal Chaplain, the Royal Judge, Attorneys, Barbers and other names that suit the party.
Officially recognized by service record entries indicating date, time, latitude and longitude, the crossing of the equator involves elaborate preparation by the "shellbacks" (those who have crossed the equator before) to ensure the "pollywogs" (those who are about to cross the equator for the first time) are properly indoctrinated. All pollywogs, even the Commanding Officer if he has not crossed before, must participate.
A Golden Shellback is one who has crossed the equator at the 180th meridian."
"This is to certify that Kassay, Frank (Seaman 1st Class) was duly initiated into the Mysteries of td Order of the Royal Dragon having crossed the 180 Meridan on board the SS JEAN LAFITTE bound for the South Seas on the 28th Day of December 1944."