Printed Shellback Certificate, 13.75 x 10.5, originally issued to Francis G. Williamson, who was on board the USS Hornet during the recovery mission of Apollo 11. Document reads, in part: “On this 15th day of July 1969 in Latitude 00000 and Longitude 165.00M and for Apollo 11 Lunar Spacecraft Recovery…Francis G. Williamson having been found worthy to be numbered as one of our Trusty Shellbacks has been duly initiated into the Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep.” Signed along the bottom in blue felt tip by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. Document also bears facsimile signatures of the Hornet’s Captain and the mythical Davey Jones. In fine condition. The ceremony of ‘Crossing the Line’ is an initiation rite in the Royal Navy, US Navy, US Coast Guard, and other navies that commemorates a sailor's first crossing of the equator. This maritime document acknowledges one’s advancement from a mere ‘polliwog’ (who had never crossed the equator at sea) to a more experienced ‘shellback.’ An uncommon format directly linking the first manned lunar crew to their recovery ship. Pre-certified Steve Zarelli and RR Auction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.