I was water-boarded – or something very similar. This occurred when our troopship crossed the equator in the Pacific in October 1944. It was part of a rather sadistic hazing by the ship’s crew to acknowledge this momentous occasion.. I was lashed on my back to a hinged “ducking” board, my hands secured underneath and my head lowered backwards into a tank of salt water. Helpless in this position for a short period did not prove harmful to me in the long run but was it was very frightening at the time..
Possibly equally scary: While still in a helpless position soaking wet but with my head now out of the water, I was prodded several times with a metal object, which was attached to a mean current of electricity.occasion..
Less frightening but potentially more dangerous was our having to crawl through a soggy wet canvas tunnel while members of the crew paddled the moving bumps. They may have intended to hit only rear ends but many of us received healthy blows to our heads as well.
The longest lasting ill effect resulted from the “royal barber” chopping large chunks of my hair off. The only but unsatisfactory remedy was for me at the time was to have my first and only crew cut. Sensitive about my skinny, ill-shaped head, I continually wore a fatigue cap, for months – even into the mess hall.
One individual aboard our ship fared worse than any of the rest of us. An older, high ranking officer of the ship with decades of Navy service had never before crossed the equator. He was a good sport about it and his low ranking subordinates had a field day “punishing” him. I often wondered if some of those sailors later found themselves in situations where they regretted so shamelessly taking advantage of his good nature.