I found this certificate as I was going through an old scrapbook this weekend.  My grandfather, Joseph Hosaflook, received it when he crossed the 180th Meridian, or the International Date Line.   This “unofficial” Navy certificate was awarded by tradition to those who were crossing the 180th meridian for the first time.  My grandfather received it on his voyage from Fort Ord in California to the Philippines on September 7th, 1945 while aboard the U.S.S Fayette (APA 43).  He was a private in the Army at the time.

The certificate reads:

Domain of the Golden Dragon

Ruler of the 180th Meridian

To all Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, wherever ye may be and to all mermaids, flying dragons, spirits of the deep, devil chasers, and all other living creatures of the yellow seas, Greetings: Know ye that on this 7th day of September 1945, in latitude 23°, 35′, 14 longitude 180° there appeared within the limits of my august dwelling the U.S.S. FAYETTE (APA 43).

Hearken Ye: The said vessel, officers and crew have been inspected and passed on by my august body and staff.  And know ye: Ye that are chit signers, squaw men, opium smokers, ice men, and all-round landlubbers that Joseph M Hosaflook having been found sane and worthy to be numbered a dweller of the Far East has been gathered in my fold and duly initiated into the Silent Mysteries of the Far East.

Be it further understood: That by virtue of the power vested in me I do hereby command all moneylenders, wine sellers, cabaret owners, ____ managers and all my other subjects to show honor and respect to all his wishes whenever he may enter my realm.  Disobey this command under penalty of my august displeasure.

Golden Dragon
Ruler of the 180th Meridian

Signed by:
Edwin H. Caplan
2nd Lt. Cav.
Embossed with the seal of the Department of the Navy, U.S.S Fayette


  1. Darlene

    I also have 2 of them. One for my brother who passed away on Mothers' Day 2012, and one for me. I was given some of his things and these were in it. I had been previously unaware of them. Do they still do this?

  2. Reekay K.

    My grandfather has one too. Same date but he was on the M.S. Sloterdijk.