Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Signed U.S. Navy Shellback Certificate.
    -July 25, 1938. 21" x 15".
    -To: William A. Bartos, CBM.
    -Three vertical creases running the length of the paper, minor wear and tiny tears at edges, else fine.

    This U.S. Navy shellback certificate was issued to William A. Bartos, CBM, on July 25, 1938, for a trip on board the U.S.S. Houston south to the Galapagos Islands, returning from escorting FDR to San Francisco. Boldly signed by FDR at lower left. It has been a long naval tradition to initiate "pollywogs" into the Kingdom of Neptune, the legendary god of the seas, upon their first crossing of the Equator. Captains of ships have always taken time, either in war or peace, to uphold this long practiced tradition.

    The U.S.S. Houston (CA-30) was launched by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company on September 7, 1929. In Manila on November 19, 1940, she became the flagship of Admiral Hart, Commander of the Asiatic Fleet. On the night of the Pearl Harbor attack, the Houston left from Panay Island bound for Darwin, Australia, where she arrived on December 28, 1941. Following the Battle of the Java Sea on February 26, 1942, the Houston, after scoring hits on three destroyers and sinking a minesweeper during the Battle of the Sunda Strait the next day, sank after being hit by torpedoes and machine-gun fire. Nearly nine months later, the American public finally learned of her fate, including the fact that only one-third of the crew had survived.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,548

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 September 14 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 May 14 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    2019 May 14 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $735,674