The Esther Williams Trophy
The Esther Williams Trophy is one of two trophies that have circulated among ships of various navies, after originating in the Royal Australian Navy. Initially, in 1943, the trophy was a joke between two friends, Lieutenants Lindsay Brand and David Stevenson (later the RAN's Chief of Naval Staff), serving in HMAS Nepal, an N class destroyer attached to the British Eastern Fleet. Stevenson wrote on a photograph of Esther Williams, "To my own Georgie, with all my love and a passionate kiss, Esther"; Brand (aka "George") put the screen idol over his bed. The photo was taken to another ship by a fellow officer, and the "trophy" was then circulated by officers among some 200 other ships including in United States Navy, Royal Navy, and Royal Canadian Navy ships in Asian watersThe original photo became the "trophy copy" to be kept in a safe location. A "fighting copy" was displayed where officers from other ships could attempt to steal it or take it by force, often with a good deal of roughhousing between the officers of the ships involved.