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17 wild facts about the Vietnam War

Pickup not available. Add to List. Add to Registry. This book follows the lives of six key players during one of the most controversial wars in history. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information.

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On D-plus 2 the beachmaster requested help. There were so many broached or damaged landing craft and the beach was so clogged with war debris that there was no place for landing craft to get ashore. Lt Cmdr. Hochuli of UDT 12 volunteered his team to go deal with the problem and teams 13 and 14 were ordered to go with. Vincent Moranz of UDT 13 was "reluctant, and radioed that his men Bull Hanlon, Underwater Demolition Operations Commanding Officer radioed back that he didn't want anything salvaged, he wanted that beach cleared.

The three teams worked for five days clearing the waters edge. The USMC ground commanders felt that every man that set foot on the island during the assault had an award coming. It cost the team one officer, 7 enlisted, 3 MIA and 13 wounded. All prior missions had been in warm tropic waters but, the waters around Okinawa were cool enough that long immersion could cause hypothermia and severe cramps. Since thermal protection for swimmers was not available, UDTs were at risk to these hazards working around Okinawa.

Operations included both real reconnaissance and demolition at the landing beaches, and feints to create the illusion of landings in other locations. Pointed poles set into the coral reef protected the beaches on Okinawa. Teams 11 and 16 were sent in to blast the poles.

UDT 16 aborted the operation due to the death of one of their men; hence, their mission was considered a failure. UDT 11 went back the next day and took out the remaining poles after-which the team remained to guide landing-craft to the beach. At wars end 34 teams had been formed with teams 1—21 having actually been deployed.

The Seabees provided half of the men in the teams that saw service. The U.

Federal Records Guide: Alphabetical Index - C | National Archives

Navy did not publicize the existence of the UDTs until post war and when they did they gave credit to Lt. Commander Kauffman and the Seabees. Those men with the CB rating on their uniforms considered themselves Seabees that were doing underwater demolition. UDTs had to meet the military's standard age guidelines, Seabees older could not volunteer.

In preparation for the invasion of Japan the UDTs created a cold water training center and mid UDTs had to meet a new physical standard. S military unit to set foot on Japanese home soil when it reconned the beaches at Futtsu-misaki Point in Tokyo Bay. With the war over thousands of Japanese troops remained in China. Bikini atoll was chosen for the site of the nuclear tests of Operation Crossroads. After consideration of several proposals to accomplish this, it was finally decided to employ drone boats of the type used by Naval Combat Demolition Units in France during the war".

At Bikini the drones were controlled from the Begor. Once a water sample was taken the drone would return to the Begor to be hosed down for decontamination. A major issue afterwards was the treatment of the dislocated natives. In November , the Bikinians were relocated to the uninhabited Island of Kili , however that island was located inside a coral reef that had no channel for access to the sea.

Navy blast a channel to change this. Even though no combat operations seemed likely, the UDTs continued to research new techniques for underwater and shallow-water operations.

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Lambertsen and the OSS continued to work on closed-circuit oxygen diving and combat swimming. He pushed for the adoption of rebreathers and SCUBA gear for future operations, but the Navy Experimental Diving Unit and the Navy Dive School, which used the old "hard-hat" diving apparatus, declared the new equipment be too dangerous.

Open-circuit SCUBA is less useful to combat divers, as the exhausted air produces a tell-tale trail of bubbles. The remaining stock of LARUs was supposedly destroyed in a beach-party bonfire. The UDT also began developing weapons skills and procedures for commando operations on land in coastal regions. Experimentation developed a system for emergency extraction by plane called "Skyhook". Skyhook utilized a large helium balloon and cable rig with harness. A special grabbing device on the nose of a C enabled a pilot to snatch the cable tethered to the balloon and lift a person off the ground.

Once airborne, the crew would winch the cable in and retrieve the personnel though the back of the aircraft. The teams still utilize the Skyhook for equipment extraction and retain the capability for war if an extreme situation requires it.

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During the Korean War , the UDTs operated on the coasts of North Korea , with their efforts initially focused on demolitions and mine disposal. Additionally, the UDT accompanied South Korean commandos on raids in the North to demolish railroad tunnels and bridges. The higher-ranking officers of the UDT frowned upon this activity because it was a non-traditional use of the Naval forces, which took them too far from the water line.

Due to the nature of the war, the UDT maintained a low operational profile. Some of the better-known missions include the transport of spies into North Korea, and the destruction of North Korean fishing nets. UDT 1 and UDT 3 divers went in ahead of the landing craft, scouting mud flats, marking low points in the channel, clearing fouled propellers, and searching for mines.

Four UDT personnel acted as wave-guides for the Marine landing. The UDT assisted in clearing mines in Wonsan harbor, under fire from enemy shore batteries. Two minesweepers were sunk in these operations. They tested their previous limits and defined new parameters for their special style of warfare. These new techniques and expanded horizons positioned the UDT well to assume an even broader role as war began brewing to the south in Vietnam.

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UDTs manned riverine patrol craft and went ashore to demolish obstacles and enemy bunkers. In the mids, the Navy saw how the UDT's mission had expanded to a broad range of " unconventional warfare ", but also that this clashed with the UDT's traditional focus on swimming and diving operations. Initially there was a lag in the unit's creation until President John F. Kennedy took office.

Kennedy recognized the need for unconventional warfare, and supported the use of special operations forces against guerrilla activity.