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WWII, UDT-4

Started by digi-shots , Jun 16 2013 12:47 PM

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#1 digi-shots

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 12:47 PM

Here's a photo I was given by a member of the original UDT Team 4.  His name is Tom and he's pictured here on the top row standing, third from the left. 

 

During WWII, Tom entered the U.S. Navy Seabees and attended boot camp at Camp Peary, Virginia before joining the Underwater Demolition Team.  He had additional training at Ft. Pierce, Florida before shipping out to Maui where this photo was taken in February 1944. 

 

I have more photos and information to add but I thought I'd post this one now. 

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  • UDT, Team 4, Maui Feb. 1944 (Large).JPG


#2 digi-shots

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 02:11 PM

Here are a couple more candid shots of a few of the team members.  Tom is in the first pic, upper left, kneeling... he's easy to spot with the curly blond hair. 

 

In the photo to the right, you can see two of the fellows with "face masks" in their hands. Underwater work has come a long way!

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  • UDT, Team 4, abcd (Large).jpg


#3 digi-shots

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 02:45 PM

Here are two more photos, one of the fellows in the photo on the left, standing in the middle, is Lt. Jack R. Wood,

who later took command of UDT-4.

 

 

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  • UDT, Team 4, ef (Large).jpg


#4 digi-shots

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 03:24 PM

During the landings at Leyete, Tom along with other team members, was wounded after his landing craft was sunk by enemy fire.  Here is a photo of him and his team mates receiving their Purple Heart Medals.

 

In addition to receiving a Purple Heart, and participating in 4 Pacific battle campaigns, including the Philippine Liberation Ribbon w/2BS, he was also awarded a Bronze Star Medal...

 

"for service as set forth in a secret citation.  The portion of this citation than can be disclosed at this time states that you distinguished yourself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in the assaut upon, and occupation of, an enemy held island, and carried out your duties in a calm and effiecient manner despite determined enemy opposition and in the face of heavy mortar, marchine gun and sniper fire..."

 

I believe the second photo below are the Bronze Star (standing) and Silver Star (seated) awardees.

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  • UDT, Team 4, TH Purple Heart (Large).jpg
  • UDT, Team 4, BS and SS photo (Large).jpg


#5 Kadet

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 02:20 AM

Outstanding! Actually, the last picture is most likely his NCDU class at Ft Pierce....or perhaps in Maui. The NCDUs were very small units when they went thru training. If the NCDU was assigned to the Pacific, these small groups were amalgamated in to the much larger Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT). UDTs received additional training in Hawaii. NCDUs were the "building blocks" so to speak. When deployed to a given theater they were used in different ways and called different things. It is (and was at the time) very confusing. The pictures in front of the tent include some of the same faces seen in the training class photo if you look carefully. 

 

For the most part, UDT enlisted men received Bronze Stars and the officers received Silver Stars following their operations. The classified award citation is also typical, although the full citation probably appears elsewhere in his record. At the time, UDT operations were viewed as sensitive and almost insane mission taskings...and there is some truth to both! The awards were well deserved, and given the rarity of valor awards to Navy personnel in WWII should be an indicator of how the UDT men were viewed at the time. These guys faced direct Japanese machine gun, small arms and mortar fire completely unarmed and wearing nothing but a mask, fins and pair of UDT shorts. They would also have been towing a large satchel filled w/ high explosives in the water. The procedure actually called for TWO day light trips to the landing beaches. The first to do the reconnaissance, i.e. water depth, beach gradient and obstacles, and a second trip to blow the obstacles directly before the landing. Great pictures!


Edited by Kadet, 17 June 2013 - 02:48 AM.


#6 Kadet

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 02:56 AM

Also, Tom was an early NCDU. The first groups, Tom included, were recruited from the CBs at Camp Peary, VA. NCDU training took place in Ft Pierce FL. The officer in the picture is wearing CEC insignia on his sleeve, so he was a CB as well. 


Edited by Kadet, 17 June 2013 - 02:56 AM.


#7 digi-shots

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:10 AM

The second photo in the previsous posting was captioned as being Maui 1944.. the three seated are shown as LTJG Carberry, ENS J. R. Wood; LT. A. J. Couble. 

 

Carberry was UDT-4's first CO.   Couble might have been the CO of the NCDT&E Base.  Couble was "Captain" when he signed Tom's Bronze Star citation.

 

I'm also researching Carberry and would really like to find out why the photo was taken. I'll have to ask Tom if he remembers what it was. 

 

The famous "Welcome Marines" sign created quite a stir..  it was UDT-4 that planted the sign.  Here's a photo taken at the 1967 reunion in St. Louis, Missouri.  Tom was not able to attend.

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  • UDT, Team 4 Reunion, St. Louis (Large).jpg

Edited by digi-shots, 17 June 2013 - 05:27 AM.


#8 digi-shots

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:21 AM

I still have a bunch of photos to scan...

 

Here's one tilted, "UDT-4 Country Band".  The names are noted on the back of the photo, from left to right:

 

Hamlin, Pipkin, Bassett, Wood, Buell

 

I just noticed the "camo" paint scheme pattern on the ship... very interesting!

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  • UDT, Team 4, musicians (Large).jpg

Edited by digi-shots, 17 June 2013 - 05:22 AM.


#9 digi-shots

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:03 PM

UDT-4, HQ Platoon:

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  • UDT-4, HQ Platoon (Large).jpg


#10 digi-shots

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:04 PM

UDT-4, Platoon #1

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  • UDT-4, Platoon #1 (Large).jpg


#11 digi-shots

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:05 PM

UDT-4, Platoon #3

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  • UDT-4, Platoon #3 (Large).jpg


#12 digi-shots

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:07 PM

UDT-4, Platoon #2  (Tom is in the top row, standing, 4th from the left).

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  • UDT-4, Platoon #2 (Large).jpg


#13 digi-shots

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:09 PM

UDT-4, Platoon #4

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  • UDT-4, Platoon #4 (Large).jpg


#14 digi-shots

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:24 PM

More candid shots...

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  • UDT, Team 4 pics, ghij (Large).jpg


#15 digi-shots

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:40 PM

The top photo has names written on the back:

 

Top Row Standing, L to R:  Bently, Lambert, Swede, Hartung, Gilkey, Barnett, Mahoney, Castle, Primo

 

Kneeling, L to R: Hamlin, Clark, Me (Tom), Solano, Aithenhead, Austin

 

Sitting, L to R:  Seaman Chick Ownes

 

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  • UDT, Team 4, kl (Large).jpg


#16 124cav

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 04:05 AM

Awesome

 

some of the best ww2 SF pics ive seen

 

thanks



#17 digi-shots

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 05:38 AM

There's been a bit written about UDT-4, I thought I'd copy and paste just a few paragraphs...

(I believe this is from notes compiled by Robert Allan King of the UDT-SEAL Museum).

 

"Leaving Guam on 23 July, the APD transported the team to Maui via Saipan and Eniwetok.  There the time was passed in further training and perfecting methods developed at Guam.  On 14 September, aboard the USS Goldsborough (APD 132), headed for Eniwetok, the team prepared equipment for landings on Yap. Orders were received en route, however, that the Yap Operation was canceled, but that FOUR was to participate in the landings on Leyte.

 

In company with the fire support and bombardment group, the APD proceeded through a typhoon, the violence of which prevented any further preparations of equipment, arriving at Leyete Gulf on the morning of 18 October.  The team was scheduled to make a reconnaissance of Violet Beach near Dulag, after a preliminary bombardment, but because the typhoon had delayed the work of the mine sweepers, it was impossible to take heavy units of the fleet into the gulf to support the teams.  Nevertheless, at 1500 that day, incompany with the other teams, Team FOUR, with four APD's and five destroyers for fire support, closed the beach to 6000 yards, where boats with three platoons put over the side while one platoon acted as standby.  As the landing craft approached the beach, they were met by intensive mortar, machine-gun and small arms fire.

 

Platoon TWO, proceeding to within one hundred-fifty yards of the shore, launched its swimmers. Just as the last of these swimmers cleared the boat, two hits were received which wounded three men.  The boat, in sinking condition, was headed out to sea; lifeboats on the wounded were inflated, and the rescue landing craft was called on the radio.  Machine gunners continued to answer the fire from the beach, but two addtional hits sank the boat.  The wounded were towed out to meet the approaching rescue craft.

 

Platoon FOUR, meanwhile, had been heading for the beach but was forced to retired at 350 yards under exceeding heavy fire.  Noticing that boat TWO had been hit, FOUR went to its rescue, ordering the rescue craft to stand by for the swimmers previously launced by Platoon TWO.  At the time time, the GOLDSBOROUGH closed on the beach to give fire support.  While so engaged, she received a direct hit on her number one stack which killed two men and wounded sixteen.  Of this number, six were from demolition personnel.  One of whom, W.B. Kausman, was killed..."



#18 Frosty

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 06:46 PM

I would love to get copies of those photos my great uncle Tony Snyder was in UDT 4 from it's inception in 1943 at Ft Pierce through the end the war. He was also behind the "Welcome Marines" sign that was placed on beach the night before the invasion. I have some pictures of Tony I can share and the newspaper article from his hometown about the sign that was published after the war. Additionally I have some UDT 4 records, deck logs from the USS Kane APD 18 that UDT 4 was on after their original ship was involved in a collision prior to the beach assault on Guam, a picture of two UDT 4 members holding up the Welcome Marines sign onboard the ship.


Edited by Frosty, 08 August 2013 - 06:47 PM.


#19 Frosty

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 09:57 AM

Here is the Welcome Marines photo taken on board the USS Kane

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  • UDT 4 Welcome Marines.jpg


#20 fstop61

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 03:02 PM

excellent photos! thanks for taking the time to share them.



#21 digi-shots

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 05:04 PM

Here is the Welcome Marines photo taken on board the USS Kane

Thanks so much for posting this photo!!

 

Feel free to post any more info that you have on UDT-4 !



#22 digi-shots

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 06:13 AM

I was recently in Florida and had the opportunity to visit the US Navy UDT-SEAL  Museum... if you haven't been there and get a chance, I highly recommend it!

 

Here's a shot I took of the brass plaque for UDT-4:

 

 

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  • UDT, Team 4 brass plaque Ft. Pierce (Large).JPG


#23 Frosty

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 12:33 PM

Nice picture of the plaque thanks for posting that. I do have a couple of photos I will post soon.



#24 paul.zajac

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 06:35 PM

Here are two more photos, one of the fellows in the photo on the left, standing in the middle, is Lt. Jack R. Wood,

who later took command of UDT-4.

 

The one in the back left is my Grandfather Frank Zajac - He was a Petty Officer First Class (Ship Fitter)

 

 



#25 paul.zajac

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 07:14 PM

CCF11212010_00058-2.jpg

 

It was really neat to discover this forum.  My Grandfather served in UDT-4 during WW-II and he is in some of the above pictures.  His name was Frank Zajac.  Here is one of his pictures from WW-II, Grandpa Frank is on the left.  I don;'t know the other two guys in the picture, if anyone could identify them I would appreciate it.

 

 




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