UNDERWATER DEMOLITION TEAM-13

Vietnam 1969
Unless otherwise noted, these photographs were taken by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Steve Waterman, and then some of them were used to produce the Team's Cruise Book. Please exercise restraint and don't reproduce them in any form. All negatives to my photographs were stolen in Subic Bay, Philippines. There is a huge reward for information leading to their recovery and the receipt of the right hand of the individual who stole them. Please ship it UPS Ground in dry ice.

 

 During Vietnam UDT Teams used the SDVs (Swimmer Delivery Vehicles to do some hydrographic recons.

This is RD3 Mole Roberts wsa the last person in history to lock on board the USS TUNNY before she was sunk as a target. UDT 13 operated off the TUNNY, a converted WWII Diesel boat that had formerly been used to launch Regulus Missiles. These were forerunners of the Polaris Missile.

After UDT-13's final mission, the boat was taken to the U.S. and used as a torpedo target. I had the best chow in the Navy aboard this boat.

Click Here to read a story about an SDV Operation.
 This photo was taken in the troop compartment of the USS Westchester County by one of the guys in the UDT-13 Golf Detachment. All but two of the men in this photo plus a couple more were wounded in the next few weeks. Art Ruiz (with soda can) was discharged for wounds. Hospital Corpsman Chief Worthington (not shown) was killed. SM3 Lowry (bottom right was awarded the Silver Star for heroism in manning an M-60 machine gun against an overwhelming (almost) force of Viet Cong. 

  This is an example of artwork done for various reasons and for various applications throughout our cruise by PH3 Pete Carolan (Pete the Pirate) This guy could draw anything, anytime. He presently lives somewhere in the Coronado, California area and has been seen at McP's (the SEAL bar) on Orange Street. Word is he is still drawing stuff for the UDT-SEAL Association's rag, THE BLAST. (Pete is now the official artist for BUD/S Recruiting.

 Hugh 'Pig' Freel & Steve 'the Pump' Waterman enjoying some of the Philippine Islands' finest product while hanging out with some of the Philippines' other fine products. 

Freel became an instructor at BUDS later on. He now works as a civilian on San Clemente Island, where the new kids are trained.

Underwater Demolition Team was recommissioned (original Team 13 was in WWII) and formed up in the early part of 1969 to take up some of the slack for UDTs 11 & 12, who had been rotating every six months or so. It was fleshed out by new guys, UDT-21 volunteers, retreads coming back into the Navy, a few reserves (Jim Wilson, our skipper), and some guys coming over from SEAL Team-1. This way, with three Teams, we could stay over for six months and then come back for a year. UDT-13 was decommissioned again after their second trip to Vietnam, which occurred in 1970. During the second trip, 13 lost two men, Luco Palma, and Larry Williams. Larry was a Corpsman and Luco (new guy) was right out of BUDS training. Several others were wounded and one lost an eye and was discharged. Larry tripped a booby trap similar to the one below. He had told me on the first trip that his next purple heart (he had two from serving with the Marines) would be given to his mother, not him. Team Thirteen lost a Hospital Corpsman on both trips. (Losing that eye cost Nick his life later on. He was smoking a cigar while driving on the feeway. The ashes blew into his remaining eye and blinded him. He lost control of the vehicle and was killed in the crash.)

 

  This is an example of the ingenuity of the Viet Cong. Here we have one of our 81mm mortar rounds that has had the fuse removed and replaced with a stick. When some unfortunate soul (read stupid Frogman) trips the string, it is supposed to fire and blow him into many small pieces.

Fortunately, this area had been defoliated (Agent Orange to the rescue) and we were able to spot this easily. The charge along side of this is a half sock of old C-3 plastic explosive with a fuse and Mk II fuse igniter. This was loud when it went off.

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