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Old 27 June 2009, 06:51
JJ_BPK JJ_BPK is offline
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Key West Underwater Swimmers School

Cass or one of the other historians,,

Would you please give brief the history and relative positioning of the Key West UWSS as it relates to UDT, BUDS, SEAL history?

I know it ran from 1954-1973 and that a mixture of Navy, Marine, & Others went to the school.

www.uwss.org

I think it was a parallel org and not in-line. Producing scuba qualified divers, not unlike the current Special Forces combat diver course. I went to the SF Key West School in 1969 and know we were not part of UWSS.

I ask because a friend of mine, Don "DOC" Stone taught there. Don was:

1:Navy Medic
2:CPO, retired
3:hardhat diver
4:UDT/SEAL school instructor/staff ?

After Don retired, he became a science teacher at the school where my wife worked and both our girls had Don. He is also one of the most un-pretentious, un-assuming, un-complected people in the world. Needless to say I think a lot about Don & his wife, Ardyth. If you know Don, you know about his ears. A conversation can be limited...

Thanks
Jim
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Old 27 June 2009, 17:04
Tom Deam Tom Deam is offline
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UDT Training on the East Coast did not have a Dive Phase or the facilities to conduct it. After graduation we went to UWSS for O/C, C/C (Emerson), and Mixed Gas (MK 6) training.
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Old 27 June 2009, 18:04
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That is correct Tom, we went through the same class. :-)


I remember a Doc Swchartz who also fits that description.
He rescued, and resucsitated me with the ambuy bag when I failed to surface in the pool when my hands and feet were tied up. I was negative bouyant. Fond memories. Rather drown than quit.
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Old 27 June 2009, 20:46
Tom Deam Tom Deam is offline
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You weren't exactly a "a buoyant floater" then Sam!

UWSS also had basic O/C SCUBA training as well as O/C and Mixed Gas for Navy EOD before they went to Indian Head for 9 months.

That's the extent of my UWSS knowledge.
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Old 27 June 2009, 20:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Deam View Post
You weren't exactly a "a buoyant floater" then Sam!

UWSS also had basic O/C SCUBA training as well as O/C and Mixed Gas for Navy EOD before they went to Indian Head for 9 months.

That's the extent of my UWSS knowledge.

Tom, I thought you were dead! Glad to have you back and posting. Keep it easy greasy.
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Old 28 June 2009, 05:02
JJ_BPK JJ_BPK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Deam View Post
UDT Training on the East Coast did not have a Dive Phase or the facilities to conduct it. After graduation we went to UWSS for O/C, C/C (Emerson), and Mixed Gas (MK 6) training.
Thanks for the replies..

If I understand you correctly Tom. For the UDT/SEAL School,, UWSS was the BUD/S "phase two" section for Team 2 on the East Coast, because there was no school-house in Little Creek?? Then in 1973, all training was combined at Coronado..

Additionally, non-UDT/SEAL students were allowed in the class.. These are now taught by SFWOD, KW.

Tx
Jim
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Old 28 June 2009, 05:39
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Jim

The East Coast's BUD/S was called UDTR, or UDTB at one point. There was no facility for dive phase so graduates went UWSS for the training. The last East Coast Class graduated in the summer of '71 and Training then became BUD/S in Coronado.

UWSS kept running for a few years after that training other Navy Divers .
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Old 28 June 2009, 05:45
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"Tom, I thought you were dead! Glad to have you back and posting. Keep it easy greasy."

Frog; you made me double check for a reflection in the mirror, it's still there!

Tom
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Old 28 June 2009, 11:17
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Guys
It does get a little fuzzy as nomenclature changes over time. I never knew when the title UDT training or UDTR training, or whatever, came into being.

After WWII the 32 Teams were decommissioned down to just 4 Teams. Little Creek had Classes beginning with Class #001 which at that time was called Class 4701. That first Class from Little Creek graduated July 17, 1947. Little Creek continued with Classes until 1971 which was numbered 052 or 7102. The first BUDS Class to graduated from Little Creek was Class 46 in August 1968 (corrected). Many of the old timers as a matter of pride still refer to their Little Creek Class by the 4-number digit. Little Creek UDT or SEAL Training, whatever, was closed in 1971, and all training moved to Coronado.

From 1945 to 1950 Coronado had two Teams, UDT-1 and UDT-3, but no organized Classes. New men dribbled in in oneseys and twoseys and were immediately inserted into an active Team and "Team Trained". These new trainees were often referred to as Walk Ons.

The first organized Class at Coronado finished by default in Nov 1950. I say finished because that first Class and most of the Instructors were loaded onto planes in Nov 1950 at North Isalnd and flown to Korea. That Class of 46 personnel received no number, no diploma, and no graduation. That Class is referred in bookkeeping as Class 0 (zero). Class 0 was my Class. Class #1 was formed after we departed and did not graduate until Class 0 was well into the Korean gig. Class #1 gradutated in 1951 and the current Class numbering system took off from that Class #1/1951.

The East Coast Teams never participated in the Korean War, but they did make a movie.

In 1950 the allowed compliment of a West Coast Team was 45 men with a balanced compliment of Officers. No Support personnel. The general duties like boat crews, armorer, and the like were done by graduate UDT personnel. However, the Medics, some Yoeman, and Storekeepers were taken right from the Fleet. But some of these Support Ratings came up the ranks thru combat UDT Training and deployments. But there was always an armed Medic in our LCPR when on a raid. The Senior Flag of the overall Teams was a Commander, CDR Fane, with offices in a Quonset Hut at Coronado.

I don't know anything about the US Navy Swim School. I do know many years later one of my Team buds, since passed on, was an Instructor at the Swim School. I had never heard of the Swim School until my bud told me in 1999 at a Reunion. That's my knowledge of US Swim School.

You history buffs should print this out. I have documentation from historical personnel from which I took the above info. Plus I was there for part of it, only the fun part.

Cass

Last edited by Cass; 28 June 2009 at 17:57.
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Old 28 June 2009, 12:13
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I can only add the dive school in Key West, Fl was a continuation of UDT training after Little Creek [incl the PR trip]. Then off to airborne school.

While the Marines, and Air Force went to the same school, they never were in a UDT class nor did they get trained in the MK 6. I believe Marines did get the Emerson rig. We were segrated from the other services and never part of their training. The beach runs were done seprately but we usually were made to catch up to the other classes in front of us, which at that point they were put in a leaning rest and we high stepped over them. It caused a few confrontations on liberty. No ARMY personel were ever in our school. I have a few pictures I'll try to locate if some can post them.

Our class was UDTR 7001 or #48.
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Old 28 June 2009, 18:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam View Post
I can only add the dive school in Key West, Fl was a continuation of UDT training after Little Creek [incl the PR trip]. Then off to airborne school.

While the Marines, and Air Force went to the same school, they never were in a UDT class nor did they get trained in the MK 6. I believe Marines did get the Emerson rig. We were segrated from the other services and never part of their training. The beach runs were done seprately but we usually were made to catch up to the other classes in front of us, which at that point they were put in a leaning rest and we high stepped over them. It caused a few confrontations on liberty. No ARMY personel were ever in our school. I have a few pictures I'll try to locate if some can post them.

Our class was UDTR 7001 or #48.
Sam
Good addition to my small peek into Team history. Squish our two write ups together and one has an excellent view of the early years.

Your Class, April 1970.

Cass
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Old 28 June 2009, 18:25
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Thank you for your kind words. Our class started in January and we had to break the ice to swim. My father, Airborne WW11 took me to lake Michigan in the winter and said go for a swim. I told him come on, they'll give us wet suits or dry suits. Guess what............................

I spoke to him numerous times to get advice on what to do.

The regular Army was and still is hard Corp. I was successful because of him and his Army training. :-)

Like the the old joke "How many jumps you got?" Just 3 Africa, Italy, and France.




When I came home on leave 30 lbs less & limping he knew I passed the test.
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Old 28 June 2009, 19:19
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Thanks for the history lesson and interesting reading gentlemen.
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Old 28 June 2009, 19:27
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Sam;

What Cass said, nice add on to Cass' history bit.

Tom
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Old 29 June 2009, 01:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Deam View Post
Jim

The East Coast's BUD/S was called UDTR, or UDTB at one point. There was no facility for dive phase so graduates went UWSS for the training. The last East Coast Class graduated in the summer of '71 and Training then became BUD/S in Coronado.

UWSS kept running for a few years after that training other Navy Divers .
Tom and Cass,
I heard the SEAL Corpman of the Vietnam era were not allowed to attend UDTR. So after some type of sreening they went to UWSS school as a gut check before deployment. I maybe wrong but this is my understanding of the era before my own.
9533
Good Day!
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Old 29 June 2009, 10:22
Tom Deam Tom Deam is offline
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9533;

Yes that was the case during that era. HMs went to UWSS prior to reporting to a Team. There were some damn fine HMs during that time frame and a few %o5ers of which one was on Sam's and my UDT Med Deployment.

Tom
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Old 29 June 2009, 21:34
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Smile

As cass knows, I was in the July 17,1947 class. We did not really have a class number. The first classes had letter designations ie A and B. We had two oxygen rebreather units for both UDT 2 and UDT 4. One was used for parts. Dive instruction was off the end of one of the boat piers. You can guess how many of us got to do it. Very few. UDT was treated like poor stepchidren at the time We got issued used boots and uniforms . I was lucky to get new boots because my feet were too small and they had to special them for me.
When we gor 2 Lambertson lungs one was foor Team 2 the other for team 4 again ,limited instruction We went on a cruise(deployment to you guys )and one of our ports of call was at ST Thomas. There used to be a sub base there Thats when Fane made the firsr exit and reentry from a sub.Think it was late winter or early spring of 1948 becaus someof the guys from class B were wth us.
Adding this to CASS's history

John.
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Old 29 June 2009, 22:30
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Sirs, If yall will sit down and write a book about the early history of the UDT's and your roles in it, I promise I'll buy the first copy.
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Old 30 June 2009, 07:04
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Wow, love the history. I'd buy that book too! I remember as a young lad growing up in Palm Beach county and listening to the stories from my Dad's Navy friends about Ft Pierce. The collective knowledge in SOCNET is awesome.
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Old 30 June 2009, 07:14
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Gentlemen (and Cass),

I'd cheerfully buy your beer, sit at your feet, and listen to your histories for a long time. Fascinating stuff.
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