Interesting Stuff Page 02

25Nov20165  Doc Rio remembers JOCKO, our Team’s Monkey:  back in the 1960’s

   Monday, Tuesday, Thursday SEAL Team Two’s Rudy Boesch led PT after that, we ran to the beach, ran to the right to the very end to the Lil Creek base fence and back to the starting point.  Sometimes we also swam out to a red bouy that was anchored off the beach about 500 yards.  After that we walked back to the team, got showered, dressed and turned to.

Wednesday after the above PT, we went to Fentress or Suffolk and with a truck load full of parachutes and jumped all of them. 

 Friday, we had a choice of either playing soccer, or running around the base and sometimes to the Obstacle course.

Read the below’s BLAST story about “Jocko” and then come back and read this:  

It is what i remember the Monday morning after Jocko died.  We were running to the beach and Capt. Early , R.I.P.,  was leading the run.  We got to the mangroves where he first saw JOCKO.  He stopped and went totally ballistic calling for “Rudy, Rudy! find the sons of bitches who did this to Jocko and bring them to me!”  

A day of INFAMY in Team TWO !  Rudy never did find out who placed Jocko there with the sign and Rudy had the guys give Jocko a proper burial.  I do not remember where he is buried.     “and that is all i have to say about that!”

Erasmo “Doc” Riojas 2009 RVN at the site where the USArmy base Dong Tam was situated.  Now a snake farm and a hospital that treats snake bites.  They harvest snake venom for sale to the world. 

Monkey Island Nha Trang RVN
Randy Raburn
Robert A. Tolison Beret

used with Static Line parachuting


The T-10 used static line jumping at Ft. Benning GA basic jump school

The “Tojo” static line maneuverable parachute is the chute we jumped in SEAL Team Two originally

the Para commander fully maneuverable parachute used in free fall.  Very few bought by SEAL Team. Skydivers had to provide their own.

WWII airplane C-119 used at Ft. Benning GA in the 1960’s.   Doc Riojas , was stick Leader;  he jumped out of these type airplanes during basic parachute training at Ft. Benning before going to ST-2

Roosevelt Roads Naval Base: NO MORE!

Dave Maynard Navy SEAL tour to Vietnam in 1970 “you know?”.   Dave my man, you flunked public speaking 101 !    Tell us where you played college football !

Richard “Hook” Tuure’s picture of a picture in his wallet of  “Hook” and Erasmo “Doc” Riojas in ‘nam 1967. He has carried this photo with him since 1967 !    You DO NOT believe me?   Next time you see him, ask him to show it to you.

Keith David  click on photo for the story.

Navy SEAL camp fights back against criticism But congressman says ‘It’s my job’ to scrutinize from outside the SEAL ‘bubble’

I have a SEAL buddy who was told he had to transfer from ST-2 to ST-1 and if he did not want to do that he could go to the fleet.  He was transferred to an Aircraft Carrier and he did not bitch on inch !     The sign of a true warrior !

Women in SEAL BUD/S training? The way we do it now? Yeah, Right !

HM1 Joseph Lee Wilson R.I.P.  

1983 – 2016  assigned to NSWDG as a Hospital Corpsman/Diving Medical Technician died of undetermined causes Joe was an NSW Support Tech currently serving at NSWDG. No photo available of Joe. 

 A quick war story (that’s true) from Rudy Davis  

Denny, I was promoted to ‘Gunner’s Mate Guns’ Petty Officer 2nd Class with the help of an unnamed Team Warrant Officer (open book test) in Viet Nam. Unlike yourself, I knew nothing – and was so stupid about the rate , that I thought a 5 inch 38 was a pistol! Later the next year, I got to personally air my gripes to CNO Zumwalt. I was picked by our command to represent the Team – and to tell Adm. Zumwalt what was wrong with our Navy.  

I said, “Admiral you see these Ribbons and Medal on my chest!” He said, “Yes , son I do.” “Well sir, they mean nothing when it comes time for me to compete against my fellow Navy men out in the Fleet, to gain rank. Sir, we have no service rate for us Team operators. I work each day in demolition, diving, parachuting, and land, and sea fighting tactics, and yet I have to be tested in a rate that I don’t work in, around, or with.  

I have been put in a situation that I must lie, cheat or steal to overcome and advance. Believe me we UDT/SEAL men will advance, but I wish you would look into our Teams as a Career Field.” I said. He turned to a LtJG and said, “Write that down, and we’ll look into it!” The Admiral was a man of his word!  Rudy

Mike Gold and Family


Richard Mackowitz  from Pearland Texas

Trey Gowdy Just Released This TRUTH About “13 Hours” 
Written by The Analytical Economist on January 15, 2016 Trey Gowdy 

Michael Bay’s “13 Hours” hit theaters Thursday. The film depicts the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi three
years ago. The film doesn’t include Hillary Clinton, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t evidence of misconduct on
the State Department’s part included in the film.

“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”
 –Rudyard Kipling, The Law of the Jungle, The Jungle Book.





By Kelleigh Nelson February 14, 2016

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” —Joseph Goebbels 

A false witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh lies shall not escape. —Proverbs 19:5 “Accuse Others of What You Do” — Karl Marx Bashing Trump with Eminent Domain Jeb should have his name legally changed to Hypocrite Bush. 

During the pre-New Hampshire ABC GOP presidential debate, Bush slammed Donald Trump on eminent domain. He was playing to a clearly hostile anti-Trump crowd, knowing that the Trump supporters only received 20 tickets for the debate. Jeb used eminent domain as a club to bash The Donald, citing a decades-old case of an elderly Atlantic City lady who refused to sell her property to Trump, which he wanted for a parking lot. Atlantic City condemned her property, trying to force her to sell, she challenged the condemnation in court and won. Trump quickly abandoned the idea in favor of more willing neighbors who sold their property to Trump for his parking lot, and he paid them quite well for their properties. 

The Atlantic City story is now being repeated over and over again by the neo-cons to try to destroy Mr. Trump. They’re using the tactics of Joseph Goebbels, repeat a lie often enough….and people will eventually believe it. 

As Florida Governor, Jeb Bush loved eminent domain and practiced it. Jeb Bush and Jesse Hardy 

The government wanted his land, but Jesse Hardy wasn’t interested. He said it wasn’t about money, it was about fighting for what is his. Jesse James Hardy was a symbol to some people of an individual besieged by government authorities and their allies in the environmental movement. Think United Nations Agenda 21, because that’s what this is! 

Governor Jeb Bush authorized the State Department of Environmental Protection to begin eminent domain proceedings against an elderly man who just wanted to keep his land. 

Jesse Hardy became disabled from a chopper jump after 14 years of service as a U.S. Navy Seal. In 1976, he bought 160 acres of swampland that nobody else wanted. And he intended to keep it, but the State and Florida’s EPA had different ideas. [Link] 

When Jesse bought the land it was nothing but shallow land on an underwater reef which no one wanted, and no one owned. Jesse built a shed, then a house, and dug a well, he made the unwanted rough land inhabitable. Life was pretty crude in the beginning. He’d wait for a warm day to take a shower. Eventually though, he had air conditioning, reverse osmosis, a washing machine, a cell phone, a satellite dish. He had solar panels on the roof and a big generator out back. 

Jesse was a businessman, he ran a limestone quarry on his property that generated considerable revenue. His land, he said, was his life. Jesse Hardy fed bread to the fish in one of the stocked ponds on his land. The ponds were a byproduct of his limestone mining operation. 

In 1995, the niece of a family friend gave birth to a premature boy with severe medical problems. Tara Hilton, age 43, and little Tommy had nowhere to go. So they moved in with Hardy, who raised the boy as his son. 

A year after Tommy’s birth, Hardy said he dug a test lake and stocked it with catfish, bream and tilapia to see whether his dream of establishing a fish farm could come true. 

Like Tommy, the fish thrived, and Hardy and Hilton said they hatched bigger plans to dig four 20-acre lakes for recreational and commercial use. 

Jesse in front of his stocked pond 

Then Naples started growing, and encroaching, as the everglades to the east became drier. 

Florida first laid the groundwork for taking Hardy’s land in 1985, when it began buying 55,247 acres of the bankrupt and largely abandoned South Golden Gate Estates. Environmentalists considered the tract vital to restoring the natural flow of the River of Grass and protecting the water supply. 

(President Bill Clinton and Gov. Jeb Bush met in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2000, to launch a $7.8 billion effort to revive the Florida Everglades.) 

Nearly 20 years and $121 million later, the state owned almost every inch of South Golden Gates Estates, except 800 acres claimed by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians — and Hardy’s 160 acres. 

Mr. Hardy’s land was in the middle of the failed housing complex, Southern Golden Gates Estates. The land for that development was carved out of a swamp years ago, and subdivided by canals and dirt roads. State authorities and environmentalists wanted to tear up the roads and fill in the canals, and allow water to flood the land, to restore it to its natural wetlands condition. 

Nancy Payton of the Florida Wildlife Federation, an environmental group that has worked to restore the area for years, said Jesse’s land was essential to the project. “Southern Golden Gates is a keystone parcel, because it is surrounded on almost every side by public lands, conservation lands,” she said. “It is remote from any public facilities. It is remote from schools and from even a supermarket. It is not a good location for people to be, and the best and highest use for Golden Gates Estates is to restore it.” 

Hardy paid $60,000 for his 160 acres, valued for tax purposes in 2000, at $860,000. The state offered him $711,725 in 2002. He said no. It offered him $1.2-million in 2003. He said no. $1.5-million? No. $4.5-million? No. No. No. 

But the offers from the state kept coming, and the pressure kept mounting with the price. So, too, did Hardy’s status as a folk hero. His celebrity, though, would prove no match for the state. After Hardy turned down the $4.5 million, Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet authorized the state Department of Environmental Protection to begin eminent-domain proceedings. 

Hardy settled. 

“I’m telling you, I got took,” he said. “They stole my life. What they’re trying to do is take all the humans . . . bunch up people like in real close proximity, get all the people in one damn bunch so they can say, ‘Don’t go out over there! A chicken’ll get ya!'” “They’re trying to stop a way of life.”

William Blake Marston R.I.P.

Va. Beach-based SEAL who died in accident was unconscious, never opened parachute 
By Brock Vergakis The Virginian-Pilot 

Carl McLelland
Jim White Carl McLelland and Boyd Van Horn

My “Gear-jamming, truck-driving buddy” is Jim White.   Boyd VanHorn is a retired USAF O-6 fighter pilot. Boyd did two tours flying F-105 “Wild Weasels,” over 250 missions over Hanoi.

Doc E. Riojas, “garden salad” upon returning from the Korean Police Action in  Jan 1953.   Korea is known as the forgotten war.



Morning Folks,
Doc Riojas, if you want to publish it on your website, here’s a humorous trailer for you of my next book. IF not, enjoy the read…. Later, Carl 

Howdy men, I hope everybody is impatiently awaiting the arrival of the third installment in The Indomitable Patriot series. The book takes us back to 1943 and the submarine USS Great White (SS-299), commanded by LCDR Marcus Spencer. You will recall the Great White and Captain Spencer from the first book, FERTIG, along with Evelyn “Pinky” Pinkert and LCDR (detailed OSS) David Meyers from both FERTIG and book two, DEAN. The Great White is at Mare Island for overhaul and installation of some OSS communications gear. After attending meetings at OSS headquarters, Spencer, Meyers and Pinky drive the the OSS training academy, the former Congressional County Club. All right, here’s a short, humorous trailer from book three…. 

The meeting continued for a couple more hours before breaking. Meyers, Captain Spencer and Pinky drove to the Country Club to spend the night with Pinky in the guesthouse. The following morning they would fly to Fort Monmouth in Pinky’s Staggerwing Beechcraft. 

~~~ ~~~

“It never fails to amaze me, whenever I come down here,” Meyers said as they parked in front of the administration building. “I’ll never forget the first two weeks of the academy when Pinky shared a bunk in a dormitory with twenty-three other men.” 

“That’s all right, Mister Meyers,” Pinky said, ice in her voice. “We can save that story for another time!” 

“Now my interest is peaked,” Spencer replied. 

“Later, sir,” Pinky replied as she deeply blushed. “Only after a martini will I be able to tell that story.” 

“My humble command,” Pinky said when Meyers and Spencer stopped and stared at the barbed-wire encased Quonset huts. “Come inside administration for a moment and I will introduce you to Colonel Godfrey, our administrator. Not even the Colonel has clearance to enter the barbed wire. After meeting the Colonel, David and I will give you a tour of the facility.” 

As they drove around the complex, David and Pinky explained the training program for OSS Special Agents. They were parked at one of the five-hundred yard ranges when Spencer asked, “You went through all this firearms training, Pinky?” 

“Captain Spencer,” Meyers answered, “Pinky is a distinguished master with a rifle. She can outshoot me.” 

Spencer glanced at Pinky. “My COB, or Chief Of the Boat on the Great White is a thin, wiry fellow. Almost soft-spoken, but get under his skin or fail to obey a command, he instantly becomes a grizzly bear. I suspect, ma’am, the two of you are not that different.” 

Pinky started up and then abruptly stopped their Jeep. “You see that man out there, Captain, the one leading that squad. He will be going to Tinian with you. His name is Carlos Hathcock, Senior. He can outshoot all of our firearms instructors. He can hit bull’s eyes at a thousand yards with an iron-sighted rifle.” 

Spencer slowly shook his head as Pinky started up again. “Such young men we produce, to go in harm’s way,” he muttered under his breath. 

~~~ ~~~
Captain Spencer, David and I ate in the cadet’s mess. The food service was very good for cafeteria-style service. Afterward, we adjourned to the recreation room where I fixed martinis for the three of us. David brought up the subject of the academy again… to my great embarrassment. 

“You delight in forcing me to tell that story, don’t you, Mister Meyers,” Pinky said as she broke out in laughter. 

“Marcus (Spencer had told them to dispense with the Captain Spencer routine), my family owns this place, the former Congressional Country Club. I lived in the guesthouse when they leased it to the OSS for the duration of the war, under the condition I continue residing in the guesthouse. My uncles didn’t want me moving back to Chicago where I would be too close to them. The OSS hired me, and I applied for special agent training. David and I were in the first academy class.” 

“For the first two weeks of physical, as well as stress training, everybody lived in open barracks. If you survived that period, you moved into individual rooms for the remainder of the training. Their theory, the enemy would neither discriminate nor go easy on a female, so they lumped everybody together.” 

“Sunday afternoon, the day before the training officially began; I’m arranging my uniforms and gear in my locker… in an open bay with twenty-three other guys.” 

Marcus began to chuckle and then laugh aloud. “Excuse me, Pinky, I’m picturing you bunking in the crew quarters on a sub and being with eighty men who have not bathed in a week or two. It gets pretty foul at times on a boat!” 

“We are all tending to our gear while our drill instructor marches up and down the aisle, screaming ‘The enemy intends to kill you, pretty women as quickly as big, tough men,’ and all that.” 

“And then Gunny stops at my bunk. I come to attention. The rim of his Smokey Bear hat a fraction of an inch from my forehead. ‘Pinkert, you get one privilege,’ he screams… spittle landing all over my face. ‘There is one stall in the head with a curtain. That stall is yours alone. In exchange for that privilege, you shall not use the men’s urinal. Do you understand that?’” 

“Sir, yes sir,” I screamed in Gunny’s face, biting my tongue to keep from laughing. Then Gunny screams, “Men, you will report immediately if you catch Pinkert using your urinal. Do you understand that?” 

“A chorus of ‘Sir, yes sir,’ rang throughout the barracks. By now I’m about to explode with laughter.” 

“It got worse when Gunny yelled at us about one shower for everybody,” David interrupted. “I’ll save Pinky further embarrassment and leave that to your imagination.” 

“Pinky, water is in such short supply on a sub that bathing usually amounts to a gallon of water, once a week if you’re lucky,” Marcus replied. “There is an officer’s head on board, but it’s usually crammed full of supplies for most of a patrol. Everybody uses one head in the after torpedo room. That, too, becomes pretty foul after weeks at sea.” 

Carl McLelland




Carl  has done it again !  His latest NEW book is now available on Amazon.
Doc Rio is reading the proof copy  it has captured his whole attention

Roger and Pinky Nash have come up through the ranks with the OSS and CIA. Along the way Roger earned the Navy Cross fighting in the Philippines, as well as a Bronze Star fighting with Merrill’s Marauder’s in Burma.It’s now January, 1950 and Pinky assumes command of the Japanese CIA office, as well as the responsibility for gathering North Korean intelligence. Will their first battle be with the NKPA, or the Supreme Commander Allied Powers, General MacArthur? What happens when SCAP goes to war against the CIA instead of the North Koreans? MacArthur has infiltrated and corrupted the CIA office. Can Pinky turn it around? The CIA immediately begins producing indisputable evidence the North Korean’s are ready to wage war, but can they convince the powers in Washington D.C.? What happens when Pinky’s personal life begins to crumble around her? Has her anger with Roger caused her to seek his replacement? 

In the early days of the war that was not supposed to happen, the North Koreans capture Major General Wm. Dean, commander of the 24th Infantry Division and hold him in a secluded prison. Several attempts at repatriation fail. In addition to intelligence gathering, the CIA plans a repatriation mission. Can Pinky’s CIA team of special agents do a better job than the Army? Will the small team of specialists thinking outside the box do a better job than the military might with traditional operating procedures? 

You will be on the edge of your seat as real people, not storybook fantasy characters take on the impossible and the story builds to an exciting and unexpected crescendo. Don’t miss this exciting second book in the Behind The Lines series.   If you are like me and want a real book to hold and fondle while you read, then simply click this link and as-if by magic you will be transported to the Amazon listing for “Dean, the Captured General.”
If, on the other hand you are a technogeek and prefer the Kindle edition, simply click this link and you will find yourself at the Kindle listing for Dean. Further note… the price for the Kindle edition is only $2.99, and you can download a Kindle reader for your computer for free!
Guys, this old Army dude thanks you for your continued support and I hope you enjoy this latest book. I’ve got a ton of research ahead of me, the next book will be advancing into the Vietnam era, late ‘53-early ‘54, with an exploratory trip to Dien Bien Phu to see if we should support the French, or write them off. In Fertig Pinky was behind the scenes at the OSS academy. She takes a leading role in Dean, and hoo-boy, have I got some exciting scenes for her in the next volume of Behind The Lines! The storyline will also be split between Vietnam and the communists moving into Argentina, and some of the characters introduced in Dean might just find themselves fighting a totally covert, subversive battle in So. America. 


As always, I’ll do my best to keep the story historically accurate and keep you on the edge of your seat as you read the story….. Carl (Having spent the majority of my tour in the highlands at DakTo, guess where we’re ultimately heading…).

THE INDOMITABLE PATRIOT  Fertig, The Guerrilla General

One of our guys, although he had the misfortune of going Army instead of Navy, has become a writer in
his old age. His first few books were about the paranormal… he likes to chase ghosts in his spare time. But his latest
endeavor; Wow! He has started a new series of books he calls Behind the Lines. His first book, recently completed and
published is titled “THE INDOMITABLE PATRIOT: Fertig, the Guerrilla General.” It’s a historically correct novel about Wendell Fertig in the Philippines in World War II.  Here’s what the book looks like. 
Cover Final :
May, 1942. General Wainwright has just surrendered the Philippines. Wendell Fertig, a Corps of Engineers Lieutenant Colonel, refuses to comply and flees into the mountains of Mindanao. Fertig is soon
joined by dozens of former Philippino Army scouts who encourage him to form a guerrilla Army. Over the next few months Fertig is joined by several other displaced American soldiers, one of whom builds a small, makeshift transmitter and establishes contact with the Navy. 
General MacArthur denounces Fertig, going on record claiming it’s impossible for a guerrilla movement in the Philippines to succeed. The O.S.S. decide to take a chance and covertly supplies Fertig by submarine. Once he receives the tools to wage war, his achievements become legendary. By the time MacArthur returns to the Philippines in 1944 he is met on the beach at Leyte by a force of over twenty thousand of Fertig’s guerrilla Army. 

This fictional accounting is based upon the actual military records and reports of one man’s impossible achievements against overwhelming odds; against an enemy who outnumbered him a hundred to one. Wendell Fertig, a civil engineer and untrained amateur in the ways of war, defied the predictions of the experts and brought the Japanese Army to its knees. Enjoy this first installment in the new Behind The Lines series of combat thrillers based upon historical records.

The book is available from Amazon in either print or Kindle versions, or by special order from almost any book retailer.
(He’s not Tom Clancy yet. They don’t stock his books but they can order them). These links will take you to the Amazon listings. If you look at the Kindle listing there is a Look Inside feature that lets you read through the first chapter. 


About the Author     Carl’s professional career began as an Army and then FAA air traffic controller. He advanced from a small radar van in the Central Highlands of Vietnam to the TRACON in one of our nation’s busiest airports. He also became a commercial pilot and flight instructor, retiring after thirty-nine years of flying. By 1986 he was experiencing severe burnout. He put himself through the police academy, resigned from the FAA and became a deputy Sheriff in Reno, Nevada. He retired after a distinguished career on the street. Not only the cop on the beat, Carl became a renowned traffic accident reconstructionist on his departments Major Accident Investigation Team, as well as a highly acclaimed crime scene investigator. Throughout his life Carl has been a student of the paranormal and often experienced the effects of the supernatural in his personal life. In 2012 he became involved in the saga of the haunted Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas and its resident spirit, Ladell Allen Bonner. The result of dozens upon dozens of paranormal interactions with Ladell led Carl to write his first book about Ladell’s life and death. Writing that first book sparked a latent avocation in his life: writing. Carl has always been a connoisseur of military history, and that interest began a new direction for his writing. This latest book is the story of Wendell Fertig, and the beginning of a thrilling new series, ‘Behind The Lines.’ While the stories are fictionalized, they are all based upon factual military history. Join in with Carl and enjoy his books as you gain an interesting new insight in what war is all about.

The following is typical of the reviews I’m receiving on the book: 

Just finished your book and you get 4.0 marks from this old Navy Seal. Really enjoyed and it adds to my hobby of WWII.
Spent 22 years of my 34 in and out of the PI. Have traveled every island and was trained a marksman by RJ when we were
stationed at Team 2 during Vietnam. Still a very good friend I keep in contact with. Going to recommend it to my friends,
at least the ones that can read.

 THE INDOMITABLE PATRIOT  Fertig, The Guerrilla General

Doc Riojas Comment:  Once i started reading this book, i have find myself hard to putting it down! because of my very old age (84 yr old eyes and at the end of being able to correct my vision) I find that the way  the paragraphs are other important text are spaced to be extremly easy to read.

Having retired from the Navy and traveled to that part of the orient reminds me of my days as a guerrilla combatant as part of the Navy SPecial Warfare serving as a Navy SEAL in the Jungles of Vietnam.

The author is equally as good a military writter as Tom Clancy.  This story may possibly be material for a great movie similar to the the movie produced about the POW rescue in WWII by Filipino Guerilla fighters and the U.S. Army Rangers.  “The Great Raid”

Do not wait to buy it tomorrow, order it today !  It was recommended to me by CDR R.D. Thomas (recommended for the Medal of Honor by the US Army, but our politically correct US Navy downgraded it to a Navy Cross. SHame on them !

Carl McLelland, USMC Pilot: the author’s father

19 Jan 2016 :  Navy SEAL who claims he shot Osama bin Laden ‘turns over photo of terror leader’s corpse and is now under investigation for profiting from business links to military equipment suppliers’ • Former Navy SEAL Matthew Bissonnette was under investigation for revealing classified information after writing a book about bin Laden raid 

Asia Pacific 
A Deadly Deployment, a Navy SEAL’s Despair 

Cmdr. Job W. Price Navy SEAL   R.I.P.

Commander Price, the 42-year-old leader of SEAL Team 4; His death was shocking: Suicide was rare among SEALs   “No matter how he died, if he did kill himself, he was a casualty of war.” Bronwyn De Maso, Commander Price’s sister

From left, Sgt. Clinton K. Ruiz, Staff Sgt. Kashif M. Memon, and two SEAL team members, Matthew G. Kantor and Kevin R. Ebbert. All were killed during Commander Price’s tour of duty.
The guy I bought the Lotus from in 2001 was a retired Navy pilot. He gave me the hat I’m wearing here. It’s an official Navy “Tail Hook Club” hat. Note the Naval aviator’s wings and tailhook for catching the arresting cable on a carrier

A  very old SEAL Team TWO  “BULL SHEET”, ‘nam newsletter from the team departments

Report: SEALs who drowned were practicing breath-holding 

Updated Nov 25, 2015 VIRGNIA BEACH, Va. (AP) – 

Navy documents say that two SEALs who drowned in a Virginia training pool were practicing holding their breath underwater after being told not to do so by the facility’s manager. 

The Virginian-Pilot reports that it obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request. Thirty-four-year-old Brett Allen Marihugh of Livonia, Michigan, and 32-year-old Seth Cody Lewis of Queens, New York, died in the April incident at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in April.

  A report by Rear Adm. Brian Losey, commander of Navy Special Warfare Command, said the men “drowned during off-hour physical conditioning in a combat swimmer trainer facility because they knowingly disregarded breath holding safety guidance.” 

He wrote that such activity should take place only under supervision and with appropriate life-saving equipment on hand.

Houston Chamber of Commerce  SALUTE TO VETERANS

Webmaster: Erasmo "Doc" Riojas

The following is sung to the tune, “I’ve
been working on the railroad.” Originated 
with the first demolition men at Camp
Peary, Virginia:

We’re the demos of the Navy,
The Demolition crew,
A rough and ready bunch of blasters,
There’s nothing we can’t do,
From the reefs of Guam and Saipan,
To the shores of Tokyo too,
the best the Navy has to offer,
The Demolition crew.

Bill Langley, Julie and family
Hershel Davis

Doc Riojas’ hell weeks in KOREA Police Action.  “No bell to Ring OUT!”  click on picture for more photos


Monkey Business at Little Creek – 1968. 

“Another thing I remember is Jocko. He was a Vietnamese monkey that one of the early platoons brought back in ’67. This monkey was the most vile, disgusting, evil-tempered creature that ever walked, climbed, or crawled the face of the earth. Jocko was kept in a big cage right on the quarterdeck of SEAL Team TWO, though people occasionally let him out for sport. Jocko may as well have been a new guy, because everybody who went by would harass him. He was so foul tempered that they would stake him out in front of the entrance to the Team, even during winter. This was a tropical monkey from Vietnam. Maybe that’s why he was so mean, he was cold. Jocko bit. The duty section would stake him out on a long chain with just enough range so that if a visitor walked all the way around and hugged the side of the building, he could just reach the door without being bitten or scratched. Jocko would be jumping up in the guy’s face the whole time but he couldn’t quite reach. At first I thought it was disgraceful how these nasty SEALs were treating poor Jocko. They would tease him unmercifully. I was nice to him and brought him pieces of fruit and other food. Until… One time Jocko got out of his cage during afternoon Quarters. I was standing there in my ensign uniform along with a hundred other guys. This beastly monkey was scampering about like a live gargoyle in the exposed overhead piping, under the rafters in the old Team building. He singled me out of this whole sea of guys who all looked the same in uniform, jumped down, and bit the hell out of me right through my shoulder padding. No more ensign Nice Guy with Jocko after that. Finally somebody had a lick of sense and figured out they had to get this monkey out of this military command. A guy named Jerry McClure volunteered to take him home. McClure was married, with a houseful of kids. He liked having Jocko around; he was a soft touch. McClure deployed with me to Vietnam on my first tour. (Third Platoon, Nha Be June 1968) I had to send him home early when Jocko somehow got hold of a lighter and burned his house down, killing himself in the process. I always thought that was Jocko’s final revenge on SEAL Team TWO for taking him from his happy home in Vietnam.”

Commanding officers DEVGRU

Command of DEVGRU is a Captain’s billet. Ranks listed are the most recent if the officer is still on active duty.
Commander Richard Marcinko – Nov 1980 to July 1983[26]
Captain Robert A. Gormly – July 1983 to 1986[27][28]
Captain Thomas E. Murphy – 1986 to 1987[27]
Captain Richard T.P. Woolard – 1987 to 1990[29]
Captain Ronald E. Yeaw – 1990 to 1992[30]
Captain Thomas G. Moser – 1992 to 1994[31]Admiral Eric T. Olson – 1994 to 1997[32]
Vice Admiral Albert M. Calland III – June 1997 to June 1999[33]
Vice Admiral Joseph D. Kernan – June 1999 to Aug 2003[33]
Rear Admiral Edward G. Winters, III – Aug 2003 to Jan 2006[34]
Rear Admiral Scott P. Moore – 2006 to 2008[35]
Rear Admiral Brian L. Losey – 2008 to 2010[36]
Captain Perry F. Van Hooser – 2010 to 2012[37]

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Gulfcoast SEALs patch

A Navy SEAL tells it LIKE IT IS ! watch !

I Kid You Not

Friday, January 21, 2011 Hank Weldon’s WWII Navy UDT crew helped pave the way for the SEAL teams Hank Weldon (center, with arms on shipmate’s shoulders) with his crew for training on Catalina Island in 1944. 

The full crew of UDT teams that trained on Catalina in WWII. 


The United States Navy Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) teams are a fighting force that has seen action in six major conflicts, been the subject of a handful of movies and has even been featured in a line of video games. From the beginning, the heroes who have served their country in the field of special operations and unconventional warfare have been trained to be an elite force that finds a way to complete the mission and get home, no matter what. Valley Center resident Hank Weldon knows what those beginnings were like. Weldon was one of nearly 40 sailors selected to take part in the U.S. Navy’s Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT), which were formed in 1943 under the direction of Rear Admiral Richard K. Turner, and eventually came to be recognized as the beginning of the SEAL teams. Weldon, who will turn 88 in May, recalls that he didn’t exactly know what he was getting into at the time. “I was one of a hundred and eighty recruits, and after we had graduated, there was an Army Master Sergeant and General [William Joseph “Wild Bill”] Donovan came through looking for swimmers,” he says. “Well, I had been a lifeguard at a country club back home in Tulsa, and when they said it’s for a swim team, I had to go and open my mouth.”

  General Donovan was the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during WWII, the forerunner of today’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The team Donovan was putting together was to train for reconnaissance, underwater demolition, infiltrating and exfiltrating by sea and intelligence gathering.

“They had us doing things like diving down ten feet and bringing a manhole cover back up, just to show what we could do in the water,” Weldon says. “After I graduated, they picked out four of us and told us, ‘Here’s your orders, get your rig and get moving.’” The unit did a bit of traveling before settling in to its new home, and Weldon says that they were still in the dark about what, exactly, they were training for. 

“At first we trained with an Army Ranger battalion at Camp Pendleton,” he says. “Then we trained with the OSS at a yacht club in San Clemente, then we went back down the coast to Pendleton. Nobody knew what we were doing.” The training intensified when the unit went to Catalina Island, and Weldon remembers stealth being of the utmost importance “We got a rubber raft with a car battery and a motor with a small propeller to haul our demolition equipment,” he says. “When we got to White’s Cove [on Catalina Island], we trained with the OSS. There were about thirty or forty of us, in big part there were ex-lifeguards and guys from the Coast Guard. For practice, they gave us a bunch of dummy TNT at high tide, dropped us off about a half-mile offshore and told us to plant it all along the coast while our COs [commanding officers] kept watch. One of the COs said he thought he saw something, but they didn’t see us. When daylight came, the tide went out and all you could see was the dummy TNT all along the shore.” The Navy UDT squads served in 12 different missions, mostly in the Pacific Theater of WWII. Weldon and his team were nearly deployed to China during the war, but, as he recalls, “MacArthur wouldn’t let Donovan into the Pacific.” 

The team did see action in the Battle of Peleliu, a fight for control of a small, Japanese-held island in the South Pacific that had the highest casualty rate of any battle in the Pacific during the war. The UDT squads went in ahead of the Marines to clear the beach of obstacles, and despite the battle’s high death toll, Weldon remembers every one of his shipmates making it through unscathed. Both of Weldon’s older brothers also served in the war. His oldest brother, Robert, was a B26 bomber pilot in Europe who flew more than 60 missions. His brother William was a Navy pilot who escaped death twice; the first time, he saw a kamikaze pilot hit his landing ship just before he came in, and a few days later, he had just taken off from a different ship when it got hit by a kamikaze. After the war, Weldon served in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for 28 years and was a part of the original metro unit of the force. He was even involved in the police efforts to quell the Watts Riots in 1965. 

“I worked with this hotshot lieutenant, and when the riots started, he told me to grab my shotgun and come with him,” he recalls. “We headed to 103rd Street, where it was just getting started, and I noticed these jokers running back and forth from the gas station across the street. So I went over and told the owner to shut the station down. He didn’t want to, so I cranked off a shot in the air, pointed my shotgun at the nearest pump, and told him he had thirty seconds to shut it down. When I went back to the lieutenant, he asked what I was up to. I told him, ‘You don’t want to know.’” 

Weldon later worked as a jail supervisor in Los Angeles and had to oversee the incarceration of Charles Manson. He also worked in the records bureau of the LAPD and was a part of the initial electronic transfer of fingerprints. Weldon originally moved to Valley Center in 1967. Today, Weldon and his wife, Donna, live in Skyline Ranch. Throughout his life, he has been an offensive lineman at Villanova University, an oil rigger, an underwater demolition expert, a police officer, a jail supervisor and an amateur woodcarver. 

To this day, Weldon says that one of the most important things he’s learned in his life is to follow the Golden Rule. “I think it’s important to treat everybody else the way you want to be treated,” he says. “When I was in the Navy, we had a yeoman who we all knew was, you know, a homosexual, and it didn’t bother us. Well, we had shore leave once, and a few other guys were giving this guy a hard time. I went up there and grabbed them and told them, ‘You’re going to start running as soon as I let loose, and you’re going to keep running until I can’t see you anymore, got it? You don’t bother one of our shipmates.’ They took off running. At one of our reunions back awhile, it turns out this yeoman paid for a big part of it because he wanted it to be something special for all of us.”

Hunter Grimes III in Vietnam with SEAL Team TWO

             Blue Lips and Goose Bumps
by Hunter Grimes

Written by Hunter Grimes posted on November 13, 2010 22:41

“Editor’s Note:  When I learned Hunter Grimes was writing about the River, I quickly asked if we could have a peek!  Martha Grimes promised to ask, and we received this wonderful story. Most of us remember the first time we rode a bike and the first swim, without a life ring.  Enjoy.”

You could always tell the river kids who were living the really good life from the ones who were not. It had nothing to do with family fortunes or social status. Quite simply, some kids could swim and the others had to wear life jackets. Life jackets back in those days were not the racy type like the hotshot bass fishermen wear today. They were big, fat orange things that made normal kid stuff impossible. Non-swimmers had to have one on anytime they went near the water and anytime there was a chance they night get out of sight of parent or guardian. This meant almost all the time.

It was a mighty bleak thing to even have a kid hang around with a life jacket on. Things like that would severely hamper your group style. It was sort of like being stuck with a little brother or sister….which was usually the case anyway. They were the most apt to be unable to swim. The only way to get out of the life jacket hassle was to learn to swim.

Swimming was a big deal since the season for it started shortly after the ice went out and went on into Fall. At least once a day after school and ten times a day on weekends, someone would test the water to see if it was warm enough yet. About mid May some kids would attempt immersion on sunny days. Being first to go in was good for brief admiration from kids and a switch on your bottom if you got caught. Sometime in mid-June the serious swimming season started.

If it was a hot and sunny day, you went swimming sooner or later. The water temperature might only be in the fifties, but it didn’t matter. Amid a lot of shrieking, we jumped in over and over, only to dog paddle to a way out and do it again. Most of us were so skinny we had to paddle furiously to stay up. None of us knew anything about efficient swimming and the water was so cold early on that getting a lung full of air to assist in buoyancy was impossible. Most of our energy was expended trying to keep our bony heads above water. When we got exhausted after ten feet or so, we would swim underwater. We must have looked like a bunch of furless muskrats playing around. Since we were furless, we eventually got awfully cold…teeth chattering, blue lipped, goose bumped cold.

After a while one of the dominant kids would declare that it was to time to go lay on the rocks in the sun. No towels or blankets were allowed or needed. In the racking shakes of advanced hypothermia, you would just ease yourself down on the sun warmed rock surface and revel in the heat from both sources. It worked best if you put your backside up first. The wonderful heat of the rocks soaked through your ribs and went right to your heart. Also, that way you could fold your arms under your head. Kid talk would be spotty with all those chattering teeth. Mostly, you lay there and stared at the icy looking drops of water on your arms. Sometimes they would do neat prismatic things to little rays of sun. Some drops would roll off and disappear. Some would cling mysteriously to an arm hair and slowly evaporate away. It was all like magic because we did not yet know about “evaporation”, or the color spectrum in sunlight, or any of that stuff. After a bit, the shivering and goose bumps would disappear, too. Then you rolled over and toasted for a while and asked the kids next to you what he was going to do the next day. If it was real early in the season, this was also the time you got a sun burn.

Sometimes it felt like hours, but it was probably only minutes before both sides of these bodies were done. Some kid would holler, “Last one in is a rotten egg”, and the whole process would start again.

Yeah, it was a real drag if you didn’t know how to swim. Lots of kids in these parts learned to swim by being dropped in by a dad who thought this was the best way. Ever notice how a lot of river people don’t care all that much for swimming? Just as many kids learned by crawling around on the shallow bottoms until one day they found themselves dog paddling. This method was nearly trauma free, but took a long time. And, everyone could tell who was crawlin’ on bottom. Most kids that did it would sneak a glance around first, knowing that it was impossible to be out of the sissy stage, cheating like that.

The way I learned to swim might have had a lot to do with things I found myself doing years later. When I was in the early crawlin’ on bottom phase, my father’s brother came for a visit. He was the first human I had ever seen that was totally fearless in the water. I was too young to know much, but when I watched him I knew instinctively that he was a magnificent swimmer. Family legend had it that he swam against, and on a par with the great Olympian of old, Buster Crabb. My uncle must have had huge lung capacity as well as swimming prowess. He could stay underwater for frightening lengths of time and cover amazing distances in that airless environment.

I don’t remember much about his visit except him swimming in our river and teaching me to swim. Since his resemblance to my father was strong, it was easy for him to assume the role of taskmaster for this major event in my life. I had been taught to respect my elders and do as I was told, no questions asked. On the first day of my swimming lessons he told me not to be afraid. It wasn’t allowed. I remember that I was, indeed, not afraid.

The whole event was surprisingly fast paced. My uncle was in the water with a plastic beach toy life ring beside him. He told me to jump into the middle of the ring with my arms out. I did this several times and found it to be quite exhilarating since I did pop up to fresh air every time. Next, I was told to jump outside the ring and grab it as I went by. It took a little longer to come up, but the result was pretty much the same. Then came the jump altered at the last minute by my uncle, who moved the ring out of my reach while I was in mid-air. I went down, came up and that was about all there was to it to convince me this could be fun. All future refinement of my swimming was aimed at going farther and faster.

For all the water oriented way of life we led, it is surprising that little, if any, formal swimming instruction was available. This, and the fact that most of us were so skinny we had little natural buoyancy, caused us to rely on underwater styles to go any distance over twenty five feet. With occasional deep breaths and vigorous stroking a kid could get around easier under water than on the surface. The technique eliminated the tiring work of keeping your head above water and was probably good for developing lung capacity.

Proof to your parents that you could swim underwater got you out of the dreaded mandatory life jacket. Underwater was also a fun environment where adults almost never ventured. All manner of ridiculous things could be tried down there; stunts with the most satisfying results never got old. Banging two rocks together near another kid’s ear always had great effect.

Unless a boat was going by, it was quiet under the surface. We tried mixing vocalization and making stupid faces at each other. You could hear yourself in your head, but only bubbles would escape your mouth. The silence of the underwater world also made it easy to sneak up on another, kid, preferably smaller and younger, and give them a good scare.

At least once a week a pecking order of sorts was established to add structure to our watery cavorting. This was usually part of the process of evaluating new swimming spots or new kids. You had to dive down and come back with a handful of sand or mud to verify getting to the bottom. A handful of seaweed didn’t count because everyone knew the weeds often climbed close to the surface. Of course, if you got weeds and no one else had anything, you were begrudgingly recognized.

The underwater world was blurry and dim. It is understandable that we never found anything exciting, nor noticed much of beauty in the murky water. I don’t think of my generation as having been kids in the “good old days”, but looking back I don’t recall any of us having a face mask or goggles. Nor do I remember any hanging on a rack in the local stores. Maybe those were the “good old days”.

My own most memorable unanticipated dip was in the dead of winter and probably gave my father nightmares for years after. You don’t think of this until you have kids of your own. Several of us were fooling around on the ice in front of our neighbor’s house. Most of the ice was snow covered and the game got boring real quick. At the end of the dock there was an inviting patch of dark, smooth, glare ice. Too young and inexperienced to be suspicious of the lack of snow on it, I got a running start and slid across the spot on my booted feet. The desired effect did not last long enough to enjoy any childish glee. I remember feeling like I had tripped, then seeing stars. The cold water closed over my head, but I still saw the bright hole I had entered. I wasted only milliseconds flailing back through that hole. My father happened to be home, and as he was partial to doing, looking out the picture window in our living room. He saw me break through and nearly dove through the window. However, he opted for the door and by the time he reached the end of the dock in his sock feet, I had my head out of the hole, supporting myself on the rim of ice. The cold water had robbed me of the ability to cry and kept taking my breath away, as only cold water can do. I am sure his gratitude was profound that it was now apparent he would not be robbed of his namesake. He, however, would never pass up the opportunity for an object lesson. When he finally did speak, he said, “You got yourself in there. Now get yourself out.” I did, and I will never forget the overwhelming numbness that lingered long after I was out. I was to fall in cold water many more times through the years, but never like that first time.

Luckily most kids fell in during warmer times because that was the best time to be messing around the water. My younger brother and a friend were dangling worms along side of the dock inside our boathouse, hoping to catch pan fish. I was close enough to hear a splash and a yell…………..the splash being from the little kid and the yell from my brother. I arrived on the scene fast, following my brother’s bulging eyes downward to see this three and a half foot kid scooting along the bottom like a mudpuppy. He probably had no experience doing it, but he was swimming underwater. I was about twelve at the time and the water was shallow so it was easy to grab this kid and yank him out. The whole scenario couldn’t have lasted more than ten seconds, and resulted in no more than a couple of really scared kids; scared at what might have been and what would happen if either of the moms found out. It was a classical falling in and variations on this theme occurred dozens of times in our neighborhood. Thankfully, they all had happy endings.

Swimming sessions got more demanding as we got older. We sought out cliffs and boat house roofs to jump from. The “cannonball” landing qualified for double competitive value. Esteem was earned by jumping from the greatest height, or by making the biggest splash. This feat did not require much athletic ability and was usually painless.

Diving from these heights was a different matter. Most of our water sports took place at the Edgewood Resort. The spring board on the platform was six or seven feet above the water, but seemed like twenty. Bouncing, soaring dives hurt my bony head even in well executed efforts. Mess up and do a belly flop, or go over too far and land on your back and you really had to concentrate to pretend it didn’t hurt. I never aspired to be an Olympic diver.

One of these spring board sessions set up the major occasion in my development as a swimmer. Edgewood guests often watched the local kids enjoy the water and one singled me out to ask why I made such a chore of swimming. Out of curiosity, I paid attention to his sage advice: that effective swimming was mostly a matter of controlling breathing. After a few lessons of putting my head in the water, exhaling at the right time and stretching in the desired direction I discovered a practically tireless way of swimming. Unknowingly, I had already been doing a fairly good breast stroke with my underwater limitations. Now, with rhythmic breathing applied I discovered that a roll of the head slightly for a breath and reaching out to grab a chunk of water, a kid could churn through the water pretty good. My formal training was over in five minutes, but swimming was profoundly different for me ever after.

I soon discovered that how far I could swim was mostly a function of how long it took to get miserably cold. If I wanted to go to the village in summer I was likely to just jump off our dock and swim across to the dock near the boat works, then swim home again…day or night. I took special delight in swimming from the rocks at Sand Bay to Cherry Island, ducking underwater in front of boat traffic just to be smart. The fun part was paddling quietly into the boathouse and causing the caretaker to jump out of his skin when I came up by the dock to yell, “Boo”. He would yell a few epithets at me for his revenge. By the time I was a teenager I still had respect for cold water, but was quite fearless of swimming any distance. It never occurred to me that I was a good swimmer and that this might be a source of small personal pride. Being a quiet kid and somewhat insecure, I could have used some pride. However, like most River Rat kids, I just regarded swimming as a natural fact, like walking. I didn’t imagine that all of this stuff would be important to my life someday.

My generation was introduced to TV. If I had it to do over, I would choose to grow up without the dubious benefits of that invention. Lloyd Bridges played Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt, one of the early shows. After seeing the first episode, I wanted to be Mike Nelson. There must have been a lot of people who wanted to be Mike Nelson because scuba diving became a trendy recreational sport faster than Mike could escape the clutches of a giant octopus. Acquiring a face mask would at least put us on the road to being Mike Nelson. We ended up with one face mask for about six kids. This turned out to be enough since you could only hold your breath so many times without a rest in the warm sun. Even only down eight feet, the water was noticeably colder.

Previously our underwater world had been a blurry one. Now we could look right into the eyeballs of a rock bass or perch. “Diving” was best when you actually found something. The edges of docks were usually good for things accidentally dropped in the river. One buddy of mine actually found a Rolex watch. Not having much spending money, I was always happy to find fishing lures I couldn’t afford to buy. We learned to make our ears pop and reach ever greater depths as we expanded our search areas. I had a lot of ear infections in those days, but the total effect was probably healthy. My diving career kept me occupied at all sorts of strange times…like if I had been spanked and sent to bed, I would lay there and hold my breath while watching a clock, or counting in my head. Practicing this was important because I thought I needed to be able to hold my breath for five minutes. This should have made up for not having tanks like they had on Sea Hunt. Making it to a minute and a half was pretty good for a kid with rather severe asthma.

One summer day I found a neat anchor off the rocks at Sand Bay. It was machined steel and worked by weight rather than digging in. It didn’t have any rope on it and was down as far as I had ever ventured. It was my best discovery up until then and I had to have it. It took many attempts. I hauled it up the ledge a few feet, found a spot to set it so it wouldn’t roll back down and burst to the surface for a breath of air. It is a wonder I didn’t do significant brain damage from all the oxygen starvation and exertion. I was successful in getting the anchor up and enjoyed using it for a long time. I eventually got it hung up outside of Cherry Island in a hundred feet of water. Some other, better equipped, Mike Nelson type has probably found it by now.

I considered some of the folks who rented dock space at our small marina rich because they seemed to have all the toys they wanted. One boater showed up one summer with some honest to gosh scuba tanks and all of the Mike Nelson paraphernalia. This was before the day of scuba training classes. This great guy showed me how to wriggle into the straps on the tank and put the thing in my mouth. Away I went. With that wonderful experience, I told the US Navy many years later, “Heck yes, I can be a frogman.” And so I was.

It now occurs to me that learning to swim in the St. Lawrence might be the same as anyplace else. I don’t know. What made it a special part of a different sort of childhood was that we didn’t have to go anywhere special to swim. The river was right there and everywhere. It couldn’t be avoided. Everything revolved around the river. Swimming led to everything else. Fishing, boating, water skiing and regular River Rat stuff all came after your parents decided you were, for all practical purposes, drown-proof.

By Hunter Grimes

Hunter Grimes served in the Navy from 1966-1970. In 1968-70  he was with UDT 21 and Navy Seals.  He is currently owner of Diverse Construction Group, LLC. He attended SUNY Oswego, University of Alaska at Fairbanks and Syracuse School of Forestry.  Hunter is certainly a genuine River Rat – a reliable term given for those who spend their lives on, in or under the River.  In 1989 Canadian author, Shawn Thompson wrote his book, “River Rats: The People of the Thousand Islands”.  Page 68 has the Hunter Grimes story.  Hunter and his wife Martha have devoted their lives to their community, both being recognized for their volunteer and leadership.

Editor’s Note:  Having served on the Save the River Board of Trustees in the 1980s, I  knew Hunter as the president and a committee man for the organization.  When I see these photographs I realize he brought a wealth of experience on River issues to the table.  We are lucky to have Hunter and Martha as River neighbors.

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                                                                           An Essay: I Hate to Burst your Bubble

Written by Hunter Grimes posted on August 13, 2014 07:37

I am not really old and wise, yet, but I have been fishing the St Lawrence for all of my 68 years. I am not a fisheries biologist but, I do have some environmental education and have a pretty good understanding of aquatic habitats and the biota there-in. The opinions to follow are my own, based on regular observations which I hope, prove to be dead wrong, in the future.

All of us who have been around here for thirty years or more, have seen some dramatic changes on the River; changes which impact on our natural fishery. Highlights of the list include:  the completion of the “Seaway”; the move to municipal sewage treatment plants; the arrival of the zebra mussels and cormorants; the changes in regional agricultural practices; the arrival of aggressive invasive aquatic plants and most recently the establishment of the “gobies”.

Compounding these influences was the increased fishing pressure brought by bass tournaments and the new fishing habits that spun-off from tournament-style fishing.  (Another time perhaps, I can expound on my distaste for that sort of fishing.)

Considering all the above, the stage is set for a drastic decline in the richness of our natural fishery. I think the crash has started and I think the gobie has tipped the balance.

The Round Gobie

[Round Gobies are bottom-dwelling fish that were introduced to the Great Lakes from central Eurasia, via the ballast water of large, ocean-going cargo ships.]

The gobie started appearing in numbers at least ten years ago. I used to do a lot of work underwater and was fascinated to find the bottom in some areas covered with a squirming carpet of these critters. They are ugly, almost pre-historic looking things, which seem to consist mostly of head and outsized mouth. They don’t have scales or sharp spines, so as one might expect, our local fish eat them with gusto.

For the last couple of years, bass fishermen in particular have been euphoric with the results of this new forage base for our bass. It is now fairly common to catch bass over 20 inches and five plus pounds in weight. Most bass now come to the landing net looking like a football….they are gorging on gobies. The word has spread and bass fishermen are excited. As I mentioned at the outset, I hope I am wrong, but I have grave concerns about where this is all headed.

My concerns began when I realized, I and others that I talked to were not catching any of the pesky little eight to ten inch bass, which were common. Similarly, rock bass and perch in deep water have just about disappeared. I am more of a northern pike specialist these days and I have caught absolutely no “hammer-handle” 18 inch pike in the last two years. The pike are also gorging on the gobies and growing fat.

What I believe has happened, is that spawning efforts over the last few years have been hugely less successful because the gobie swarms are eating anything that will fit in its face.

The fish that it could not handle a couple years ago are in turn growing huge on this abundant food source, but there is no replacement class behind them! I fear we will soon see a major crash in our natural fishery….the big bass will become more and more scarce. The northern pike, by standards of yesteryear, are already scarce. I have recently caught some veritable monsters, as have others. I catch virtually no skinny little pike as I commonly did a few years ago.

A Possible Reason

This year I was fortunate to see two things I had never seen before. First, prior to bass season opening, I saw a large bass in about 15 feet of our now crystal clear water. It was tending a typical spawning pocket on the bedrock and gravel bottom. It darted frantically in and out of the little depression it had made, trying to keep a swarm of gobies out of it and it was obviously a hopeless effort. There was an ebb and flow of gobies in and out of that nest, depending on which way the overwhelmed bass made its defensive rush. I doubt if a single egg could have remained.

The gobie is almost furtive in its efforts to cling to the bottom and squirm around in the tiniest of cracks and spaces amongst the bottom rocks. It is definitely where it thrives and feeds.

Second, not long after seeing the bass episode, I saw a pike in about ten feet of water in a rocky bottom area devoid of any submergent vegetation. This is not the pikes classical habitat. This particular pike was well over “keeper” size and was standing on its head rooting around amongst the rocks after the gobies like a pig. I think this is pretty unusual behavior for a pike. They have evolved with a long streamlined body with eyes on top of the head, all for lurking around and running down prey like a barracuda all in a horizontal attitude.

While I am expounding on my own opinions, I’ll declare that the northern pike resource has long been over-utilized. The closed season is far too short and late ice fishing takes a terrible toll on hen fish which stage in shallow bays prior to spawning runs. Twenty or more years ago, it was not uncommon for a local fishing guide to catch dozens of pike in a day with a party of four. Now it is not uncommon for a guide to go pikeless with that same party of four.

You have my doom and gloom about a pending collapse of our game fishery. I think we are long overdue for some regulatory changes and, perhaps, consideration of hatcheries for bass and pike. Those of you who are ecstatic over our big fat bass and bigger than before pike….well, I hate to burst your bubble, but… be prepared for ceremonial fishing and much less catching.

By Hunter Grimes III

Hunter Grimes served in the Navy, from 1966-1970; in 1968-70 he was with UDT 21 and Navy Seals. He is currently owner of Diverse Construction Group, LLC. He attended SUNY Oswego, University of Alaska at Fairbanks and Syracuse School of Forestry. Hunter is certainly a genuine River Rat – a reliable term given for those who spend their lives on, in or under the River. In 1989, Canadian author Shawn Thompson wrote his book, River Rats: The People of the Thousand Islands; page 68 has the Hunter Grimes story. Hunter and his wife Martha have devoted their lives to their community, both being recognized for their volunteer efforts and leadership.  To see other of Hunter’s essays in TI Life, click here.

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Let’s Make Soup…and Thoughts on Overlooked Food Sources

Written by Hunter Grimes posted on January 13, 2015 12:22


When I was a toddler many years ago, there were several thoroughly river rat locals who were known to relish the bounty of The River environs. They must have endured the great depression, but I bet they seldom went hungry. Perhaps with their encouragement and generosity, my Virginia transplant father was introduced to delicacies which seem to get little regard these days. For several years now I have been campaigning to renew appreciation for these delicacies and I am too often not taken seriously.

Many a time I was given a couple quarters and sent to Sid Patterson’s house to “buy” a cardboard box full of muskrat carcasses. It was a hike of over a mile, especially if the ice short-cut wasn’t strong enough to walk on. Standard trapper practice was to hand over the rats minus the fur only. The naked carcasses made the cardboard box soggy and hard to carry. My mother had no problem removing heads, tails and innards and converting the rest to succulent table fare…usually frying them like chicken. Muskrat meat is very healthy and delicious. I have even made a very nice pate’ from their livers.

I am really passionate about this. The lowly muskrat is only one of several overlooked food sources generally abundant in North America. In our St Lawrence River region, thousands of pounds of this meat are discarded every year.

A few days ago I was called by a trapper friend to come over and pick up a beaver tail I had “ordered”. You will note herein a picture of said tail. Admittedly, it does not look very appetizing. Put it on a sheet pan and stick it in a hot oven for about five minutes and watch the scaly looking skin puff up like a football. It will look like it is going to explode but, I have never seen that happen. When cool enough to handle the skin easily peels off from the things within. Notice you are left with a nearly meatless tail. It is not fat, but more like a unique cartilage with bone segments. This goes into a pot with at least a quart of water and is boiled gently until the tailbone segments are easily removed with a fork or slotted spoon. The odd whitish stuff left is a somewhat the same consistency of fish without the flakiness. Dump the contents of the pot into your food processor. With a few good pulses, it will look like a rich cream. You now have a luxurious soup stock unlike any other. Add a few diced carrots and dried green peas and you will end up with pea soup which would be the envy of the finest French chef.

Enough about the soup.

An adult beaver is a big animal, often exceeding forty pounds. Like the muskrat, the beaver eats simple plant life as well as tender bark of birch and aspen. Many of you will have noticed than when pressed with hunger and over population, they will go after your prized oaks, maples, and occasionally your conifers. In any case the meat is clean with fat only on the surface. It can be prepared much like beef. I have fooled picky eaters into thinking a slice off a roasted hind quarter is beef. I think we all know organ meat is high in cholesterol, but liver is rich in good things and there is no liver better than beaver’s ! It can be as big as a small calf liver and is much milder and sweeter than any other. I insist it is as decadently good as foie-gras.

When the price of beaver pelts warrants their harvesting, trappers in northern NY will collectively discard tons of beaver carcasses. This is so sad especially considering the chemical and fat laden stuff that sells in stores for exorbitant prices. I swear some folks would buy cow manure if it was displayed in a little white tray with cellophane stretched over it.

Dear reader, you may still be dubious. Consider this : A few years ago we were invited to an extravagant Christmas party down in Syracuse at a lakeside restaurant reserved for the occasion. Hosted by a very successful business man, there were easily a hundred in attendance. Most were unapologetically affluent and very well attired for the occasion. An avid outdoorsman, the host served professionally prepared fish and game such as pheasant, trout and venison. When inviting me, he requested I bring something from my own supplies to add to his as he did not want to be short of good things to eat. I cut a couple beaver into bite size chunks, marinated them a while and then grilled the pieces on skewers. Of course, just like fine beef or venison it had a nice sear on the outside and was rare inside. The results were carried about amongst the sequined gowns and natty tailored suits by lovely waitresses. To avoid a scene I asked it to remain a mystery meat for a while. The word quickly spread that the pieces of meat with a toothpick handle was delicious. Not long after a ripple of exclamations could be heard over the din of the partiers. Beaver ! Beaver ?? The lot of it was soon gone and there was nary a complaint.

I could wax philosophically about this for hours worth of print. My advice is to befriend a trapper. He is a source of excellent free meat. If you are fearful about preparation, invite me to come and cook for you. Once again our River can provide for you in ways good for your palate as well as your soul. Incidentally, the muskrats from the River environs are generally larger and better eating than the swamp variety.

If you are one of the over zealous versions of the animal rights advocates, take heart. Beavers and muskrats are a naturally renewable resource which is not only sustainable but constitutes a nuisance in many areas. In defense of trappers, please consider that fur is a marvelous, durable material that has covered and adorned hairless humans for eons. If you are a lady who abhors the thought of fur garments you have surely worn another part of the beaver without knowing it for the beaver caster is also saved and sold by smart trappers as it is still the base of many high end perfumes. Now try the soup and enjoy !

By Hunter Grimes III

Hunter Grimes is well known in the region.  He is certainly a genuine River Rat – a reliable term given for those who spend their lives on, in or under the River. In 1989, Canadian author Shawn Thompson wrote his book, River Rats: The People of the Thousand Islands; page 68 has the Hunter Grimes story. Hunter and his wife Martha have devoted their lives to their community, both being recognized for their volunteer efforts and leadership.  

To see other of Hunter’s essays in TI Life, click here.  We especially recommend An Essay: I Hate to Burst your Bubble and the many comments he received.

– See more at:



Hunter F. Grimes III 69 yr.old   REDWOOD, N.Y.                          1946     to     September 5 , 2015

Hunter graduated with UDTR Class 40 on 29 August 1967 in Little Creek and served with UDT-21 and SEAL Team TWO. Hunter was also a Lifetime Member of the 

UDT-SEAL Association.

As dictated to and edited by various family members: Thanks

for noticing my auto -­- obituary today; the facts within are easily verifiable if

needed. Further defiance of a relentless brain cancer and the fates being

impractical, I now embrace what comes next and invite you all to share the peace I

have with it. I ho pe that I am a bit off in my preparations, and that you are reading

this much later than late August

  1. I was the firstborn to Hunter F. Grimes Jr. and Beverly J. Bailey in Malone N.Y. on July

21, 1946. My immediate family included my brothers Rex and Geoffrey, and my sisters Penny and Kim.

A sister, Diane Grimes Sutton, and a nephew, Jim Sutton, died before me. I was blessed with a childhood spent entirely on and in the St. Lawrence River.


I graduated from Alexandria Central School as a legendary ac a demi c underachiever with a Regents diploma.

I attended the University of Alaska and, more briefly, SUNY Oswego. I entered the U.S. Navy in

1966 and served with Underwater Demolition Team

(UDT) 21. As a diver I was a member of the Apollo 7 water rescue mission. In 969 I served with SEAL Team 2 in Vietnam

and was awarded two Bronze Star medals and

the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat ‘V’ for Heroic Achievement in an

enemy engagement on combat patrol in the Cau Ke district. I returned to the United States a nd married my childhood sweetheart, Martha Lee

Service; we celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary in May

  1. We have two children, Hunter “Gun” F. Grimes IV and Hilary G. Grimes -­- Casey, and four grandchildren.


During my career I owned and operated Diverse Marine Construction in the

1000 Islands area, building docks and cottages, dredging, and performing diving services,

perhaps for many of you. I later operated Diverse Construction Group and provided

small business contracting services for government contracts.

I retired in early 2015. I was privileged to serve as past commander of the John B Lyman Post of the

American Legion, past president of Save The River, and also as a Trustee Emeritus of

Ducks Unlimited. I had a spiritual connection to hunting a nd fishing and what it enabled me to

provide for my friends and family at my table, which endured throughout my

lifetime. I was fortunate enough to be able to experience big game and big fish all over North America.

You can find a few of my more local experiences written in the

Thousand Islands Life magazine online at There will be no calling hours.


A celebration of life will be held Saturday September

12, 2 -­- 5pm, at the Alexandria Bay American Legion. In lieu of flowers please support

the Jefferson County Hospice or the UDT -­- SEAL Association Scholarship Fund, P.O.

Box 5 965, Virginia Beach, VA 23471. Arrangements are with Costello Funeral Service, Alexandria Bay.

Information provided by Costello Funeral Service and, Water t ow

IMAGE FADER : WWII photos of THEN and then fading into TODAY !    Neat stuff !

Gordon Ablitt and Bill Sibley
Tommy Chau Jr. and Rudy Boesch
Is this Minh?
Peter Slempa
Berni Campoli; SCUBA diver/Photographer Extraordinaire
Rudy "SURVIVOR" TV series and Dante Stephensen's Restaurant
Don Shipley and his Wife
SEAL CDR who shot O.B.L. Robert O'Neill
Chris Kyle, SEAL Sniper
Houston's Football Jersey Retired
Eric Olson Walter Pullar
Joe Kernan, Harry Humphries , Joe McGuire
Jon Tumilson KIA
Larry ??
Robert O'Neill
Tom Blais Poem
Don Decrona letter to Doc RIO
Astronauts with UDT 21 Instructors
Bob Holmes, Gulfcoast Chapter SEALs and V.P. of F.O. UWSS

Bob looked great this day 28 Nov 2014 and in great spirits. Chemo IV treatments are not leaving him ill at all, he said

UDT's of the Olden days : Submitted by Jim Hazelwood RIP
Jim Wallace H.T. Aldhizer III Jennie Coclicci Museum Volunteer
SEAL Warrior the book by Thomas H. Keith

Eligibility United States Navy SEALs Awarded for Completing Basic Underwater Demolitions/SEAL training and SEAL Qualification Training Statistics Established 1970 First awarded Vietnam War Speciality mark for Special Warfare Operator (SO) 

The Special Warfare insignia, also known as the “SEAL Trident” or its more popular nickname, “The Budweiser” is earned after completion of BUD/S and SQT, is one of the most recognizable military badges of the United States Navy. 

Established on 16 October 1970,[1] the insignia recognizes those service members who have completed the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, completed SEAL Qualification Training and have been designated as U.S. Navy SEALs. 

The Special Warfare insignia was initially issued in two grades, being a gold badge for officers and silver for enlisted. In the 1970s, the Silver SEAL badge was abolished and the Special Warfare Badge was issued thereafter in a single grade. The SEAL badge is therefore unusual in the Navy in that it is one of the few badges issued in a single grade for both officers and enlisted personnel. This is partly due to the combined training that both officers and enlisted receive, side by side, when involved in BUD/S training. 

The Special Warfare insignia consists of a golden eagle clutching a U.S. Navy anchor, trident, and flintlock style pistol. The decoration is considered a “successor badge” to the obsolete Underwater Demolition Badge. 

The Trident is one of the few warfare specialty pins that is the same for officers and enlisted. It symbolizes that Navy SEALs are brothers in arms – that they train together and fight together. There are four parts to the Trident. Each one symbolizes an important facet of the warfare community. 

1) The anchor symbolizes the Navy, the parent service, the premier force for power projection on the planet and the guarantor of world peace. However, it is an old anchor, which reminds the SEAL’s that their roots lie in the valiant accomplishments of the Naval Combat Demolition Unit and Underwater Demolition Teams. 

2) The trident, the scepter of Neptune, or Poseidon, king of the oceans, symbolizes a SEAL’s connection to the sea. The ocean is the hardest element for any warrior to operate in – it is the one in which SEALs find themselves the most comfortable. 

3) The pistol represents the SEAL’s capabilities on land – whether direct action or special reconnaissance. If you look closely, it is cocked and ready to fire and should serve as a constant reminder that SEALs must be ready at all times. 

4) The eagle, the nation’s emblem of freedom, symbolizes the SEAL’s ability to swiftly insert from the air. It reminds them that they fly higher in standards than any other force. Normally, the eagle is placed on military decorations with its head held high. On the SEAL insignia, the eagle’s head is lowered to remind each of us that humility is the true measure of a warrior’s strength. Designator and title Rating Badge SO.jpg 

An enlisted sailor who qualifies for the Special Warfare insignia is authorized to place the designator (SEAL) after his rating. At the end of 2006, all sailors having completed SEAL training and still serving in Naval Special Warfare had their ratings reclassified to Special Warfare Operator (SO), with a new rating badge. Previously there were more than 20 ratings which SEAL operators could have.

Happy Brother’s Day To You! 
You may have served in Combat or in non-combat. 
You may have retired out or you may have served for a short time. 
You may have been a draftee or a volunteer. 
You may have served in the Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or the Marines, 
BUT YOU SERVED. YOU DID YOUR JOB HONORABLY and for that I am PROUD to call you Brother. 
You may have served during
Korea , WWII,. Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq or Afghanistan, But you served, you did not run. 
You have a DD 214 with those words “HONORABLY DISCHARGED” two of the most noble words in the world. 
Again I am proud to know each and every one of you.

Richard said he needs to sell a lot of these watches to send all his children to College.
LCDR Chris Phan

14Aug2014 West Coast ‘nam Vets and SEAL reunion Pictures
A few single pictures HERE !

2014 East Coast Reunion Pictures

Blackhawk MH-60K
Sam Orr

11 October 2014  Retirement Ceremony aboard the USS TEXAS (BB-35)

Sgt. Gerry Flowers USMC Recon 'nam Vet
Rudy Boesch, Survivor I

Whether you are 8 or 58, get comfortable being uncomfortable, get well prepared, and be all in, all the time.                     U.S.Navy SEAL

The Delta in Vietnam war games
Plank owners UWSS, Key West FL
Jack Menendez retirement invitation to Doc Riojas
Jim Cook remembers Doc Riojas SEAL Team TWO
Clark Stuart acquitted
the famous Rudy Boesch Survivor ONE TV series
Don Rose

World War 2: US Navy Corpsman Medical Bags and Field Medical Equipment

Why? one with white eye and the other with red eye?

SEALs with tattoos

The Mighty Moe 

The Mighty Moe. SEALs Mike boat, Vietnam

On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 a, Franklin Anderson  wrote an email to SEALs Team ONE and TWO: 

It will be 48 years ago (tomorrow 7 Oct) since the Mighty Moe was ambushed—over 40 dead VC, and 19 

Seal’s injured (3 had to retire due to injuries). HOOYAH – Franklin

From: Maynard Weyers Sent: Monday, October 06, 2014 To: ‘Erasmo “Doc” Riojas’ Subject: RE: MIGHTY MOE 
As Franklin indicated in his email, the third guy was John Penn – I was just drawing a blank on his name. 
I wasn’t on the boat at that time. I was with another plt (Dave Janke’s plt) and we were dropped off prior to the boat getting in the ambush. I was the Det Golf honcho and I tried to go out with new plts that had just arrived in country. Janke’s plt was on their first op in country. The guys survey out were Bill Pechacek, Bob Henry and the third guy (I can’t remember his name – black guy but, if I remember correctly, he lost an eye). The plt I was with was about 3 kilometers away from the action. They brought in a Spooky aircraft and they hosed down the area quite a bit. I don’t know where that number 40 KIA bad guys came from and I think that number would be somewhat suspect. 
That was a long time ago and memories are also somewhat suspect. J 


  Navy Frogman   is the source of the below articles:   Web Page  by:  RD Russell and Pam

 Leon F. Ranch Tribute witten by Capt F.W.Anderson

Unsung Hero:  Frank Erwin Goerlich BM1

Gunner Pearson 

to me If you’re talking about the first time the mighty Mo got hit that was Mosconis platoon I think the reports was 65 people from captured documents I was on that op and those that had to retire were Bob Henry John Henry Penn and Bill Pechachek 

Dick Pearson

Frogs of War
Talofofo Falls Guam UDT -12 2nd Platoon
Erasmo Riojas plays his Gibson at ST-2
Doc Rio at his COmuter
Kim and Roy Matthews

Gary Denham

The role of character in the selection, retention, and performance of Navy SEALs 

Gary Denham For 20 years Gary Denham served all over the world as a Navy SEAL. He continues to serve his country in the position of Director of Instructor Development fo r Naval Speci al Warfare Center. In this role, Gary has the opportunity to educate/develop instructors who are charged with the task of leading candidates through the BUD/s training program. Gary’s interactive presentation will explore some of the myths an d realities o f life as a SEAL.  Encapsulated in the “better pers on principle,” his talk will offer insight into why character is such a fundamental tenet of the SEAL program and culture and described how it is purposefully developed.

Navy Medicine: Saving Lives on Land and Sea

The U.S. Navy Medical Department touches the lives of every Sailor, every Marine, and every one of their loved ones. Men and women of Navy Medicine work tirelessly around the globe to promote good health in peace and to save lives in war.

The United States Navy Memorial’s virtual exhibit, “Navy Medicine: Saving Lives on Land and Sea,” highlights the history and contributions of these medical Sailors. The exhibit presents the role of Navy doctors, dentists, nurses, Medical Service Corps officers, and hospital corpsmen, as well as their many achievements. In order to tell the story of Navy Medicine the virtual exhibit examines its five corps, each of which plays a different but complementary role. This exhibit was on display at the United States Navy Memorial from April 12, 2008 – 2009. To tell the story of Navy Medicine the exhibit will examined its five corps, each of which plays a different but complementary role.

The Medical Corps, established in 1871, is comprised of the Navy’s 3,700 physician
The Hospital Corps, created in 1898, provides some 28,000 enlisted health care personnel to clinics
The Nurse Corps, which celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2008, has the Navy’s 4,100 registered nurses.
The Dental Corps, created in 1912, is comprised of the Navy’s 1,000+ dentists.
The Medical Service Corps, established in 1947, includes nearly 2,700 healthcare professionals.

Navy Medicine Saves Lives !

Ho Chi Minh in England! 

Navy Medicine Saves Lives !

From: darren to: Doc Rio, Kiet Nguyen, date: 01 Oct 2014  Subj: Ho Chi Minh in England

I hope you are both well and that life is being kind. 

I was down on the South Coast of England earlier this week, driving to a business meeting in the small seaside resort of Newhaven. As I drove into the town they had an advertisement banner hanging from each streetlight advertising various tourist attractions… I nearly crashed my car when I saw one of them was HO CHI MINH… they had a picture and statue of him!!!! 

As soon as I finished my meeting I drove past it again, just to be sure… and sure enough, it was definitely him. 

So I got home and googled “Ho Chi Minh – Newhaven” and a dozen links all came up with the same story. During/after World War 1 apparently Ho Chi Minh was in Northern France trying to set up the French Communist Party. Being a poor socialist the only work he could get was working as the pastry chef on the Newhaven (UK) to Dieppe (France) ferry. Apparently he spent a fair amount of time around Newhaven over the course of the next few years before officially founding the French Communist Party… and the rest as they say is history. 

As interesting as that is, it’s a small world. The irony is that Ho’s VC were up against you guys as SEALs… whose founding father Draper Kauffman attended WW2 OCS in Hove, England… TEN MILES AWAY from Newhaven where Ho Chi Minh had worked 30 years before!!!! 

What you guys were all fighting for 40+ years ago, half a world away… both sides had their roots in the tiny little county of Sussex on the South Coast of England. 

Who’d have thought it eh? 




                                              Ho Chi Minh statue in England

Jack B. James
O.B.L shooter
Denny Johnson
Doc Rio sporting the T shirt gift from Darren Greenwell
Miller & Riojas at a party sponsored by Raleigh Kraft at Front Royal Virginia 2014
Outstanding Enlisted
Minh Nguyen's Awards 2014 at Little Creek VA. Rudy Boesch attending
Minh Nguyen Baptism in My Tho , Vietnam
My Friend Rolf Schmitz in Germany
Doc Riojas horseback ridding at the Big Sky Ranch, Front Royal VA. home of Raleigh Kraft
Bob Holmes in Honduras 2007
Jimmy & Sgt. Gerry Flowers
USMC Ret. a Canadian Pilot extraordinaire ; yes that is young Gerry

Recon Vietnam, Gerry Flowers Sgt, squad leader:

the photo of my guys in Vietnam, I was not a Force Recon Marine, I was a Battalion Recon Marine. The difference is that Battalion worked on and at the Battalion Level and Force Recon meant Fleet Marine Force. Same type of unit, just two different levels of reporting. Myself and those eleven young Marines were referred to as a CAP…Combined Action Platoon and we lived continuously in the field. 

The picture of a Young me…was taken for a Vietnam Veterans in Canada Fund raiser back in 1986. I think that we raised $800.00 that night with good music, Blues, Jazz and a little Rock and Roll.

Don “Doc” Stone seastory about UWSS and Gene Cahill and Dow Byers, UWSS instructions 1960’s

                                                           LT. Fay and Wife                                                 The entrance, Main Gate, to U.S.NavStation Key West FL.

From Minh to Pete, Vietnam memories

Pictures on Google

Do you know SEALs in thesePICTURES?



New PBS Documentary Reveals the Untold Story of the U.S. Navy SEALs 

– Actor and Humanitarian Gary Sinise Narrates – 

-Premieres on Veterans Day 2014 at 9:00 p.m. ET – 

UPDATED: ARLINGTON, VA; OCTOBER 8, 2014 — PBS will premiere a new documentary about the history of the Navy SEALs. Narrated by actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, NAVY SEALS – THEIR UNTOLD STORY premieres on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET. Despite the widespread attention paid to the SEALs (Sea, Air and Land) since they eliminated Osama bin Laden, the story of how these clandestine commandoes evolved in response to changing threats — from WWII to the War on Terror — and how their extraordinary abilities shaped U.S. and world history, has remained untold. Few people know the unheralded tales of the first frogmen who dared to face almost certain death with little training, scant equipment and untested tactics. 

PBS Distribution will release the DVD version of NAVY SEALS: THEIR UNTOLD STORY on January 6, 2015. The DVD will be available for a suggested retail price of $24.99. The running time is 120 minutes. 

 Normandy and in subsequent conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq — might have been written with different outcomes. 


This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from


Found this: Richard N. Kurpiers July 28, 2004 12:44PM Institute of Marine Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagdez, P. R.

Caribbean Journal of Science Vol. 3 Number 4 December, 1963 

ABSTRACT: On April 20, 1963 a 10-foot ridge-back carcharhinid shark attacked and killed Lt. John Gibson, USN who was swimming at the surface in Magens Bay, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands without swim mask or flippers. The shark was caught the following day in the bay with the right hand and other remains of the man in its stomach. The shark was examined by the author and ultimately identified as Carcharhinus galapagensis by J. A. F. Garrick who is revising the genus. This is apparently the first authenticated shark attack in the Virgin Islands and the first record of galapagensis from the western Atlantic. 

WHILE IN residence for nearly three years on St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands in 
1958-1961, the author made many inquiries of maritime people, doctors, government employees, etc., concerning possible shark incidents in the area. Although the Virgin Islands has long been a popular resort region, frequented by many bathers and divers, no one could recall any shark attack resulting in injury or death to man. One fatality off Reef Bay. St. John which occurred about 20 years ago was attributed by some to a shark; however, upon investigation, it appears to have resulted accidentally from the whirling propeller of an inboard motorboat. 

The seemingly unblemished record of the Virgin Islands with respect to shark attacks was resoundingly broken on April 20, 1963 when Lt. (jg) John Gibson. USN of the Underwater Demolition Team was killed by a 10 foot shark in Magens Bay on the north shore of St. Thomas, the most popular bathing site on the island. The shark was caught on the following day, and the remains of the man were removed from its stomach. The identity of the shark was variously reported in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico newspapers and news broadcasts as a blacktip shark, hammerhead shark, and thresher shark. 

A phone call on April 22 to UDT headquarters on St. Thomas revealed that the shark was still on hand at the morgue of the Knud-Hansen Memorial Hospital in Charlotte Amalie, although in such poor condition that its disposal had been requested by hospital authorities. The author flew the next day to St. Thomas to examine the shark. It proved to be a male specimen of a ridge-back species of Carcharhinus Blainville. 

The assistance of various members of the hospital staff and of the Underwater Demolition Team of the U. S. Navy is gratefully acknowledged. Thanks are due Lt. George W. Kirby, Jr., USN who was assigned the duty of investigating officer of the tragic incident. and who made the information of his investigation available to the author and provided prints of photographs of the shark. of the body of the 

victim and the remains from the shark’s stomach. One of the photographs of the shark is reproduced herein as Figure 1. The remaining photographs of the shark and those of the body have been deposited at the Division of Fishes of the U. S. National Museum. 

When examined, the shark was partially desiccated externally, the flesh nearly liquefied medially in the body, and most internal organs were removed. The total length was taken at 9 feet 7 inches without bending the upper lobe of the caudal fin downward to the mid-line. The St. Thomas Daily News reported the length as 
10 feet I inch, a measurement made when the shark was fresh and hence probably greater than when the shark was somewhat dried. No accurate measurement could be made of the greatest body depth or girth by the author. The body seemed slender in spite of desiccation and removal of viscera. The newspaper reported the girth when fresh as 45 ‘/~ inches. The snout was fairly short and bluntly rounded. The pectoral fins were relatively thin. The origin of the second dorsal fin was slightly anterior to that of the anal fin. The jaws and teeth (Fig. 2), second dorsal and anal fins, one nostril, and a section of skin across the ridge on the back between the dorsal fins were taken from the specimen and brought to the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagiiez where they are deposited under UPR number 1140. 

Counts of the teeth and vertebrae and measurement data from the specimen are given in Table 1. 

The precaudal vertebral count of 104 was made by dissection. The caudal fin was Xrayed at the hospital to provide a count of the caudal vertebrae; however, it was learned after the carcass of the shark was dumped at sea that one of the two overlapping X rays did not include all of the basal caudal vertebrae. The incomplete caudal vertebral count was 90. 

Utilizing the most recent published papers that provide for the identification of western Atlantic Carcharhinus (Bigelow and Schroeder, 1948; Springer, 1950), the shark was tentatively labelled as C. springeri Bigelow and Schroeder. There were differences, however, between the specimen and the descriptions of springeri. The jaws, other pieces saved from the shark, and measurement and meristic data were then sent to 1. A. F. Garrick who is working on a revision of the difficult genus Carcharhinus at the Division of Fishes, U. S. National Museum. 

Garrick identified the specimen as C. galapagensis (Snodgrass and Heller), a species recorded only from oceanic islands of the eastern Pacific (Rosenblatt and Baldwin, 1958). Previously Garrick had seen specimens of galapagensis from St. Helena, Ascension and Bermuda in the Atlantic. The occurrence of galapagensis in the Virgin Islands is therefore not so surprising. The St. Thomas specimen reported here does, however, represents the first published record from the western Atlantic. 

According to Garrick, springeri and galapagensis may be distinguished principally by the number of teeth (springeri has 24 to 26 teeth in the outer row of the upper jaw, not counting the small symphyseals, and 22 to 24 teeth in the lower jaw, while galapagensis has 28 to 30 upper and 26 to 30 lower teeth), vertical height of the second dorsal fin (2.9 to 3.2 percent of total length in springeri and 2.4 to 2.8 percent of total length in galapagensis) and the shape of the upper teeth (narrower and notched on both margins in springeri; noticeably concave to notched only on the lateral margins of galapagensis). 

The precaudal vertebral count of 104 in the St. Thomas specimen does not provide for separation from springeri which seems to have approximately the same range in the number of vertebrae as -alapagensis, nor would this one count distin-uish the species from C. falciformis (Miiller and Henle), but it does from all other known western Atlantic Carcharhinus (counts from Garrick, MS). 

The St. Thomas shark has a shorter pectoral fin and slightly different shaped teeth than typical galapagensis; however Garrick believes that these differences will be shown to be within the range of variability of the species when more specimens of diverse size and locality are available for examination. 

Magens Bay, the site of the attack, is “Upshaped, 1.7 miles long and 0.7 miles wide and opens to the northwest. With the usual easterly tradewind it is ordinarily calm and relatively clear, and April 20 was no exception in this re-, ard. The water temperature, judging from readings made in Lameshur Bay, St. John in April of 
1960 and 1961 (Randall, 1962) probably approximated 280 C. 

Gibson arrived at the beach at the head of the bay with a companion, Donna Waugh. He suggested a swim from the beach near the southwest end across to the rocky northeast shore. She declined and said that she would walk along the shore and meet him on the other side. He entered the water and began swimming at the surface without face mask or swim fins. He was well tanned and was wearing swim trunks of a plaid pattern of deep red. Later, as Miss Waugh paused to talk with someone on the beach, she thought she heard a scream from the water. Looking out toward Gibson, who was then some distance from shore, she saw no evidence of a struggle but noted that he had switched from a crawl to what seemed to be a sidestroke. When she reached the northeast shore it became apparent to her that Gibson was in serious trouble, for he rolled to one side, and she saw that one of his hands was missing. Heroically, she swam to him in spite of his warning to her to get out of the water, for the shark was still molesting him. She aided him as he swam for shore. For her bravery Miss Waugh was later awarded the U. S. Treasury gold life saving medal. When they neared shore, she perceived that a man (Teddy Miller) had come to their aid, and she left Gibson and ran to two fishermen, Paul and Aubry Bryn, who were standing near their 
15-foot outboard motor boat at the northeast corner of the bay. The shark continued to menace Gibson, and Miller threw rocks at it, while standing in the shallow water, to try to frighten it away. The boat containing the fishermen and Miss Waugh maneuvered in the bloody water between the shark and the injured man. As Gibson was brought into the boat he was dead or nearly so, and it was noted that very little blood escaped from his massive wounds into the boat. He was pronounced dead at 2 p.m. 

In addition to the loss of the right hand, there were enormous bites taken from the left shoulder area and the right thigh and hip. The left foot was bitten, but no flesh was removed. One of the UDT men theorized that Gibson may have been bitten first on the foot and that he subsequently lost his right hand fending the shark off. The huge bite on his thigh severed the femoral artery, and as indicated later by a doctor, the man could not have lived more than about 15 seconds after this wound was inflicted. The wound must therefore have Occurred when the man was near the rocky shore, probably either while Miss Waugh was still swimming with him or Miller was trying to assist him. The first attack on Gibson, which Miss Waugh presumes to have taken place when she heard the scream, occurred at about 1:30 p.m. or slightly before. The depth of the water in which Gibson swam probably did not exceed 40 feet at any place. 

Beginning at 8 a.m. the following day, approximately 15 UDT men in two of their vessels set shark hooks from six 55-gallon drums in Magens Bay. The hooks were baited with goat meat. Shortly after 4: 30 p.m. one of the drums was observed bobbing in the water. As the men rushed to the scene ‘ a large shark was observed to be hooked. It was killed with a shotgun and transported to the UDT base. The right hand of a man plus other human remains were removed from the stomach. Several of the UDT men remarked that the hand showed little signs of digestion, and this is evident from the photograph. The hand was preserved in formalin and sent to the Navy Pathology Laboratory at Bethesda, Maryland. 

It is not known whether galapagensis will prove to be a rare species in the West Indian region or whether it is relatively common and has been recorded previously under some other name or names. It is the author’s o!)inion from limited observations that the ciosely related C. springeri, which was not described until 
1944, will prove to be the most abundant inshore species of shark other than the nurse shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum (Bonnaterre), in the West Indies. 

On March 17, 1961 the author was frightened by an aggressive carcharhinid of at least 8 feet in length believed at the time to be springeri, but which could have been galapagensis. The shark, which was lacking the outer part of the upper lobe of its caudal fin, passed nearby at a depth of 90 feet in the clear water on the north shore of Tobago, British Virgin Islands. It made a broad circle as the author rose in the water toward the safety of a vessel overhead, and then it rushed upward. Acting on the belief that the usual first rea~ction of an animal which is attacked is to retreat, an overt movement was made in the direction of the shark, and it veered off. The boat was reached before the shark returned.

Email  10Jan2014
From: Dante Stephensen 

Yes, Doc, I knew him (he was 2 or 3 classes behind me and an excellent competitive college swimmer.

1. He decided to swim the ½ mile+ or so across shallow Magens Bay, St. Thomas as his girlfriend walked the beach to meet him on the other side. But more important, this was the finest largest most popular beach in all of St. T. and the locals understandably were both horrified & petrified.

2. This was the islands first known shark death attack and the victim was a frogman…unheard of. The fear on the island was intense. They worried that tourism might take a big blow.

3. His date actually walked into the water to pull him ashore and the shark tugged and dragged him back out into deeper water. By this time he was likely unconscious or dead.

4. So I suggested we set some traps and was laughed at. Point is, we might get lucky. We knew the shark was large, about 11 feet long. I summarized that this might be an older shark who could not fend for himself in the deep ocean and came to shallow water looking for a free meal. Turns out I was correct. He is also of an unknown breed which I cannot pronounce.

5. So I gathered some volunteers, those who did not volunteer thought I was nuts. Our skipper finally gave in and gave us two LCPLs to use. He stipulated that I be the OIC of this silly mission…

6. We worked all night preparing 55 gallon drums, rancid meat, shark hooks, etc.

7. Next morning we took the long trip around the island to Magens Bay. Yes it was hot out.

8. I ran my command post from the top of a hill so I could see the whole shallow clear bay.

9. All day we thought we saw a large figure swimming, but no one was sure; the water was both clear and shallow. We were all getting tired since no 55 gallon drum was seen bouncing.

10. The day was now over, all wanted to go have a beer, but I said no, not until we check each barrel. Since no one noticed one bobbing, my guys said I was nuts and resisted, but I held firm.

11. One by one each shark line at each barrel was examined.

a. Barrel 1. The shark hook was straightened out and the rancid goat meat was gone. Wow.

b. Barrel 2, Same thing. We began to get excited. Maybe we weren’t nuts, after all.…

c. Barrel 3, nothing had been touched. Now it was getting depressing…until the next one.

d. Last barrel. We caught a shark, very tired from fighting the hook, he was shot and brought aboard one of the LCPLs. As yet, no one knew if we got the right shark. He was enormous.

12. We headed for our base on the other side of the island. I was told Geo. Wall cut open the 11 foot shark and found inside him a hand, an arm, a UDT watch, etc. Yes, we got the culprit…

13. The island relaxed and returned to normal.

14. Our doc. Ken Faust, stipulated the found parts belonged to Ens. Gibson, our missing Frogman.

Since this was the “first” shark occurrence for St. Thomas, someone is writing a book about it and called me for help, not knowing I was involved in the capture. And so it goes.

Your buddy, Dante 
This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from

Hooyah!  A shouted term used often in SEAL Training that means:

  • Hell Yeah!

  • Fuck off

  • Fuck you

  • OH SHIT, not again!

  • Yes Instructor

  • Not again


Seven Characteristics of Highly Resilient People:

Insights from Navy SEALs to the “Greatest Generation” Electronic copy available at: 
124090124124004107091115082101&EXT=pdf IJEMH • Vol. 14, No. 2 • 2012 137International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. xxx-xxx © 2012 Chevron Publishing ISSN 1522-4821 

Seven Characteristics of Highly Resilient People: Insights from Navy SEALs to the “Greatest Generation”Abstract: Having reviewed investigative methods such as structural equation modeling, seminal manuals ofwar (von Clausewitz, 1976, rev.1984; Clavell, 1983), as well as individual interviews and focus groups with highly resilient people such as Navy SEALs, law enforcement professionals, and the “children of the GreatDepression” now commonly referred to as the “greatest generation,” we sought to discover the commonthemes, or characteristics, of highly resilient people. In this paper, we present our initial impressions that there exist seven important characteristics that seem to be associated with enhanced human resilience. [International Journal of Emergency mental Health, 2012, 14(2)] Key words: Resilience, Navy SEALS, Johns Hopkins Model of ResiliencyGratitude is extended to CAPT Don Hinsvark, MA, Underwater Demolition Team Eleven, Naval Reserve Naval Special Warfare Detachment 119, United States Navy (retired) for his personal support and valuable contributions to this paper.


 Thanks, also, to Jacqueline Hinsvark for her help in concept formulation and refinement. George S. Everly, Jr., PhD, ABPP, serves on faculty at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 Dennis K. McCormack, Ph.D. served with Underwater Demolition Team Twelve, and SEAL Team One, United States Navy (retired). Douglas A Strouse, PhD is the President and CEO of Global Data, Inc in Towson, MD.

 Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to A review of current events reveals crisis in epidemic proportions. Political crises, not just in the United States, but in Greece, Syria, Egypt, and Italy, seem largely symptoms of a far more pervasive and malignant state of economic crisis. While crisis is becoming the norm, it is still anxiogenic. 

From a community, or societal, perspective, crisis (or even the threat thereof) stifles innovation, is an impediment to investment, fosters a hording mentality, and is generally de-stabilizing. From a personal perspective crisis creates fear, unrest, and paralyzes inclinations to act, or leads to the opposite course, ie, impulsive, often regretful, actions largely because it threatens a core human need – the need for safety. The resultant toxic environment may erode organizational, community, and personal health. As dismal as this might sound, not every organization, community, or person is adversely affected by the toxicity of uncertainty and manifest crisis. Some individuals seem resilient in such George S. Everly, Jr The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Dennis K. McCormack Underwater Demolition Team TWELVE , SEAL Team ONE Supervisory Clinical Psychologist (Ret.) Douglas A Strouse Global Data, Inc Towson, MD Electronic copy available at: 
138 Everly, McCormack, Strouse

 • Seven Characteristics of Highly Resilient People circumstances; thus they are minimally affected. Others manifest such resilience that they seem actually to prosper in adversity. In times of prosperity, there is little motivation to study human resilience, but during times of uncertainty, crisis, and adversity the motivation is substantial. In previous publications 
(Everly, 2009; Everly, etal, 2010), we have written about the elements of what we refer to as a resilient culture.Here we turn our attention to the individual. Thus, having reviewed investigative methods such as structural equation modeling, seminal manuals of war (von Clausewitz, 1976, rev.1984; Clavell, 1983), as well as individual interviews and focus groups with highly resilient people such as Navy SEALs, law enforcement professionals, and the children of the Great Depression, we present our initial impressions that there exist seven important characteristics that seem to be associated with enhanced human resilience. Resilience Defined Human resilience may be thought of as the ability to positively adapt to and/or rebound from significant adversity and distress. Bonnano (2004) defines resilience as the ability of adults to maintain relatively stable and healthy levels of psychological and physical functioning after having been exposed to potentially disruptive or traumatic events. Bonnano suggests that factors such as hardiness, self-enhancement, repressive coping (emotional dissociation), and positive emotions may under gird effective resilience In a review of runaway children who showed remarkable resilience, key factors emerged as protective according to William, Lindsey, Kurtz, and Jarvis (2001). These protective factors include:

 • determination and persistence,• an optimistic orientation to problem-solving,• ability to find purpose in life, and• caring for oneself.According to The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Fostering Resiliency [available online: http://www., children who develop competence, despite adversity and difficult conditions while growing up, appear to share the following qualities:

 • a sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy,• an action oriented approach to obstacles or challenges,• the ability to see an obstacle as a problem that can be engaged, changed, overcome, or at least endured, • reasonable persistence, with an ability to know when “enough is enough,” and• flexible problem-solving and stress management tactics. Haglund, Cooper, Southwick, and Charney (2007) provide one of the most succinct analyses of the various components of resilience. They identify six primary factors that may protect against and aid in recovery from extreme or traumatic stress:

 • actively facing fears and trying to solve problems,

• regular physical exercise,

• optimism,

• following a moral compass,

• promoting social support, nurturing friendships, and seeking role models, and 

• being open minded and flexible in the way one thinks about problems, or avoiding rigid and dogmatic thinking. The Johns Hopkins Model Of Resiliency One integrative model contributing heuristic value to the construct of resilience is the Johns Hopkins Model of Resistance, Resilience, and Recovery (henceforth, the Hopkins Model). The Hopkins model served to advance the field by recognizing the importance of putting resilience on a continuum, and by separating out the notion of protective immunity from the notion of resilience as a form of rebound 
(Kaminsky, McCabe, Langlieb, & Everly, 2007; Nucifora, Langlieb, Siegal, Everly, & Kaminsky, 2007; Nucifora, Hall, & Everly, 2011). The Hopkins model describes resistanceas the ability to withstand manifestations of clinical distress, impairment, or dysfunction associated with critical incidents, terrorism, and even mass disasters. 

One could think of resistance as a form of “psychological immunity todistress and dysfunction” (Nucifora et al., p. S34). Resilience,in this model, refers to the ability to rapidly and effectively rebound from psychological and/or behavioral perturbations associated with critical incidents, terrorism, and even mass disasters (Kaminsky, McCabe, Langlieb, & Everly, 2007). IJEMH • Vol. 14, No. 2 • 2012 139Finally, recovery refers to observed improvement following the application of treatment and rehabilitative procedures. Seven Characteristics of Highly Resilient People In an effort to integrate previous theory and research in human resilience, we offer a distillation of findings in an effort to better inform the enhancement of human resilience. We believe that the defining elements of human resilience reside in seven core characteristics, all of which can be learned 

(Everly, 2009, Everly, Strouse, & Everly, 2010, Everly & Links, in press):

 • présence d’esprit: calm, innovative, non-dogmaticthinking, 

• decisive action,• tenacity,• interpersonal connectedness,

• honesty,

• self-control, and

• optimism and a positive perspective on life.

Présence d’esprit, or calm, innovative, non-dogmatic thinking, is an essential element in resilience. Having the presence of mind to think in a calm, rational manner, especially under stress is rare. The ability to see old problems from a new perspective is key to overcoming hindrances that stifle others. Sometimes referred to as “out of the box” thinking, innovative thinking is characterized by highly flexible, nondogmatic cognitive processes. Such cognitive processing can result in a new level of decision-making efficacy. The key platform upon which innovative thinking rests is the belief that a solution can always be found. The SEAL Ethos states that, “We demand discipline.  We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of the mission depend on me, my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. 

My training is never complete” (McCormack, in press).  Navy SEALs embody many qualities which enhance their ability to succeed in the most arduous of situations. Innovation is perhaps one of the most powerful characteristics which may well define a crucial element in determining success over failure in any given situation. Change is inevitable, and the more predisposed one is to employ creative thinking in those critical moments when decisions made make the difference between life or death, the better position one is in to cope effectively and succeed. Innovation is a necessary ingredient of a SEAL’s personal arsenal. Innovation is synonymous with a solution-focused process leading to the implementation of decisions which will help ensure success. The essential focus is not concentrating on what is wrong, per se, but rather, having defined the problem, the focus is on finding a novel solution. Success as a team requires maximum participation of team members in this creative approach to problem solving. The pressure of problem-solving is often disabling, in short, the tyranny of the decision proves disabling to all but the most resilient. Once a decision has been reached, it is essential to act decisively. Many people wait for the “moment of absolute certainty.” Sadly the moment of absolute certainty seldom comes, or when it does, its often too late 

. The English proverb, “He who hesitates is lost,” seems apropos in this context. The hesitancy that typifies non-resilient decision-making is often the fear of making a mistake, or failing. The corollary to decisive action, however is the necessity to take responsibility for one’s actions. Taking responsibility is sometimes difficult, especially if the action leads to an undesirable outcome. However, highly resilient people are often the first to take responsibility because they see that as the first step toward resolution and subsequent success. Sometimes, making a decision and acting on it in a timely manner is still not enough to warrant being considered resilient. Tenacity is essential. Great American success stories are replete with the theme of tenacity. In many cases it was not the genius that predicted success, it was the tenacity. Take the case of the electric light bulb. The first electric light was invented in 1800 by Humphrey Davy, an English scientist. He successfully electrified a carbon filament with a battery. Unfortunately, the filament burned out too quickly to have practical value. In 1879, Thomas Edison discovered that a carbon cotton filament in an oxygen-free glass bulb not only glowed but would glow for up to 40 hours. This new bulb required relatively low levels of electricity and could be produced for a large market. With further time, Edison created a bulb that could glow for over 1200 hours. And what was the difference between Davy on one hand and Edison on the other? Edison persevered in his testing until he found the right combination of filament and bulb. But, according to Edison himself, it required over 6000 failed experiments to arrive at the right combination. 
140 Everly, McCormack, Strouse

 • Seven Characteristics of Highly Resilient People As Abraham Lincoln learned, numerous failures often precede remarkable victories. In 1833 Lincoln failed in business, but he was elected to the Illinois state legislature in 1834. In 1835, he lost his “sweetheart.” In 1836 he suffered a “nervous breakdown.” In 1838 he was re-elected to Illinois legislature. In 1843, Lincoln was defeated for a congressional nomination, but was elected in 1846. In 1848, he lost re-nomination. In 1854, Lincoln was defeated in his run for the U.S. Senate and then defeated for nomination for Vice President in 1856. In 1858, Lincoln was again defeated for U.S. Senate. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States. 

Finally, On July 4, 1863, in the little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln delivered in about two and one half minutes one of the greatest presentations of American oratory, his Gettysburg Address, wherein his words resound with tenacity and optimism. Interpersonal connectedness and support may be the single most powerful predictor of human resilience. In the military, the mantra is “unit cohesion, unit cohesion, unit cohesion.” In the social and business worlds, sometimes it really is whom you that counts, and how strong the bond of affinity is. The benefits of interpersonal support have been known for over a century. Charles Darwin, writing in 1871, noted that a tribe whose members were always ready to aid one another and to sacrifice themselves for the common good would be victorious over most other tribes. One of the founding fathers of the field of psychosomatic medicine was a Johns Hopkins’ trained physician by the name of Stewart Wolf. While Dr. Wolf made many important contributions, one of his greatest was his study of Roseta, Pennsylvania and is summarized in his book, “ThePower of Clan: The Influences of Human Relationships on Heart Disease.” The book told the story of the socially cohesive community of Roseta and Dr. Wolf’s amazing 25year investigation of the health of its inhabitants. What made Roseta a medical marvel was that its inhabitants possessed significant risk factors for heart disease such as smoking, high cholesterol diets, and a sedentary lifestyle. Despite these risk factors occurring at a prevalence equal to surrounding towns, the inhabitants appeared to possess an immunity to heart disease compared to their neighbors. The death rate from heart disease was less than half that of surrounding towns.   

Wolf discovered that the protective factor was not in the water, nor the air, but was in the people themselves. Research revealed that social cohesiveness, traditional family values, a family-oriented social structure (where three and even four generations could reside in the same household), and emotional support imparted immunity from heart disease. The people of Roseta shared a strong Italian heritage. They practiced the same religion. They shared a strong sense of community identity and civic pride. Unfortunately, with time, the young adults embraced suburban living and with the rise of suburban living, the residents of Roseta slowly abandoned the mutually supportive family-oriented social structure and, as they did, the prevalence of heart disease ultimately rose so as to be equivalent to that of surrounding towns. The immunity that a shared identity, mutual values, and social cohesion had afforded was lost.

 Having just read of the importance of interpersonal support, one must wonder what characteristics are likely to engender the support of others? We believe amongst the most compelling is integrity. Integrity is doing that which is right. It is considering not only what is good for you, but what is good for others as well. Integrity isn’t just a situationby situation process of decision-making, it is a consistent way of living. When we see it in others, we usually admire it. Integrity engenders trust. It makes us feel safe. Mahatma Gandhi was said that there are seven things that will destroy society: wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; knowledge without character; religion without sacrifice; politics without principle; science without humanity; business without ethics. Self-discipline and self-control are the hallmark characteristics of SEALs. Interestingly, compared to subsequent generations self-discipline and self-control appear to be hallmarks of the “greatest generation” as well. Self-discipline and self-control is another factor we believe engenders resilience. Perhaps the single most dangerous action one can take is the impulsive action. Road rage, airline rage, certain types of gambling, and even certain types of domestic violence may be related to the inability to practice self-control. On the other hand, we know certain health promoting behaviors, such as relaxation training, physical exercise, and practicing good nutrition require a certain self-discipline that many simply find too challenging to practice consistently. Sadly, these health promoting practices seem to engender resilience (and resistance) as we have discussed previously.  

The seventh and final core characteristic of personal resilience, upon which the previous six characteristics rest, we believe is optimism and positive thinking. Optimism is the tendency to take the most positive or hopeful view of matIJEMH • Vol. 14, No. 2 • 2012 141ters. It is the tendency to expect the best outcome, and it is the belief that good prevails over evil. Optimistic people are more perseverant and resilient than are pessimists. Optimistic people tend to be more task-oriented and committed to success than are pessimistic people. Optimistic people appear to tolerate adversity to a greater extent than do pessimists. The optimist always has a reason to look forward to another day. Recent research (Everly & Firestone, in press) suggests there may be two types of optimism: passive and active. Passive optimism consists of hoping things will turn out well in the future. Active optimism is acting in a manner to increase the likelihood that things will indeed turn out well in the future. Active optimism has been described as a mandate to create a positive future. 

A common characteristic of a Navy SEAL is the presence of a strong positive mental attitude which expects success. Success is a way of life for SEALs. It must be. The difference between success and failure is too often the difference between life and death. The optimistic attitude that expects, if not demands success, positively impacts upon all aspects of living. Success does not happen by chance; from the SEAL perspective, it exists because one makes it so. The optimistic expectation of success occurs, from that perspective, because of relentless preparation, understanding only too well the meaning of sacrifice. For the SEAL, success begins with an optimistic attitude. In his groundbreaking book, Learned Optimism, Dr. Martin Seligman (Seligman, 1998) argues that optimists get depressed less often, they are higher achievers, and they are physically healthier than pessimistic people. In his other book, The Optimistic Child, Dr. Seligman (Seligman, Reivich, Jaycox, & Gillham, 1995) makes the case that depression has become a virtual epidemic that has gradually increased over the years to the point that, in one research investigation, the incidence of a depressive disorder was found to be 9% in a sample of 3000 adolescent children in southeastern United States. Prior to 1960, depression was relatively rare, reported mostly by middle-aged women. Now depression appears in both males and females as early as middle school and its prevalence increases as one ages. Seligman (Seligman et al, 
1995) notes, “Our society has changed from an achieving society to a feel-good society. Up until the 1960s, achievement was the most important goal to instill in our children. This goal was overtaken by the twin goals of happiness and self-esteem” (p. 40). Now you might read this and say, “What’s wrong with happiness and self-esteem?” The answer is: nothing, as long as they are built upon a foundation of something more substantial than the mere desire to possess them. Seligman argues that we cannot directly teach lasting self-esteem. Rather, he says, “self-esteem is caused by…successes and failures in the world” (p. 35).Seligman has shown that people can be taught optimistic behaviors. Dr. Albert Bandura would agree. Bandura’s (1997)work is summarized in his magnum opus on self-efficacy and human agency, entitled Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. Bandura defines the perception of self-efficacy as the belief in one’s own ability to exercise control in a meaningful and positive way. More specifically, self-efficacy is the optimistic belief in one’s ability to organize and execute the courses of action required to achieve necessary and desired goals. This perception of control, or influence, Bandura points out, is an essential aspect of life itself; “People guide their livesby their beliefs of personal efficacy” (p. 3). He goes on to note: “People’s beliefs in their efficacy have diverse effects.  Such beliefs influence the courses of action people choose to pursue, how much effort they put forth in given endeavors, how long they will persevere in the face of obstacles and failures…” (Bandura, 1997, p.3).Bandura has described four sources that affect the perception of self-efficacy and are particularly relevant in terms of the building of stress resilience.

 They are as follows: self-efficacy by doing things successfully; self-efficacy by watching others be successful; self-efficacy through coaching, encouragement, support; and self-efficacy through self-regulation. Consistent with our previous discussions, Reivich and Shatte (2002), define resilience as the ability to “persevereand adapt when things go awry” (p. 1). Most importantly and relevant to the present discussion, they argue that resilience resides in the domain of cognitive appraisal, a theme we have discussed. Theory and controlled empirical investigations alike appear to converge on the conclusion that the response to any stressful event will be greatly influenced by the appraisal of the situation, the ability to attach a constructive meaning to the experience, the ability to foresee an effective means of coping with the challenges of a given situation, and the ability to ultimately incorporate the experience into some overarching belief system or schema (Everly, 1980; Everly & Lating, 2004; Reivich & Shatte, 2002; Smith, Davey, & Everly, 2007). A series of research studies was conducted to empirically examine the viability of the putative deterministic role of appraisal in health and work-related outcomes (Smith, 
142 Everly, McCormack, Strouse

 • Seven Characteristics of Highly Resilient People Davey, & Everly, 1995; 2006; 2007; Smith & Everly, 1990; Smith, Everly, & Johns, 1993). In a number of investigations, acute cognitive or affective indicators were predictive of physical health outcomes as well as work-related outcomes such as job satisfaction, turnover intention, and burnout. Replicated results indicate that adverse life events are not as important in the ultimate determination of physical health, psychological health, job satisfaction, job performance, and the desire to change jobs as are the cognitive or affective indicia associated with those events (Everly, Davey, Smith, Lating, & Nucifors, 2011; Everly, Smith, & Lating, 2010). Summary The preceding impressions may be more heuristic than determinative, nevertheless they may be worthy of consideration as the immediate future does not appear to hold any “quick fix” nor spontaneous healing for a world that, at times, seems out of control. While one cannot always control the events that touch one’s life, there appears to be much one can do to withstand (resistance) or bounce back from (resilience) adversity. . The characteristics of highly resilient people appear to be more easily stated and understood than widely embraced and implemented: We believe that the defining elements of human resilience reside in seven core characteristics, all of which can be learned: 1) présence d’esprit: calm, innovative, non-dogmatic thinking, 2) acting decisively, 3) tenacity, 4) interpersonal connectedness, 5) honesty, 6) self-control, and 
7) optimism and a positive perspective on life.


  Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control.New York: Freeman. Bonnano, G.A. (2004). Loss, trauma, and human resilience: Have we underestimated the human capacity to thrive after extremely aversive events? American Psychologist,59(1), 20-28. Clausewitz, Carl Von (1976, rev.1984). On War. edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret.. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Sun Tzu edited by James Clavell (1983). The art of war.Delacorte Press. Everly, G.S., Jr. (2009). The resilient child. NY: DiaMedica. Everly, G.S., Jr., (1980). Nature and treatment of the humanstress response. NY: Plenum. Everly, G.S., Jr., Strouse, DA, & Everly, GS, III (2010). Resilient Leadership. NY: DiaMedica. Everly, G.S., Jr., & Lating, J.M. (2004). Personality guidedtherapy of posttraumatic stress disorder. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Everly, G.S., Jr., Davey, J., Smith, K, Lating, J. & Nucifora, F. 
(2011). A defining aspect of human resilience in the workplace: A structural modeling analysis. Disaster Medicineand Public Health Preparedness, 5, 98-105. Everly, G.S., Jr., & Links, A. (in press). Resiliency: A Qualitative analysis of law enforcement and elite Military personnel. In Paton, D. and Violanti, J. (eds). Working inhigh risk environments: Developing sustained resiliency. Springfield, IL: CC Thomas. Everly, G.S., Jr., Smith, K, & Lating, J. (2010). Rationale for cognitively based resilience and psychological first aid (PFA) training: A structural modeling analysis. InternationalJournal of Emergency Mental Health, 11 (4), 
249-262. Gladwell, M. (2000) Tipping point. NY: Little Brown Haglund, M., Cooper, N., Southwick, S., & Charney, D. 
(2007). 6 keys to resilience for PTSD and everyday life. Current Psychiatry, 6, 23-30. Kaminsky, M.J., McCabe, O.L., Langlieb, A., & Everly, G.S., Jr. (2007). An evidence-informed model of human resistance, resilience, & recovery: The Johns Hopkins’outcomes-driven paradigm for disaster mental healthservices. Brief Therapy and Crisis Intervention, 7, 1-11. McCormack, D.K. (in press). Innovation: Life blood of Navy SEALs. The BLAST: Journal of Special Naval Warfare. Nucifora, F., Hall, R., & Everly, GS, Jr, (2011). Reexamining the role of the traumatic stressor and the trajectory of posttraumatic distress in thewake of disaster. DisasterMedicine and Public Health Preparedness, 5 (supplement 
2): S1-4. Nucifora, F., Jr., Langlieb, A., Siegal, E., Everly, GS. Jr., & Kaminsky, M.J. (2007). Building resistance, resilience, and recovery in the wake of school and workplace violence. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 
1 (Supplement 1), 33-37. Reivich, K., & Shatte, A. (2002). The resilience factor. NY: Broadway. IJEMH • Vol. 14, No. 2 • 2012 143Seligman, M. (1998). Learned optimism. New York, NY: Pocket Books Seligman, M.E.P., Reivich, K., Jaycox, L., & Gillham, J. (1995). The optimistic child. New York: Houghton- Mifflin. Smith, K.J., Davy, J.A., & Everly, G.S., Jr. (1995). An examination of the antecedents of job dissatisfaction and turnover intentions among CPAs in public accounting. Accounting Enquiries, 5(1), 99-142. Smith, K.J., Davy, J.A., & Everly, G.S., Jr. (2006). Stress arousal and burnout: A construct distinctiveness evaluation. Proceedings of the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association. Washington, DC. Smith, K.J., Davy, J.A., & Everly, G.S. Jr. (2007). An assessment of the contribution of stress arousal to the beyond the role stress model. Advances in Accounting BehavioralResearch, 10, 127-158..Smith, K.J., & Everly, G.S., Jr. (1990). An intra- and interoccupational analysis of stress among accounting academicians. Behavioral Research in Accounting, 2, 154 173.Smith, K., Everly, G., & Johns, A. (1993). Role of cognitiveaffective arousal in the dynamics of stressor-to-illness processes. Contemporary Accounting Research, 9, 432-449.s.William, N.R., Lindsey, E.W., Kurtz, P.D., & Jarvis, S. 
(2001). From trauma to resiliency: Lessons from runaway and homeless youth. Journal of Youth Studies, 4, 233-253.




Vietnam War, The Chieu Hoi Program
A "monkey Bridge in the Vietnam Delta
This is an example of the "Agent Orange" defoliated forrest in Vietnam which we, Navy SEALs, sometimes had to work in it.
More Defoliated area in Vietnam, Notice it is inhabited !
Lt-Rt: Glen Grinage EN3, our STAB driver, Doc Riojas Chuck Jessie, Bob Peterson on SEAL Mike Boat
Curtis Ashton Navy SEAL K.I.A. Vietnam

A SEAL Warrior!

After viewing some of the SEAL “Wannabe’s” lies and  fabrications about being a SEAL brother; that night I had this dream.

 Curtis Ashton (read “Good To Go” by Harry Constance and see their pictures on the cover) was KIA on his second ‘Nam War games Tour. Lil Ashton also AKA: “Butch”  died a young man doing what he had trained for and what he believed was the right thing to do in his life. “Lil Ashton” my Teammate of SEAL Team TWO Special Naval Warfare during the 1960’s will be missed by all of us.  May he Rest In Peace !

                I,   Erasmo “Doc” Riojas dreamed that Curtis Ashton, from Sweetwater TX, talked to me through his God’s  Guardian Angel.

This is what “lil Ashton” said to me in my dream:

“Doc, I was killed in action in the ‘Nam War Games, but I am not forgotten. I am always in the present minds of the SEALs that lived thru that fiasco. You guys will never forget us or allow us to have died in vain.

You and I made our first tour to Ho Chi Minh’s backyard together in 1967. We had a lot of fun and games with the original Seventh Platoon.

Too bad we lost one man, Gene Fraley. I felt sorry for “Rinney” his German Shepard, but we all worked it out and we finished a fantastic tour of duty in 1968 at MyTho, Vietnam.
We got a little rattled during Tet when the VC overran MyTHo, but we survived that and lived to send some of those ‘cong to Buddha.
I miss you guys as much as you guys miss me. We are a tight family, remember: “We are the> Frog Family, the best family!” That is our song and it truly explains us, right?


Frog Family Running Song (lyrics) 

Got drunk last night, Was drunk the night before,

I’m going to get drunk,

Like I never have before.

‘Cause when I’m drunk I’m happy as can be,

‘Cause I am a member of the Frog Family!


One keg of beer for the four of us!

Sing, “Glory be to God that there are no more of us,

‘Cause one of us could drink it all alone – damned near!”

Oh, the Frog Family is the best family,

That ever sailed across the sea.

There’s a highland frog and a lowland frog,

An underwater frog and a yachtsman frog.


One keg of beer for the four of us!

Sing, “Glory be to God that there are no more of us,

‘Cause one of us could drink it all alone – damned near!”


Doc, you are troubled by this new web site that has popped up by some bitter person or persons because you guys are intimidating some people claiming to be U S Navy SEALs.

Doc , you can see by their web site that they are taking shots at us guys in the dark, just like the VC used to do, trying to draw our fire. You can see from their dialogue that they do not have the slightest notion what they write and suggest to those idiots claiming they are Navy SEALs.

If they are Navy SEALs , they don’t need a bunch of split tails to try and do their own fighting’ and arguing. If they truly were one of us, they would stand right up and let it “Rock and Roll!” Doc, they are total assholes speaking thru their psychotic minds!

My country, The US of A is turning into a pot of really sickos. Drugs, pills, uppers, downers, cough syrup, etc, now they are trying to get high on a phony adrenaline rush that they are Navy SEALs!

I read the Guardian Angels Website. Doc, they speak with forked tongue!

In the native American tradition, go clip it off! Use nothing but the truth. No violence, no contests of endurance, just the truth with words.
Invite one of these Angels to the Reunion, or the Ft. Pierce Muster and let them see that we are a very small group of men that has a tradition that is envied by the entire Armed Forces (this is not to say the sister services don’t have a tradition, but our’s is the most copied by WannaBe’s, they always pick SEALs).

This is your buddy, Curtis “lil Ashton” Ashton, you Texan swim buddy. We did six months in the ‘Nam and we lived thru it.

I am sorry I got zapped on my second tour, but it did not hurt. You remember Fred Keener, my swim buddy, on our first tour of duty. Fred was standing over me identifying my remains at graves registration and I remember him saying “that is Curtis!”

The Graves Registration “dog faces” were pissing Keener off because they kept asking how he could tell it was me since I had my face blown off! It did not hurt me, I did not even know what happened until i was on the chopper in a body bag.

Anyway, I came home to Texas and I was remembered by all the SEALs that knew me that attended my funeral. I know I will never be forgotten even if there weren’t a ‘Nam Wall.

My name is on that Vietnam Wall, get a copy of it and put it on your web site and show it to the Guardian Angels. My death is real! So was my life!

Fuck ’em Doc, you guys are right! NO ONE should be allowed to impersonate a Navy SEAL! That honor is reserved to us, the guys who did the WALK, and earned the right to do the TALK!

Don’t let us guys to have died in vain. Don’t let anyone do the Talk, unless they have Walked the Walk!

By the way, I am drinking some PBR’s with Fraley, Ramos, Rischer, Trani, Albright, and some of the other guys from ST-1, Ike Rodriguez who got it in Panama is here playing his guitar, the guys that died in Grenada are telling their story, and all those who died in training are taking it all in.
We let them wear the BUDWEISER up here, they earned it because they never said “I quit!”!

We are doing fine, and especially proud that some of the buildings at BUDs and The Creek have been named after us!

Don’t let anyone in the Teams forget that Pain is temporary, but Pride is for life and after life!

Doc Rio, thanks for keeping our memories alive. We Live!

Doc, now go do your job, Hunt down every scumbag WannaBe SEAL and make him eat his phony stories.

Tu Amigo,

Curtis Ashton (SEAL) KIA

but living an eternally proud life in Frog Heaven.

PS: Freakin Body Bags are COLD! can’t somebody invent warm ones?


U.S. prosecutor says former Panther Valley superintendent changed military certificates.   Take caution!  This can happen to any SEAL Wannabe!   Try us!

Another Asshole goes down! Thanks to the Wannabe SEAL “mop-squad”


The Making of an American Warrior

and article from the Reader’s Digest Mag. with color pictures.


          This page has a collection of WannaBe SEAL web sites.

These citizens are some of the most unsecure people in the universe who DO NOT HAVE THEIR OWN LIVES!

It is not against the law to become a SEAL WannaBe, but once you take that step, in the name of our dead commrades, we will strip you of your bloated ego and put you into your proper place in life.

No violence, just words.


Check out this ScumBag Crackpot

I’ll Fight to the death any “SEAL WannaBe Asshole” that dares thread on my teammates sacred ground!


Curtis Morris Ashton on the Vietnam Wall AE1 – E6 – Navy – Regular 
23 year old Married, Caucasian,
Male Born on Nov 30, 1946 From SWEETWATER, TEXAS
Length of service 4 years.
His tour of duty began on Apr 15, 1969
Body was recovered
T Panel 15W – – Line 96


  SEAL Team TWO   7th Platoon:  ‘Nam 67-68

ADR2 – E5 – Navy – Regular
28 year old Married, Caucasian, Male
Born on May 02, 1939
Length of service 10 years.
Casualty was on Jan 21, 1968
Body was recovered
Panel 35E – – Line 5


ABH2 – E5 – Navy – Regular
23 year old Married, Caucasian, Male
Born on May 14, 1945
Length of service 4 years.
His tour of duty began on Aug 18, 1968
Casualty was on Oct 29, 1968
Body was recovered
Panel 40W – – Line 55


LTJG – O2 – Navy – Reserve
26 year old Single, Caucasian, Male
Born on Sep 05, 1943
Length of service 3 years.
His tour of duty began on Feb 15, 1969
severely wounded was on November 24, 1969
in GIA DINH,  Rung Sat Special Zone, SOUTH VIETNAM
Hostile, died of wounds Jan 11, 1970
Body was recovered
Panel 14W – – Line 


                email:   Doc Rio

The Corpsmen from HELL (and back)
Erasmo “Doc” Riojas   was   HM3  HM-8404 in Korean Police Action

Table of Contents

  1. Email from a Buddy in Florida
  2. Hunters SEAL fate of elite “wannabes'” * Group Unmasking Imposters says they Insult those who Served in the SEALs.
  3. Deceptions Prompt Background Check at Panther Valley Board closely screens applicants since Suspending SEAL WannaBe Aucker.
  4. Ousted School Chief NO SEAL, Navy says suspended Panther Valley Chief Claimed he was one.
  6. High Energy Weapons Archive

1. An Email from a buddy in Florida Amusing… 

Lessons I’ve learned… I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in. I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just assholes. I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only suspicion, not proof, to destroy it. I’ve learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better have a big dick or huge tits. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others – they are more fucked up than you think. I’ve learned that you can keep puking long after you think you’re finished. I’ve learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities. (OJ come to mind?) I’ve learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades, and there had better be a lot of money to take its place. I’ve learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones who do. I’ve learned that we don’t have to ditch bad friends because their dysfunctional makes us feel better about ourselves. I’ve learned that SEAL WannaBe’s are here to stay, but so am I, and there is a line of my swimbuddies waiting to take my place. I’ve learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon. I’ve learned to say “Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke” in 6 languages. 



Robert Russell
battled his way through the one of the most rigorous military training regimens in the world to become a Navy SEAL. After that, he battled his way through a four-year tour of Vietnam. He’s still fighting. Russell is the founder of a small band of men who expose those who falsely claim to be Navy SEALs. In Vietnam, Russell wielded knives and grenades. Now, his weapons of war are computers, fax machines and a handful of retired SEALs scattered across the country. Russell, 56, of Fort Collins, Colo., is long retired from his active-duty SEAL days. Now, he and his comrades track down and expose those who would steal the elite status of Navy SEAL. Russell’s quest began seven years ago, when he began compiling a history of the SEALs.

 He asked former teammates to send original documents for him to photocopy and return. The problem was, many SEALs had lost their papers, or they had been accidentally destroyed. Undaunted, Russell contacted the National Naval Archives, which contains records from all military branches. Using the information he obtained there, Russell began to build his own database of every man who graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs training. Only BUD/S graduates can become SEALs. The training is so grueling that only about one-third of those who start the course are able to finish, said Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. W. Jeffrey Alderson. The first eight weeks of the 25-week course focus on physical training, including timed runs, swimming in the ocean and obstacle courses. The first four weeks prepare students for Hell Week, when they train more than 80 hours in 5-1/2 days, sleeping no more than four hours a night.

 It is designed as the “ultimate test of one’s physical and mental motivation,” the training manual states. “Hell Week proves to those who make it that the human body can do 10 times the amount of work the average man thinks possible,” it states. The rest of the course focuses on further training and seamanship. “It’s extremely tough and rigorous training,” Alderson said. “Often people opt out for medical reasons; they break legs, for example. They put you through a lot of cold and a lot of hard work. They find out what’s inside the man. “It really does take its toll. That’s why the men who make it through are phenomenal people.” One well-known graduate is Minnesota’s new governor, Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Compiling the database led Russell and his wife, Pam, to become “wannabe-busters.” They formed the Naval Special Warfare Archives, a band of former SEALs. When they receive an inquiry about someone claiming to be a SEAL, a member of the group calls the person and asks questions only a SEAL can answer. They ask about class number or details about former teammates. So far, they have exposed about 2,000 frauds, said former SEAL Darryl Young.

 Only about 200 Navy SEALs served during the Vietnam War, Russell said. In addition to Russell and Young, Archives members include retired SEALs Ken Gless of Florida; Ty Zellers of Lebanon, Lebanon County; “Hoot” Andrews of Nevada, and Larry Bailey of Virginia. Another Archives member is underwater photographer Steve Waterman of Maine. Although he is quick to say he was never a SEAL, he worked closely with the fighting force and is an active “wannabe-buster.” “We consider him a teammate,” Young said. The Archives have earned the respect of the Navy. “The Russells have got the most extensive record-keeping of anyone,” Alderson said. “They are our watchdogs. They are great. We send them the rosters of every BUD/S class that graduates.” Alderson said he’s not surprised they have found so many false SEALs. “People are drawn to the mystique of the Navy SEALs,” he said. “Most real SEALs don’t talk about it a whole lot.” Those who make it through BUD/S training to become SEALs are a tightly knit group. “It’s a matter of pride to be a SEAL,” Pam Russell said. “After this training, these men form a bond. They are closer than brothers. “For someone who has never even attempted that, it’s such an insult. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but these guys don’t feel flattered.” 

3. Deceptions Prompt Background checks at Panther Valley Board Closely Screens applicants since suspending SEAL WannaBe AUCKER by CHRIS PARKER, The Morning Call 

Rocked by several years of troubles with suspended Superintendennt Raymond E. Aucker, the Panther Valley School Board is digging deeper into the backgrounds of job applicants. In November, when the board hired Peter Miller of Somerset County for $73,000 a year to replace Aucker, it closely scrutinized him and six other candidates. “We used the IU (Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit) to do a thorough background check on all the applicants,” said school board President Ron Slivka. “This time, we wanted to make absolutely sure their education and past employment record was what they said it was.” School directors admit they did not examine Aucker’s background before hiring him with a five-year contract in 1995.

 “They relied on the Pennsylvania Department of Education,” said school district solicitor Robert T. Yurchak. The department certified Aucker as a superintendent based on information he supplied about his education and experience. School directors say they became aware they may have made a mistake after Aucker had been in the job for less than a year. In 1996, directors say, they were dismayed to learn his doctoral degree was from an unaccredited, mail-order company. The Department of Education said it didn’t matter because the state does not require doctoral degrees for superintendent certification. Also in 1996, Aucker was sharply criticized by board members for taking his wife on a taxpayer-funded, five-day trip to California for a school administrators’ conference

. Aucker argued that he paid his wife’s expenses for the trip. By 1997, the board was questioning Aucker’s performance, particularly his frequent absences. In 1998, it began requiring all administrators and staff, except teachers, to clock in and out. This week Aucker, a Navy veteran and commander of the Coaldale American Legion Post, was exposed as having lied to local veterans, school directors and others about being a Navy SEAL. Aucker, who also is a retired Army reservist, did not list the SEALs on his application to the school district, but he did claim veteran’s preference in hiring. State law gives veterans first chance at jobs.

 He got the job, but school directors say he quickly slid down the performance ladder. The school board on Aug. 13 suspended Aucker without pay because, it said, he neglected his $69,000-a-year job. A closed termination hearing is scheduled for Monday. According to the school board, Aucker failed to show up for work, submit paperwork for grants, attend school meetings, communicate with home-schooling parents, attend interviews with potential employees and address teacher grievances. Attempts to reach Aucker for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful. 


4. Ousted School Chief NO SEAL, navy says suspended Panther Valley Chief Claimed he was one. by CHRIS PARKER, The Morning Call This article is © The Morning Call Newspaper Company 

Suspended Panther Valley School District Superintendent Raymond E. Aucker liked to show off the Navy SEAL emblem he wore on his veteran’s cap. As commander of the Coaldale American Legion Post, Aucker routinely introduced himself as a SEAL and often spoke of his experiences in the elite Sea, Air and Land fighting unit. He was lying, the Navy says. Aucker, 45, whose ramrod posture, thick white hair and piercing blue eyes bespeak military discipline, served in the Navy but was not a SEAL, said Lt. Cmdr. W. Jeffrey Alderson of the Navy Special Warfare Command in San Diego.

 Aucker was in the Navy 1971-75 and says he served one tour of duty in Vietnam. He also served in the Army Reserve from 1975 through 1994. His deception began to unravel at Thanksgiving when he bragged of his SEAL exploits to an Air Force veteran whose work brings him into contact with members of the corps. Aucker, who is suspended without pay for neglecting his duties as superintendent, declined comment on the SEAL matter. School Board President Ron Slivka was stunned that Aucker lied. “I didn’t think anyone would lie about being a Navy SEAL. 

I have the utmost respect for Navy SEALs and how they protect our country,” Slivka said. “It’s sad. I think it’s just sad.” The revelation is the latest in a series of troubles for Aucker. In 1996, school officials discovered his doctoral degree was from a non-accredited California company. In August, the board suspended Aucker without pay for failing to do his $69,000-a-year job. He didn’t show up at meetings, failed to work the hours he promised and abused his sick day benefits, school officials said. American Legion officer Tom Sopko was dismayed to learn about Aucker’s lie.

 Sopko, the post’s previous commander, said Aucker was nominated to the office in May, “when we didn’t know as much about him as we do now.” Sopko expects the matter to come up when the Legion meets Jan. 19. “Someone’s going to want answers at that meeting,” he said. “If he decides he wants to step down as commander, we’d go along with it, I’m sure.” When the former airman, Ty Weaver, stopped in at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Coaldale over the Thanksgiving holidays, he expected to have a drink or two and while away some time playing pool and chatting with fellow vets. Instead he set off a chain of events that exposed the post service officer as an impostor. Aucker, he said, introduced himself as “Ray Aucker, Navy SEAL,” Weaver said. Weaver, a Tamaqua native living in Reston, Va., works for Heckler and Koch, a company that sells weapons and training services to the military and law enforcement agencies.

 Every SEAL goes through training provided by the company, he said. However, Aucker did not recognize the name of the company, nor did he recognize the name of Roy Boehm, who in 1962 became the first Navy SEAL. “He was talking all this stuff, and it didn’t sound right to me,” Weaver said. Weaver contacted a retired SEAL, Larry Bailey, also of Virginia, who called the Navy Special Warfare Archives. The archives are administered by a small band of retired SEALs who keep a database, released by the Navy, of every man who graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs training. Only graduates of BUD/S become SEALs. The records did not include Aucker’s name. “It disgusted me,” Weaver said of his discovery. “Think of the sacrifices those men sitting in those clubs have made. They don’t brag. And here’s this guy bragging he was a Navy SEAL. He’s just a fraud, a disgrace to the men who have served.” 

Aucker’s deception immediately earned the wrath of the SEALs, some of whose members now feature him on their “Wannabe” Web sites. One site, created by retired SEAL Darryl Young of Montana, lists Aucker as “Phony of the Month.” The site,, compares wannabes, those who falsely claim SEAL status, to fly larva and various body orifices. “They are walking on the bodies of our fallen comrades,” Young said. “They don’t even care that these real SEALs died horrible deaths in combat.” About 200 SEALs served during the Vietnam War. The members of the Archives since 1996 have exposed at least 2,000 frauds, Young said. Falsely claiming SEAL status carries no penalty, said Alderson. “From the Navy standpoint, no, we don’t go out and prosecute these guys,” he said. Aucker, apparently confident his secret would be safe, told anyone who would listen that he was a SEAL, including reporters and Panther Valley school directors. 

“Over the two years I’ve known him, he’s mentioned it to me several times,” said School Director Angelo Santore. Slivka said Aucker “talked at length about being a Navy SEAL and how tough it was.” In 1993, he told a reporter for the Gazette newspaper in Armagh, Indiana County, that he was a Navy SEAL. In November 1997, he told a reporter for the Pottsville Republican newspaper he served in the “U.S. Navy Special Forces.” Last November, he told The Morning Call he planned to fight his ouster from the Panther Valley School District. “I’m taking no prisoners. That’s the Navy SEAL in me,” he said.

 Aucker also bragged to other military veterans. “He mentioned it at parades and gatherings. He’s told many people he’s been a SEAL,” Sopko said. Sopko was baffled as to why Aucker would falsely claim SEAL status. “It wouldn’t have mattered to us. He is a veteran and entitled to hold office in the Legion. To me, a vet is a vet. I don’t care if he was a private or a general,” Sopko said. While those who know him are dismayed and baffled by Aucker’s duplicity, one mental health professional suggested a reason. Allentown psychologist Dr. Vera Hornstein said people who elevate their status may not like themselves very much. “I would imagine it would stem from having an inadequate sense of self, a need to enhance his self-image and self-worth,” she said. “Apparently these people need to project something they are not.” 

5. ATTENTION LIARS AND FAKES! submitted by : Steve Waterman These are the laws pertaining to the illegal wearing/sale/manufacture of decorations and medals, and the laws governing the illegal wearing of the uniform of the United States Military.

 THEY CAN BE ENFORCED, AND SOON WILL BE. Title 18 United States Code Sec. 702. Uniform of the armed services and Public Health Service Whoever, in any place within the jurisdiction of the United States or in the Canal Zone, without authority, wears the uniform, or a distinctive part thereof or anything similar to a distinctive part of the uniform of any of the armed services of the United States, Public Health Service or any auxiliary of such, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

 Sec. 704. Military Medals or Decorations 
(a) In General. – Whoever knowingly wears, manufactures, or sells any de

Jeff Utsch
Vietnam: Navy SEALs S.T.A. B.

Email from my sewerpipe buddy MCPO Joe Garrett in Groton Conn.  Retired USN submariner.

Doc Rio, We was in the yard (Phila.) with her in 61 and then back in NL when she came in to be transferred

Thanks  Joe G.

While being converted and overhauled, the submarine was recommissioned into the United States Navy on 17 January 1961. 

With conversion and overhaul completed, USS Burrfish (SS-312), on 11 May 1961, was decommissioned; then, in a ceremony with over 300 people attending, papers formally transferring (under lease) the submarine to Canada were signed, and USS Burrfish (SS-312) became HMCS (Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship) Grilse (SS-71). Her new crew marched aboard, and the submarine began her career in the Canadian Navy. These events and ceremonies took place at the United States Naval Submarine Base at New London/Groton, Connecticut. 

The Anatomy of a Great Deception

USS BURRFISH (SS-312) (SSR-312) / 


Researched by: Robert Loys Sminkey 

Commander, United States Navy, Retired 

The formal legal steps leading to the acquisition of United States naval vessels are confusing to many people but are very important to an understanding of the United States Navy’s submarine programs. Generally speaking, the Navy cannot acquire a ship until Congress has both authorized the size of the fleet and appropriated funds for the procurement of new vessels. This requires two separate acts of Congress, as a result of which ships have frequently been authorized several years before funds were actually appropriated for their construction, and some authorized ships have never been built at all. Authorization and procurement procedures are usually quite formal in peacetime but more expedient methods are usually followed during wars or national emergencies. In the past, Congress was often very specific in defining the characteristics of particular ships, their cost, and sometimes even their names and where they were to be built. 

USS Burrfish (SS-312), named for a swellfish of the Atlantic coast, was originally named “Arnillo.” The submarine was authorized to be built by the United States Congressional Act of 9 July 1942…which stated in part: 

“…The authorized composition of the United States Navy in under-age vessels, as established by the Act of March 27, 1934…as amended by the Acts of May 17, 1938…June 14, 1940…July 19, 1940…December 23, 1941…and May 13, 1942…is hereby further increased by one million nine hundred thousand tons of combatant ships,”…Provided, that the foregoing increases in tonnages for each of the three classes of aircraft carriers, cruisers, and destroyers and destroyer escort vessels may be varied downward in the amount of 30 per centum of the total increased tonnage authorized herein, and if so varied downward, the tonnage so decreased may be used to increase the tonnage of any other class of vessel authorized above, or to increase the tonnage of submarines heretofore authorized, so long as the sum of the total increases in tonnages of these classes, including submarines as authorized herein, is not exceeded:….” 

USS Burrfish (SS-312) was laid down on 24 February 1943 on Building Way 1A at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine. The submarine was christened by Miss Jane Elizabeth Davis, daughter of the Senator from Pennsylvania, and launched on 18 June 1943. Commissioning took place on 14 September 1943 with Lieutenant Commander William Beckwith Perkins, Junior, in command. 

USS Burrfish (SS-312) was a unit of the Balao Class. The design development of this class was accomplished by the Portsmouth Navy Yard…and she was built by the Portsmouth Navy Yard. Thus, USS Burrfish was a “Portsmouth Boat.” 

One of the best-kept secrets of World War II was the increase in the operating depth of our submarines, from 300 feet in the Gato Class to 400 feet in the Balao Class. This was accomplished by shifting from mild steel to high-tensile steel and increasing the thickness of the pressure-hull plating, using the weight saved in previous classes by meticulous attention to design details in every area. Naturally, the Balao Class boats became known as the “thick skins”…while the Gato Class and earlier classes were dubbed “thin skins.” In outward appearance and internal layout, the heavy-hull boats were practically identical to the earlier type, and many people–including the Japanese–were unaware that there had been any change. Most of the other new features in the Balao design had already been incorporated in the later Gato Class boats as alterations or contract changes, so the Bureau of Ships skipped the usual step of preparing a preliminary design and simply issued a so-called Circular of Requirements setting forth the changes and new test specifications. 

Orders were placed for 256 units of this class, but only 119 were completed to the original design, the rest being either cancelled or reordered later in the war. World War II losses totaled nine, the low toll being due to the completion of many units too late in the war to encounter much opposition from the battered Japanese antisubmarine forces. Most of the Balao Class underwent conversion to new configurations after World War II, and made up the bulk of the Navy’s active submarine force until nuclear-powered attack boats replaced most of them during the 1960s. 

When commissioned, USS Burrfish was 311 feet 8 inches in length overall and had a maximum beam of 27 feet 3 inches. Her standard displacement on the surface was 1,526 tons, her normal displacement on the surface was between 2,010 and 2,075 tons, and her submerged displacement was 2,401 tons. USS Burrfish was designed to safely submerge to 400 feet…her operating depth. She has eight watertight compartments plus a conning tower. The pressure hull plating was 35 to 35.7 pound high tensile steel (approximately 7/8ths of an inch thick). 

The designed compliment was for six officers and sixty enlisted men. 

Armament consisted of 6 bow and 4 stern 21-inch torpedo tubes. The maximum torpedo load was twenty-four Mark 14 Mod. 3A torpedoes. In place of torpedoes, a maximum of 40 mines could be carried. One 5-inch/25-caliber dual-purpose deck gun was fitted. Antiaircraft guns consisted of one 40-mm, one 20-mm, and two .50-caliber machine guns. 

Fuel capacity was 94,000 gallons (rated) of diesel oil, which fueled 4 main Fairbanks-Morse opposed piston 1,600 horsepower diesel engines, and one auxiliary Fairbanks-Morse opposed piston diesel engine…which turned generators…which made electricity…which turned two Elliot main propulsion motors of 2,740 shaft horsepower…which could drive the boat at 20.25 knots on the surface…and gave her a cruising range on the surface of 11,000 miles at ten knots (rated). The generators were also utilized to charge 2 Gould 126-cell main storage batteries…which could power the Elliot main propulsion motors… which could drive the boat at 8.75 knots when submerged. Her submerged endurance, at 2 knots, was two days. Her patrol endurance was rated at 75 days. USS Burrfish had a mean draft of 16 feet 10 inches when on the surface in diving trim. 

USS Burrfish’s World War II operations extended from 2 February 1944 to 13 May 1945 during which period the submarine completed six war patrols…sinking one 5,894-ton Japanese tanker. Her operating area extended from the Western Caroline Islands to Formosa and the waters south of Japan. USS Burrfish also participated with USS Ronquil (SS-396) in the destruction of a 200-ton patrol vessel. 

During her third war patrol, the submarine accomplished several special missions, conducting reconnaissance of the beaches of Palau and Yap…where landings were planned. She also rendered invaluable services as “Lifeguard” to Army B-29 fliers who were forced to bail out or ditch as they returned from bombing missions to Japan. 

The following awards were made to personnel in USS Burrfish: 

Commander William B. Perkins, USN 

– Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (2) 

Lieutenant John J. Martin, USNR 

– Bronze Star 

Lieutenant Junior Grade Thomas C. Patterson, USNR – 

– Letter of Commendation (with ribbon) 

Machinist’s Mate Robert L. Manning, USN 

– Letter of Commendation (with ribbon) 

Hospital Corpsman William J. Riddle, USNR 

– Letter of Commendation (with ribbon) 

Motor Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Kenneth P. Rutherford, USNR 

– Letter of Commendation (with ribbon) 

Boatswain’s Mate Geno L. Pernichele, USN 

– Bronze Star 

Coxswain Herbert A. Foster, USN 

– Purple Heart 

Torpedoman’s Mate Roger Lopez, USNR 

– Purple Heart 

The following engagement stars were earned by USS Burrfish for services rendered during World War II: 

1 Star: Asiatic Pacific Raids – Truk Attack: 16-17 FEB 1944 

1 Star: Second War Patrol – Pacific: 14 APR-4JUN 1944 

1 Star: Third War Patrol – Pacific: 11 JUL-27 AUG 1944 

1 Star: Fourth War Patrol – Pacific: 19 SEP-2 DEC 1944 

1 Star: Iwo Jima Operation – Pacific: 15-21 FEB 1945 

1 Star: Okinawa Gunto Operation – Pacific: 29 MAR-30APR 1945 

War Patrol Report Summaries: 


2 February 1944 to 22 March 1944. On the way to the Western Carolines made contact with a large tanker, two heavy cargo ships and several escorts. After several hours of tracking “312” fired four torpedoes, all missing their mark. The submarine went deep as 3 escorts converged on her at different angles. Four depth charges damaged the main induction valve…which leaked a steady stream of water. Out distancing the escorts, BURRFISH surfaced to repair the damage. 

16 February. Two ships, one merchant and one escort, were tracked but could not close within sufficient range to attack. Eight depth charges were heard but none close enough to do any damage. 

18 February. Radar contact was made with a large enemy ship with an escort. As “312” closed for the attack, she was sighted by the escort. Clearing the bridge, BURRFISH submerges and made her way to safety. 

29 February. An enemy freighter guarded by two escorts was tracked and three torpedoes fired…missing the freighter. The escorts were alerted and pressed home an attack with thirty more depth charges causing damage to the submarine. 

2 March. Three torpedoes were fired at a destroyer guarding a convoy already under attack by USS Picuda (SS-382) but none hit their mark. The first patrol ended when the submarine entered the port at Midway Island on the 22nd of March 1944. 


14 April 1944 to 4 June 1944. On 7 May, a lone tanker was sighted and three torpedoes were fired. Three hits were observed evenly spaced from bow to stern. 

The submarine arrived at Pearl Harbor on 4 June and the Submarine Combat Insignia was awarded for the patrol. 


11 July 1944 to 27 August 1944. 

Reconnaissance missions between Anguar and Peleliu Islands. Sighted by enemy aircraft and three aerial bombs dropped. No damage reported. 

The following writeup describes Underwater Demolition Team 

operations conducted from USS Burrfish during her third war patrol: 

During the period 9-20 August 1944, Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) operators in the Pacific Theater of Operations conducted submarine launched reconnaissance operations from USS Burrfish, which was under the command of Lieutenant Commander (later Rear Admiral) William B. Perkins. The USS Burrfish mission was unique, because it involved the only United States submarine-launched reconnaissance operation conducted by a Underwater Demolition Team during the entire period of World War II. Seven embarked UDT personnel were involved in the nearshore reconnaissance operations: five from UDT-10 and two from the UDT training staff in Maui. They were: 

Bob Black – UDT-10 

John MacMahon – UDT-10 

William E. Moore – UDT-10 

Leonard Barnhill – UDT-10 

Warren Christensen – UDT-10 

Lieutenant R. Massey – UDT at Maui 

Chief Petty Officer Howard L. Roeder – UDT at Maui 

With little time available, mission preparations commenced immediately. The seven-man group conducted boat launch and recovery rehearsals from a destroyer in the waters off Maui, and brushed up on hydrographic survey techniques. The five men from UDT-10 were specially selected because of advanced swimming, diving, rubber boat, and reconnaissance training they had previously taken as members of the classified O.S.S. Maritime Unit. 

During the same period, USS Burrfish was outfitted with free flooding, eight-foot long cylindrical tanks. They were bolted to the deck aft of the conning tower fairwater to house the deflated rubber boats. The boats were inflated and deflated by a special device originally designated for United States Army rubber pontoons. 

On 10 July 1944, the UDT group embarked in USS Burrfish. The submarine slipped out of Pearl Harbor and headed west southwest to her objective. Once aboard the submersible, the recon group became integral with the crew. The problem was to give them something to do during the run to the objective; so, a high periscope watch was assigned to them during daylight hours…to assist in detecting any approaching enemy craft. 

Enroute, the submarine received word that carrier air strikes and bombing raids had been planned for the Palaus, and that USS Burrfish was not to enter her assigned area until 30 July. Further word was received from Commander Submarine Force, United States Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC) that USS Burrfish was to collect data on the ocean currents in and around Peleliu in addition to information on reefs, water depths, and underwater obstacles. 

On the night of 9 August 1944, USS Burrfish rendezvoused with USS Balao (SS-285) at a point east of Angular Island to deliver periscope photographs and updated charts. The submarine then returned to the waters off Peleliu. 

Two nights later, USS Burrfish surfaced off Peleliu’s southeastern tip with her main deck awash. Assisted by submarine crew members, five UDT personnel, smeared with camouflage grease, and equipped with fins, facemask, and knives, paddled into the darkness for their first reef reconnaissance. 

One man stayed with the boat approximately 1,000 yards offshore, while two swim pairs separately gathered hydrographic information under the noses of enemy beach patrols. All hands returned safely to the submarine after its sonarman homed in on a pre-arranged signal tapped out on a piece of coral by the UDT men. 

Bright moonlight and heavy enemy radar activity precluded further missions until 16 August. That night, Lieutenant Massey led a team into the southern Yap Island’s beaches. The valuable data they collected was never used. Yap, the enemy’s central Pacific command headquarters, was bypassed. 

On the night of 18 August, another team was instructed to recon a beach on Gagil Tomil’s northeast coast. After departing the submarine at 2000, they paddled to within a quarter-of-a-mile of their objective, where they discovered a barrier reef just below the surface. Fearing breakers would carry their boat ashore, Chief Petty Officer Roeder ordered the anchor dropped. Leaving Ball, his best navigator, behind, he led the rest of the men on in. Fifteen minutes later, Bob Black…one of the ten original 1943 Naval Combat 

Demolition Unit (NCDU) volunteers…returned to the anchored boat with Carpenter, who could not handle the strong currents. They reported to Ball that they had found palm log crib barricades complete with wire-linked rocks. Black then swam back to rejoin the other men. 

Several hours later, well past the time of their scheduled rendezvous, a worried Ball and Carpenter pulled up the anchor and commenced a sweep along the reef looking for their overdue mates. They found no one. 

At midnight, USS Burrfish surfaced at the pre-arranged rendezvous location. There were no UDT men waiting to be retrieved. So, the submariners waited and watched. At about 0300, a rubber boat’s light was sighted. Fifty minutes later, Ball and Carpenter were helped back aboard. The Captain had to dive the ship almost immediately to avoid incoming radar-equipped Japanese planes. 

Despite these and other enemy dangers, USS Burrfish patrolled off Gagil Tomil beach until daylight on the 19th, then over the agreed upon escape course for a daylight pickup. Search efforts continued into the 20th. The Commanding Officer had to firmly but regretfully tell powerful UDT swimmers Barnhill and Moore that their proposed rescue attempt would be suicidal in the existing stormy seas. 

At dark, on 20 August, it became apparent that rescue of the three missing UDT men was not to be. Accordingly, USS Burrfish departed the area and transited to Majuro Island for refit. Later, an intercepted radio message confirmed the worst fears of UDT-10 personnel. Black, Roeder, and MacMahon had been captured by the Japanese. Before being killed, they provided false information under intense torture – per instructions – about UDT capabilities. All were posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal. 

Christensen, Barnhill, and Moore were also awarded the Silver Star Medal during ceremonies at Maui, plus entitlement to wear the Submarine Combat Insignia. Lieutenant Massey received the Navy Cross for his participation in the only submarine-launched UDT recon in the Second World War. 


18 September 1944 to 2 December 1944. USS Burrfish, with seven other submarines, join picket line north of Bonin Islands and Saipan (“Operation Hotfoot”). Fired six torpedoes on 27 October with no hits. USS Ronquil and USS Burrfish engaged heavily-armed enemy patrol boat where a surface gun action ensued. Two USS Burrfish crew members wounded during exchange of fire. USS Burrfish ended this patrol upon entering the United States Naval 

Submarine Base at Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii. 


3 January 1945 to 24 February 1945. USS Burrfish arrived at lifeguard station off Hachija Chima on 24 January 1945. Fired torpedoes at a surface vessel with no hits. Continued lifeguard duties. Fired torpedo at a submarine chaser, with target coming back down wake of torpedo track, rocking USS Burrfish with a string of eighteen depth charges, causing some damage. A total of nearly forty depth charges and twenty aerial bombs came her way before eluding the enemy. This patrol ended with USS Burrfish’s arrival at Guam. 


25 March 1945 to 4 May 1945. USS Burrfish patrolled off Luzon Straits south of the China coast as part of wolfpack operations…known as “Wallings’ Whalers” (wolfpack comprised of USS Burrfish, USS Bang, and USS Snook). On 11 April, USS Burrfish surprised by approaching aircraft. On 22 April, USS Burrfish dives off Ryukyu Sho and was strafed as stern of submarine went under water. Suffered no serious damage from floating mine that was encountered on 15 April. USS Burrfish shelled radio station on Bataan Island on 30 April. This patrol ended with USS Burrfish’s arrival at Saipan. 

USS Burrfish (SS-312) transited from Saipan to Pearl Harbor from her last World War II patrol…and arrived at the Submarine Base in the Hawaiian Islands on 13 May 1945. Three days later, the submarine was ordered to return to the United States for major overhaul and arrived at the Portsmouth Navy Yard at Kittery, Maine, on 19 June. 

On 2 September 1945, representatives of the Empire of Japan signed the instruments of surrender on board battleship USS Missouri, which was anchored in Tokyo Bay, Japan…thus officially ending the Second World War. 

Upon completion of overhaul on 10 October 1945, USS Burrfish conducted a two-day transit to the United States Naval Submarine Base at New London/ Groton, Connecticut, and, upon arrival, reported to the Commander of the Submarine Force, United States Atlantic Fleet, for duty. The submarine participated in Navy Day festivities at Baltimore, Maryland, on 27 October 1945. After conducting various local operations off the east coast of the United States during the next twelve months, the submarine was placed out of commission, in reserve, at the New London/Groton submarine base, on 10 October 1946, and placed in the “Mothball Fleet” in the Thames River in the northern portion of that naval installation. 

On 2 November 1948, USS Burrfish (SS-312) was recommissioned and assigned to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard at Kittery, Maine, for conversion to a radar picket submarine. Her designation was changed to “SSR-312” to reflect the submarine’s new configurations and missions on 27 January 1949…and the conversion work was completed by November of that year. 

Upon completion of the “Migraine I” radar picket submarine conversion, USS Burrfish (SSR-312) was 312 feet in length overall; had a maximum beam of 27 feet 4 inches; had a standard surface displacement of 1,525 tons, a normal surface displacement of 2,085 tons, and a submerged displacement of approximately 2,410 tons; was manned by 12 officers, 5 chief petty officers, and 77 to 85 enlisted personnel (approximately); was only armed with four bow 21-inch torpedo tubes and one 40-mm antiaircraft gun (mounted on the main deck just forward of the conning tower fairwater); and had diesel-electric direct drive (converted from original reduction-gear drive) which could produce 4,610 shaft horsepower on the surface. Small cell Guppy- type batteries were substituted for the original type batteries. SS, SV-1, SV-2, and AN/BPS-2 radar equipment was installed. So was a YE-2 beacon. Much equipment was updated and rearranged…and a snorkel system was installed. 

The United States Navy’s first two radar picket submarines grew out of World War II experience with Japanese kamikaze aircraft. These boats were put into service in 1946 but neither vessel was classified as an SSR at the time. The installation was rather hastily improvised using surface-ship equipment modified for submarine use and mounted in odd places throughout the boats. As might be expected, so many problems developed during the service evaluation of those submarines that the Navy instituted the so-called Migraine program under which three revised radar-picket designs were produced. 

The Migraine I conversion was first applied to USS Tigrone (SS-419), a Tench-Class boat, and later to USS Burrfish (SS-312) of the Balao type. The area formerally used for the crew’s mess and galley was turned into an air-control center while the after torpedo room was stripped of its torpedo tubes and used exclusively for berthing. In this conversion, the battery wells were made smaller by substituting two banks of the small Guppy-type battery cells. Two of the six torpedo tubes in the forward torpedo room were also removed to provide more space for berthing and equipment. 

Migraine II conversions was the name applied to a reworking of the original two radar-picket conversion layouts…based on the lessons learned from those early attempts. 

The continued problems created by crowding so much electronic equipment, along with a larger crew, into the fleet-boat hull led to the Migraine III program. In this program, six submarines were cut in half so a 24-foot section could be spliced between the forward battery compartment and the control room to accommodate the air-control center and the electronic equipment. 

USS Burrfish (SSR-312) transited from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to the Naval Submarine Base at New London/Groton, following her conversion and trials, and became an active fleet unit on 7 February 1950. On 15 March 1950 she commenced a transit to the Destroyer-Submarine Piers at Norfolk, Virginia, and, upon arrival, reported to Commander Submarine Squadron Six, embarked in USS Orion (AS-18), for duty. The following month, USS Burrfish was conducting training exercises out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She then joined a force of Navy ships, which included the aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea. These warships operated in the Virginia Capes Operating Areas and northward along the east coast of the United States. A port call was made at New York City during 19 and 20 May 1950. 

USS Burrfish resumed local operations out of Norfolk. On 16 September 1950, she completed a transit to Augusta Bay, Sicily…where the submarine joined units of Submarine Division 61. On 30 September 1950, the radar-picket submarine was operating in the Malta Operating Areas in the central portion of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Later, the submersible visited: Navaron Bay, Greece; Toulon, France; Souda Bay, Crete; and Taranto and Naples, Italy. She put to sea from Naples on 3 January 1951 and commenced a transit to Norfolk. En route, the submarine visited Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria. The transit was completed on 2 February 1951. 

Local operations on the eastern seaboard of the United States were conducted until 13 September 1951…when she arrived at the Charleston Naval Shipyard at Charleston, South Carolina, for overhaul. 

Completing overhaul on 23 January 1952, USS Burrfish (SSR-312) headed for a refresher-training cruise to Puerto Rico…then transited to the Mediterranean for another tour of duty with the United States Sixth Fleet. 

From 24 August 1952 to 13 February 1953, the radar picket submarine operated out of Norfolk along the east coast of the United States…and in the Caribbean, where she deployed to Saint Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands with other units of the United States Atlantic Fleet. 

From 29 June 1953 to 18 December 1953, USS Burrfish was overhauled at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following overhaul, the submarine conducted refresher training during a transit to Hamilton, Bermuda. Alterations were made to the submersible in a dry dock of the Boston Naval Shipyard at Boston, Massachusetts, during the period 27 March 1954 to 4 April 1954. 

On 4 May 1954, USS Burrfish, once again, became a unit of the United States Sixth Fleet upon completing a trans-Atlantic transit at Gibraltar, British Crown Colony. Various maneuvers and operations in the Mediterranean ended in port visits to Naples, Italy; Malta, George’s Cross; and the French ports of Hyeres and Cannes. 

On 22 July 1954, USS Burrfish was back on ocean radar picket duty off the eastern seaboard of the United States in the Virginia Capes Operating Areas. She spent the winter months in the Caribbean…and returned to Norfolk on 4 March 1955. 

USS Burrfish’s last deployment for the United States Navy commenced during September of 1955…while she was flagship of Submarine Division 62. USS Burrfish and USS Redfin (SSR-272) transited, by way of Spitzbergen, Norway, to the Arctic Ocean area. 

The object of the mission was to collect intelligence on potential enemies of the United States. During this operation, a damaged sea-flushing valve admitted much water into the submarine, necessitating a pit stop at Reykjavik, Iceland, to effect emergency repairs. During this cruise, the submarine negotiated the Kiel Canal, ran through the Baltic Sea, visited Copenhagen, Denmark, and Oslo, Norway. The submarine arrived back in the United States on two main propulsion diesel engines (and those had leaky cylinder liners). And, the bow planes were broken. USS Burrfish went straight to the Electric Boat Company’s shipyard at Groton, Connecticut. There, she was hauled out of the water on a marine railway and given a complete survey. 

Following repairs, the submarine transited to her homeport of Norfolk, Virginia…from where she operated until June of 1956. 

On 5 June 1956, USS Burrfish (SSR-312) transited from Norfolk to the United States Naval Submarine Base at New London/Groton, Connecticut, where, upon arrival, she commenced inactivation activities. The submarine was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 17 December 1956, and placed in the Reserve Fleet on the Thames River in the northern portion of the Connecticut submarine base. 

Although the Migraine boats had more than their share of headaches, their careers were terminated because the Navy decided to abandon the basic concept of radar picket ships, both surface and submersible, after 1959. Most of the radar picket submarines were either discarded shortly thereafter or reclassified and used as general-purpose submarines and miscellaneous auxiliaries for several more years. Few submariners were sorry to see them go. 

In order to provide a submarine target for training Canadian antisubmarine forces along the west coast of Canada and the United States, the Canadian government decided to lease a surplus United States Navy submarine for that purpose. USS Burrfish was the submarine selected to become the first submarine of the new Canadian submarine branch in the Canadian Navy in forty years. USS Burrfish was towed in late 1960 to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard to undergo conversion from a radar picket submarine to a vessel appropriate for service as a fleet-type submarine. After spending approximately $900,000, USS Burrfish was restored to her basic World War II configuration…but with some alterations to meet Canadian standards. 

Additionally, the submarine would be given a new name, one that honored a famous Canadian warship of the past…”Grilse.” The original GRILSE was a converted yacht that had suffered major damage during a storm during December of 1916. Thought to be lost, the battered yacht managed to limp back to port, sparking the creation of a legend with her survival. In 1922, the decommissioned GRILSE was put up for sale…and became the personal yacht TILLORA of an American mining magnate named Solomon Guggenheim. The name GRILSE lived on, this time being borne by a sloop-rigged yacht of the Royal Canadian Navy Sailing Association from 1947 to 1960. When USS Burrfish was selected by the Royal Canadian Navy, the yacht was renamed GOLDCREST, freeing up the famous name GRILSE. 

On 15 January 1961, USS Burrfish (SSR-312) was reclassified USS Burrfish (SS-312). “SS” is the designation for “submarine” in the United States Navy…that is: diesel-powered attack submarine. 

While being converted and overhauled, the submarine was recommissioned into the United States Navy on 17 January 1961. 

With conversion and overhaul completed, USS Burrfish (SS-312), on 11 May 1961, was decommissioned; then, in a ceremony with over 300 people attending, papers formally transferring (under lease) the submarine to Canada were signed, and USS Burrfish (SS-312) became HMCS (Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship) Grilse (SS-71). Her new crew marched aboard, and the submarine began her career in the Canadian Navy. These events and ceremonies took place at the United States Naval Submarine Base at New London/Groton, Connecticut. 

HMCS Grilse (SS-71) was destined to spend her time in the Pacific, based out of Esquimalt in British Columbia, where she would serve as an antisubmarine warfare training ship for the Canadian Pacific Fleet. 

After transiting the Panama Canal and making a port visit at San Diego, California, HMCS Grilse arrived at Esquimalt on 14 July 1961. During her first months in Canadian service, HMCS Grilse conducted some brief local operations. 

For the next sixteen months, the submarine conducted extensive training operations with surface units of the Canadian Navy and with air units of the Canadian Air Force. During this period, HMCS Grilse transited 51,740 miles in 374 days at sea, spending 34 percent of the time fully submerged and 31 percent of the time snorkeling. 

During November of 1963, HMCS Grilse went into drydock, and spent the next six months undergoing refit and overhaul. 

In April of 1964, after completing her overhaul, HMCS Grilse conducted a set of dockside “fast cruises,” with the full crew aboard, operating under “at sea” conditions. A week after these in-port exercises, the submarine put to sea to conduct actual sea trials. 

After completing these trials, the submarine returned to Esquimalt, where she was provisioned and fitted out for thirty more months of operations. Her first trip out of Canadian waters since the overhaul saw the submersible operating off San Francisco, California, for refresher training, as well as operating with United States Navy submarines off San Diego, California. A few weeks later, on 21 July 1964, HMCS Grilse again left Esquimalt, this time providing services to the Canadian Navy’s Fourth Escort Squadron in the Pearl Harbor, 

Hawaii, operating areas. Returning to Esquimalt in August of 1964, the submarine received a distress call from a burning tugboat, and assisted a United States Coast Guard cutter in rescue efforts. The fall saw HMCS Grilse operating according to her normal schedule, providing services to United States Navy aircraft flying out of Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island, Washington State…and services to Pacific Command ships. 

HMCS Grilse (SS-71) commenced 1965 by conducting a series of dependents’ cruises, where the families of the submarine’s crew got a taste of life aboard a submarine. During March of 1965, HMCS Grilse was able to repay the hard work of the Esquimalt dockyard personnel by taking the workers out on a series of brief cruises. The submarine spent the next several months conducting local operations and preparing for operations in the Caribbean in early 1966. That year, 

HMCS Grilse saw extensive service. Spending a total of 175 days at sea during 1966, the submarine cruised 32,495 miles. From 4 January 1965 to 7 April 1966, HMCS Grilse participated with Pacific Command ships in “Exercise Maple Spring,” which saw the submarine operating in the Caribbean. HMCS Grilse conducted exercises along the Pacific coast during her return to Esquimalt, and arrived there on 12 December 1966. 

Spending most of the first half of 1967 in drydock, HMCS Grilse put to sea, conducting various operations with Canadian Pacific Command ships and United States Navy ships and aircraft. 

The year 1968 started off with HMCS Grilse conducting a two-month long training cruise in Pacific waters. During one part of that period, the submarine operated out of Pearl Harbor…conducting exercises in Northern Pacific Ocean waters. In another first for HMCS Grilse, Corporal Garry Sandercock of the Canadian Army was stationed in HMCS Grilse, the first time an Army soldier was assigned as part of a Canadian Navy crew. Corporal Sandercock not only served in the Medical Department aboard the submarine; he also operated the bow and stern diving planes as a watchstander during submerged operations. The remainder of 1968 saw HMCS Grilse conducting local operations with ships of the Pacific Command. 

The year 1969 saw the end of HMCS Grilse’s service as an active Canadian warship. After conducting operations with United States Navy and Canadian Pacific Command units, preparations were made to return possession of the submarine to the United States Navy. 

On 31 July 1969, the loaned USS Burrfish (SS-312) was stricken from the Navy List and was no longer an asset of the United States Navy. 

After eight years of service in the Canadian Navy, the submarine was returned to the United States Navy at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, California, during September of 1969. The submersible was towed from Canada to Mare Island by the Canadian Navy tug HMCS Saint Anthony…in weather as miserable as the occasion. 

However, just as the tug and the submarine reached open water at the start of the towing operation, the propulsion engine on the tug broke down. Then, one of the submarine’s main propulsion diesel engines was started by members of the submersible’s skeleton crew…and the submarine towed the tugboat back to the Canadian base at Esquimalt. 

A few days later, with a reduced crew of twenty personnel aboard, the submarine headed south, once again…this time under her own power. She arrived at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 26 September 1969, accompanied by Canadian warship HMCS Columbia. 

The last day of active duty life for HMCS Grilse (SS-71) came on 2 October 1969. With bands playing and speeches made, The Canadian flag and commissioning pennant were lowered, and the decommissioned HMCS Grilse (SS-71) was returned to the United States Navy. 

A few weeks later, submarine Burrfish would meet her end. Painted and rigged as a radio-controlled target ship for testing the effectiveness of Mark 46 torpedoes, the submarine was towed to a position off San Clemente Island, California. On 19 November 1969, a SH-3 helicopter dropped a Mark 46 torpedo near the submarine, which subsequently acquired the submarine. The torpedo hit the hull in the area of the pump room. The resulting explosion sent the submarine to the bottom of the ocean…in 1,600 feet of water. 

The final resting place of USS Burrfish (SS-312) (SSR-312) / HMCS Grilse (SS-71) is: Latitude 32 Degrees 53 minutes North Longitude 118 Degrees 36.03 minutes West