Here's a picture at beginning of training. All pumped
I'm on the left!
16 Oct 2010
I have the picture that was taken for articles I have written in The BLAST
and the SEAL Ethos magazines. I have some older pictures I can draw from
as well. I was a plankowner
for SEAL Team ONE, and
almost immediately was sent TAD to SEAL Team TWO for a European grip to
France, Norway, Greece, and then back to France, before returning CONUS.
I Was called back to SEAL Team TWO for Cuban Missile
Crisis while on leave in Pittsburgh, PA. Stayed there for several months
till mission was called off by JFK. Roy Bohem informed me that he was
going to transfer me to Team TWO, as he had heard I was a good operator.
Kind of a funny story, as I told him I was stationed in Coronado, and my
family was there, but he insisted and at one point picked up the phone (I
think he was playing games with me) as I think he pretended to call DC
detailer and requested me to be transferred to Team TWO.
I called my CO and was informed that he could not do
that, and not to worry, as things were already set in motion for an
upcoming op and he would see me soon. Whole issue became a moot point, as
Team ONE was soon on board and we joined forces with Team TWO for the
Cuban Missile crisis. Nick Benzschwel was in my group with an assignment
to blowup a dam and some bridges in Cuba. More of an diversionary effort
as I think we were expendable. Fun training for the op though.
When I went to Europe, we were with Special Forces in
Paris, and then jumped into Norway and operated with Norwegian frogman,
and then jumped into Greece with an op with Greek commandos. Ah, for the
good old days!!! Some people on board for that op included, Jim Tipton
(now there was a real character.
Jim and I met recently in San Diego and had a good
laugh about some of the things we did on that op), Stan Janeka, Pete
Peterson, Mel Pearson, Lloyd Cobb, Roy Gray, Rusty Campbell, Graverson,
Andy D'Errico, Ron Fox, John Callahan, Doc Stone, Nick Benzschawel and
Here's a picture of the entire group with Norwegian
counterparts. You might be able to name a few more. Let me know what kind
of picture you might want, and I'll send that separately.
Dennis K. McCormack
1st row kneeling: Rusty Campbell, Mel Pearson, Andy
D'Errico, Nick Benzschawel. Other two in this row I do not recall names.
2nd Row standing: Graverson, Lloyd Cobb, Dennis McCormack, Jim Tipton, Ron
Fox, a few more I do not recall, and John Callahan.
Back Row standing: Roy Gray, Doc Stone, and others I can't recall.
Oh yeah, came across some other names from the Bergen, Norway trip.
Swede Thornblom, McLean, Stan Janecka. There was another
person named Awalzachuck (sp!!!!) and we called him
alphabet. Do you know any of these guys? You might be
able to pick them out from picture.
On next leg of our journey we jumped into Greece and met up with
commandos. Went to a lake in Greece and worked on physical
conditioning, swimming, diving medicine and physics, demolition
training, inland penetration, maritime sabotage techniques,
nomenclature and assembly of closed circuit diving system, compass
lecture and practical work with diving compass board, IBS usage, diving closed
circuit (Emerson), familiarization with AR-15 (became M-16),
inland penetration techniques, and joint operation with Greek
commandos for sneak attack on British rail yard.
Stormy night, perfect for what we wanted to do, but not too
popular with our Greek counterparts.
Here's a picture of me in Vietnam 1964.
Here's the picture I use for articles:
Passport Photo 1962:
Boxing picture where I had my nose broken; won by TKO though. HOOYAH!
Publicity photo (I'm wearing wet suit).
Did you know Vince Olivera(wetsuit)? Here we are
together in Vietnam.
Olivera and McCormack
Graduation from Class 23, 1959. Started with 44, and graduated 9. HOOYAH!
I'm 2nd from the left standing:
Left to right standing: Jim Ritter, Dennis McCormack, Tom McDonald, Gerry
Harmon, Jack Ratliff. Kneeling: Harry Monahan, Ed fisher, Carl Mariott,
Standing in my Backyard
Teaching knife fighting DaNang circa 1964:
Getting ready to hit the surf DaNang 1964:
With a few of the Nungs circa 1964 Danang:
With team of Nungs circa 1964, DaNang, Vietnam OP34A:
D.K. McCormack SEAL Da Nang Vietnam
Rio, Here's another picture from DaNang Circa 1964 as I was teaching
demolition work with Nungs.
Briefing Nungs by Marble Mountain circa 1964.
Showing how it is done on an obstacle course we built circa 1964.
DaNang 1964 getting ready for prima cord demonstration
DaNang OP34A circa 1964:
Vince Olivera and me circa 1964, OP34A
Here's one taken at My Khe, our base camp in DaNang circa 1964
Here's another at base camp:
Base camp at My Khe, DaNang, Vietnam.
Did you ever meet Doc Williams? Here he is, along with Abe George and Bob
Henry egging him on, as they give a dose of something to pep up my truck!
Here are some pictures from SEAL Team ONE Quarterdeck Ceremony.
You might recognize a few of us:
Irish Flynn (Our 1st Admiral) & Dennis McCormack
Plankowners Art Abbett, Rusty Campbell, Dennis McCormack & John
Plankowners Gary Fraser & Dennis McCormack
XO ST-1 Leif Babin & Dennis McCormack
Gary Fraser & Moki
I'll get some pictures of quarterdeck next time I am on base. Take care,
email: DKMSEAL [at]
from: DKMSEAL [at] aol
Date: Thu,Mar 15, 2012
To: "Maynard Weyers" maynardweyers [at]
verizon DOT net
CC: Doc Rio docrio45 [at] gmail DOT
Subject: Good old days of 1959 for Class
Your article brought back a ton of memories.
Anyone having pictures (and stories) from the 1959-1965
they would be most welcome
for my book writing project. I was in UDT-12 from 1959-62,
and SEAL Team ONE from 1962 through DEC 1965.
If it is easier for some to send pictures by snail mail, please
and I'll scan and get originals back to you right away.
Class 23 Mud Flats Hell Week
exercise. Now is the Coronado Cays.
Cays was a hog farm at one point, and then a garbage disposal
Coronado. Area where we "played" was pretty much
Class 23 Mud Flats during Hell Week
One of our instructors takes a bath.
Dave Bramble on his way to the bay.
Instructor Dave Bramble takes a dip in the bay.
Members of Class 23 right after Hell Week with Dennis McCormack
left, Bromley, Harry Monahan, and Frank Watton.
Harry Monahan, Dennis McCormack, Frank
Watton, Carl Mariott, Tom McDonald,
and Ed Fisher Class 23 1959.
Not Class 23, but classic picture just the same.
Class 23. We started with 44 and graduated 9.
Back row Jack Ritter, Dennis McCormack, Tom McDonald, Gerry
Jack Ratliff, Kneeling, Harry Monahan, Ed Fisher,
Carl Marriott, and Frank Watton.
1962, special operations teams to be known as SEAL teams
were being formed, but little else was made public.
The SEAL teams would be comprised of
two teams, SEAL Team ONE would be home based on
the west coast, at Coronado, California, and SEAL Team
TWO would be home based on the east coast at Little
Creek, Virginia. SEAL
Team ONE was established on January 1, 1962, and SEAL
Team TWO was established January 6, 1962.
All members of the SEAL teams were to come from
the ranks of Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) 11 &
12 on the west coast, and UDT 21 (with re-commissioning
of UDT-22 later on) coming from the east coast teams.
There would be 50 enlisted and 10 officers in
each SEAL team.
What we were to learn when fully briefed was that
the acronym SEAL stood for Sea, Air, and Land teams
capable of operating in any environment, including not
only what our duties were as UDT members, which
encompassed sea-based platform operations, combat
swimmers, free floating submersibles, which we
affectionately called mini-submarine operations,
submarine operations, beach
reconnaissance, removal of beach obstacles ensuring safe
beach landings, and securing beach areas 100 yards
inward from the high water mark.
SEAL teams would have virtually no restrictions
where they could operate on land or sea, with the
additional qualification of air ops involving parachute
insertions into foreign lands including high altitude
opening, as well as high altitude jumping with low
altitude opening, along with low altitude jumping and
opening air operations.
UDT members were well versed in submarine
operations including both locking out and locking in off
a submarine underway for sneak attacks and demolition of
designated targets, and additional duties as may be
assigned such as beach intelligence and cartography.
A percentage of UDT team members carried the
additional designation of Explosive Ordinance Disposal,
who were not only involved with disarming weapon
systems, but also were involved with training of the
mammal program with dolphins and sea lions being trained
for inshore warfare security operations.
Immediately upon entering a SEAL team, 18 months
of rigorous training took place, from parachuting,
jungle warfare training, basic infantry training with
USMC, and counter insurgency/guerrilla warfare training,
hand-to-hand combat training for judo and karate,
knife fighting, use of the garrote, amphibious high
speed crafts experience, Fulton high speed pickup
method, Escape, Evasion, and Survival training,
Vietnamese language training with Berlitz School of
Language, Nuclear Weapons Training Center, and various
other specialized classified programs. The SEALs were
one of the first military units to receive the SADM
(Special Atomic Demolition Munition) device, a
man-portable nuclear weapon.
No sooner had SEAL Team ONE been formed, then
SEAL Team ONE commanding officer David Del Giudice and
Jon Stockholm were dispatched to Vietnam to lay the
groundwork for specific SEAL operations.
Robert (Sully) Sullivan and Donald (Doc) Raymond
followed, and were sent to
Vietnam to work with the CIA in transitioning OP34A
(commando raids against North Vietnamese) to a SEAL
operations involved the training of South Vietnamese
commandos and Chinese Nungs for waterborne attacks on
North Vietnam targets;
other classified assignments north of the 17th
parallel; and special operations elsewhere in South
Team TWO personnel, as well as USMC FORCE RECON
personnel would later work with the SEALs from the west
In 1962, the author was dispatched for an
assignment with SEAL Team TWO with deployments to France
for Army Special Forces intelligence briefings; Bergen,
Norway for combined operations with the Norwegian
Frogmen; and then parachuting into Greece for a combined
operation with Greek commandos.
Briefings in France included specialized training
for the author, a Radioman 2nd Class, designated as the
cryptographer, in the use of Diana-One-Time-Pads, a
highly secure form of communication, to provide SEAL
operational status to a US carrier on patrol in the
trained the commandos in oxygen re-breathing diving
equipment for harbor sneak attacks, plastic explosives,
and use of the AR-15 (Later to be named M16), a Colt
rifle made of Armalite, which was highly resistant to
rust), and hand-to-hand combat, using the knowledge
gained for a training sneak attack on an Army Port
facility in Greece.
Upon return to the United States, the author was
involved with the Cuban Missile Crisis, a combined
operation utilizing personnel from SEAL
Team ONE, SEAL Team TWO, Army Special Forces, Cuban
exiles, and CIA agents, for both land and submarine
The SEALs never deployed during the Cuban Missile
Crisis, but rather remained in a training status till
cessation of hostilities by the Russian and Cuban
were more than prepared to
act upon command.
The author was deployed to Vietnam in 1964.
Initially briefed in Saigon, and after depositing
all identification, medical records, etc., with Studies
and Observation Group (SOG), and after receiving DoD
false identification documentation cards, as well as
khaki unmarked clothing, and civilian clothes, we were
sent to DaNang and our camp just across the bay on the
beach called My Khe.
Later on in the Vietnam war, the CIA turned over
the Provincial Reconnaissance Unit (PRU) program to the
SEALs, initially run by Robert Wagner, a casualty of the
Vietnamese war, who distinguished himself time and time
again in disrupting Vietcong operations, and setup what
was to become an ongoing assignment for many of our SEAL
special operation team members who likewise
distinguished themselves again and again.
SEALs have in their ranks some of the most highly
decorated Vietnam veterans, including the highest
military award, the Medal of Honor.