is my hobby. I know that I am crazy! I do this to keep from going
Vida Loca" Riojas
Where Did the White Man go Wrong?
Indian Chief 'Two Eagles' was asked by a white government official, "You have observed the white man for 90 years.
You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress,
and the damage he's done."
The Chief nodded in agreement.
The official continued, "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"
The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied. "When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean
water. Women did all the work, Medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing;
all night having sex."
Then the chief leaned back and smiled. "Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that."
people say; "I am wasting my money!" Maybe yes, and maybe
no! I would not do this web site if
I could take the money with me to heaven!
by Peter Nealen · February 20, 2013 · Posted In: SOF History
Kenneth H. Stange
October 26, 1928 - March 27,
Obituary for Kenneth H. Stange Kenneth H. Stange, 83, passed away
peacefully at his home on Monday, March 26th under the wonderful care
of Hospice of Lenawee.
He was born on October 26, 1928 to Hattie (Pruess) and Henry Stange
in Adrian, Michigan. He married Bonny Barbara Brieschke at St.
John’s Lutheran Church on August 26, 1955. She survives.
He lived in Lenawee County all his life except during the
time he served in the Navy during WWII, from 1945-49. He was a member
of Underwater Demolition Team 3. He continued his love for the water
by owning and operating Wolverine Diver’s at Devil’s Lake for many
During this time, he also was a part of the Lenawee
Sheriff’s Department in search and rescue. He loved water skiing,
swimming, ice skating and spending time with friends and family.
He retired from Parker Rust Proof in Morenci, was a member of St.
John’s Lutheran Church, and was an active member in the UDT/Seal
You may also send condolences to his family at
A Seaman saying "I learned this in Boot Camp..."
A Petty Officer saying "Trust me, sir..."
An Ensign saying "Based on my experience..."
A Lieutenant saying "I was just thinking..."
A Chief chuckling, "Watch this shit..."
I was visiting your site again and looking at your "Interesting Stuff page" and found a photo with history.
The roof top of the Victory Hotel.
First I don't have a clue who took it, had to be one of the twiggits from the comm bunker on the roof. But if you are interested it had to be on 2 Feb 1968, sometime after 3PM. Those of us that were left at the hotel were assembled in the small court yard outside of the back entrance/exit to the "mess hall" (actually the main lobby of the hotel). and told to gather our weapons and all the ammo we could carry, and set up a defensive position on the roof to cover both ends of the street that ran along the front of the hotel, and to reinforce the main bunker at the entrance.
An Intel report had come in from the ARVN's that Charlie was assembling and getting ready for a two prong human wave attack. One against the Hotel the other to take the Park.
That is me, forth from the left. I don't remember how long we were up there, but with a perfectly good galley two floors down we ate C-Rats. The attack never happened, but we really took a lot of small arms fire.
Don't know how or why but not a single one of us got hit while up there. A close look will tell you that we were completely exposed.
Anyway, just thought I would give you something to explain that photo.
From: John Richter <jcr5326 [at]
To: T Keith to Larry, Jim, Tom, me, JohnsonD1D, bassthrift
Subject: Senior Citizens Health Care
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2012, 12:01 AM
You're a sick senior citizen and the government says there is no
nursing home available for you. So what do you do?
Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and 4 bullets. You are
allowed to shoot four Politicians.
Of course this means you will be sent to prison where you will get
three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating, air
conditioning and all the health care you need!
Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That's great. Need a new
hip, knees, kidney, lungs or heart? They're all covered.
As an added bonus, your kids can come and visit you as often as they
And who will be paying for all of this? It's the same government that
just told you that they cannot afford for you to go into a home.
Plus, and because you are a prisoner, you don't have to pay any income
taxes anymore. Is this a great country or what?
Rio says: "Sign me Up !"
Deputy Commander Rear
Adm. Garry Bonelli
train, equip, deploy and sustain NSW Forces for operations and
in support of Combatant
Commanders and U.S. National Interests
Warfare Group ONE
- SEAL Teams 1, 3, 5, and
7, Logistics Support Unit 1, NSW Units 1 and 3
Warfare Group TWO
- SEAL Teams 2, 4, 8, and
10, Logistics Support Unit 2, Unit 2 Detachment South, NSW Unit 10
Warfare Group THREE
- SEAL Delivery Team 1,
Logistics Support Unit 3, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Detachment 1
Warfare Group FOUR
- Special Boat Teams 12,
20 and 22, Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School
Warfare Group TEN
- Support Activity 1 and
2, Mission Support Center
Warfare Group ELEVEN
- SEAL Teams 17, 18
- Basic Training Command, Advanced
Dearmon SEAL Team TWO Plank Owner
Tribute to a Hero The Navy SEAL Foundation is offering a commemorative giving opportunity
designed to honor and remember the U.S. Navy SEAL community while
providing much needed financial support for the SEAL Heritage Center (SHC) <READ
DONATE ( U.S.Navy SEAL
donate $10, text SEAL to 90999. A one-time $10 charge will be added to
your wireless service bill. We appreciate your contributions!
Hoo Ya !
The Navy SEAL Foundation
has set up a phone bank to accept donations. The phone number is
757-763-5501 . They have a number of volunteers manning the phones.
PHOTOS OF DEAD HEROES moved to
The Navy SEAL Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is
to provide immediate and ongoing emotional and financial support in
times of adversity to U.S. Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft
Crewmen, Naval Special Warfare support personnel and to their families.
Ninety-five cents of every dollar spent by the Navy SEAL Foundation
supports mission programs and services.
Paul Herrick . He is NOT A
Navy SEAL ! He's broken all kinds of parachuting records, and he was one of
the guys who worked to develop methods for parachuting while wearing SCUBA
gear. He is still a jumping fool, flies planes, dives, rides in
civilian submarines, and anything else he can figure out how to get
into, on top of, underneath, or strapped on.
A Navy Recruit headed for Navy
Hospital Corps asks: How To Become a USNavy SEAL
BRIAN V: Navy corpsman to navy SEAL ? I'm going to be a corpsman in the US NAVY and I'll be shipping off September 04,
How do you get that offer? From Regular corpsman to Navy SEAL corpsman ?
any information will be of help to me :) Brain V.
Best Answer - From a U.S. Navy Recruiter
First you have to finish HM 'A' school. But during g school they will select people for certain assignments, most being Fleet Marine Force (FMF). These HM's will be
trained with the Marines and go into combat with them. Another is SEAL team HM. This program is a lot more difficult to get into for a few reasons:
It has the most prestige so there are a lot of people trying to make. It is the hardest, most enduring program HM's have so a lot of people wash out. Most people that try out for it aren't in the shape they think they are. They look at the PST as individual tasks and say "Oh, I can do that".
Remember that the PST is an all out effort. I had a guy pass it just the other day and he was telling me just how hard it is. He can do 35 pull ups in a continuous effort, but during the PST he could only get 9.
My suggestion would be to take the SEAL challenge in boot camp to see how you do. The work on your deficiencies and request to go SEAL HM when you arein school.
Best of luck Source(s): US Navy Recruiter, 12 years of service www.myspace.com/nrs_waukesha groups.yahoo.com/group/nrs_waukesha
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SUBJ: SEAL TEAM TWO 50th
15 June 2011 To: NSW360
I would like to bring to your attention the
upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration of SEAL Team TWO - the first
commissioned SEAL Team. We're planning to hold our celebration at ST-2
and in the new SEAL Heritage Center on 14 July 2011, the Thursday
preceding the East Coast SEAL Reunion weekend. We will not be able to
hold the celebration on our true birthday, January 8th, 2012.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: richard marcinko
Date: Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 11:04 PM
To: "Erasmo \"Doc\" Riojas"
Subject: Re: I thought you may want to look at this sketch
----- Original Message -----
From: Erasmo "Doc" Riojas
To: richard marcinko
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2011
Subject: I thought you may want to look at this sketch
that never made the "BULL SHEET" because i got deployed to the
'nam back in 1967.
I hope you are doing well and also hope to get a picture with you at the
ST-2 50th Anniversary.
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free from http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm
From: Richard Marcinko
To: Doc Riojas
Subj: "Popping CHute at masthead level" on med cruise
It's the truth. Doc Clark caught it on film and you could hear Chief
Barrett screaming at me. I pulled at masthead level. I had a 1.6 black
canopy w/ silk sleeve and 2 pilot chutes. 1 occilation and a splash.
Barrett grounded me. I left the ship 5 days later to go to OCS. My last
From: Doc Bob Clark
Sat, Jul 2, 2011
Re: Marcinko "pops chute at masthead"
level on med cruise
What Demo Dick said is true. I was in the
safety boat taking pictures of the jump & he did open at masthead
level. One oscillation & into the drink. Scared the shit out of all
of us. I got to jump his chute years later and that was the fastest
opening I ever had.
Bob Clark HMCM (SEAL)
Frogman in the Water
SEAL K-9 and his Handler Swimming
from :Lou Boyles chief.boyles [at] verizon DOT net
to: "Erasmo \"Doc\" Riojas"
<docrio45 [at] gmail DOT com>
date: Wed, Jun 15, 2011
subject: Re: HIT THE STAGE? WOW !
I would love to have been there Doc. As you may
know, I was on the Parachute team for about
11 years &, my one claim to fame is, that I was the one who came up
with the name ‘Leap Frogs’.
Gagliardi took it to the Commodore who was Capt.
O’Drain at the time & he Approved it. The rest is history. There
was a time of les than 3 years when Navy recruiting sponsored us &
we had to be called ‘The Navy Parachute Team’ & only did shows
with the Blue Angles.
When they stopped the sponsorship we went back to
the name ‘Leap Frogs’. Everywhere we went the people loved the name.
Hope to see you in Coronado in Aug.,
~ Lou ~
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Memorial and Proclamation of Laredo’s
Veterans Unsung Heroes
is invited to event that will feature roll call and guest speaker
City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas and the Laredo City Council
Laredo Vietnam Veterans
Dr. Erasmo Elias Riojas
Recognition, Memorial & Proclamation of Laredo’s Vietnam Veterans
Monday, April 25, 2011
10:00 a.m. WHERE: City Hall, Council
Chambers, 1110 Houston St.
Vietnam veterans returning home from the war did not receive the same
recognition and fanfare as veterans of other wars and conflicts; in
fact, it was often quite the opposite. This event will properly
honor and praise these veterans – and their fallen comrades – for
their service and ultimate sacrifice to our country.
part of the activities, native Laredoan and Vietnam Veteran Dr. Erasmo
Elias Riojas, retired, U.S. Navy Seal, will give some remarks about his
three combat tours in Vietnam. Riojas was wounded in each tour in
Vietnam. A highly decorated veteran, including two bronze stars
for Valor, four Purple Hearts, Navy Commendation Medal for Valor; the
Navy Achievement Medal for Valor, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and
many other unit and campaign awards, retired after over 22 years of
active military duty with 50% combat related disabilities.
& Opening Remarks
Mayor Raul G. Salinas
Each veteran present will
name, rank, years of service and service branch
were soldiers who fought for our freedom, but in many cases received an
un-inviting welcome home.
But decades after the Vietnam War, Vietnam veterans are finally getting
the warm welcome they hoped for for so many years.
Annette Garcia was at the welcome home ceremony and has the details.
“I appreciate this because 40 years ago we were unwanted and cast off
labeled as murderers. This is something that I’m looking forward
Emotional but truly thankful.
Vietnam veterans like Hector Gomez say today is the day when they can
finally stop thinking of a dark past and look toward a better future no
longer ignored or stereotyped as murderers.
In a memorial held Monday, City leaders offered a sincere welcome home
and proclaimed the week of April 24th as the week to pay tribute to
Laredo’s unsung heroes, veterans of the Vietnam war.
Gomez' wife says it's the beginning of the recovery, recovering from a
pain they and the families felt for so long. People, she says, would
discriminate against Vietnam veterans when they did go out and find a
job. She says since then there have been memorials for all other troops
who come home, but they have been forgotten.
Vietnam veterans say they've always been grateful for memorials like
this one here at Jarvis Plaza but their families say they've always
deserved so much more. Now their wounds can begin to heal.
One by one, Vietnam veterans were recognized and told thank you.
“I’m so glad justice has come through and after 40 years our soul is
starting that healing.”
“We do not ask for anything, just a little love and respect. Some of
us gave some and some gave all.”
Also remembered were those 28 Laredoans who gave it all, the ultimate
sacrifice and a reminder that freedom isn't free.
“This proclamation is something we really deserve and we're proud of
Today’s' memorial also included a guest presentation by retired U.S.
Navy Seal Erasmo Riojas.
Terry Sullivan & Carol A. Haave
may be tiny, but it does have an influential Pentagon link
of the more interesting Iraq contracts the Center uncovered involves a tiny firm
called Sullivan Haave Associates. Sullivan
Haave is actually a one-man shop run by a government consultant named Terry
Sullivan. Sullivan says his firm was hired as a subcontractor by Science
Applications International Corp., one of the most successful and best
politically connected government contractors doing work in Iraq.
says his job was to spend four months in Iraq providing advice to various
ministries being set up there by coalition and local authorities.
has a much more intimate relationship with the Pentagon than his competitors,
however. He happens to be married to Carol Haave, who, since November 2001, has
been deputy assistant secretary of defense for security and information
operations. And yes, Haave is the same person who appears in the name Sullivan
seemed surprised when contacted by the Center for Public Integrity at her
Pentagon office about the contract.
said she was no longer associated with the company in any way. She then said she
had no knowledge of any work the company might be doing in Iraq.
asked who the Center might speak with about the contract, Haave said that person
was currently out of the country and unavailable. She said she would try to
reach the person and have him call the Center.
short time later Sullivan called.
said the contract had only been for four months and he had completed it in July.
He said he did not know what the total cost of the contract was. "They paid
me for four months of my time," he said.
then disclosed that Haave was his wife, but said the contract had nothing to do
with her position at the Pentagon.
have been very sensitive to the issue of conflict for a long time," said
Sullivan, who said his wife had signed everything involving the company over to
him before she took her current job.
need to know how we operate as a husband and wife," said Sullivan. "We
keep things completely separate and always have."
the Iraq job, records obtained by the Center show that Sullivan Haave Associates
has been awarded two other Pentagon contracts in recent years, both before Haave
took her current job.
contract was to provide "basic services" to the Pentagon's Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency. It was awarded in 1999 and was valued at
$78,000. The second contract was from the Department of the Army for
"technical services" and was valued at $100,000. It was awarded to
Sullivan Haave Associates in 2001.
has worked extensively on Pentagon projects during her career, both within and
outside the Defense Department.
biography posted on the Web site of a Pentagon advisory group she met with in
July says Haave has had a "unique career in the public and private sectors
[that] spans over 20 years of military, industry, and civilian government
biography describes Sullivan Haave Associates as having been a "woman-owned
company that operated solely on behalf of the Department of Defense to
facilitate the transition of advanced technologies into military
Background Ms. Carol A. Haave serves as an Executive Officer of The SPECTRUM Group Inc. Ms. Haave served as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence) Counterintelligence and Security from 2003 to 2005. Ms. Haave served as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at Department of Homeland Security. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security and Information Operations (responsible for security, information operations, critical infrastructure protection, information assurance and counterintelligence).
Ms. Haave spent more than 15 years as a consultant to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) and advanced government technologies into the armed forces during military conflict, where she focused on transitioning advanced technology into the military and commercial markets and was a team leader for the House Appropriations Committee Surveys and Investigations Staff conducting bipartisan evaluations of technology programs.
Ms. Haave owned Sullivan Haave Associates, Inc., from 1988 to 2001, and served as its President, where she worked closely with DARPA and other government agencies as well as the Commands and Intelligence Community to solve systemic operational problems. She started her career in the Army and worked on the National Defense Panel staffs and conducted other security-related consulting experiences. She has participated in numerous Defense Science Boards.
Ms. Haave has over 25 years of strategic planning, program management and technology experience in security and intelligence, military operations and technology. She has been a Member of Federal Advisory Board of
Xceedium, Inc. since December 2009. Ms. Haave serves as Member of Advisory Board of Cybrinth
LLC. She serves as a Member of Advisory Board of Ideal Innovations, Inc. Ms. Haave served as Member of Advisory Board of ICX Technologies, Inc.
Ms. Haave began her career as by enlisting in the Army and getting an in-service direct commission. She was one of the first women Army officers to attend airborne school and became a military police officer. Subsequently, she joined Summa Corporation, Howard Hughes' holding company, doing background and organized crime related investigations and management audits.
A stint in the NASA Inspector General's Office and a manager at HRB-Singer, a communications electronics company followed her time in Las Vegas. She was the "operations manager" for the Bosnia Command and Control Augmentation Initiative. Ms. Haave holds an MA in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University and a BA in Sociology from Stetson University.
E. Wasdin ST-6 Book
SEAL Team TWO Plank Owners
From R.D. Russell, UDT/SEAL Archieves
Ablitt, Gordon 3040 Hidden Valley
Ln. Santa Barbara CA 93108
Andrews, James C. deceased
Beal, Harry M. 1020 Warrens Mill Rd.
Meyersdale PA 15552-8104
Benzschawel, Reinold Lloyd
Birtz, Pierre 3321
Terrazzo Trail, Va. Beach, VA 23452 5422
Boehm, Roy H. deceased
Boesch, Rudolph E. 1413 Franklin Dr.
Va \Beach VA 23454
Boles, Donald Wayne 2838 Avenida De Portugal, San
Diego CA 92106
Bruhmuller, William N. 2159 Briawood Circle,
Panama City FL 32405
Bump, Charles 9307 Runks Rd. Huntingdon PA
Burbank, William E., Sr. 3100 Shore Dr. #728, Virginia Bch,
Callahan, John F., Jr.
Clark, A. D. He lives in Costa Rica, do not have
Dearmon, John W. 125 Summit
Dr. Somerset KY 42501 4209
DiMartino, Joseph D. deceased
Doran, George W. 968
Covey St. Virginia Bch, VA 23454
Finley, James F. 103 East Hidden Valley Trail Herford , NC
Fournier, Samuel R. deceased
Fox, Ronald G.
Goines, William H. 6317
Colby Way, Virginia Bch, VA. 23464
Graveson, David H.
Green, William T. 345 Whites Farm Rd, Axton, VA 24054
Janecka, Stanley S. 1554 Sunrise
Dr., Big Pine Key, FL 33043
Jessie, Charles W. Jr.
Johnson, Rex W.
Kelley, Michael David
Kratky, Claudius H.
Kucinski, Louis A. deceased
MacLean, James P. deceased
Martin, Richard E. PO Box 1445, 413 E. 8thSt.,
Big Timber MT 59011
McCarty, Frederick 217
Cortland LN, Va. Beach, VA 23452
Melochick, Melvin f. Deceased
2809 C. Fall Creek Rd. Spicewood TX 78669
Schwartz, Paul T. 7611 Cayuga Dr., New Port Richey, FL 34653
Shapiro (Stephensen), Dante M., 3380 Peachtree Rd. N.E., Atlanta GA
30326 - 1021
Stamey, Bobby G. deceased
Stone, Donald 1440 S.W. 5thAve.
Boca Raton FL 33432
Taylor, Joseph Decesed
Tegg, John D. 130 Maple Island Rd.,
Burnsville MN 55306- 5502
Tipton, James C. Deceased
Tolison, James T.
Tolison, Robert A.
Tornblom, Per Erik
Wallace, Jim Jr.
Watson, James D. 600 11thSt.
Vero Beach FL 32960
Waugh, Leonard A. 6964 Grande
Vista Way S., South Pasadena FL 33707
Wiggins, Charles C.
Williams, Harry R.
Doc. Here are some answers about ST-2 plankowners.
are correct about Painter. He drowned on a mission in Turkey. I was
sent over to replace him which is how I missed some of our Cuban
dead, JP in a training accident on the west coast prior to going to
away of natural causes.
have been a plank owner, but wasdroppedmy
command before we were commissioned.
passed away does. He came after commissioning but was granted plank
holder status because apparently his orders were written before we
are the other plank owner deaths I have been able to come up with
based on letters I have received from current plank owners:
about 2 years ago as didChief
Hoot Andrews, who also came late, but his orders were written before
commissioning. Second XOJoe
about 4 years ago as didLtjg. Dave Graveson. Roy Boehm also die
about 4 years ago.
JP Tiptonis our
most recent death, just weeks before our 50ths. We lost
a free fall collision with another SEAL about the time we lost JP
Tolison. Others known to be dead are:Dick
sure he is considered a plank owner,Bob
letters since our 50thimply
the following may be dead: John Ritter, Ron Fox, Mike Kelly and
James Scot Maclean.
know nothing of the whereabouts of,
Johnson.No one has
heard from any of the above three.
Martin lives in Montana, he suffered a stroke, but is doing pretty
our 50ths, there were 20 present in LC, but only 13 were present for
the photo I took. If you want those names or a copy of the photo,
let me know and I will send you one. I have a list of who was
and who was not in the photo.
the way, here is the scoop of former Commanding Officers present. I
have that photo too. Present were;Dave
Morrison, Ted Lovett, Scott Moore, Joe Maguire, TimSeymansky,
Ryan McCombie,Mike Hayes (current CO), Rick Woolard, BruceWilliamson.
at muster, but not in the photo wereBob
Rieve, Ted Lyon, Ric MarcinkoandNorm
you need their dates of service, I can send that to you. Just let me
you get any updates on the “two who we have not been able to track
down”, let me know: , Rex Johnson and Mike McKeawn.
Cannondied in 2003.
He came from the fleet withTex
Hager & Jose Taylor. All 3 were LDOs.. In my mind,RedCannonisa
plank owner also, and likeTex
cameabout the same time. ButRed
Cannonis NOT on our
plank owner plaque. I still dispute that, but it may be his orders
were not written BEFORE the commissioning.Chief
came after commissioning, but was granted plank status.
Additionally, those in UDT training when we were commissioned, but
came over after they graduated, were all granted plank status.
let me know if any of the data I have shared above you find to be in
contention or incorrect.
Your old buddy, (but I still mow 4 ˝ acres of land)
I can not recall Tex Ritter and I am not sure that Charlie Wiggins
ever reported for duty but stayed at UDT 21.
Painter is dead, actually the first SEAL to die on active duty.
at least one of the Tolisons is dead, I think it is R.A.
is an expert on ST2 plankowners and their status.. Pete
Boesch's ST-2 Plankowner list. Reviewed by John Dearmon
real ST-2 Plank Owners are: (38 total)
Ablitt * added to list by John Dearmon 20 sep 2011
E. Burbank, Sr.
F. Callahan, Jr.
W. Jessie, Jr.
M. Shapiro (Stephensen)
me know if you need anything else.
Bob Gardner's Seastory about a SAIGON,
From: Robert Gardner <bgardner1946 [at] yahoo
DOT com> Date: Wed, May 11, 2011 at 2:58 PM Subject: Back Then To:
docrio [at] sealtwo DOT org
Don't know if you remember me, but I just discovered your webpage and wanted to say hello after forty years. I
an the Intel guy with NSWGV and deployed with Lt. Boyhan and Charlie platoon at Dung Island, then with Lt. Todd and Hotel platoon at My Tho and Ben
I want to remember an OP you and I made in Saigon in June '70. You were in town from the canal job and I was there with Charlie
plt. stand down and you wanted to go to the Green Door on the other side of the Saigon River.
Well, I went with you and before too long it was past curfew and we needed to get back (we were both staying at the Le Lai). We hired a cowboy to get us to the bridge but then had to make our way along and around Tu Du Street back to the hotel. You seemed to know every back alley and a couple times we even had to climb some walls to avoid the MP's.
We made it to right across the street from the hotel, broke into the open, and were promptly nailed by an MP jeep patrol. They took us all the way down to the Annapolis brig and turned us over to the SP duty guy there, all written up on a MACV report, very official. Of course, it turns out the SP duty guy was an old shipmate of yours and after we all finished howling he wadded up the reports, called transportation for a Navy SP jeep to deliver us safely to the front door of the Le Lai, and that was the end of it.
I've told this story a million times to my friends and have been accused of gun decking
more than once, but it's all true. Great to see you're still so involved, keep up the good work. Though I
am not a SEAL you guys always took good care of me and I do share with all of you the devotion to the principles and traditions of NSW.
I'm very honored to have served alongside you.
Fair winds my old friend, Bob Gardner NSWGV
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Hey Bob! Why would they not believe you. You and I never lied! Reason I knew some back alleys was because I used to drive the bar girls home when they closed the club at the Lei Lie. My driving buddy was Jaime Garcia, a PBR sailor. He married one of those girls, has three children by her. They all look more Mexican than Vietnamese.
Cho died last year of Hepatitis. Jaime lives in California with his daugher and his grandkid.
Bob Stoner's SeaStory
from: Robert Stoner RStonerCRD21 [at] msn DOT
com to: "Erasmo \"Doc\" Riojas" <docrio
[at] sealtwo DOT org> date:
Wed, May 11, 2011 subject: Another Saigon Vietnam Seastory
Back Then You're well aware of the in-country travel and TAD orders we carried in RVN. The MST-2 guys carried the same ones because we were all part of NSWG. When we turned over out detachment's gear to the in-bound det the first week of 1970, my boss told me to pack my bags and catch a bird to Saigon to make sure our records had the right endorsements and check on our flight back to
Long story made short -- NSWG Saigon had the paperwork ready, but they forgot to make arrangements with the USAF (Military Airlift Command). We went to Ton Sun Nhut and waited two nights and two days on the standby list. Morning of day three we held a council of war:
(1) it was obvious we were all going nowhere fast with the USAF and
(2) we'd find a place to stay in Saigon (President Hotel f
or officers; Victoria Hotel for enlisted) until NSWG arranged a return flight with VR-21.
It took NSWG in Saigon three weeks to make the arrangements, but we finally got out and
arrived back at North Island NAS on 5 December 1970.
Getting back to the TAD orders, EN2 Don King and I were walking back to the Victoria Hotel from
the Cho Lon Exchange when a jeep with two Army MP's pulled up in front of us, they got out, and
asked us for ID and orders. Don and I handed them our green IDs and in-country travel orders.
[Both Don and I kept as serious faces as we could.]
Then the MPs hit the third paragraph that
talked about carrying explosives, weapons, and jumping out of airplanes -- and we watched the blood slowly drain from their faces. They folded our orders up and returned them along with our IDs.
The MPs wished us a great day and split the scene as fast as they could.
Congratulations to you and Bob Gardner for reunited after a long time of Vietnam war.
Cu Lao Dung or Dung island in Long Phu, Bac Lieu which I was there on late of 1970.
The LDNN barrack was nearby with Navy SEAL advisors in that Naval base.
I had soem good memories with my Vietnamese LDNN Chief Hen who was in charged of
Intel in that team. Best wishes,
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Capt David Del Giudice will be inducted
into the Commando Hall of Honor
(CHOH) on 27 October 2010.
Capt Dave was the first CO of ST-1, below is a statement about his
career by Capt Andy (3rd CO of ST-1)
LTC FARRELL -- It will be a pleasure to bring forth information
pertaining to CAPT DEL GIUDICE and his outstanding career in Naval
As stated previously - Dave and I were Both Executive Officers of UDT-12
The Commodoroe (LCDR MACK BOYNTON) was summoned over the COMPHIBPAC to
discuss a TS message pertaining to the formation of a Special
Operational Force. We were selected to be on the 'WHAT IF
COMMITTEE"= to respond to CNO'S query.
In December CNO Directed that SEAL'S be established. LCDR BOYNTON
selected Dave to be the Commmanding Officer of SEAL TEAM ONE to be
effective 1 January l962. Thereby making Dave the FIRST
SEAL TEAM ONE was composed of Officers and men from UDT-11 and UDT-12.
Later that year Naval Operational Support Groups (Atlantic &
Pacific) were established. Capt Phil Bucklew became the Commodore and
shortly thereafter he and David Del Giudice departed for Vietnam to work
on plans and operations.
The ensuring works are contained in the Bucklew report. Dave received a
high decoration for his part. SEALS were deployed as Mobil Training
(composed from both coasts)in l962 and employed around Da Nang.
After Daves tour as Commanding Officer of SEAL TEAM ONE - He was ordered
to report to COMMANDER NAVAL OPERATIONS SUPPORT GROUP, PACIFIC, as
Operations Officer. During this period he was active in coordinating
with COMPHIBPAC Staff for the employment of SEALS, and others NOSG
In early l966 his efforts were rewarded with the deployment of SEAL
DET BRAVO to Vietnam. It soon became obvious that staffs were not
familiar with employment of SEAL'S and Dave convinced higher authorities
that a NOSGWESPAC DET be established in WESTPAC to assist in planning
and operations. Upon completion of that tour he was assigned to the
Office of CNO; in OPNAV 343, once again working with Capt Bucklew
who had replaced Capt Kelly (I believe that later it was redesignated as
During this period great strides were made in the development of billets
throughout the Navy, A career Program was being pursued, Research and
Development slots were established in OPNAV, TDP's and other methods of
procurement of special weapons was on-going. Increased Manpower
authorizations for SEAL was approved.
During this period GREAT STRIDES were made in the conduct of Naval
Special Warfare and its support assets. Dave worked tirelessly in the
performance of his Duties and his accomplishments are a matter of
record. Thanks - Franklin
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SEALs -- The Beer Guzzlin' Celebration
3:12 PM PDT by TMZ Staff
bunch of Navy
SEALs based in San
Diego celebrated their faces off last night ... toasting the UNBELIEVABLE raid
carried out by their fellow SEAL brothers by reveling at a S.D. bar ... a bar
which happens to be owned by a retired SEAL.
spoke with American bad ass Greg
McPartlin -- owner of
McP's pub -- who told us when the news broke, SEALs from the nearby Naval Base
Coronado quickly packed the house ... many carrying American flags.
We're told the soldiers went through 8 kegs, 15 cases of beer and TONS of
cocktails in just four hours ... while leading the bar in several
McPartlin tells us, "It's great --
Osama was expecting his 72 virgins, instead he got 24 Virginians!" (The
Navy SEAL team that executed the mission is based in Virginia.)
FYI -- the Naval Base Coronado is the home of the USS
Carl Vinson ... the
ship from which Osama's body was dumped into the North Arabian Sea.
A media relations spokeswoman at the base tells TMZ there are currently no
celebrations taking place at N.B.C., in part because, "Our boys had a lot
of fun over at the Irish pub last night!"
Click on the above Picture to see a
Squandering Our Victory
By Blackfive [May 03, 2011]
Squandering Our Victory : This
from a SEAL veteran who has served in The War on Terror and is now
retired. He writes for the Premiere Military BLOG Blackfive. Pretty much
Just like everybody else, the news that Navy SEALs had infiltrated
Pakistan and shot Usama bin Laden in the face really brightened my
evening. I decided to celebrate with a Patel Brothers cigar and two
fingers of Jack Daniels. Of course my heart was especially bursting with
pride at the news that my brothers on the East Coast got the call and
executed their mission flawlessly despite crashing a helo into the
compound. If you have to be in a helo crash, you are far better off
being in one piloted by a Nightstalker of the 160th Special Operations
Aviation Regiment (SOAR) because frankly nobody on the planet even comes
close to how good those guys are. This is an operation that I have
dreamed of being a part of for nearly 10 years, and I have fantasized
about rolling up on a target to find UBL in my sights. I am fairly
certain that I know somebody on that assault force, and I look forward
to the East Coast UDT/SEAL Reunion this summer and sharing a cold one
with some of the boys.
By now, May 3, 2011, the stories about how this successful operation is
going to ensure a Barack Obama victory in 2012 are legion. I even got an
email to that effect on the night of the 1st when we were all basking in
the afterglow of UBL's demise. I'll admit the thought had crossed my
mind, but I dismissed it immediately secure in the knowledge that if any
POTUS could f*ck this up, he was sure to be The One. Right on schedule,
the Administration has already put out several conflicting versions of
actions on the objective, and I have yet to see somebody from the
military nay the SEAL community on a podium at the Pentagon laying out
the operation and answering (or not answering) questions. The Bush
Administration was very good at this, and when some major military
operation took place, the White House would direct the media to the
Pentagon where some General or Admiral held a press conference often
with video clips and some PowerPoint slides showing some the mission
highlights. The Bush White House was happy to let the experts handle
things and show a unified front.
Meanwhile, between NSC staffers, the WH Press Secretary, Homeland
Security, CIA and a multitude of Senior Administration Officials on
background, the story has morphed into various versions of events. While
the political side of me sees this correctly as another manifestation of
the incompetence of this Administration, this vacillation is causing
real harm to the significance of our victory here and to the reputation
of the SEAL Teams. Let me assure you right now that there is no such
thing as a Kill only mission. If that SEAL operator came through the
door to find UBL with his hands up, compliant, and unarmed (including no
evidence of a suicide vest) he would have taken a muzzle strike to the
face, but not any rounds. He would have swallowed some teeth, been flex
cuffed, and dragged roughly out to a marshalling area and then onto the
helo. To start out with the story that UBL had used his wife as a shield
while shooting at the assaulters and to devolve that into to a woman was
wounded and UBL was unarmed and shot in the face is quite a large
spectrum of truth. Add to that the false notion of the Kill only
mission, and now you have the entire SEAL community being thrown under
the bus as wanton killers of women and unarmed civilians.
Are Navy SEALs eager to kill terrorists and UBL most of all? Hells Yeah!
But we would not be tasked with a mission profile that excludes the
capture of the single greatest intelligence bonanza in the history of
the conflict. Certainly we will exploit the intel collected on the
target and soon, but if you simply want to kill somebody no matter what
you do not send Navy SEALs across a sovereign border to do it. That is
what Hellfire missiles and JDAMs are designed to do.
This is also curious from the standpoint of Islamic sensitivity, which
is clearly foremost in the mind of this White House. Only Obama could go
out of his way to emphasize the respect for the Islamic burial process
only to tee up perfectly the conditions under which conspiracy theories
are born. The primitive peoples of the middle east are perhaps the most
gullible ethnic group on the planet. When I was in Iraq, there was a
widely held belief that VBIEDs were manufactured on our US military base
in Ramadi, and that the guys with beards (like me) were actually Israeli
agents driving in HMMVs with the Star of David on the door. I shit you
not. The point is that coming out with a well laid out media plan that
is executed from the Pentagon by experts is critical if your goal is to
provide a clear and undivided narrative of the event. Of course, this
White House has never been very good at sharing credit and it is that
infantile demand for attention that is causing this victory to become
muddled in conflicting accounts and naked political point scoring.
Frankly, I am content to watch Obama shoot himself in the foot while
still having presided over a tremendous effort by our intelligence
community and the SEAL Teams, but I˙ll be damned if he is going to be
allowed to implicate my brothers out of his own incompetence or
political expediency. More importantly, the killing of UBL is
undoubtedly a very significant event in the War on Terror and the
momentum that we have gained should not be lost by grandstanding,
partisan jackassery, and rank incompetence. Get your sh*t together Mr.
The True Soldier fights not because they hate what is in front of them,
but because they love what is behind them!
still a Navy SEAL. He received the Bronze Star with Valor Device. His hopes
for a deal to endorse the Randall knife that deflected a bullet and saved him
from serious injury have never been realized.
DMCM Robert Lee Witherow, USN
1/22/1928 - 3/13/2011
It is with great sadness we inform you of the passing of Bullfrog number
two, DMCM Robert Lee Witherow, who shared the Bullfrog title jointly
with Rudy Boesch. Bob graduated in Class 6 (Little Creek) on 12 January
1951, and served as a joint Bullfrog from August 1981 until he retired
in August 1985.
Bob was born in Clearfield County, PA and enlisted in the Army in 1946
after graduating from high school in Clymer, PA. During his time in the
Army, he served on several USAT (U.S. Army Transport) ships in the
Pacific. He returned to Pennsylvania after his tour on board the USAHS
Comfort, attended technical school, and joined the Naval Reserve.
In November, 1950, he was called into active duty and assigned to
Underwater Demolition 22 and subsequently volunteered and graduated from
UDTR. Following graduation, Bob served in UDT-2 and UDT-21 where he was
the mainstay in the OPS Department for many years. He completed his
35-year career as the Personnel Officer of the Special Boat Squadron
Bob was extremely active in intramural sports. In 1976, he joined the
Little Creek Intramural Volleyball Team and soon was a member of the US
Volleyball Association. He played against teams all over the country. He
became a coach of the NAVPHIBASE "Gators" and took his team to
the 1977 All Navy Tournament Championship. After retiring, he became one
of the most respected volleyball referees in Virginia Beach.
Robert Lee Witherow
DMCM Robert Lee Witherow, USN 1/22/1928 - 3/13/2011
Rest in Peace
Albert Schaufelberrer III
from: spikey1971 [at] aol DOT
to: docrio45 [at] gmail DOT com
dateTue, Nov 23, 2010
subject: from your friend in Vietnam
The issue is June 6 1983. It was kinda hard to find but I'm sure with
time and patience you'll find a copy. I found the shirt that Al is
wearing in a vintage clothes store in Hollywood Calif about 8 or so
I knew the guy running the store and I was just
surfing the racks and saw this shirt, I knew the name so I grabbed it.
Later I come to find out that the shirt I have is THE exact shirt that
Al is wearing on the cover.
I always wondered how this shirt got to the shop.
I think the family might have gotten rid of his old uniforms after his
death. So many uniforms, pictures and documents end up in the garbage
or Goodwill type stores and then that history is GONE.
That's why I search this stuff out, any and all
UDT/SEAL uniforms, pictures documents and patches are HISTORY that
SHOULD be and NEEDS to be saved.
That is why I collect these items.
date: Tue, Nov 23, 2010
subject: from your friend in Vietnam
Please feel free to post whatever pictures I have sent. Maybe by guys
seeing what I have they wiil see that someone really does have an
intense interest about the Vietnam era UDTs and SEALs. SEALs today owe
everything they are to the VN guys.
Webmaster Note: Thank Mike, I sincerely appreciate your time and efforts
in collecting historical SEAL memorabilia. HooYah !
Albert Schaufelberger KIA Central
On: Tue, Oct 18, 2011 ,
From: conrad collins <conraddavidcollins [at] yahoo
To: Doc Riojas docrio45 [at] gmail DOT com
I met you at one of the reunions in the early eighties. More
just bumped into you as we gathered to pour beers, I think. I
was at Team 2 throughout the 80 and 90's. Yesterday I saw your
website, and I can't tell you how glad I was to look through
I noticed in particular a display case with Al Schaufelbergers
uniform in it. I was one of the three enlisted SEALs in El
Salvador with him and can honestly say I thought that little
chunk of history and Al's story were completely forgotten.
I was wondering where that display case is located?
I have always heard that Al was assassinated and never saw
what hit him, it's a lie. I went to San Salvador the day after
he was ambushed. Don Macdonald and, I think, Doc Vacarri were
with me. We went to the sight of the ambush with shotguns and
Mac-10's in hand. After checking out the sight and asking
questions we found that Al's pistol lay on his lap and it was
said he never had a chance to grab it. I rode with Al a
hundred times in that green Ford Maverick, his pistol was
always stuffed between the seats. The only explanation being
that he was bringing it to bear. The boys that killed him set
a good trap. But Al went like a true Frog, he fought till the
last breath. It's not important I quess, but I like the idea
of his 45. barking one last time before he went.
Al was a damm good guy and more importantly he was one of us.
Couldn't stop thinking about him since I saw your sight.
Ride Hard, Shoot Straight,
From: "Erasmo "Doc" Riojas"
To: conrad collins
Sent: Saturday, October 22, 2011
Subject: Re: Silver Bullet Question
Thank you Conrad, I have been away to the ASR/ARS reunion in
Ft. Worth TX. Give me a couple of days to try to find out
where I got those pictures, OK? OH, may I post your email by
his uniform pictures and the TIMES article? thank you, RIO
From: conrad collins
to: Doc Riojas
Of course you can use my E-mail.
If you use my E-mail will will you please check for
typographical errors and correct them.
Do you know Greg Bhurhamn and Al Williams? We gather every
Monday for coffee and lies. They both have more time
down-range so I have to exaggerate stories, in every tale the
long legged girls liked me after my exploits. Don't tell, I
never dated any one over five three.
No Conrad I do not know Greg nor Al. Please tell them
about www.sealtwo.org and
your contribution. Thank you.
Lt. Comdr. Albert Schaufelberger, the First U.S. Military Casualty
in El Salvador, Comes Home
By David Van Biema
day in 1967 young Albert Schaufelberger heard his name ring out over
the public-address system at Lemoore High School in Kings County,
Calif. Wild with worry, he thought the summons to the principal's
office meant that his namesake father, a Navy pilot, had been shot
down in Vietnam. The school was near the Lemoore Naval Air Station,
and friends had received similar calls. Instead, the honor-student
senior learned that he had been awarded a college math scholarship.
Recalls his mother, Virginia, "He was so relieved he didn't even
care about the scholarship."
Two weeks ago, however, when the phone rang at the Fripp Island, S.C.
home of Albert's father—who after three tours had returned safely
from Vietnam in 1969 with a chestful of medals including the Bronze
Star—the news was tragic. His eldest son, Navy Lt. Comdr. Albert
Schaufelberger III, 33, security chief for the American military
advisers to El Salvador and the second highest-ranking U.S. officer in
that country, had been shot to death—a murder later attributed to
leftist guerrillas. He was the first U.S. serviceman killed there
since American soldiers began training government troops in 1980.
His death had about it that combination of horror and the mundane that
has come to characterize El Salvador's simmering revolution. While
waiting to pick up his girlfriend, Consuelo Escalante, 32, outside
Central American University, where she is manager of a cooperative
store, he was shot three times in the head by a gunman.
Schaufelberger's body was returned to the U.S. Memorial Day weekend.
In accordance with sealed instructions he left before going to El
Salvador, his ashes were to be scattered in the Pacific from a patrol
boat belonging to Navy's elite SEALs.
(Two days after the killing President Reagan, apparently signaling his
commitment to an even harder line against El Salvador's guerrillas,
relieved Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs
Thomas O. Enders and indicated that America's ambassador to the
beleaguered country, Deane R. Hinton, would be replaced.)
Himself a member of the SEALs, highly trained in sea, air and land
combat, Schaufelberger believed deeply in his training mission, and
some saw his murder as evidence of his success at interdicting arms
smuggled to leftist guerrillas by sea. Others saw it as a grim
reminder of the beginnings of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Not his
family. "Vietnam is a wrong analogy," says his father,
Albert, 56. "For the moment it seems to me to be a reasoned
approach to help out a nation that is genuinely striving for
As Schaufelberger's brother, Tom, 28, a Richmond, Va. attorney, and
two sisters, Kristine, 30, an immigration supervisor, and Margaret,
32, a San Diego detective, gathered with their parents at Fripp
Island, near Charleston, S.C., there were many happy memories of Al,
and cruel silences as well. "He was hard-driving, very
determined," remembers Tom. Margaret adds, "If he decided he
wanted to do something, he was meticulous and did an outstanding
job." His family recalled the way he plunged into woodworking as
a hobby at age 30. "His first project wasn't a set of
bookends," says his father.
After high school, where he excelled academically (with a reported IQ
of 155) and athletically ("He was small but he wasn't afraid of
anything," remembers a football teammate), he entered Annapolis,
a goal since age 12. The 5'9" cadet lettered in 150-pound
football and lacrosse before graduating in 1971. His drive carried him
into training for the SEALs, which have a dropout rate of some 75
percent. Not Schaufelberger. He once fell 30 feet from a cargo net on
an obstacle course. Badly injured, he crawled through the course until
an instructor put a foot on his back to stop him.
His Navy assignments took him to Japan, Thailand, the Philippines and
Korea, but home was the modest three-bedroom house he bought in a San
Diego suburb. There he coached a boys' soccer team, built a redwood
hot tub, and worked on his VW camper. He became a gourmet cook,
sometimes preparing dinner for 30 friends, and let his siblings use
the house when they wanted. "Al was a big brother in every sense
of the word," says Margaret.
In his final absence, Schaufelberger's military family choked back
their tears, but didn't disguise how proud they had been of the
officer they had known as a man and a boy. "Oh yes. Tremendously
proud," says his mother. "He was a wonderful son. A
wonderful brother. We couldn't have asked for more happiness, and
we're thankful for the 33 years we had."
Marine's .45 Pistol in Iwo Jima,
shot by Jap sniper.
A few days after the flag raising on Iwo Jima, the Japanese attacked the
marines, another fight broke out. A Japanese sniper shot him and
the bullet hit him in the right wrist, and then continues on tohit
his pistol on his belt. The round, after completely disabling his right
hand, penetrates his leather pistol holster, and embeds itself into the
slide of his M 1911. fragments from the round penetrate through the
other side of the holster, and into his leg, injuring him further. He
given first aid and then evacuated.
DMCM Robert Lee Witherow, USN
1/22/1928 - 3/13/2011
It is with great sadness we inform you of the passing of Bullfrog number two, DMCM Robert Lee
Witherow, who shared the Bullfrog title jointly with Rudy Boesch. Bob graduated in Class 6 (Little Creek) on 12 January 1951, and served as a joint Bullfrog from August 1981 until he retired in August 1985.
Bob was born in Clearfield County, PA and enlisted in the Army in 1946 after graduating from high school in Clymer, PA. During his time in the Army, he served on several USAT (U.S. Army Transport) ships in the Pacific. He returned to Pennsylvania after his tour on board the USAHS Comfort, attended technical school, and joined the Naval Reserve.
In November, 1950, he was called into active duty and assigned to Underwater Demolition 22 and subsequently volunteered and graduated from
UDTR. Following graduation, Bob served in UDT-2 and UDT-21 where he was the mainstay in the OPS Department for many years. He completed his 35-year career as the Personnel Officer of the Special Boat Squadron TWO.
Bob was extremely active in intramural sports. In 1976, he joined the Little Creek Intramural Volleyball Team and soon was a member of the US Volleyball Association. He played against teams all over the country. He became a coach of the NAVPHIBASE "Gators" and took his team to the 1977 All Navy Tournament Championship. After retiring, he became one of the most respected volleyball referees in Virginia Beach.
From: Rev. Larry Lyons
ljlyons [at] texoma DOT net
to: "Erasmo \"Doc\"
Riojas" docrio45 [at] gmail
date" Mon, Dec 6, 2010
subject: Howdy from the North - North Texas that is
I talked to Roy Dean about an hour ago. Great visit. Thanks
for his phone number.
Doc, any and I mean any picture you get from me you may
use on your web site and share it with anyone you like. I don't
need to see any proofs.
Yea, I did the disk label. I kind of like playing with that kind of
stuff. Just not really good at it.
What do you think of the music? it is for real. I have a hard time
getting the music on our travel slide shows but it really adds.
Remember Doc, as you said to me, please get back on the VTC
in a few weeks and get your web site back up and running. It is
My wife's name is Melissa and she is the love of my life.
I am a blessed Frogman.
Roy Dean Matthews is in our prayers.
CU CHI GUERILLA TUNNELS IN VIETNAM
Tunnels of CU CHI
The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of
connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi
district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part
of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the
country. The Củ Chi tunnels were the location of several
military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet
Cong's base of operations for the Tết Offensive in 1968.
The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots
during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply
routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters
for numerous guerrilla fighters. The role of the tunnel
systems should not be underestimated in its importance to the
Viet Cong in resisting American operations and protracting the
war, eventually culminating in an American withdrawal.
A trap door on the jungle floor leads down into the Củ
Chi tunnels. Closed and camouflaged, it is almost undetectable
The camouflaged trap door, now open.
Booby trap with bamboo spikes.
Part of the tunnel complex at Củ Chi, this tunnel has
been made wider and taller to accommodate tourists.
Visitors entering tunnel system.
A command center in the tunnels. Today, visitors to the
complex can eat meals underground, sampling foods that the
underground Viet Cong fighters had eaten, such as rice
Tour guide showing how the tunnel works.
Just 30 km from Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon), hundreds of
miles of narrow underground tunnels attest to the
determination of the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
I wish I could post all of Larry's pictures.
They took about 500 shots.
The SEAL 'nam era
"Freedy the Frog" in movie "APOLLO 13"
SDV at SEAL Demonstration at reunion "shark"
Alvaro Lanza at FtPierce SEAL Museum
ChinaTown Houston TX
SCUD Is More Than A
July 9, 2002
this letter and the below article came to
me from Jake Rhinebolt, my XO ST-2 back in the '60's.
Hi Doc Rio,
An ex-submarine shipmate sent me this
article. The writer, Tony DeMarco did pretty good after 36 years
since the event, but he was a little "fuzzy."
The SCUD didn’t run submerged, but was a
sailboat that could be launched from a submerged sub. It had water
proof outboard motor. It was designed by the CIA to infiltrate
agents into Cuba.
Ron Fox was along too. We three thought
its best use was as a Cuban (illegible word)
It was also the coldest I have ever been
in my life.
Jake, what does "SCUD" stand for?
SCUD Is More Than A Four-letter Word
by Tony DeMarco
The American Submariner
April - June 2002
When I first saw the photo
of this submarine, it brought me back some 36 years to 1966, and my
personal experience with an underwater swimmer delivery system, then
called a SCUD. I believe it meant submerged covert delivery system.
I was the Navigator and Operations Officer and a Lieutenant
Commander at the time on the USS Grenadier (55-525). Grenadier
with its high, North Atlantic sail was a four-engine,
four-battery boat operating out of Key West as a unit of Submarine
Squadron (CSR) 12. The skipper was Lcdr Fritz Hahn.
seemed to be the CSR 12 test boat for the latest underwater
gadgetry. Having come from the relatively spacious three-engine,
two-battery USS Threadfin (SS-410), Grenadier had something
in every little cubbyhole.
Some of these facts may be
bit fuzzy, because they happened over three decades ago in
1966. Repair personnel from the tender USS Bushnell built a
special wooden cradle on Grenadier’s deck, just aft of the
forward torpedo room (FTR) escape hatch. It was designed to house a
crudely constructed SCUD capable of carrying two underwater swimmers
to the beach for an undetected insertion or some other covert
mission. The SCUD was tightly latched down in the cradle. I
don’t recall the SCUDs dimensions or capability, but it was
battery powered and I believe about 8-10 feet long. It ran
submerged, just below the surface of the water with its two
occupants. The two SEALS were Ltjg Jake Rhinebolt and Petty Officer
First Class Gallagher from SEAL Team Two at the Little Creek (VA)
Their mission was to make
an undetected incursion onto the small Naval Coastal Facility at
Panama City, Fl, some 90 miles east of Pensacola. I’m a bit hazy
here, but as I recall, they were to enter the base commander’s
office and remove something to prove they had successfully breached
the base’s security. Grenadier’s role was relatively
simple, except for the difficult navigation problem in reaching the
precise drop-off point. We also had to remain undetected during our
submerged nighttime transit of the shallow water. There weren’t
many prominent navigation aids, landmarks, and getting a good visual
"fix" was further compounded by the many lights of the
When we hit our spot,
Rhinebolt and Gallagher locked out of the FTR escape chamber, went
up on deck, unlatched the SCUD and motored to the beach, six miles
away. They then had to hide the SCUD. After accomplishing
their mission (if they weren’t caught), they were to swim back to
the rendezvous point without the Scud for Grenadier retrieval.
After the drop off,
Grenadier retreated to the relative safety of deeper water, and six
hours later returned to pick up the two "intruders." The
scheduled time for the extraction was 6 a.m. and we arrived back
there 10 minutes early at 5:50. I informed skipper Fritz Hahn we
were on station to extract the two SEALS. To be honest, it was a bit
of ~ SWAG (stupid wild ass guess), because we were still having some
NAV problems. I sure wish we had a global positioning system (GPS)
back then we raised NO.1 scope did a quick look around. NO SEALS! At
6 a.m., I did it again. Still NO SEALS! Skipper Hahn said,
"Give them another 10 minutes." All of a sudden, I heard
"Clank! Clank! Clank!" Someone was ringing the Grenadier’s
doorbell. They had arrived and were longing of some steak and
eggs If they had a broom, they would have tied it to the periscope.
They swam six miles to affect a rendezvous with only a wrist-held
compass. What a feat. I was totally impressed and tried to recruit
them as part of my navigation team, but they respectfully declined.
I don’t know who recovered the hidden SCUD, but the two happy
SEALS had enough material to prove that they accomplished their
About a year or so later,
I left Grenadier and volunteered for in-country Vietnam :.duty as a
combat field historian. There in the Mekong Delta, I met Lt.
Rhinebolt, who was in charge of a SEAL platoon in Binh Thuy, and
also now Chief Electrician’s Mate Gallagher, who was in Vinh Long
with a SpecWarGru SEAL platoon. At the time, I was the historian for
the SEAL activity in Vietnam. These two men were highly decorated
I didn't write this, just using it by permission,
it tells a bit about what I do)
I recently was engaged in a heated argument with a
young sergeant during this argument the sergeant
said to me “You are just a corpsman” This
angered me to no end, as we continued with the
patrol I thought about his statement. You are just
I realized that even though he may have thought he
was disrespecting me he paid me one of the highest
complements that could be given to a warrior. Yes
I am just a Corpsman.
You can call me a squid, pecker checker, sailor
you can make fun of my Dixie cup hat and
bellbottoms but let me tell you about
A common description of 8404 hospital corpsmen
could be found in the 1980 book, Green Side Out
Marine Corps Sea-Stories by H. G. Duncan and W. T.
– "A long haired, bearded, Marine-hatin'
Sailor with certain medical skills, who would go
through the very gates of Hell to tend to a
I have my own symbol the Caduceus. It is very old
and understanding its origins can be somewhat
confusing. The link between the caduceus of Hermes
(Mercury) and medicine seems to have arisen by the
seventh century A.D., when Hermes had come to be
linked with alchemy. Alchemists were referred to
as the sons of Hermes, as Hermetists or
Hermeticists and as "practitioners of the
the caduceus was the magic staff of Hermes
(Mercury), the god of commerce, eloquence,
invention, travel and theft, and so was a symbol
of heralds and commerce, not medicine. The words
caduity & caduceus imply temporality,
perishable ness and senility, while the medical
profession espouses renewal, vitality and health..
Like the staff of Asclepius, the caduceus became
associated with medicine through its use as a
printer’s mark, as printers saw themselves as
messengers of the printed word and diffusers of
knowledge (hence the choice of the symbol of the
messenger of the ancient gods). A major reason for
the current popularity of the caduceus as a
medical symbol was its official adoption as the
insignia for the Medical Department of the United
States Army in 1902.
I myself think that the Hermes angle is better
because, I will sell my soul to save your life. If
I have nothing left to use I will invent a way to
save your life, I will travel through anything
including the very gates of hell to save you and I
have often stolen you from the very hands of
But I am just a Corpsman.
I am Francis Junior Piece who while continuously
under fire while carrying out the most dangerous
volunteer assignments, I gained valuable knowledge
of the terrain and disposition of troops .Caught
in heavy enemy rifle and machinegun fire which
wounded a corpsman and 2 of the 8 stretcher
bearers who were carrying 2 wounded marines to a
forward aid station I quickly took charge of the
party, carried the newly wounded men to a
sheltered position, and rendered first aid. After
directing the evacuation of 3 of the casualties I
stood in the open to draw the enemy's fire and,
with my weapon blasting, enabled the litter
bearers to reach cover.
my attention to the other 2 casualties I was
attempting to stop the profuse bleeding of 1 man
when a Japanese fired from a cave less than 20
yards away and wounded my patient again. Risking
my own life to save my patient I deliberately
exposed myself to draw the attacker from the cave
and destroyed him with the last of my ammunition,
Then lifting the wounded man to my back, I
advanced unarmed through deadly rifle fire across
200 feet of open terrain. Despite exhaustion and
in the face of warnings against such a suicidal
mission, I again traversed the same fire-swept
path to rescue the remaining Marine. On the
following morning, I led a combat patrol to the
sniper nest and, while aiding a stricken Marine,
was seriously wounded. Refusing aid for myself I
directed treatment for the casualty, at the same
time maintaining protective fire for my comrades.
Completely fearless, completely devoted to the
care of my patients, I inspired the entire
But I am just a Corpsman.
I am John Bradley who is immortalized in the
Marine Corps memorial. I am the one with an empty
canteen pouch. It is empty because I gave the last
of my water and canteen to a wounded Marine 24
But I am just a Corpsman.
In August of 1942, the first major USMC assault
landings against the JapaneseEmpire occurred in
the Solomon Islands, Pacific. The island chosen
for the invasion was Guadalcanal. As they moved
inland, four Marines were walking point into the
jungle. Advancing into an open area without cover,
they came under heavy fire from the entrenched
Japanese. All four Marines were wounded but
managed to crawl into a shell crater, about fifty
yards from where they had emerged from the jungle.
I ran from cover into the crater with the wounded
Marines, and ran back to cover, under fire. Having
dressed the wounds of the Marine, I sprinted back
for another, only this time I was hit. Not
stopping to dress my own wounds, I carried the
second Marine to cover receiving a second wound.
After giving aid to the Marine, I was hit for a
third time going into the crater.
toward the tree line with the third Marine, I was
again struck by enemy fire. When the third
Marine's wounds were dressed, I started after the
last Marine in the crater. I still did not stop to
care for my own wounds. In a final valiant effort,
I stumbled toward the crater, where I was brought
down by concentrated enemy machine gun fire. I
lunged forward into the crater falling across the
fourth Marine, finally giving up I life. But I am
just a CorpsmanFifteen Corpsmen were counted among
the dead following the bombing of the Marine
barracks in Beirut in 1983.
But they were just Corpsmen
I am John Harlan Willis who was constantly
imperiled by artillery and mortar fire from strong
and mutually supporting pillboxes and caves
studding Hill 362 in the enemy's cross-island
defenses, I administered first aid to the many
marines wounded during the furious close-in
fighting until I was struck by shrapnel and was
ordered back to the battle-aid station. Without
waiting for official medical release, I quickly
returned to my company and during a savage
hand-to-hand enemy counterattack daringly advanced
to the extreme frontlines under mortar and sniper
fire to aid a Marine lying wounded in a shellhole.
Completely unmindful of my own danger as the
Japanese intensified their attack, I calmly
continued to administer blood plasma to my
patient, promptly returning the first hostile
grenade which landed in the shell-hole while he
was working and hurling back 7 more in quick
succession before the ninth one exploded in my
hand and instantly killed me.
But I am just a Corpsman.
I am fearless, dedicated, tough and caring. I have
delivered babies and treated the old. On
submarines I have performed appendectomies even
though I am no surgeon, I do this because it is
what needs to be done. I will tranfer my own blood
to your body from mine if that is what I have to
do. I have the skills to keep you breathing even
if you have no face. I will stop the blood from
leaving your body in an singleminded effort to
save your life while ignoring everything else
including my own safety.When you are injured there
are three things you scream out Oh God ,Momma and
Corpman up. The first two usually don’t show up
and the only thing that will stop me from getting
to you is death itself. I have taken an oath to do
this. I take that oath very serious.
I am just a Corpsman.
I have always been with you don’t you remember?
Was I not there during the freezing winter in the
Chosin resevoir. Did I not help you semaphore 100s
of injured Marines. Did I not fight as hard as you
did on Okinawa. In Belleau wood did I not keep you
alive so that you could continue to do what you do
best? Do you not recall during the TET offensive
how I carried all that extra weight in the form of
equipment to keep you alive? Was I not in Somalia?
desert storm did I not repel the enemy out of
Kuwait with you.. Im sure you realize that I am
still here with you fighting next to you in Iraq.
I have spilled my blood here too. I have saved
your life here as well. Don’t you remember?Was I
not in Fallujah, Ramadi and Habaniyah. I know you
realize that right now I am on a mountain in
Afghanistan . I live in that battle position with
you, I sleep next to you. I patrol with you, I
suffer where you suffer.
I am just a Corpman.
I stand by you with pride don’t I deserve the
same? have I not earned your respect?.I cry when
you cry, I cheer when you cheer. Your battles have
always been mine. I practice medicine through
firepower. I will gladly take a life to save yours
and give mine in your stead. That is what I am
here for. I am just a Corpman.
the Marine Corps Hymn plays I stand a little
taller and a tear wells up in my eye because I
know that it is also my song. I have earned that
by blood. You did not give it to me, don’t you
see? Just like the Blood represented by the stripe
running down your leg my Caduess is also red.
I am just a Corpsman
Same Same 1967 to now 2010
have put some extra in on Britt
Slabinski that his Father sent me. You may
have this already?
Cross, Navy Marine Corps Medal, Bronze Star
am not computer smart or I would have sent these by whatever can be
done by the copy gadget.
am sure you know
Andy Anderson. He is a member of my Legion Post 14, where I am the
Historian. We inhaled a few beers on Memorial Day. Larry Bailey is
also a Post 14 member. When Tom Hawkins was in
recently, I had him come over (St.Pete) for supper at the Post.
and Rick Green were with us. If you are ever in this neck of the
woods, give me a buzz at 727 894 284 or do an email.
Barnes “Older than Dirt”
& NavyCross Awards
Click on small pictures to enlarge them.
sports played: Water polo, triathlon, lacrosse,
boxing, rugby, swimming and/or wrestling Alternative sports played:
Skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, climbing, rappelling and/or
martial arts Height: At least 5 feet
8 Weight: At least 162
pounds Age: 22 to 25 (by law,
only men are eligible to apply) Education: Bachelor’s Hobbies: Hunting,
woodworking and/or chest Geography: Grew up in New England (Vermont, New
Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island), the
Northern Plains (North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa,
Kansas and Missouri) or the West Coast (California, Washington and
There has never been a
female U.S. Navy SEAL. Under Defense Department policy,
only males can become members of the elite military
Today there are about 2,400 SEALs,
working in 33 countries.
About one-third of SEALs have
The U.S. Navy's Underwater
Demolition Team, formed in 1943, was the predecessor to
the SEALs, which President John F. Kennedy formed in
From 1945 through 2005,
about 48,000 men went through UDT and SEAL training.
Only 8,000 became UDTs and SEALs.
I have noticed the guy from LDNN named Thang who was assigned in Nam
Can Team, which Darryl Young wrote about his turned coat.
(Page:319 - 320 of SEALs, UDT, Frogmen: Men Under Pressure) I have met
Darryl Young from my home a few years before his death.
I have someone who knew him and he is still living somewhere in Go
Cong near Saigon Capital. He became a high ranking officer after
Vietnam fall and working for the bastard Commies.
You remember Thang is never interested on me and of course I am not
the one wanted to talk or see him too.
Kiet Nguyen, webmaster's note: Kiet was
awarded the Navy Cross for the rescue of BAT-21
LDNN Traitor,named Thang
----- Original Message -----
From: Kiet Nguyen
To: spikey1971 [at] aol.com Cc: Doc Rio
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:48 PM
Subject: Re: LDNN Thang
Thanks, my family is doing well. Since April 30, 2005 I was retired
from my 19+1/2 years of Boeing company.
About Thang last name I am not sure, but I will find out later. After
he betrayed our comrades in SEALs. He was transferred to other teams
in center Vietnam (Cam Ranh + Da Nang).
Then US forces withdrawn on 1973 the LDNN still rock and roll as
well as of itself. I never heard Thang anymore while I was in LDNN
headquarter as an instructor to the SEALs class # 8. On the fall of
Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces, the Commies took over Saigon and
control whole VN country,
Thang , I heard that he became an high ranking officer to the VC. Now he is living
in Go Cong. I have his home phone number but never called him. My
friends still live in Saigon, once asked him wants to contact with me;
But he rejected it. I thought if I did not leave VN my life
should be in big trouble by him. For the rescue of BAT 21 operation
succeed; that mole won't mercy me by the way of my contribution to the
For now our government are having connections with commies
on many things... However Commies are never too honest.. Mike, what
are you doing now? Can you tell me? On this May of 30 Thuy (my wife)
I will be in Santa Ana where Garden Grove for the STD reunion.
If you are living close this area I am very happy to invite you to
join with us at the Seafood Kingdom restaurant 6:00PM - 11:00PM
30.5.2010 If use GPS use the city hall address ( City Of Westminster,
8200 Westminster Blvd Westminster, CA 92683
--- On Wed, 5/26/10,
From: spikey1971 [at] aol.com To: ktnguyen95 [at] yahoo.com
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 6:21 AM
Subject: LDNN Thang ; what happened to that Traitor? Thank you, Spikey
spikey1971 [at] aol.com
To: ktnguyen95 [at] yahoo.com
Sent: Tue, May 25, 2010 4:21 pm Subject: LDNN Thang
Hello Kiet, Nice to hear from you and I hope you and your family are
doing well. I saw something you postedon Doc Rio's website www.sealtwo.org
about an LDNN named Thang that was on Sea Float then went to Xray
I was told the he was killed after it was found out he was
selling information and maybe he was the reason why Xray platoon got
shot up so bad. The whole Xray platoon tour seemed to be doomed from
the start. So I was amazed that you said that Thang was alive in
Vietnam. I think his full name was Bo Van Thang or maybe I have it
Very interesting information. Did you know him? I wonder
where he went after Xray platoon, maybe to an LDNN platoon? Best
From: Kiet Nguyen <ktnguyen95 [at] yahoo.com>
To: Doc Rio docrio45 [at] gmail.com
Sent: Tue, May 25, 2010 1:50 pm
Subject: Re: write me here, but don't post this email on the WWW,
Hi Doc Rio & Mike,
It is a small world guys. Doc Rio was my trainer from LDNN Cam Ranh
Bay (1970) Mike Rush who I had a good opportunity met him at the UDT-SEAL
West coast reunion many years back while I have accepted the Honorary
Life member of UDT-SEAL Association. HoohYaah!
On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 9:46 AM,
<Spikey1971 [at] aol.com> wrote:
Thanks Doc Rio,
I've been collecting UDT/SEAL/LDNN items for over 15yrs. A lot
of people know I collect this stuff so they usually contact me. I have
gotten some GREAT stuff from former SEALs that knew I liked to collect
these items. Mainly I get a lot of stuff from West Coast guys, I have
very little contact with any East Coast guys, Dan Olson gave me some
cool stuff a few years ago and I got some stuff from Ace Sarich in the
mid 90's but that's about it. I'm working on getting another hug batch
of UDT/SEAL and LDNN patches, hopefully soon. I'd be honored to have
your hat. Please let me know when you put the pics up so I can check
them out. When I get home at the end of June I can re-shoot everything
in a larger format if you want. Mike
"Man has to be man - by choice; he has to hold his life as a
value - by choice; he has to learn to sustain it - by choice; he has
to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues - by his
choice." Ayn Rand"
Email from: phat28_6 [at] yahoo.com To: Doc Rio
Dec 23 2010
"Thang low " is the intructor and gave you plaque.
"Qua " is the intructor CRanh bay .
Skinny Thang is suspected of being a VC. Vietnamese and U.S. security has cleared him and he was found to be innocent.
OK, Thắng không phải lŕ VC. Tôi tin rằng bạn. Cảm ơn bạn.
NICKNAME for the "Trident" SEAL
qualification badge, formally called the Special Warfare Badge, which was
adopted in 1971; as derived from reference to both the basic school, and to
design similarity with the "Budweiser" beer logo. The Basic
Underwater Demolition School (BUDS) is the preliminary training for SEAL
specializations; so the name is a play on words: BUDS + wiser. The TRIDENT
incorporates the original UDT badge as its central motif; both badges were
initially partitioned silver for EM/NCO and gold for OFFICER, but later
combined into a single gold badge for all ranks. See SEAL, SCUBA, UDT, NSWG,
DIVER, BLOODING. [nb: 'Budweis' is the German name for a Czech (Bohemia and
A UDT-SEAL Assn. Plank Owner's Card
Bob Thomas (above)
click to enlarge photo
Are you glad you missed the Vietnam War Games?
Making LOVE & WAR!
Subic Bay Phillipines and the Orient: a
Cruise to the Past; Great Photos !
If you have visited Yokosuka, Subic Bay, Korea, you gotta see
these guy's Navy Photo Album!
Rio and Thang LDNN CamRanh Bay 'nam training camp 1970
Petty Officer R.J. Thomas
Combat Experience with the .45 ACP
Oft times, comments on this net are about GySgt. Carlos HathcockĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s
sniping adventures in Vietnam. HereĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s one that very few
know about, but is probably just as good as far as accuracy during
combat is concerned.
A Navy SEAL Team was returning from a mission over North Vietnam in a
chopper when it got hit pretty bad. The pilot and one crew member were
killed and the copilot was wounded. Going into autorotation, the copilot
managed to set the chopper down in a clearing. After landing, a few
rounds of enemy fire were starting to come in. Seems the M60s were also
damaged beyond use by the crash landing and initial RPG hit, the only
M16 fell out on the way down.
The only firearms left was M1911s.The remaining crew member was
carrying a match conditioned M1911 and had a few boxes of ammo. As more
enemy small arms fire started coming in, the copilot and crew member
also noted that the VC were coming out of the jungle and approaching
them; shooting as they came. The crew member took out his .45 and took
careful aim as he shot at each attacking VC. About 30 minutes later it
was all over. Between reloading magazines and radioing for rescue, the
copilot was pretty busy, but a rescue chopper finally arrived on the
As the rescue chopper came in and landed, its crew noticed a lot of
dead VC laying around. The downed heloĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s remaining crew
were picked up and on their way out, they counted the dead VC; 37 in
all. Their distances from the downed helo were from 3 to about 150
yards; all shot by the crew member with his M1911 .45 ACP. About 80
rounds were fired by Petty Officer R.J. Thomas, a member of the USN
Rifle and Pistol Team.
Petty Officer Thomas was recommended for the
Congressional Medal of Honor, but by the time the
recommendation got all the way up through the chain of command, the
recognition was reduced to the Navy Cross.
This incident has been cited this as the only known of example of
top-level combat marksmanship since SGT Alvin YorkĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s
escapades in WWI.
Submitted by Mark Eberhard-CEO & President
LtCol. USMCR (Ret.)
American Marksman GroupA
Helvenston and a SpecForceSoldier; Blackwater Employees
Ft. Benning GA, Basic AIrborne Training the 200 ft. towers
Subject: Hi Doc Rio
From Carl Swepston:
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010
From: Subject: Lenny Horst
I do know that Lenny Horst was in the UDT SEAL teams.
FYI: Lenny was the guy who called the White House and
asked to speak to the President because his platoon was stuck in
Hawaii (on their way back from Vietnam) and the plane crew was
being delayed. When Lenny got back to the strand Captain
Schaible called Lenny into office.
The Captain said: "Petty Office Horst tell me in 25
words or less why did you call the President of the United States?
Actually, Lenny only reached an Admiral at the White House.. That is
Carl Swpston.(SEAL) Happy Memorial Day
THE OLD OUTFIT
"Written By a World War Two
Come gather round me lads and I'll tell
you a thing or two,
about the way we ran the Navy in nineteen forty two.
When wooden ships and iron men were barely
out of sight,
I am going to give you some facts just to set the record right.
We wore the ole bell bottoms, with a flat
hat on our head,
and we always hit the sack at night. We never "went to bed."
Our uniforms were worn ashore, and we were
Never thought of wearing civvies, in fact they were not allowed.
Now, when a ship puts out to sea. I'll
tell you son, it hurts!
When suddenly you notice that half the crew's wearing skirts.
And it's hard for me to imagine, a female
stopping on the Quarter deck to make sure her stockings are straight.
What happened to the KiYi brush, and the
old salt-water bath?
Holy stoning decks at night, cause you stirred old Bosn's wrath!
We always had our gedunk stand and lots of
And it always took a hitch or two, just to make a rate.
In your seabag all your skivvies, were
neatly stopped and rolled.
And the blankets on your sack had better have a three-inch fold.
Your little ditty bag . . it is hard to
believe just how much it held,and you wouldn't go ashore with pants that hadn't
been spiked and belled.
We had scullery maids and succotash and
good old S.O.S.
And when you felt like topping off, you headed for the mess.
Oh we had our belly robbers, but there
weren't too many gripes.
For the deck apes were never hungry and there were no starving snipes.
Now, you never hear of Davey Jones,
Shellbacks or Polliwogs,
and you never splice the mainbrace to receive your daily grog.
Now you never have to dog a watch or stand
the main event.
You even tie your lines today; back in my time they were bent.
We were all two-fisted drinkers and no one
thought you sinned,
if you staggered back aboard your ship, three sheets to the wind.
And with just a couple hours of sleep you
regained your usual luster.Bright eyed and bushy tailed, you still made morning
Rocks and shoals have long since gone, and
now it's U.C.M.J.
Back then the old man handled everything if you should go astray.
Now they steer the ships with dials, and I
wouldn't be surprised,
if some day they sailed the damned things from the beach, computerized.
So when my earthly hitch is over, and the
good Lord picks the best,
I'll walk right up to Him and say, "Sir, I have but one request.
Let me sail the seas of Heaven in a coat
of Navy blue.
Like I did so long ago on earth, way back in forty two."
Thank you for your response on what I found on the WWW about the birth of USNavy
SEALs. I did not save what I forwarded you, so that is the reason is not
posted here. Thank you very much for the letter, above, and the two
followup emails ,below.
Riojas BUD/S class (zero,nada)
I did not sell president Kennedy on the idea It was Bill Hamilton the Skipper
of UDT 21. He ordered me to give him a group of men that would go anyplace and
do anything. He asked me if I could assemble this group from UDT 21; I told
him it was the perfect place to do it.Ă‚Â We served Mc George Bundy
Special assistant to the President for National Security. AttachedĂ‚Â is
National Security Memorandum No 2 Our first operation started in the end of
March 1961, and continued throughout the yearĂ‚Â prior toĂ‚Â the
creation and commisioning of what would later become the SEAL's
I have nothing against the truth It was our skipper Bill Hamilton That had
the know how and the connections to present the idea we had talked about and
he and Doug Fane had talked about years ago. I kaboshed the movie
because they were going to have the President crediting me . You can
use anything I say. I don't think it makes any difference. The men know what
happened and when; a long time before the argument of three hours
between east and west coast times.
The Story of
the Instantanous hand Grenade in
The instant grenade incident happened to 3rd Platoon
ST2 in Nha Be in
1968. That was my platoon. Here's the story as told me by Bubba
Brewton, Jerry Todd, Bo Burwell, and others:
My squad left an instant grenade with pin pulled beneath a special
device we implanted in an area of enemy activity. The other squad went
back several weeks later by PBR (new guys, that's a River Patrol
with twin 50s and some M-60s) to retrieve the device, which was on
Fully briefed and aware of the instant grenade,
the SEALs attached a line from the PBR to the device, paid out about
50 yards, and pulled the device out of the ground and into the river
behind the PBR. They expected the grenade to detonate harmlessly under
water as the mud attaching it to the device washed away from the
That did not happen, so the LT in charge of the PBRs decided to pull
the device to the stern of the boat to see what was the problem. He
lifted the device out of the water and saw the grenade still stuck to
it, spoon held down by mud. Fully aware the grenade had an instant
fuse and despite warnings to the contrary, he reached out, took hold
of the grenade, said, "I'm going to throw it", and did.
There's not much space to hide on the back of a PBR. Bubba Brewton,
the SEAL officer present, was right next to the LT and did not get a
scratch. A couple other SEALs got a little frag, but Skip Isham and a
non-SEAL CDR who was the XO of Nha Be both lost eyes and had to leave
The PBR LT lost most of his hand. When Bubba and I visited him at 3rd
Field Hospital in Saigon, I asked him what he had been thinking. His
response? "If only I had thrown it harder."
"Stupid is as Stupid does!"
"Skip" ISHAM, ST-2 Lost one Eye
Mence & Erasmo Riojas
"Rupe" and Margaret Mence:The two great women that have "canned" me.
"LouLou"the last one is
Walking in a canal, 'nam war game
I was forced to leave this chushy duty to go to the the
F.M.F. Korea. Thanks to Pres.Harry Truman Truman!
The USNavy National Naval Medical Center,Bethesda MD. This is where I was
We used this Sanpan also to chase VC Tax
collectors. That is Chuck Jessie, Tuan LDNN, and Erasmo "Doc"
Riojas doing the maintenance on it. One of the LDNN, or Minh, dressed as a civilian
did the driving. Roy Dean Matthews asked me in the year 2007 if I was ever
scared riding inside this sanpan. The gospel truth! I was scared
shitless. It was because we are in side that plywood enclosure and cannot
see what the heck is going on. Plywood is not bulletproof !
Alfa platoon SEAL Team ONE Seastory in
Thank you for the email. I will be out-of-town that day, but remember
the incident with Donny well as Alfa platoon was scheduled to relieve
Mike Platoon at the YRBM-18 on the Mekong in August 1968.
I have enclosed the list of Mike Platoon's members with reliefs in
parantheses. If you can remember the other original members, please let
me know. MIKE PLATOON (1)
(21 Feb-Aug 68)
Ltjg Benjamin S. Beall (LTjg Thomas Belding) Ltjg William J. “Bill”
Brierton (CWO1 James P. “Jess”Tolison) BM1 Walter G. Pope (RD3
Michael V. Ambrose) CS1 Donnie L. Patrick SFP2 David E. Devine EN2
Charles W. Puckett HM2 William E. Poole (HM2 William A. Silva) BM3 Frank
B. Toms PN3 R. F. Millerick EMFN R. D. Dean AN Barry H. Volkenant
In a message dated 2/8/2011 7:41:08 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org
writes: Teammates, wives, widows and friends, I didn’t know Annette,
but knew Donny well from Team 11 and Seal One. He was killed inserting
on an operation with Jimmy Ako, in Pope’s platoon. I can’t remember
who else was in that platoon, but we broke them in . Donny was a hell of
a guy and a good operator.
After researching this column, I have a newfound respect for those
serving our country in the armed forces. There are fewer than 30
federally designated museums outside Washington, and there is only one
in Florida. We are privileged that it is in Fort Pierce. The U.S. Navy
UDT-SEAL Museum — celebrating 25 years in existence and about to get
bigger — is the only one of its kind dedicated to preserving the
history of the Navy SEALs and their predecessors, the World War II Navy
Frogmen who originated and trained in Fort Pierce.
The museum will host its annual muster Nov. 6 and 7. On Nov. 6, you
can run or walk alongside (or slightly behind) real SEALs during the
beach 5K at 7 a.m. Your footprints will be imprinted in the same sand
that the Frogmen trained on beginning in 1943. At 11 a.m., the 25th
annual ceremony and demonstration will take place.
There will be men parachuting from a C-130, Navy helicopters present,
a performance by a pipe and drum unit, demonstrations of rappelling,
explosions and a mission scenario. “My favorite part of the event is
educating the kids and giving back to the community,” said Hector
Delgado, a former SEAL and U.S. marshal who is a federal agent and
museum board member serving in the demonstration.U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney,
two SEAL Medal of Honor recipients and “Rudy” Boesch, of the TV
series “Survivor,” also are expected, along with Nick Wynne, author
and past director of the Florida Historical Society.Other VIPs include
men and women who have served our country as SEALS and in other branches
of the armed forces.
After the demonstration, an auction and raffle will be at 1 p.m. and
guest speaker Ed Robinson, a tour guide at Normandy, will speak about
the French resistance. Later, museum officials will break ground for
expanded facilities that will add more display opportunities and house a
community multiuse theater, thanks to countywide support. Don’t be
surprised if you see news cameras on the premises covering the story of
the SEAL Bike Across America tour.The bikers most likely will have a
police escort from the county line to the museum at 2:45 p.m. —
something they deserve to conclude their 3,300-mile bike ride from
The team of five cyclists (one of whom is 74 years old) is raising
money for charities that provide support for the families of SEALs and
other Naval Special Warfare personnel killed in action, and for sports
programs and clinics for people with disabilities.Finally, at 10 a.m.
Sunday, officials will dedicate the new SEAL memorial, which is the only
one of its kind in the world and recently was completed after a year of
construction. This memorial honors the 252 Navy SEALs who were killed in
the line of duty.
Chuck Theiss, who is a former Frogman and head lector and tour guide
at the museum, has been a volunteer for more than a decade, giving 500
hours to his community. “Chuck is a tremendous resource and a great
asset to the museum. He was a Frogman before the SEALs were created and
helped link the Frogmen of WWII with the SEALs of the early 1960s,”
said Mike Howard, UDT-SEAL Museum executive director.
It is spectacular that the birth of this elite group began in our
backyard. Happy Friday! Correspondent Jennifer M. Trefelner is a
columnist for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. This column reflects
her opinion. Contact her
this book and other SEAL books are on sale on
amazon.com for $0.01 plus shipping.
Yes, ONE cent !
June 2008: I am presently writing a book about my military experience in
the Korean Police Action as a FMF Corpsman with an infantry platoon, and also my
tours to the Vietnam war games as a U.S. Navy SEAL. I am sure my
book will be for sale in Amazon.com for the same price.
"Hey! Be Careful!"
You wanna be Careful? Go join the Coast
"The Shark at UWSS Key West FL"
constructed by YNCS (DV)(PJ)(SS) Dow Byers (RIP). 1967. Ernie Caltenback, Master
Diver, was wrapped in casting cloth for the mold. The face was byers, the hands
were his wife's Annice Byers. The shark is now atop the Diving Locker at
the Naval Base, San Diego CA.
About Vietnamese Rats
Doc Rio wrote: asking if the below SEASTORY is true or
Si Amigo , it is TRUE;
Kaloki Dave was the LPO of golf PLt. Mar -August 1970 at
SeaFloat ; I do remember the Movie Rat account.
All the best ; Kaloki Dave Bodkin
Dale Moses, CAPT USN (ret) EMAIL: DALEMOSES
[at a ol.com : As a LT survived watching
movies on Seafloat. After dark at SeaFloat, the crew would show
flicks on a movie screen that was a sheet thrown over a line tied
between two of the hootches on the floats. You could watch the flick
from either side of the screen. In those days (June 1970) there were
lots of SEALs that hung out there. One night we had just started
watching a flick and a rat ran across the rope holding up the sheet.
One of the SEALs pulled out a pistol and tried to shoot the rat not
realizing - correction, not being too bright - that there were
Americans sitting on the other side of the rope and screen. The SEAL
missed the rat and fortunately also missed his shipmates. But I never
felt the same watching flicks there again.
[I was a US advisor on a Vietnamese Navy LSSL that patrolled during
the day, and the VN CO and I would come to SeaFloat forthe nightly ops
brief on a small junk that would pick us up.)
THE RATS Waking to some of the bluest language the Vietnamase ever
come up with, I blearily looked around and saw that what looked like
huge snakes were boarding us along the tie lines to the LSSL. They
were cutting the lines with machetes! I cleared my vision and saw that
the "snakes" werebunched up, pushing, throbbing lines of
rats. They had already pretty well covered the main deck of my boat
and were moving on to the other PCFs lashed up to us on the other
side. After the lines were cut, the rats were leaping into the water
off the LSSL--they just didn't seem to care and there were LOTS of
them. We were slowly spinning around with the other boats and we had
to wake up all the other crews and get them to start their engines and
unhook from each other. The PCFs all moved over to a large barge and
tied up to it. We went back to sleep except for guards on the end
USNS Weigel, Doc Riojas' first seaduty as USMC Troop coming home from
For Example search for John F. Rabbitt or Me
Lt. Jason Redman, US Navy SEAL,
By John T. Vigiano
This is the story of how a bunch of New York City Firefighters
met and Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“partneredĂ˘â‚¬Â up with SEAL Team TEN. This began
a trip to
back in October 2007. As we were making the rounds of the ward, we came upon a
sign hanging from one of the patient's door. You could not help but realize that
inside that room was an incredible human being; a man who gave part of himself
to make this country what it is.
This is the sign we saw:
I immediately took a photo of this and we asked if we could
meet this young man (Lt. Jason Redman, US Navy SEAL). The corpsman escort
entered first and asked the warrior if he would meet with us (usual procedure)
Needless to say, his response was affirmative. When we entered the room, this
young man was standing there , .. hanging from him were a maze of tubes and
other medical contraptions which to a normal person would mean "stay in
bed", Jay greeted us like brothers and began a conversation about
, Firefighters, and SEALs being bonded. We stayed as long as we were permitted,
and left. All day long we spoke the attitude of that young man. A few days
later, a friend was going down to visit the troops ... I asked her to visit this
young man and to ask him if he would allow us to "adopt" his team, My
friend did meet Jay and relayed my request. It was then I found out there were
200 people in the Team. Undaunted, I said "not a problem," but I knew
I had to come up with 200 hats, tee shirts and patches from somewhere. A few
days later, I received an email from Jay's CO, CDR Robert "Gus"
Gusentine and we communicated back and forth discussing this partnership (SEALs
are not adopted).
Webmaster's note: They all met and visited three FDNY
firestations and the entire ST-10 got hats and T shirts. article from The
BLAST 3d quarter 2008. Vol.40, No.3
Let's Be Worthy of THeir Sacrifice 'The wounds I received I got in a job I love.'
By KARL ROVE
This holiday season, home in Texas and surrounded by
close friends and family, I often found myself thinking about virtual
A Navy Seal at work in Afghanistan.
I met them this fall when I spoke at the Naval Special
Warfare Foundation (NSWF) dinner. The NSWF supports naval commandoes
with scholarships and assistance for families of Navy SEALs killed or
wounded in combat or training.
During my White House years, I came to know of the
heroic actions of the Seals and other special operators in the global
war on terror. These men willingly follow evil into dark and perilous
places. They volunteered to be on the front edge of the conflict whose
outcome will shape this century.
The highlight of the NSWF dinner was a video of
"snatch and grab" operations in Afghanistan. It showed
helicopters lifting off to pounding music, night footage of Seals
jumping onto roofs and rappelling into dusty fields, the breathtakingly
destructive power of American missiles and machine guns, and compound
doors blowing open and terrorist suspects being rounded up.
The Seals who prepared the video had carefully mined
President Bush's speeches, using his voice and words as narration. I was
touched by this and knew the president would be, too. So when I met the
Seal who'd produced the video, we exchanged email addresses. Later,
before he left for Afghanistan for his umpteenth deployment, I asked for
a copy of the video to show the president.
He was happy to supply one but had a request in
return. Could the wives and children of his unit's members see the White
House Christmas decorations while their husbands and fathers were
The First Lady readily agreed and with NSWF's help, 75
Seal family members were greeted at the White House just before
Christmas by the president and Laura Bush. It was one of the high points
of Mr. Bush's last holiday in Washington.
On Christmas Eve, I received an email from
Afghanistan, with thanks for helping to facilitate the tour. Attached
was a picture of the videographer and his team, ready for that night's
mission. Bearded and scruffy, covered with weapons and standing in a
rude shelter, they were all wearing bright red Santa Claus hats. It was
the best gift I received this Christmas.
I met another Seal at that NSWF dinner. He'd been shot
eight times in Iraq and had undergone nearly two-dozen operations. One
bullet had taken off part of his cheek and nose. He was destined for
reconstructive surgery in a few days.
Yet he didn't feel sorry for himself. He was full of
charisma, confidence, cockiness and joy. After all, he confided, when
you're a wounded Seal, the world's best doctors want to operate on you
so they can brag about it. Besides, he explained, he was just showing
that a Seal really could catch bullets with his teeth.
He said that after a couple more procedures, he'd
"be back in the game." I asked what he meant. He was amused
and said he was going back into action. "My team needs me," he
said before letting out a laugh. But you knew he meant it, and you knew
his team did need him.
He went off to get a drink for his wife. I didn't want
to pry, but I asked her how she felt about him going back into action.
She said she was all for it because that's what he was made for. I had
to fight back tears.
The next day, I got an email from the retired Navy
Seal buddy who'd talked me into speaking at NSWF. He shared a picture of
the sign the wounded Seal put on his Baghdad hospital door.
On it, the Seal had scrawled that visitors shouldn't
"feel sorry" for him. "The wounds I received," he
wrote, "I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love,
supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly
tough." And on his sign he promised "a full recovery" and
wrote that his hospital room was a place of "fun, optimism, and
intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, GO
ELSEWHERE." He signed it "The Management."
I keep this picture with me so I think every day about
those I met this fall. And I thought about them often during the
When I did, I felt awe that such men and women exist,
and gratitude that they put themselves in harm's way for our nation. I
hope America continues to be worthy of such staggering service and
May the New Year bring safety to all who wear our
country's uniform, success in the missions they so passionately believe
in, peace and comfort to their families, and reunion with all whom they
Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and
deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush. NSWF can be found at
To Kill an American You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but
there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a
newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.
So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone
know what an American is . So they would know when they found one. (Good one,
"An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish,
Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African,
Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or
Pakistani or Afghan.
An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache,
Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In
fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference
is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only
to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the
government and for God.
An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The
root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which
recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation
in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.
When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came
with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!
As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other
nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of
everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food,
the best services. But they also welcome the least.
The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and
your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest
tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.
Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001
earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade
Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first
languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.
So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo,
and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But,
in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a
particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human
spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an
This is the Casket of SEAL
Petty Officer James SHU of SDV Team ONE, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Los Angeles CA,
summer of 2005. data by Tom Hawkins Webmaster's NOTE: This tradition started when Jerry
Waters, ST-2, diet in a parachuting accident at Suffolk VA. in Nov. 1971.
Jerry was the first SEAL to die from ST-2 after the "Bud" was approved
and the SEALs that attended his funeral at Savannah, GA thought it was the right
thing to do to place their "BUDs" on top of Jerry's casket before it
was lowered. Doc
Riojas(webmaster) story by Capt. Ryan Mc
Combie (SEAL) (Ret) USN.
The three SEALs named
above were part of a four-man reconnaissance team that clandestinely
infiltrated into the Hindu-Kush mountains along the border with
Afghanistan on June 27, 2005. The squad was reportedly tracking a
high-ranking al-Qaeda leader when they were ambushed by overwhelming
Taliban forces with superior firepower. The three SEALs provided
protective fire for a fourth member in their squad to escape, before
they were killed by enemy fire. One SEAL, HM1(SEAL)
Marcus Luttrell survived this "OP", and was later
rescued. Doc Luttrell wrote a book titled "LONE
SURVIVOR" which was on best sellers list for a very long time.
The eight SEALs named below
were on a combat rescue mission to reinforce a SEAL squad (above) which
had been ambushed and was engaged in a fierce firefight with
overwhelming Taliban forces. The eight SEALs were killed along with
eight Army Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“NightstalkerĂ˘â‚¬Â commandos when the
MH-47 helicopter that all were aboard was shot down and crashed in Kunar
Province, Afghanistan. (Full
Steve Schwarzer, Knife Manufacturer Extraordinaire
USS NEW YORK
I had this made when I was working in the Texas Dept of Corrections in two of
their Prisons. I was known as "Dr. Death" aka: Doc
SEALS Hydro Track for treatment of injureis
Roy Dean Matthews foot on the right
Dow Byers son, Dr. David Byers receiving
award as the youngest man ever to complete
UWSS school. David is the son of Dow Byers YNCS.
SNAKES & Navy SEALs
US spec-ops "Snake-eaters SEALs"
$200m porta-drone deal
By Lewis Page → Published
Tuesday 8th July 2008
The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM - aka
the "snake eater community"* - has just placed
a new order for hand-launched aerial surveillance robots which could
be worth up to $200m and see hundreds of portable drones delivered.
Go to the below link for the full article. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/08/aerovironment_puma_deal_socom/
WEBMASTER's email to the troops:
In 1968, I ate a water mocassin that Chief Jim Tipton
brought back from AP hill. Richard Marcinko ate the venom of a cobra in Tailand, I forgot
if he ate the snake also. NOW, we are all the "SNAKE EATER COMMUNITY" according
the above article.
I would like to hear some stories for my web site of other guys eating
I remember Fred Toothman, up north , on E&E school found
several new born snakes under a rock, but they stunk so bad he had to
shitcan his gloves after picking one up. We did not eat them.
Erasmo "Doc" Riojas
BTW: We also chewed our beer glasses and ate the glass !
From: nseal1 [at] cox.net
To: "Doc Riojas" <docrio45 [at] gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject: Re: The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM - aka the
"snake eater community"*
Frank Toms and I caught and ate a snake at Widbey
Isl. SERE school back in '64. Tasted good too!
Bruce Russell WC29
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From: Steve Robinson
To: 'Doc Riojas'
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject:The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM - aka the "snake
When I was going through cadre training out at Niland we nailed a big
rattlesnake with a shovelĂ˘â‚¬Â¦
skinned it (I wore the dried skin on a headband for years afterward)
and cooked it up. WeĂ˘â‚¬â„˘d
washed the meat really well, then rolled pieces in egg, followed by
rolling them in flour and crumbled
breakfast cereal (wheaties I think). Then we fried it up in cooking
oil. Damned tasty! And it had all of us
watching closely for more snakes so we could get another tasteĂ˘â‚¬Â¦
but apparently word got around in the snake community
because no others showed up during the 3
weeks we were out there.
2nd email from Steve:
is a picture I took of our Niland snack food. John Balentyne (with
shovel) and Dan Jurman while we were going through cadre training at
Niland. John was going for the Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“big game hunterĂ˘â‚¬Â
look so he put his foot on the killĂ˘â‚¬Â¦ and the headless
body flexed over against his shoe.
had gotten a bigger snake about 3 or 4 days earlier Ă˘â‚¬â€ś
a big pregnant female. It was very lethargic and there was no
difficulty in nailing it with a length of 2x4. We cut the head off and
buried itĂ˘â‚¬Â¦ then started skinning the snake and found 2
unborn baby snakes inside. We found a red ant anthill and left the
babies thereĂ˘â‚¬Â¦ and the skinned snake went to one of the
other Team guys who were working as instructors. ThatĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s
when we learned they could be really tasty. So when the next one
showed up, Balentyne nailed it with a shovel. As noted, it was
cleaned, cooked, and most of us got a nibble. I guess the word got
around the snake community, because after that we couldnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t
find another snake anywhere! Tarantulas? Sure! Scorpions? Oh yeah!
Ants? Plenty! Snakes? Not a one anywhere to be found!
From: Larry Bailey
To: Doc Riojas Sent: Wednesday, July 09,2008
Subject: The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM - aka the
"snake eater community"*
Once upon a time my squad caught a water moccasin at Seashore
State Park in Virginia Beach, where we were conducting patrol
training. We built a small fire and cooked the critter over a
flame on a spit. Then I tried to eat him, but he wasn't too tasty.
That's the only time I've ever tried to eat a snake.
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From: Roger GUERRA
To: Doc Riojas Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject:The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM - aka the
"snake eater community"*
That's funny, I used to eat snake regularly (rattlesnake) after I
left the teams. Really good if cooked properly. Went to a Bar-b-que
in south Texas and had it there. Sweetwater, Texas has a good
sampling during the round up!
Webmaster's note: Curtis Ashton, KIA 'nam, was from Sweetwater TX. He
talked about those Yearly Rattlesnake Roundups.
I bet he was also a SNAKEATER!
To: Doc Riojas ; al hale
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject: Re: The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM - aka the
"snake eater community"*
Never eat a snake, but one crawled up my pants while our fire team
was on listening post in Viet Nam. The ensuing struggle between me
and my "guest" nearly got me and two buddies in the
shell hole where we were hiding, killed. When the sun came up,
there were a couple of M16s, an M79, and one M60 aimed at us. The
rest of Kilo Platoon (first Kilo circa '67) didn't know what it
was all about and thought VC had found us.
I am Ron Kelmell....class 35, 1965,
Coronado...UDT-11 and Seal Team One.....just retired from a four
year "cruise" with Blackwater Security...enclosed is a
pix directly from my "I love me" collection.
Between Viet Nam and BW (28 years), I was a pastor of small
conservative churches of the Baptist variety.
Ron Kelmell click on photo to enlarge it
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tiny mouth. He cannot strike like a viper, but has to nibble
at the webs between your fingers. 3d most poisonous
Webmaster's note:I was with Mr. Hardy, and Chicken McNair on "The Big Blow
Job." While we were laying the MKVIII hose in the
"tee-tee" canal, some of us had to take our hand and
push away the little Crate Snakes. After setting off the
MKVIII hose demolition at the end of the day, there were thousands
of slithering little black/white bellied snakes wiggling around in
the mud. No one was hurt by them.
Twas' Chicken Mcnair, Mike Radice, Walt Weed,
Walt Harvey/Jerry Howard (OIC change) and me.
I never knew for sure how Zelmo got burned...just that he did.
I smuggled a 6' Burmese Python back...through Hawaii...in my field
Kept him until I went over again in 1971.
Named him after the famous animal actor on Green Acres ... Arnold
Webmaster (Doc Rio):
I was with you guys only about one week. What UDT
Team was it? Do you remember the biggest shot, I went way
out out far away rice paddy with the photographer to try and
capture the entire shot on movie film. Two Cobras came by
doing a lookee-see. I had a PRC-25, I called Mr. Harvey and
told him to try and reach the cobras as they were probably going
to make a firing run on moi and the photographer. He was
setting up this tripod with this huge movie camera looks from the
air like a weapon. We are in bathing suits with rags tied to
our heads, and I do look like a VC, not like the white eyes
photographer. I was right and the Cobras told Mr.
Harvey they were going to fry us.
Mr. Harvey wrote everyone up for medals,
even me, but CDR O'Drain cancelled mine. Do you remember?
Did you guys get a copy of those movies?
I would like to see it. Doc
From: mike baumgart
To: Doc Riojas
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject: SNAKE story emails that I have received today
Does anyone remember "Zelmo" from Nha
Bhe? He lived behind one of the quonset huts...in his cage.
lives in Rockwell (?) TX. he came
to one of our Gulfcoast parties. I
have a photo of ZELMO on one of my pages. I
cured him of his severe neck burns after the PBR sailor tried to
kill zelmo for eating his kitty. Jim
brought him to Saigon and left zelmo with me to cure and he said
he would come back on the next platoon. He never did,
I left 'nam in Nov 1970 and took zelmo
back to nha be. I
never heard of zelmo again.
who were the guys
in that platoon?
Zelmo and doc
Rio at Hotel LeLei 'Nam
From: eugenio crescini
To: Doc Riojas ; rrpopseal [at] bellsouth.net
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008
Subject: SNAKE story emails that I have received today
my platoon occupied 2nd d, eck of a barracks in RSSZ, Nam. 'mud
Zmuda and I ocuppied a room. mud's bunk was against one side of
the room and mine the other. my squad had just returned from an
ops(0300). I was so tired, took my clothes off and hit the sack.
mud was still out with his squad. it was only a couple of minutes
when I heard rustling on my wall. I turned around to check what
the noise was all about. right in front of my face(my nose was
touching a big snake). it was climbing the wall. believe me...I
must have established a World's Record in the Long Jump from a
laying down position to the door. it was a 10ft+ phyton, which
Pierson(one of my men)have in his room(caged).
I grabbed my weapon to shoot it, but quickly change my mind(shots
from a SEAL barracks might create General Quarters. looking for
something to kill it, I finally found a straw broom our mama san
use to clean the place, beating and sweeping the snake out the
room, more beating and sweeping it out the barracks. the
commotions Pierson and saw me swept his snake outside. after some
searching, he got his pet back. after a few days past, I asked him
about his snake. he said that it is not eating..it has a broken
“Snake” Macready 49wc
Snake was in platoon pre-deployment Vietnam training in the summer
heat of the Cuyamaca Mountains near San Diego. They were learning the
trade skills that have allowed all of us to succeed where others fail.
This training area was not for live fire, but only for tactical
training because it was sparsely inhabited by the local civilians who
had given permission to be there.
That summer, the area had experienced an infestation of rattlesnakes.
Because several of the locals had already been bitten, Mike and his
platoon were given one box of live ammunition to counter this danger.
So much ammunition was expended supposedly shooting at snakes that his
CO became suspicious. He demanded that everyone who had shot at a
snake present the dead snake as proof that the expenditure of rounds
photo from Ken Abasolo's collection
The next day, the CO entered his office and spotted a shoebox from
Petty Officer Macready on his desk. He opened it, revealing a sleepy
and sluggish, but very live, rattlesnake. Inside the box were twenty
expended cartridges, and a short note. The note said, "I
submitted by: Ken Abasolo Ken
& Son Bryce
From: Bob Stoner
27 Mar 2009
Just before we finished up our tour at SA, we took a
daylight recon due west on the Cau Lon River until we came to a large
canal several clicks away. We took the canal north and it
branched. We took the right branch (now heading east) and then
nosed the MSSC into the bank to drop off our SEAL squad. The
mangrove trees were thick. The point man hit the water and
immediately there were about six snakes
that went swimming away! (I decided that I was NOT getting off
that boat -- no matter what.)
Source: Kiet Nguyen LDNN(SEAL)
Gary Smith in CamhRanhBay RVN
Macready's Vietnam Snake Sea Story
----- Original Message -----
From: Michael P. Macready
To: docrio45 [at] gmail.com
Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009
Subject: Here is a true story for ya
Doc Riojas, This is no shit; in 1970
Our Squad was working out of a small river boat outpost that
was manned by about 30 US and VN sailors. The sailors,barges
and boats were taking a pounding by sappers swimming in and
placing charges at night. One evening we patrolled out
through the wire and were crossing a burned over rice paddy
on our way to set up on a canal that we figured the sapper
team was using to access the river.
There were a lot of flares going up that
night and every time one did we would squat down in the
barren paddy. The first time I squatted something hit my
boot and I wondered whether the snake that had just attacked
me was of the poisonous variety.
After the flare extinguished we patrolled
for a few minutes until the next one went
up.....squat.....snake strikes my boot...wait till flare
goes out. By the third boot strike I am sure that there is
some kind of Spec Ops snake following me with the intention
of doing me in. I'm sure also that my heart rate was over
150 and I am doing everything I can to hold myself together
and not compromise the op by working out my M-60 on the dirt
Finally I figured out that earlier that day I had
reconfigured my gear and had not done a complete range of
motion check on how everything was slung. Whenever I
squatted my K-bar sheath would hit the back of my boot which
would almost send me into cardiac arrest due to my well
known phobia of snakes.
What did I learn from all this? Not only that I needed to do
a better job on checking out all my gear but that I was
dumber than hell ever to tell the story later that night
back at the outpost to the rest of the guys. Not only did it
turn out to be extremely embarrassing for me, it just added
fuel to the already fire of "screwin" with
Macready with snakes.
worry - Portland
is not under attack. Low flying military helicopters buzzing downtown
Portland looked like a scene out of a movie. Monday nightĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s
drama was all part of a military exercise. Newschannel8 has learned, the
Army and Navy are conducting Urban
Military Training in Portland and Salem from August 17-30.
The training will include Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“low visibility movement, military
operations in urban terrain, manual and low weight explosive breaching,
fast-rope insertion, live fireĂ˘â‚¬Â and other exercises according to
a memo from Portland Mayor Tom Potter to the NavyĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Special
Warfare Development Group.
A spokesperson in Mayor PotterĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s office says, the military
asked permission to conduct the training last November. The Portland Police
BureauĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s specially trained SERT unit is involved in the
MondayĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s exercise involved helicopters hopping from one
downtown skyscraper to another. Many residents and downtown workers were
concerned by the low flying helicopters. The Department of Defense provided
no advance warning of the exercise.
Drills involving helicopters are expected to resume on Wednesday evening in
Portland. The Urban Military Training is expected to take place in Salem on
Tuesday and Thursday. It is not clear what type of training will take place
military choppers to train again on wednesday
In The Oregonian's news podcast, Today in Oregon, for Tuesday, Aug. 26,
2008: A spokesman for the Department of Defense says the black military
helicopters will train again on Portland on Wednesday evening. But he says
they are not armed. download mp3 here. (8.3mb)
last night's surprise navy seal training (may have) included live fire &
training ammo from
week: Here's the text of an April letter from Mayor Tom Potter to the
U.S. Navy authorizing last night's helicopter training exercises downtown,
which caught Portlanders by surprise and scared a good number of them.
spokesman John Doussard says the city's central dispatch line got about 50
concerned calls last night as the military helicopters buzzed over the Park
"I think next time we would handle it differently," Doussard says.
Potter's letter says, in part:
understand that this training will include low visibility movement,
military operations in urban terrain, manual and low weight explosive
breaching, fast rope insertion, live fire,"
which the Naval Safety Center calls "a hazardous but necessary part of
combat training"Ă˘â‚¬â€ "
power training ammunition, simmunitions, flash bang, surveillance and
counter surveillance ."
war geeks know, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group is a real
The Oregonian reports today that the training will continue.
Again, here's the full text of Potter's letter:
April 7, 2008
Captain Scott P. Moore
Commanander [sic], Naval Special Warfare Development Group
1636 Regulus Avenue
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23461
Dear Captain Moore
I am pleased to extend you an invitation to conduct Urban Military Training
in our City from August 17 to 30, 2008.
In a letter from your command, dated November 14, 2007 requesting permission
to conduct training, you stated that members of the Naval Special Warfare
Development Group and Army Special Operations Aviation Regiment would
utilize buildings in the jurisdiction of the City of Portland for this
training exercise. I understand that this training will include low
visibility movement, military operations in urban terrain, manual and low
weight explosive breaching, fast rope insertion, live fire, low power
training ammunition, simmunitions, flash bang, surveillance and counter
I have been informed that all training has been coordinated through and
approved by all involved government entities, as well as the
representatives/owners of each property, and that all liability for your
personnel and their actions during training rests with the Navy. I have also
been informed that extensive planning and coordination has already been
conducted and that Sergeant Mike Lieb of the Tactical Operations Division
will act as liaison for this exercise.
I welcome the opportunity to support the United States Navy as you develop
the techniques and tactics necessary to protect our country. We look forward
to your group having a safe and productive training exercise in our City.
When I was in the U.S. Navy,
my ship was entering a port in the Far East in 1955 when we spied a
certain type of small ship anchored in the harbor. We knew
instinctively that we would be "attacked" by the U.S.
Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT), the forerunner of the Navy
SEALs, that evening. This was their usual practice.
It was becoming a nuisance, as it happened in almost every port we
entered. Someone would sneak aboard our ship and place something
that said "BOMB" on it. Each evening, we put out a small
craft to patrol around the ship looking for swimmers. When spotted,
a bright beam of light would be placed on them, and they would swim
away because they had been "shot."
Our ship was an LST (landing ship, tank) with bow doors and a ramp.
So one evening, we set an obvious trap by opening the bow and
lowering the ramp into the water, and we waited in the shadows.
Sure enough, someone took the bait and came up the ramp. He was
captured and placed in our brig. The ramp was raised, and the bow
doors closed, and we continued to watch for more swimmers.
The next day, word was sent out asking whether anyone had seen the
UDT commander, to which we replied, "No." We watched as
many small boats set out looking for that missing man, while we had
him all the time, dried off, fed and clothed.
Our LST division commander obtained our captive's word that he would
stop the "attacks" if we let him go but would not betray
his stupid mistake of falling for an obvious trap. We covertly set
him ashore, so he could make up his own story.
Back in 1968, LT Ron Yeaw, Chief Riojas and a
platoon of SEALs made a sneak attack on the ships at Mayport FL.
THe first funny part was that we were hanging on
to a one man submarine driven by an ex-UDT frogman, Kelly. We
placed our magnetic Limped (sp) mines on to the sub. That made
the sub's compass go round and round so that Kelly had to periscope
every now and then to see where he was going.
We got in and we all hit all the big ships and
commenced to hit the smaller ones. Ron and his swim-buddy
Joe Silva Ran out of MK-13 flares. They surfaced by a destroyer
and had the balls to ask them for some flares!
Not only were they greeted by nasty remarks, but
they started throwing stuff from their ship to these two SEAL
swimmers. Unbelievable that Ron and Joe would think they
could get extra flares to go blow up more ships.
Warren Lockette (M.D.
1981) is the 2002 Navy recipient of the Roy Wilkins Service Award, given by the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at their 93rd annual
convention in Houston on July 9.
The award is presented annually to a member
from each branch of the armed services who has best demonstrated accomplishments
that support the AssociationĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s principal goal of ensuring
political, educational, social and economic equality for minorities in America.
Lockette, a medical officer, scientist, and special advisor to the U.S.
NavyĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s top SEAL
commando, received the award in recognition of his groundbreaking work in
assisting the Navy SEALs
in their diversity and recruiting programs.
the spirit of 'The Teams and Shit'...Subject:
FRIENDS: Tell you not to do something stupid when you are
drunk. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will post 360
degree security so you don't get caught.
FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. and Mrs. TEAM
GUY FRIENDS: Call your parents drunk as hell and tell them
about the fat chick you tried to pick up.
FRIENDS: Hope the night out drinking goes smoothly, and hope
that no one is late for the ride home. TEAM GUY
FRIENDS: Know some wild sh*t will happen, and set up rally
points and an E & E route.
FRIENDS: Cry with you. TEAM GUY FRIENDS:
Laugh at you and tell you to put some vagasil on your p**sy.
FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back. TEAM
GUY FRIENDS: Steal each other's stuff so often nobody remembers
who bought it in the first place.
FRIENDS: Are happy that someone picked up a one night stand and
leave them alone. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will
Low Crawl naked into the room with a camera and hope for the tag team.
FRIENDS: Know a few things about you. TEAM
GUY FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.
FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is
doing. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will kick the
whole crowd's ass that left you.
FRIENDS: Would knock on your door. TEAM
GUY FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, 'I'm home!'
FRIENDS: Will try and talk to the bouncer when you get tossed
outof the bar. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will man
up and go after the bouncer for touching you on the way out.
FRIENDS: Will wish you had enough money to go out that night,
and are sorry you couldn't come. TEAM GUY
FRIENDS: Will share their last dollar with you, drag you along,
and try to steal free drinks all night.
FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you've had
enough. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will look at
you stumbling all over the place and say,'Bitch, you better drink the
rest of that sh*t, you know we don't waste. That's alcohol abuse!!!'
FRIENDS: Want the money they loaned you back next week. TEAM
GUY FRIENDS: Can't begin to remember who owes who money after
taking care of each other for so long.
FRIENDS: Will say 'I can't handle Tequila anymore'. TEAM
GUY FRIENDS: Will say 'okay just one more'' and then 2 minutes
later'okay just one more'.
FRIENDS: Will talk sh*t to the person who talks shit about you.
TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will knock them the
FRIENDS: Will tell you 'They'd take a bullet for you.' TEAM
GUY FRIENDS: Will actually take a bullet for you.
FRIENDS: Will ignore this. TEAM GUY
FRIENDS: Will forward this.
submitted by: Tom Hawkins
of the Hospital Corps
As a SEAL, SWCC, EOD Technician or Fleet Diver, you may
be called upon to dispose of ocean-borne mines or conduct combat
operations in any environment throughout the world. To qualify for
special warfare/special operations, you must complete an intense
physical and mental conditioning program.
The competition to become a member is fierce, but if you're motivated,
self-disciplined, in excellent physical condition and have the passion
to perform under pressure in extreme environments, the Special
Warfare/Special Operations field might be the perfect place for you.
Typical missions include gathering enemy intelligence, performing covert
reconnaissance or conducting counterterrorist operations and performing
long-range maritime transit in support of a variety of Special
when the first SEAL Teams were commissioned, Navy SEALs have
distinguished themselves as individually reliable, collectively
disciplined and highly skilled warriors. SEALs go through what is
considered by many military experts to be the toughest training, both
physically and mentally demanding, in the world. Their duties include,
but are not limited to:
insertions/extractions from the Sea, Air or Land (hence SEAL) to
accomplish covert, special operations missions in any environment
throughout the world.
high-value enemy personnel and terrorists around the world.
information and intelligence through special reconnaissance missions
Ă˘â‚¬â€ś reconnoitering both enemy installations and enemy
out small-unit, direct-action missions against military targets.
underwater reconnaissance and the demolition of natural or man-made
obstacles prior to amphibious landings.
SEALs receive normal military pay and allowances, plus incentive pay for
special skills and assignments. There is also a $40,000 enlistment bonus
available for SEAL applicants. The enlistment bonus is the highest paid
in the Navy.
Are you up for the mission? Click
here to explore the clandestine world of the Navy SEALs.
SWCCs are trained in all environments and are the masters of maritime
Special Operations. SWCCs are superbly trained as maritime mobility
operators who operate a variety of high-speed Special Operations Craft
(boats) in open ocean, coastal and Riverine environments.
SWCCs are required to utilize a combination of specialized training in
maritime navigation, radio communications, boat/propulsion systems
engineering, crew-served and personal weapons, parachuting, first aid
and tactics in completion of Special Operation missions worldwide. Some
duties in this field may include:
maritime insertions/extractions of SEALS and other Special
information and intelligence on enemy military installations in
parachute/helicopter insertion operations in support of missions.
military and civilian law enforcement agencies.
EOD Technicians deploy to the world's oceans and seas with Aircraft
Carrier Battle Groups and amphibious-ready group staffs. They are always
on hand to respond to ordnance in any environment. Specific mobile
detachments called Mine Countermeasures specialize in mine hunting and
mine clearance. They're specially trained to use the equipment and
procedures necessary to locate, identify, neutralize, recover, exploit,
and dispose of sea mines, torpedoes and depth charges.
EOD Technicians directly support the global war on terrorism by
integrating with Navy SEALS, Army Special Forces, and Marine
Expeditionary Units to name a few. Their unique knowledge of Improvised
Explosive Devices, conventional and non-conventional ordnance,
underwater ordnance, chemical/biological material and nuclear material
make them a force multiplier to any war fighter. Other duties may
Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups and Amphibious Readiness Groups in
all aspects of Ordnance safety.
reconnaissance and demolition of natural or man-made underwater
obstacles prior to amphibious landings.
demolition of hazardous munitions, pyrotechnics and outdated
explosives using detonation and burning techniques.
underwater location and identification of foreign and domestic
safe and/or disposing of foreign and domestic ordnance.
parachute/helicopter insertion operations in support of missions.
military and civilian law enforcement agencies.
with cutting-edge technology to remotely disable unsafe ordnance.
underwater mine countermeasure operations to clear waterways in
support of the fleet.
From helping protect the President to clearing minefields, click
here to learn more about the stimulating work being done all over
the world by EOD Technicians.
From their simple beginnings as swimmers disarming mines during the
Civil War, Navy divers trace their history back to the middle of the
nineteenth century when they were primarily employed in the salvage and
repair of ships. The term Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Navy DiversĂ˘â‚¬Â is
anything but typical. Divers have played a critical role in the Navy.
The rare breed of men and women in today's Navy Dive Team play a vital
role in a broad spectrum of missions.
Using the most modern diving equipment available, divers are taught how
to operate in a variety of conditions Ă˘â‚¬â€ from clear, warm
tropical waters to frigid, arctic waters beneath icebergs to water so
murky that the work must be done by touch alone. Today, divers perform a
number of essential tasks, including underwater reconnaissance,
demolition, construction, ship maintenance, search and rescue, and
salvage operations. Other duties may include:
a variety of diving salvage operations and special diving duties
military and civilian law enforcement agencies.
as the technical experts for diving evolutions for numerous military
special operations units.
security, communications and other logistics during Expeditionary
Ready for a deeper dive? Click
here to learn more about the exciting world of Navy Divers.
Your training in Special Operations is a combination of intense physical
and mental training, designed to push your mind and body to their
limits. YouĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll train in any number of conditions and
environments, including maritime, coastal, Riverine, mountainous,
jungle, desert and urban terrains.
Credits (Equivalent to Elective Credits)
You may learn the fundamentals of explosive ordnance disposal through
formal Navy schooling. Or you may learn about chemical and biological
warfare, military tactics, deep-sea diving or a number of other tactical
military procedures. The courses in this field are demanding, but
individuals who accept these challenges are rewarded with extra pay and
extraordinary duty assignments.
Jobs within Special Operations have comparable civilian counterparts
that include high-level security assessment, security instructors,
emergency medicine, law enforcement, civilian EOD/bomb disposal,
Chemical-Biological-Radiological (CBR) protection and response, force
protection/personal security and all types of diving salvage. You will
be part of a community that values leadership, self-determination and
As you mature in any of the Special Operations fields, employers in the
military and civilian communities will value you. Completing some of the
most demanding training our country has to offer says that you have what
it takes to accomplish any task an employer could throw your way!