Steve Elson, LCDR(SEAL) Ret. Steve “Doc” Elson HM2 (SEAL) is/was one of my Corpsmen in SEAL Team TWO back in the 1960’s, Vietnam era SEALs. Because his father is a Medical Doctor and Steve possessed many medical qualities beyond what we are thought in Hospital Corpsmen Schools. He is a top notch SEAL Hospital Corpsman. He left the USNavy and entered college. Upon graduation he returned to the USNavy as an Officer and a gentleman and graduated from BUD/S. He is a retired Lt. Commander and is now a world traveler. Steve and I stay in touch via emails.
SEASTORIES: One of our CO’s in the team brought over some puppies to have their tails cut short. Doc Riojas had never done that, but Steve was there and he said, ” yes, mam, tell us how short you want them and we will cut their tails and purse string the skin.” WOW! i was in awe! saved by Steve!
He and I were deployed to work with the British SAS in Hereford England. One platoon of SEALs, with two corpsmen, one for each squad. Steve is a communications specialist so he would be the one to contact the SAS camp in England and give them our nightly status report. One night, Steve asked me if i wanted to go to the top of that lil hill, we were in Germany at the time testing the German Border Guard, and help him set up the antenna and hold the “poncho” over his head ( that is so we could use the flashlight while under the poncho.)
I went. Steve set up the antenna gy throwing a 2 lb scuba lead weight tied to parachute shroud line and at the other end, tie the antenna and haul it up high above his radio. He was transmitting his dit dat dash’s when he asked me, “did you hear that noise?” We both thought the German Soldiers were about to capture us. I said yes, i head the noise. we turned the flashlight off and took a peek and there were about twenty or so EYEs shining in the dark looking our way !
We broke camp and ran like hell back to our camp. They were cattle ! In the hustle to dee-dee outta there Steve lost one very important item for communicating with England ! that is another story and best told by LT. Tom Truxell and Rudy Boesch, the “in charge” guys.
Steve Elson – Former Special Agent with the U.S. Navy, DEA and FAA. Specialist in Counterterrorism, Intelligence, and Security. Twenty-two years military experience, primarily in Naval Special Warfare and nine years Federal service with the FAA and DEA. Retired Navy SEAL. http://patriotsquestion911.com/
Article 8/3/04: “A former Navy SEAL and Drug Enforcement Administration rep in South America, Elson is not a timid man. “I’d give the commission a ‘D’ for investigating the FAA,” he declares. … “The commissioners knew a lot more than they included in the 9/11 report,” he says. “They sold out.” http://www.secure-skies.org
Signatory of Petition to Release Information Pertaining to 9/11 10/5/06: “We, the undersigned, demand the immediate declassification and release of:
- all transcripts and documents relating to the July 10, 2001 meeting that took place between former CIA Director George Tenet and then National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice. It has been alleged that this urgent and out-of-the-ordinary meeting was called to discuss the increasingly dire warnings of an imminent al Qaeda attack within the U.S. …
- the redacted 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry Into The Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (JICI), and
- the CIA Inspector General’s report, CIA Accountability With Respect To The 9/11 Attacks
- The disastrous nature of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks warrant the release of all of this information so that the American public may learn what its government did or did not do to protect them. Had this nation been properly warned of the looming and imminent terrorist threat, life saving choices could have been made that day.” http://www.petitiononline.com/july10
Fellow Association Members,
There has been a campaign started to enshrine CAPT Phil H. Bucklew into the Xavier University Hall of Fame.
Before Captain Bucklew’s exploits during WWII as one of the forerunners of NSW, he attended Xavier University from 1932 through 1936. Please click on the link below regarding the petition:
Captain Phil H. Bucklew for Xavier University Hall of Fame
Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services
MY THO, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM 1967
Rate/Rank HMC (SEAL) Service Branch USN 9/1948 – 11/1970
08/14/1931 DOLORES, TX
SIGNIFICANT DUTY STATIONS
USS SKYLARK ASR-20 SUBMARINE ESCAPE TRAINING TANK, NEW LONDON, CT SUBMARINE ESCAPE TRAINING TANK, PEARL HARBOR, HI USS COUCAL ASR-8 MED ADMIN TECH SCHOOL USS FULTON AS-11
1ST MARINE DIVISION FOX 2-1, KOREA MARINE CORPS CHARLIE MED, KOREA DSDS, CLASS 4/55, NAVAL GUN FACTORY, WASHINGTON, DC SEAL TEAM TWO, LITTLE CREEK, VA
BRONZE STAR MEDAL W/ COMBAT ‘V’ (2) PURPLE HEART (5) NAVY & MARINE CORPS COMMENDATION MEDAL W/COMBAT ‘V’ NAVY & MARINE CORPS ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL W/COMBAT ‘V’ COMBAT ACTION RIBBON WSTAR REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM GALLANTRY CROSS UNIT CITATION W/GOLD STAR
Erasmo “Doc” Riojas (August 1931 – ), PA, was born in Dolores, Texas, a coal mining town north of Laredo TX on the Rio Grande border in Texas. Nearly 30 years of medical experience in the military and as a registered nurse (RN) and the encouragement of John De La Hunt COL. USAF (RET) preceded Mr. Riojas’s decision to become a Physician Assistant. He was accepted and graduated from University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX.
Mr. Riojas is a seasoned combat veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam War. Entering into the U.S. Navy in September of 1948, Mr. Riojas graduated from Hospital Corpsmen School at the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, in 1949 and was assigned to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1950, he was transferred to Montfort Point, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to become a U.S. Marine Corps Field Medical Tech. Upon graduation his “Emergency Draft of HM’s” was flown to USMC infantry combat training at Camp Pendelton, CA. before deploying the the Korean war. “Doc” Riojas then went on to train at and graduate from Deep Sea Diving School , U.S. Naval Gun Factory, Wash. D.C. to qualify as Medical Diving Tech (First Class DIver) in 1955. Before retiring from the Navy in 1970 he went transferred to the Underwater Swimmer’s School in Key West, FL. graduated and assigned the Navy Enlisted Code Special Operation Tech. (Navy Frogman/SEAL) HM-8492. He then was assigned as the Medical Representative of SEAL Team TWO at Little Creek Va. Completing three tours to Vietnam War he was awarded a Purple Heart and several Medals of Valor for his service to the military. Doc Rio retired in Nov 22, 1970 upon returning from Vietnam.
After retiring from the Navy, Mr. Riojas went to work as a respiratory technician at Norfolk Hospital in Virginia. While working in Virginia, he decided to return to his home state of Texas to become a licensed nurse. Mr. Riojas received his Associate Degree in Nursing from El Centro College in Dallas, Texas, in 1972. After practicing as a RN, it was later suggested by his wife Margaret Mence that Mr. Riojas become a physician assistant to better utilize his military and medical training and experience. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Allied Health Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in 1977.
Mr. Riojas completed his PA surgical rotation with two cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons at the Baylor Medical Center and later went to work with them, focusing on thoracic surgery. After two and a half years as a surgical PA, Mr. Riojas decided to attend medical school. In 1985, Mr. Riojas graduated at the top of his class from the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas in Tampico, Mexico.
Mr. Riojas is retired and resides in Pearland, TX.
Acknowledgments: This biography was written by the PA History Society. All photographs are courtesy of Erasmo Riojas.
Someone here has the helo story mixed up… There were five Teammates from SEAL Team ONE
that were lost on that helo crash in Vietnam in 1970. It was on the way to Saigon from Seafloat.
BM3 James R. Gore ST-1 23 Jun 70 Can Tho; Helo crash
MM2 Richard J. Solano ST-1 23 Jun 70 Can Tho; Helo crash
SM3 John S. Durlin ST-1 23 Jun 70 Can Tho; Helo crash
RMSN John J. Donnelly ST-1 23 Jun 70 Can Tho; Helo crash
FN Toby A. Thomas ST-1 23 Jun 70 Can Tho; Helo crash
This crash happened the day before I arived in Vietnam on my first tour with Team ONE. The helo was not a jolly green but an army slick that had just been shot up on a SEAL op & wasn’t shut down at SeaFloat to check out the damage before heading back to Bhin Thuy…
Richard Cyrus, Viet Cong Prisoner
Hawaii Naked Warrior Statue Henry Langdon SMith
Henry L. Smith R.I.P.
Johnathan S. Surmont
- Bio: http://www.nswbc.org/nswbc_staff.htm
- National Security Whistleblowers CoalitionNational Security Whistleblowers Coalition
- National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
- “When even one American — who has done nothing wrong — is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.” Harry S. Truman
- Operations Coordinator: Steve Elson
Steve Elson has twenty-two years military experience, primarily in Naval Special Warfare. He has nine years Federal Service with DEA/FAA, and one year with Local Law Enforcement in Undercover Narcotics. Mr. Elson specializes in Counterterrorism, Intelligence, and Security, both nationally and internationally, enhanced by a wide range of training and advanced studies in diverse topics relating to security, leadership, and intelligence. He holds a Masters Degree in National Security Affairs/Naval Intelligence with a focus on Terrorism.
Thomas F. Walsh R.I.P. 1966 – 2017Captain Thomas Francis Walsh, U.S. Navy, passed away of malignant melanoma on March 7, 2017 in Tampa, Florida at the age of 51 Born in Chicago, Tom served twenty-nine years of honorable and dedicated Active Duty and Reserve service as a U.S. Navy SEAL Officer serving on SEAL teams based on both the East Coast (Little Creek) and West Coast (Coronado). His service to our Nation includes deployments to Operation Desert Storm, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Djibouti, Fallujah, Mongolia, Yemen, the Philippines, and other regions of conflict.
Ben Lichtenberg and Wife
Ming and Wife
Donald F. Arveson R.I.P.
1924 – 2017
Walter Samuel Puller III R.I.P.
1957 – 2017
Eugene T. Fraley Rinney was his K9
From: Doc Riojas
To: Larry Bailey
Erasmo Riojas Aug 28, 2016 wrote:
clipping from a book by D. Cummings. story of men behind the Trident.
“We pulled another op along the trail we called “Broadway”. That night we decided to take the entire platoon, all fourteen of us. We had Mike Bailey from SEAL Team Two and his German Shepard scout dog, Prince, along with us. Then we inserted on the east end of the bay, then patrolled north up the peninsula to the trail. We got pretty close to Broadway then split up, with Tom Lawson’s fire team heading down to the bay where we knew the VC had hidden sampans. Our fire team went north of the ridge where we could overlook the trail. Our pointman, John Billiot, had Prince up front with him. As we started moving to the north, the dog stood broadside right in front of Billiot, stopping him. Billiot tried to walk around the dog, but Prince would just run around in front of him again. This happened three or four times. Bailey was right behind the pointman and recognized that Prince was trying to tell him there was somebody up in front of us. At the same time, some NVA were in a brushy draw just north of us. We saw one of them light up a cigarette. We swung around into a firing line and started backing down the ridge. About that time Lawson’s fire team opened up on some NVA that had walked into the kill zone of their ambush. The NVA immediately returned a heavy volume of fire.”
Do you know this dog handler? Mike Bailey? I know Billiott, he used to live here in Houston Area and was a GulfCoast SEAL, from the west coast Teams.
gracias mi capitan
Bill Brumuller and SEAL K-9 Prince, Vietnam Veterans
From: Larry Bailey and BIll bruhmuller
To: Doc Riojas
Subj: RE: Do you know this dog handler? Mike Bailey?
Bru wrote: Mike took K9 Prince at ST-2 from me when we came back to C O N U S. He took the dog for Military Training. Deployed twice and I believe passed Prince oñ to John Billet. All reports reports are the dog did an excellent job and saved many people. John lives here in Panama City.
Larry wrote: Thanks, Bruh! Nothing wrong with your memory! Hope all’s well with you and Bette…
Fred Miller ST-2, was WIA ‘nam and almost lost one leg and was medically retired. He rehabed himselft and enlisted in the U.S. Army and retired as a Lt. Col. He is a gunsmith and has his plant in Iowa but lives in Ill. Fred, Bob Thomas, and Doc Riojas were the TOP GUNs (NRA small arms instructors) in ST2 durning prior to ‘nam war games. Fred is presently owner of http://midamericarecreation.com/, he is a professional gunsmith.
Fred was shot in one of his leg femurs in Vietnam and spend many months in the hospital mending. He lost a lot of blood and was in grave danger of losing his life, but by the grace of God he made it; he was medically discharged but he worked out to get back into shape and he then joined the U.S.Army as an Officer with and retired.
(Riding upside-down with Webb in his Yak 52 fighter. Photograph by Joe Pugliese)
Over the past decade, the once-secretive Navy SEALS have shed their code of silence, spinning combat exploits into bestselling memoirs, blockbuster war movies, and websites, and amid all the attention stands Webb, who is profiting more from these floodgates opening than anyone else. A SEAL for 10 years who did a stint as a sniper instructor — he and his team trained both Lone Survivor author Marcus Luttrell and American Sniper author Chris Kyle — Webb is the founder of Force12 Media, a network of military-themed websites with Hollywood deals and a publishing imprint. His flagship site, sofrep (Special Operations Forces Situation Report), hires former SEALs, Green Berets, and Army Rangers to write about the U.S.’s clandestine wars around the globe.
Walter L. Gumula R.I.P.
He was one of the earliest Navy Frogmen (UDT-SEALs), serving on Omaha Beach in Normandy during D -Day in World War II. Omaha Units received one of only three Presidential Unit Citations awarded to the Navy for Normandy. Walter was an early graduate of NCD Training at Fort Pierce, Florida and served with NCDU on Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Seth Cody Lewis, 32, on 24 April 2015, and Brett Allen Marihugh, 34 on 26 April 2015.
Seth was a graduate of SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) Class 266 on 19 October 2007. Brett was a graduate of SQT Class 265 on 09 May 2007. Both Teammates served in NSW Commands on the East Coast.
Seth Cody Lewis Brett Allen Marihugh In an excerpt from the Virginia Pilot newspaper: Petty Officers 1st Class Seth Cody Lewis and Brett Allen Marihugh were found unresponsive at the bottom of the pool at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek shortly before 3 p.m. Friday.
They were taken from the Combat Swimmer Training Facility to hospitals. Lewis was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. Marihugh died Sunday. The Navy described the deaths as accidental drownings. Experts have suggested the two men might have blacked out underwater, which can happen when someone holds his breath too long. In such cases, a lack of oxygen will cause someone to suddenly lose consciousness, while a buildup of carbon dioxide triggers an involuntary reflex to breathe.The Virginia Chief Medical Examiner’s regional office, contacted Monday, did not release information about the men’s deaths. Lewis and Marihugh joined the SEALs the same year -2007 – and deployed multiple times, earning awards and decorations including the Bronze Star. Both were Marines before entering the Navy and passing Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training -the grueling 21- week training known as BUD/S. The training includes multiple types of underwater agility and competency testing. Images of the training show SEAL hopefuls lying arm in arm in the surf as ocean waves crash down on them. Trainees in diving gear practice being attacked, jerked and tugged underwater, testing their ability to remain calm in potentially life – threatening situations while deprived of oxygen. In a statement, Capt. Pete Vasely said, “Both of these fierce warriors were admired and highly respected among everyone who knew them”
This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm
“THE BATTLING BOYS OF BENGHAZI”
The poem was written by an anonymous Marine Corps officer
We’re the battling boys of Benghazi ,
No fame, no glory, no paparazzi.
Just a fiery death in a blazing hell,
Defending our country we loved so well.
It wasn’t our job, but we answered the call,
fought to the Consulate and scaled the wall.
We pulled twenty countrymen from the jaws of fate
Led them to safety and stood at the gate.
Just the two of us and foes by the score,
But we stood fast to bar the door.
Three calls for reinforcement, but all were denied,
So we fought and we fought and we fought
’til we died.
We gave our all for our Uncle Sam,
But Barack and Hillary didn’t give a damn.
Just two dead Seals who carried the load
No thanks to us…we were just
“Bumps In The Road”.
Arthur M. Downes, Jr.
passed on June 3, 2012 at his home. He was born April 29, 1911 in Crestline, Ohio to Arthur and Mabel Downes.
He was captain of the wrestling team at Ohio State University where he received his Bachelors in Civil Engineering. He retired as President of The Whitacre Engineering Company in Canton.
He was a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy and Commanding Officer of UDT-17 in World War II.
Hello Doc Riojas,
I just came across www.sealtwo.org your tribute to Jose Taylor and wanted to express my appreciation.
As a Naval Intelligence Liaison Officer (NILO) in I Corps 1969 ~ 70, I worked with Jose passing targeting information obtained from the Phoenix organization. Jose and his team conducted several “kill or capture” missions in the Quang Ngai/Chu Lai area based on that info.
Jose was a great guy.. he always had a place for me to stay at the NAD Da Nang compound and on my last evening in country, Jose and a group of SOG folks invaded the Da Nang O’Club to bid me farewell. They made quite an impression on the REMFs.
I last talked with Jose in 1971/2, after he had moved to Florida. However, he has constantly been in my memories. A truly unforgetable person.
Again, thanks for the memorial.
Ed McDaniel, Ph.D.
1965 UDT-SEAL Basketball Team BOTTOM L-R: + middle row John Pokrzyk, Tom Trusell, Dick Hoff, Bob Petersen, Ron Fox (son of Coach John Fox of the Carolina Panters), Jerry Todd TOP ROW L-R: Dean Nelson, Chuck LeMoyne, RADM “????, ws COMPHIBLANT at the time; ??? UDT Officer, Traylor Lewis and Ed (Carbon Copy ) Jones.
Bill “S.O.B.” Daugherty’s Photos of Cindy’s Sea Burial at Fort Pierce FL Nov 2007
In a message dated 12/9/2007 ,
docrio writes: on this page: Bill, please send me names of the people in these photos. thank you.
Bill writes: Rio, here are the names:
TOP L to Right – Bill & Sammie Garnett standing and My son-in-law Barry (Firefighter) and my daughter Stacy (Detective) – Stacy & Barry taking down the photo of Cindy at the beach in Ft. Pierce after the memorial. –
My 3 children James, (Jim Fox Killed on Fulton Sky Hook Recovery in 1964 was his father.) Stacy, Sean and me shaking hands with SEAL 10 divers who took the ashes to sea.
The man who had Cindy’s ashes name is Tony. What a great group of men. – James, myself with the flag, Stacy, Barry, Sean, and Lu A Dee Clarks min squeeze. – The boat strafing the Beach. (there were two from left & right flank of the beach.- Admiral Olson giving the swimmers the Ashes.- Admiral Olson on his knee presenting the flag. I can’t remember the 1st lady’s name but on the other side of me was Joe “D”‘s.-The 4 swimmers from Seal 10 who did the honors. (If you notice 4 swimmers and 3 remains for a total of 7. Just like a squad.
This ceremony was thought out to the last detail. – A Dee Clark and Lu. Beautiful photo. – The swimmers in parking lot. – Barry & Stacy with Chaplin LCDR Daniel Link from Coronado.- The last one is Tony who carried out Cindy’s Ashes. I was asking him to handle her gently. she had been through enough Pain. Jack Lynch when I ask him to help make this burial possible said he would work on it and felt it was time for the spouses to be recognized as they performed a job supporting the Teams, and their husbands that was just as important as what the men did and felt they were “warriors” as well.
There is another request for next year. Admiral Olson’s Wife was there and remarked how deeply touched she was. There was well over 80 people in attendance. Congresswoman Thelma Drake from Virginia Beach introduced legislation authorizing Military Spouses a Monument in the Wash., D.C. area. Their is a “Military Spouse Legacy Association that started in June. Looks like the future will hold great things for our spouses.
Yippee!! Hope this helps Rio.
See you in Houston for the Christmas Party this weekend.
—– Original Message —–
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Bill Daugherty (S.O.B.= Sweet Ole Bill)
To: email@example.com Erasmo “Doc” Riojas
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2007
Subject: Re: SEAL news today; Please SEE ARTICLE on down below my response.(Scary SEAL Stories Hurt Recruiting)
Scary Seal Recruiting? Shit. BOO!!!. Attrition rate at 75% before this new program started and now it is only 65%. Big Fucking Deal!!! Scary Seal Recruiting? Shit. BOO!!!. Attrition rate at 75% before this new program started and now it is only 65%. Big Fucking Deal!!!
Back in the OLD NAVY when we keelhauled those who screwed up it was always about 85%. We started with 87 and graduated 13. 8 enlisted and 5 officers. (PS: I was honor enlisted man) Yippee!!! That and 3.00 will get you a lucky lager beer.
Everyone was a honor man in my humble opinion. It took all of us to get through. I went through 2 hell weeks as i was hurt but finished. that goes for Kratky as well. You know the German Kraut.
I would love to indoctrinate these young men. I bet I could get the attritation rate even lower. I know how to beat those big harry assed instructors. (Just Ignore them.) Hell, if you can only do 50 push ups and ask for 100 than give them what you can and finally that will move on and pick on someone else.
A trainee is supposed to be lower than whale shit. Could be. They did not muster us in a phone booth though.
I are: ADMIRAL “SOB.” ‘KING SHIT OF TURD ISLAND”, U.S. NAVY MARK 5 MOD 0.
No muff to tough will dive for 5. By the way I loved the Master Diver E Mail. I knew a lot of them. I worked offshore for Taylor Diving & Salvage out of La., for years.
I worked with Willie Lump Lump and many more great people. I handled mixed gas and Sat diving, and was a tech writer for the MK 12 tethered and otherwise when it replaced the MK 5. Wish I still had my old helmet.
I said that: Bill Daugherty in Oklahoma and proud of it !
Scary SEAL Stories Hurt Recruiting
this article taken from: http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htatrit/articles/20070219.aspx
February 19, 2007: The U.S. Navy has found a way to lower the attrition rate (75 percent) of candidates for SEAL training. Having decided to expand the SEAL force, and not getting enough new candidates, the navy established a “prep school” for recruits wanting to become SEALs. Noting that the major cause of failure is the inability of the candidates to handle the heavy physical demands of the training, the navy decided to help wannabe SEALs cope. February 19, 2007: The U.S. Navy has found a way to lower the attrition rate (75 percent) of candidates for SEAL training. Having decided to expand the SEAL force, and not getting enough new candidates, the navy established a “prep school” for recruits wanting to become SEALs. Noting that the major cause of failure is the inability of the candidates to handle the heavy physical demands of the training, the navy decided to help wannabe SEALs cope.
The navy hired former SEALs, who are stationed around the country to show potential recruits how to prepare for the physical screening tests they have to pass to get into SEAL school, and what level of conditioning is required to complete the course. So far (about a year on), sixty percent more of the SEAL candidates complete their training (the failure rate goes from 75 to 60 percent). The navy is recruiting civilians who are athletic and want to be SEALs, and the addition of the physical conditioning coaches has made SEAL school less intimidating.
The former SEALs also play a role in abolishing a lot of the myths about SEAL training. Yes, it’s tough, but there’s a lot of urban legends out there making it seem impossibly tough. The navy knows it has lost a lot of potential SEALs because of all the wild stories. The former SEALs, serving with the recruiters, get potential SEAL recruits into the right physical, and mental, shape to get into, and pass, SEAL school.
In a message dated 2/20/2007 7:24:17 A.M. Central Standard Time, In a message dated 2/20/2007 7:24:17 A.M. Central Standard Time,
Email from : S.O.B. To: Doc Riojas
RIO, YOU WET BACK,
TACO EATING MEXICAN. SEE WHAT YOU STARTED. Chuck
Newell SENT ME THIS , real his email below, AND I Answered HIS E MAIL AS WELL TO GIVE THat ARTICLE THE TRUTH !
Chuck’s response to Bill: GONE ! GONE ! I erased it ! some of you guys got the wrong impression on their discussion about BUD/S training THEN and NOW. There was no animosity between them ! None what so ever, they are good Teamates ! Some of you old frogs need to chill it down and rent the three movies titled “SEAL BUD/S Class 234” and see what the different phases of what the young lions go through in the present time. E. Doc Riojas (NO class #) PS: i had my hell weeks in the Korean Police Action with live ammo. I have been authorized by BuMed to do the talk, since I did the walks. Ask Jesus when you meet him, he knows because he was there with us.
A teamate wrote me this: I remember Salenski (in charge), Waddell (hit the deck), Blais (up boat), Cook (squared away), Spiegel (squat jump), Hammond (tough), Clements (you need a haircut), Newell (push up), and Fraley (the runner). I hope I did not leave any instructors out. I’m sure I misspelled a some. They shaped class 30 into a pretty good class of frogmen (June-December 1963 Little Creek , Va).
I also got emails from Bill Brumuller, Roy Boehm, Bill Langley, Jerry Hammerle stating that, quote,
“We need more of this to remind guy’s how we used to ” rag ” on each other and at the end of the day, there are plenty of hugs and kisses to go around. And most important to remember… we would all die for a Teammate.”
Our guess is that some of us get over sensitive in our “twilight cruise” and tend to forget all the ribbing that we endured when we were on active duty in the teams. Good ole days!
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem
It was a good time – sorry you couldn’t make it. The guys from BUD/S were great and Nick is doing an excellent job. While it was good to see the candidates from Texas A&M, the most important thing was the BUD/S instructors were able to confirm that my class was the HARDEST class EVER and that the East Coast has the BEST operators! HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! David Casale
ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Navy SEAL Team TWO
A Brief History Little Creek, Virginia serves as the home and headquarters for Navy SEAL Team #2, which like Navy SEAL Team TWO is lead by a Navy Commander. Eight platoons in total make up the military force behind Navy SEAL Team TWO. As far as Deployment and Training is concerned, Navy SEAL Team #2 focuses in Europe, wherein it sends platoons to Germany where they serve on Amphibious Ships which are deployed to fleets 2 and 6.
It should be noted that Navy SEAL TWO is the only SEAL Team that has arctic warfare capabilities. This is one of the most unique traits of SEAL Team TWO that sets it apart from all others.
When Navy SEAL TWO was first formed it was lead by LT. John F. Callahan and consisted almost solely of members from UDT-21. Additional statistics state that Navy SEAL TWO began with a total of ten officers and fifty general ranks.
One notable Navy SEAL who served as part of Navy SEAL TeamTWO is Harry Constance who joined in 1966. Within four years Harry Constance had completed 300 missions during combat in Vietnam and also captured nearly 200 enemy prisoners. Harry Constance is in fact considered to be one of the most well recognized SEALs from his time. All his endeavors resulted in 3 bronze star medals and after being wounded in battle a Purple Heart. Harry Constance was in fact idolized by the majority of men who served not only as part of Navy SEAL Team TWO, but also all other Navy SEAL Teams that were in operation at the time.
This was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm
To: Mr. Woolard, sharp looking old USN Kaki uniform (see group photo below.) Jocko used to love to pull our black tieson the ST-2 quarterdeck. you remember? Doc Rio
From: Rick Woolard: Yes, sharp looking uniform; i don’t understand why the USN took it away from us.
I also remember: “Jocko in the cage on the quarterdeck and him running through the rafters in the old ST 2 building when we were gathering for indoor morning quarters. The bastard picked me out of the crowd to jump on and bite on the shoulder – right through all the padding of my dress blues.”
From: — <fmilcusguns aol.com>
To: Doc Riojas
Sent: Mon, Sep 12, 2016
Subject: Best ST2 Jocko story ever
Frank Scollise and Jake Rhine bolt were pretty close and would from time to time help each other out with some project or big deal they had going on. I had been up in the North West corner of Main bear hunting with Rod Sirway at his Bear camp, and on the way back down I stopped in to see Jake and Jean Rhinebolt on the coast. They had built a very nice Log cabin home and Frank had helped Jake build the it.
Jake and Jean and I were talking about ole times at Seal Team 2. After some time the conversation got around to Frank Scollise then to Jocko, since we all spoke of Jocko as one of the guys and if you did not know who Jocko was you would think he was a ST 2 member. Jake always kept a straight face but this time I saw a big grin on his face when he asked me did hear about Jocko attacking a Red headed woman at the 7-11 store, which I had not.
Jake said “Oh my it was really something” Jake began with saying how hot it was when the event has occurred. Then said that he was following Frank home to help him do something. Frank had Jocko with him because it was his turn to get Jocko off the base for the week end. After following Frank and Jocko for a half hour or so getting out of Norfolk traffic they pulled into a 7-11 shop to get something Frank wanted to take home. He had tied Jocko to the driver seat door handle and when he stopped he just got out leaving Jocko in the car with the window down, never thinking how long Jocko’s rope was.
Frank had parked next to another car with a large Red headed woman setting in the car waiting for someone to come out. She was wearing one of those very light sun dresses with thin shoulder straps, and a pair of large sunglasses with bright red rims. Jake said he could see Frank talking to someone inside the store and being a very hot day it seemed like a long time waiting on him. Then all of sudden he herd a blood curdling scream and what he thought was a terrible fight going on. Jocko had slipped out the window and down then came over to the Red headed woman’s car, jumped up and entered the rear window behind her and jumped on her head, pulling her hair and holding on for dear life, screaming and peeing all at the same time, she was screaming, trying to get him off but when she realized that she was fighting and Monkey on the back of her head.
she really got excited trying to fight him off, by this time Jocko had pushed her shoulder straps off and her boobs fell out, She tried to get our the door but it was tangled in Jocko’s rope and wouldn’t open enough for her to get out so she had one foot and leg out and part of her rear end, Jocko had managed to pull her dress up over her shoulders and was still holding on to the hair screaming and making all sorts of noises, the woman was continuously screaming swinging her arms and Jocko was screaming and pulling on her hair. she got one hand on him and he bit it and she screamed louder. a number of people had gather around and one woman tried to help her but when she looked into the car she saw Jocko doing his thing, she screamed throwing her hands up and ran to her car and locked the doors.
By this time the woman had made progress getting out of the car with both feet down, Jocko was still holding on to her head pulling hair and dress screaming. she was half in and half out stuck in the door of the car. people that had gather around were calling for someone to call the police and one man ran inside to call the police and that is when Frank got wind of what was going on outside and ran out and was trying to get Jocko’s rope untangled to let the woman get away.
When the Red Hair woman was out of the car she set down crying. After Jocko turned her loose he ran over to Frank’s car and hid. Frank started in on the woman telling in her she should be ashamed picking on a little monkey and he was going to call the police and SPCA and she should be locked up!
He continued until she got up she and the woman she was waiting on drove away. With Jocko hiding under the seat of Frank’s car he backed out and continued to his home never mentioning the affair again as if it never happened.
The funny part is that the witnesses who were standing around were there when the police arrived And could not explain what had happened. One did tell the police that a monkey attacked a big read headed woman.
Fred Miller fmilcusguns aol.com
Subase, Groton Conn. THe Escape Training Tank Instructors and OinCs
SEASTORY by Doc Riojas:
I was an experienced Deep Sea DIver while assigned to the SubEscapeTank in Groton Conn.
I had served on two ASR’s; Coucal (ASR-8) and Skylark (ASR-20) and three Sub Tenders and also as an HM1(DV) was a Tank instructor at the subase in Pearl Harbor , Territory of Hawaii. I was an instructor teaching Medical Aspects of Diving under MDV, Bob Sheats who was in charge of the 2nd class DV school and the SCUBA school at the tank.
the Master Diver at the tank in New London Conn., standing next to me, SCPO Price assigned me the detail
of making the instructor water list. THere were three of us HM’s
there so I did not have to be the topside “doc” at all, if i did not want to
sometimes i did not want to get wet, hungover or whatever and i would
stay topside checking out the trainees for AIR EMBOLISM.
The chief’s were pissed because a DICKSMITH was making the water list. Nothing personal !
Tom McCutcheon’s PHOTOS
Frank Toms has a get together of Vietnam era SEALS (see faces below) at his home on Thursday the day before the west coast reunion each year.
Cartoon courtesy of Joie, “Fly’s” (John Fallon) daughter
Cummings was NEVER real from the day his momma (bleep!) him out!!!
picture courtesy of Archie Grayson ST-2 notoriety. He swears that is a picture of “Doc” Riojas.
Darryl Young, Navy SEAL;
author of TWO SEAL books “The Element of SUrprise” Navy SEALs in VIetnam andSEALs, UDT, FROGMEN: Men under Pressure
was that you who asked RD Russell (SEAL) if Cummings was a real U.S. Navy SEAL???
Someone told me once that there was no such thing as a dumb question, but you have proved to me there is!
hehehe If, you link to that low-life (bleep!) I’ll put YOU on my wannabe page!!! hehehehee…
He is nothing more than a freakin asshloe suckin the $$$ from Teammate’s experiances!!! I told damn near everyone in that book, including Gary Abrhamson on the front cover, NOT to have anything to do with that asshole…
Now, they’re all learning one by one the hard way!
Your Warrior Brother, Darryl Young
signed: the DD
This Book is written by a 100% WannaBe SEAL.
DO NOT buy this book!
Capt. (O-6) Bailey, Larry
U.S. Navy 1962-1990
See all of Larry’s Old War Dogs posts in one place here.
A native of East Texas, where he graduated from Marshall High School and Stephen F. Austin State College, Larry Bailey was raised on a dairy farm, where he milked an estimated 300,000 Holsteins and Jerseys. Upon graduation from college, he went to Navy Officer Candidate School and was commissioned an ensign in 1962. After a less-than-stellar eight months as a destroyer sailor, he volunteered for Underwater Demolition Training at Little Creek, Virginia, and graduated therefrom in January 1964. After spending a year at UDT-22, he transferred to SEAL Team TWO, where he spent the next three years. Among his deployments at that command were combat tours to the Dominican Republic and Viet Nam.
Larry’s 27-year Navy career saw him stationed in Panama, Bolivia, Scotland, the Philippines, and Viet Nam, in addition to various stateside postings, which included Little Creek, VA; Coronado, CA; and Ft. Bragg, NC. He commanded Naval Special Warfare Unit TWO in Machrihanish, Scotland, and Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado. He retired from the US Special Operations Command in 1990.
Since retirement, Larry has worked as a consultant, speechwriter, fundraiser, and general gad-about. His most notable activities included presiding over Vietnam Vets for the Truth, which campaigned against John Kerry in 2004, and over Vets for the Truth, which unsuccessfully tried to deny John Murtha a 17th term in Congress.
Larry and his wife Judy are the parents of two adult children: Tucker and Hallie.
Contact Capt. Bailey through: docrio45 [at] gmail DOT com the webmaster
Widely regarded as one of the Navy’s most inspirational leaders, Rear Admiral Smith has spoken on his leadership experiences to a wide range of audiences including corporate, political, military, and civic leaders. His Navy SEAL stories based on his personal experiences are extremely popular to the listening audience.
A Navy SEAL for 31 years, he achieved extraordinary success through focused, participatory leadership. During his four-year tenure as Commander of the 2300-men SEAL force, he raised personnel retention to a level three times the Navy average.
As a Navy Captain, he led the Navy SEALs in Operation Desert Storm, conducting over 200 operations of strategic significance while incurring no casualties. Earlier in his career, Admiral Smith directed Navy SEAL training, generally considered to be the most challenging military training in the world.
Admiral Smith has been recognized in Newsweek, Fortune, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and CBS This Morning. He published two highly successful Navy SEAL manuals on nutrition and fitness. He was awarded the California Distinguished Service Award while a member of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Admiral Smith was telling us , at the UDT SEAL Museum Muster XXIII , his humble beginnings in the U.S. Navy. He said he was an enlisted man before he was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Academy. He is supposed to send me his story, but i will not hold my breath. Doc Riojas
From: Dean <deanc56 [at] cox.net>
Subject: ST-2 Site To: el_ticitl [at] yahoo.com
Date: Sunday, February 8, 2009
Long time no see. I was perusing your website today and damn if I didn’t see a very recent picture of me with Lance Armstrong on page SEVEN! Wow, how stuff gets around J Thanks for sticking me on there.
Interestingly enough, for a guy who is in his mid-30’s, and has never seen the O’Course before, he did a very admirable job of completing the entire course (tho he wasn’t a big fan of the slide for life). While we all know that it takes technique which you only learn after repetition, he ran it well and was barely out of breath – I do believe with a little practice, he’d be giving the young guys a run for their money.
Kinda like Team guys – world class athlete with a lot of pride J
Well, the real reason I’m writing is because I came to a picture on the same page, towards the bottom, where you asked “can anyone ID this CDR?” I do believe it is CDR (now CAPT) Duncan Smith.
Hope this helps!!
This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm
From Henry Thrift bassthrift yahoo.com : On Thu, Mar 10, 2016
To: Doc Riojas docrio45 gmail.com
Subject: SEAL Team TWO Vietnam Operation
I think I spelled the names correctly???
Lt Lou Boink retired as Captain and I think was COMSPECWAR and COMPHIBBASE
WO1 Bud Thrift retired as LT form EOD
SCPO Jim Watson retired as MCPO Deceased
HM1 Dave Hammer retired
PO1 Orlin Dean Nelson retired as CPO worked for Plumbers in Nicaragua Deceased
PO1 Bob Lewis retired as CPO Deceased
PO1 Slater Blackiston made LT and was killed on a night with the French
PO! Chuck Fellers retired as MCPO and worked at Crane Indiana
PO1 Eddie Leisure retired as CPO and Worked for the Post Office Deceased
PO1 Dave Hyde retired Carried 1000 rds 7.62 mm on one belt Deceased
PO1 Lee Barry wounded by Army Helo Deceased
PO2 Duke Leonard made LCDR retired works in the Mideast
PO2 Dennis Sprenkle made CPO retired Pushed Boots at Orlando and Owns a successful AC business
PO2 John Porter got out was only Seal MIA (for 12 hrs)
PO3 Cosmo Tesci left the platoon at the end of his enlistment
The SHORT SQUAD version of the TAX COLLECTOR OP in VIETNAM
The Monsoons had started, It was a cold and rainy night
Thrift, Fellers, Hyde, Leisure, Leonard, Porter,10 ARVNs and NO INTERPRETER paddled in 5 Sampans 12 clicks to an area west of VC lake to set an ambush for the Provincial Tax collector.
Two RVNS were left with the 5 hidden Sampans.
Set up Ambush at 400 meters form where we landed. In the darkness and rain around 0200 set up Claymore.
When Daylight came the entire squad and the RVN,s were shivering. We waited a couple of hours not knowing the Water Taxi Schedule that would be stopped by the bad guys to collect taxes.
We could see an empty hooch in the middle of a field with the sun beating down on it. After a night in the rain it look inviting so we went for it.
When we recovered the Claymore it was only about 10 feet away from us but over a berm. Had we used it it would have made our ears ring.
After resting in the warmth of the hooch for two hours men came wandering down the trail we had had the ambush set on.
after they passed I sent Duke and _________? to the trail to stop them if they returned.
No sooner had Duke and __________? arrived the two bad guys came running back to their position. Duke and ??? stood up and one the Tango Charlie made a gesture to reach under his shirt and Duke killed him with his Stoner and captured the ATC. When Duke fired his Stoner the rest of us rushed to the position. Two other guys in k PJs ran a hooch about 100 meters from us. Called in SEA WOLF for cover and we extracted to the
Surprise, Surprise The 5 sampans that we had paddled 12 clicks now all had Brigs and Stratton engines. As we were departing to the West we starting taking fire from the east.
H.S.(Bud) Thrift Jr.
“Nothing is Impossible”
(for the person who doesn’t have to do it)
From: darren a greenwell
Subj: Book Defender Dolphins on IUWG-1 program
How are you doing amigo? I hope you and yours are all well.
I know you spent some time in Hawaii and Cam Ranh Bay a few years back… did you or any of the guys at SEAL Two ever get involved in Quick Find or Short Time or were they both West Coast programmes?
I recall Steve “Moose” Robinson being involved with IUWG-1 back in the 70’s…I’ve read a lot about Quick Find, but despite Short Time being declassified back in 1992, Nobody has ever told the story until CAPT (Ret) Harold W. Goforth, Jr published this book.
Here’s one of the endorsements:
Defender Dolphins reveals how a handful of dedicated scientist, engineers and biologist came together to confront one of the most difficult challenges the Navy faced in Vietnam, and still faces today. Hal Goforth tells the truth about how the Navy effectively used dolphins to protect its fleet at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, during the heat of the Vietnam War. His knowledge of the Navy’s first Swimmer Defense System is unsurpassed.
— Ron Seiple, CAPT (Ret), a decorated two-time Vietnam veteran Navy SEAL, and former Science Advisor for the Commander Pacific Fleet who was considered one of the Navy’s experts in Swimmer Defense Systems.
I’ll be reaching out to Hal to see if I can get me a signed copy! best
This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm
From:Erasmo “Doc” Riojas
To : Dareen Greenwell, Steve Robinson
Subj: Book: Defender Dolphins
Darren, i am making a Cc: to Steve. maybe he can be of help.
I was there in CamRanh when they had the dolphins.
EOD are the guys that had that program there.
5:27 PM (43 minutes ago)
To: Darren, Rio,
From: Steve Robinson
Subject: Dolphin/ Sealion Program
I wasn’t aware of the book having been written… but as soon as I received Darren’s email, I went online to Amazon.com and ordered a copy for myself.
I don’t recall a lot of information about the men/animals in the program… since I was just a ‘target swimmer’ and not an animal handler. I did interact with the EOD guys and had initially started the paperwork to enter the EOD program (I was already a SEAL)… but I was injured as a target swimmer and that sort of brought it all to an end.
It was EOD running the show for the IUWG-1 program, but several of them were dual qualified as SEALs. Additionally, most of the handlers for both the dolphins and the sea lions were SEALs.
Doc… our Teammate, Rick Hetzell, was a sea lion handler with the program. I’ve remembered his involvement since he and I were involved in other stuff together. The years have stolen the names of virtually all other men and animals involved while I was there. I will say that I learned the hard way that these animals were not “Flipper” the friendly dolphin.
They were the aquatic version of K9 working dogs and had a similar mental outlook on the world. They loved their handlers, but their mental attitude toward almost everyone else was guarded and mostly hostile. One of the guys who was new to the program began working with a dolphin that raked one of his arms with its upper jaw… effectively tearing a nasty shred that immediately developed a dangerous infection. He had to leave the program… at least he was out of the program until he completed medical process to treat the injury with antibiotics and completely heal the torn flesh.
Same with the sea lions; they could be very aggressive if they took a notion to be “tempermental”.
Marine Mammal Programme Inbox x Darren A Greenwell from London great Brittain
to: shadek, Steve, Doc Rio
Many thanks for your emails… Doc… try http://defenderdolphins.com/ or the book reviews at http://adducent.co/upcoming-defender-dolphins-the-story-of-project-short-time/
Steve… thanks for the insight… your words add real “colour” to some of the matter-of-fact ‘black and white’ documents I’ve read in the past.
I don’t know if you got to read a book called “The Red Circle”? In it, the author Brandon Webb records a few brief lines about when he swam target back in the 90’s. He and his swim buddy tried to stay shallow and near the rocks close to shore to confuse the dolphins sonar, but further out they used thermoclines to their advantage by going deep and trying to keep a solid temperature break between them and the dolphins.
I have attached a copy of the old Quick Find report from 1972 (unclassified) that NUC issued. It names some of the animals, and refers to 2 year old male and female sealions “Red” and “Al” being “rejected as hostile”… and that was just the recovery mammals… your story about the attack dolphins and the new guy, and of course your own incident are sobering.
Forty years on, I hope that Hal’s book helps brings back some good memories of your part in an amazing chapter in Naval unconventional warfare.
I don’t have a problem with anyone knowing I went to “Ulyanovsk, Russia 1998” or “St. Basil’s, Red Square, Moscow 1998”. I dreamed about it when I was a kid (dunno why), dreamed about it when I was in college learning the Russian language (which seemed only appropriate since I was majoring in Slavic Studies), and when I was offered the chance to go in the late 90’s, I jumped at it. I despise the Communist form of government, but the common people of Russia are just like common people everywhere when the government isn’t meddling in their business… doing their damnedest to make ends meet, keep food on the table, stay warm in the winter, and live to a ripe old age with grandkids underfoot.
Steve “Moose” Robinson
Gordon Clisham and X-Ray Platoon ST-1 ‘Nam
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: sandi clisham <sandiclisham [at] yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 11:31 AM
Subject: Seal Team Pictures
To: Erasmo Riojas <docrio45 [at] gmail.com>
Actually, I asked my husband Gordon if it was o.k.(before I sent them) that I send them and he said it was. Gordon was in X-Ray Platoon in Ben Tre province.
As indicated on the photo, he is the one holding the bananas. No need to give me credit for the pictures, I am just happy you can use them. Looks as though you have done so much work on your site, I’ll be happy to let the other Team Members know about it and check it out.
My husband and I keep in close touch with these families. We have a farm in Parkton, Maryland and during the past ten years have had about six reunions at the house (they last about three or four days, with people at the hotel nearby and sleeping in tents or throughout our house) Each year, we attract a few new people.
Having raised their children now, paid for college, and now have a little extra time and money, more are interested in getting together on a regular basis. The women have become very close too and all of the guys walk away from these weekends with a renewed sense of camaraderie. We’re very happy to have them at our home for the weekend.
Thanks for keeping the memory of these brave guys alive – you do a great job.
1) Picture 049 (from left to right ) – 2006 Reunion, Parkton Md. – ‘Pastor Dan Cerigioni, Dan Peterson, Rick Hetzell, Don Barnes, Gordon Clisham, Dave Shadnaw, (UDT) Rod Yonkers
X-Ray Platoon (Gordon said this was called the bad luck platoon because there were so many losses. Jim Ritter (KIA) took the picture. From left to right top row – Rick Hetzell, Irving Brown, Harold Birkey (KIA), Doc Caplenor, Frank Bowmar (KIA), Clint Majors, Mike Collins (KIA), Lou Decrose. Middle – Alan Vader. Bottom Row left to right – Mike Trigg, Dave Shadnaw, Gordon Clisham, Awe(the scout).
X RAY Platoon really got hammered
I thougt it was LT Collins; I just could not for the life
of me recall his last name……
A list of all in the photo as follows: LDNN Thang (a Bad Guy) – Paul “PK” Barnes – David Shadnaw – Lt. Mike Collins – Jim McCarthy – Harold “Happy” Baker – Lou DiCroce – Bottom row: 2 KC Scouts and Clint Majors. All members of platoon were WIA and most of us twice. Clint Majors Half-Ass McCarthy is 3rd from right in back row
I think the officer is the movie star looking guy without a hat
He was KIA
NAB Coronado Swim Pool (Base pool) was named after him.
From: Joe De Floria
To: Doc Rio
Doc, that’s SEAL Team One, X-Ray Platoon. Here are some of the names, standing left to right; VN Thang, not sure, Alan Vader, Mike Collins, Jim McCarthy, not sure, Lou DiCroce, Kneeling; KC Scout, not sure, Clint Majors. Joe DeFloria
That is X-Ray platoon late 1970. LT Mike Collins is the man
standing in the center with the Stoner MG (he was KIA. Believe the man on
the far right standing in Lou Dicroce. Radioman looks like Clint Majors.
I’m at work, so will need to look at the platoon list when I get home.
Other members of the platoon were: Mike Trigg, Doc Caplenor, Rick Hetzell,
Gordon Clisham, Harold Birky, Alan Vader, Morey Kucich, and Dave Shadnaw.
Here is the info on X-ray Platoon that I have:
XRAY -Oct 70-Apr 71 (Ben Tre) *1 LT Michael R. Collins, *1 EMC Frank W.
Bomar, *2 EM1 Louis Dicroce, *2 HM2 Michael Caplenor, *1 EM3 James L.
Ritter, *2 RM3 Richard C. Hetzell, YN3 Clint Majors, *2 SF3 Gordon Clisham,
*1 FN Harold E. Birky, *3 SN Irving S. Brown, *2 SN Alan Vader, *2 SN
Michael Trigg, *4 SN Morey Kucich, SFFN David Shadnaw
Replacement/s: SN Paul K. Barnes, RM2 Harold Baker, FN Randall Clyton, RMSN
James McCarthey, QMC Clarence L. Betz
Notes: *1 KIA, *2 WIA, *3 Sent home, *4 Went home
Actually, they had 4 KIA (Bomar, Riter, Collins, Birky) and
everyone, including the replacements for the replacements were wounded with
the possible exception of Clint Majors.
I went on the op to recover Bomar and Riter (Happy Baker was awarded
the Navy Cross for actions on that op) and was at Cam Ranh Bay when Mike
Collins was killed.
Hi Doc Rio-
Thanks for your reply – I am going to send these pictures in separate e-mails because they are on different discs and I want to make sure I’m doing this correctly.
1) Picture 049 (from left to right ) – 2006 Reunion, Parkton Md. – ‘Pastor Dan Cerigioni, Dan Peterson, Rick Hetzell, Don Barnes, Gordon Clisham, Dave Shadnaw, (UDT) Rod Yonkers
2) 050 (2006 Reunion) Team members and wives, and kids
WEBMASTER NOTE: Cindi and all; sorry, I renamed the photos and so I now am unable to label the pictures with the guys/gals names. I am sure somebody will email me and give me a hand. Erasmo Doc Riojas docrio45 [at] gmail.com
This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm
REMEMBERING HMC ROBERT L. WORTHINGTON,
KIA APRIL 12TH 1969 – UDT 13
In 1969, Doc Worthington had been assigned to Golf platoon UDT 13, TF116, operating from the USS Westchester County (LST-1167), an old World War II tank landing ship running out of An Thoi, at the southern-most tip of Vietnam. On April 12, 1969 one of the most horrific and intense river boat battles of the Vietnam war took place, when a perfectly executed VC heavy weapons ambush inflicted damage to every swift boat on operation Silver Mace II, accounting for three Americans KIA, thirty-nine wounded and Vietnamese Marine casualties of equal severity.
With the Coast Guard in charge of all coastal and riverine operations, Officers planned a 3-day long US/Vietnamese joint op, taking Vietnamese Marines up the narrow Rach Duong Keo Canal and working the area. Heading out at 1630 hours, the last in the eight craft convoy was PCF 43, with Doc Worthington and 16 others aboard. As the river convoy progressed deeper into hostile territory, they unwittingly entered the kill zone in a VC ambush. A murderous fusillade of rocket, recoilless rifle, machine gun, and small arms fire ensued with every boat fired upon by a company of up to 100 VC.
The faster, lighter boats exited the killzone as quickly as possible, but for PCF43, last in line and heaviest laden of all the boats, she remained relatively alone, the only thing for the VC to aim at in the center of the ambush. A B-40 rocket crashed into the helm and killed the boat OIC, while another RPG came toward the stern and exploded under the flak jacket of Doc Worthington, instantly killing him and wounding another four UDT men in the process.
The body of the OIC fell onto the wheel of the boat, careening it into the bank 20 feet from a VC bunker in the center of the ambush. A hellish 45 minute firefight ensued, with the survivors and KIA only extracted after the intervention of Seawolf helicopters and covering fire from the returning lead boats. HMC Robert L. Worthington would be posthumously awarded with the bronze star for valor.
• ROBERT LEROY WORTHINGTON is honored on Panel 27W, Row 69 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Hombres of The Delta’s photo. Hombres of The Delta’s photo.
46 years on… never forgotten.
The Death Of PCF 43 – April 12, 1969. Dung Keo Canal, Vietnam.
This article was supplied by Steven L. Waterman
Between the hours of 1800-1900, 12 April 1969, at a well-camouflaged sector along the narrow Duong Keo, southernmost in South Vietnam’s vast system of navigable waterways, U.S. Navy PCF’s (“swiftboats”) then supporting Vietnamese Marine river operations under the aegis of SEALORDS incurred their most devastating and demoralizing setback to date. A well-planned and perfectly executed Viet Cong heavy weapons ambush inflicted heavy material damage to every swiftboat unit involved in the action and accounted for thirty-nine wounded in action, many seriously and requiring immediate medical evacuation. Vietnamese Marine casualties were of equal severity.
One of the eight boats involved, PCF 43, was totally destroyed during the encounter. Its mangled, blackened carcass still rests on the ambush site, a somewhat grotesque testament and sepulcher to the forlorn events of that bitter hour. Of her seventeen embarked Navymen, including ten members of Underwater Demolition Team THIRTEEN Detachment GOLF and one SEALORDS staff officer, two were killed: LTJG Don Droz, the boat OIC, and HMC Robert Worthington, the UDT corpsman. Only three of the remaining fifteen escaped unscathed. UDT wounded in action include SM3 Art Ruiz, Seaman Michael Sandlin, SM3 Robert Lowry, Seaman William Piper, GMG3 Ricky Hinson, and LTJG Peter Upton.
LTJG Upton’s story revolves around the thoughts and actions of those fifteen and is intended to stand as a tribute to their raw courage, a reflection of their brute will to survive.
Vietnamese mornings are singularly beautiful and manifest a stark antithesis to the rather brutal fact that the country is pervaded by deprivation and the ravagings of war. The morning of 12 April was true to that idyllic form: a typical golden-hued glimmer emanating from the pastelled East suffusing into the mellow radiance of the silvery West as the sun and moon exchanged benign glances, then gracefully parted. However, this morning elegance passed quickly, blending into the searing heat of early afternoon, when word was passed to UDT promulgating the modus operandi and logistics requirements for the upcoming three-day SEALORDS operation. Lusty grunting supplemented the detachments more basic four-letter vocabulary as personal gear, weapons, “C” rations and over eight hundred pounds of high explosives were then transferred from the tank stowage deck of the WESTCHESTER COUNTY, LST 1167, onto the fantail of the PCF 43, assigned to support UDT for the day. It was about 1630 hours when UDT personnel scampered down the sagging cargo net, consummating the already bulking load.
Rendezvous with the PCF units involved in the mission took place approximately one hour later, one thousand meters outside the gaping mouth of the Duong Keo, the watery path which would lead to the day’s assigned sweep area. Forty-three informed the command boat of her special cargo, then took her assigned station as the rear element of a stately file of eight units. Flak gear was donned and battle stations manned on the fantail as the boats proceeded to enter the foreboding jaws of this river, infamous for its demonstrated hostility to allied units who dared venture into her inner reaches.
On this day a Viet Cong heavy weapons company, consisting of approximately seventy-five hard-core guerrillas, was located in the area of the Duong Keo when they received warning through an elaborately contrived signal system that a swiftboat incursion was underway. A well fortified sector, up the river about five kilometers, interlaced with freshly built bunker, trench, and spider-hole emplacements and permeated with thick mangrove vegetation provided excellent cover for their weapons positions. Almost guaranteed of success, the enemy set up and waited. . .
. . . Discipline was perfect: the Viet Cong patiently awaited the greatest possible number of boats to be encompassed in their kill zone, then triggered the ambush with a claymore mine aimed at the lead boat. All hell broke loose as a murderous fusillade of rocket, recoilless rifle, machine gun, and small arms fire ensued. Every boat in the file received immediate hits and personnel casualties, but each roared back with her full arsenal of heavy .50 caliber machine guns. One by one the boats maneuvered upstream, out of enemy range. seeking open ground on which to set up an emergency medical evacuation station.
PCF 43 never made it. Her position as last unit in the file, aggravated by her heavy load, combined to seal her doom. For, as the lead boats were exiting the kill zone and scrambling to safety upstream, the 43 was just arriving; as the first seven boats churned and leapt forward in violent reaction, throttles to the wall, the 43 succumbed to her bulk, falling farther and father behind until she was relatively alone, hopelessly alienated in the center of the kill zone.
Viet Cong gunners then focused on the hapless intruder. Singled out for the kill, the 43 was ripped asunder, inexorably, and with lightning-like quickness: cascading water spouts signaled the near misses, though gunners at point-blank range will miss but once. One B-40 rocket found the fantail, instantly killing Doc Worthington. Hinson and Piper received frag wounds from the blast, Piper’s helmet perforated and blown off by a piece of shrapnel. AK-47 rounds raked the deck, one piercing Sandlin’s left leg, leaving a clean, though gaping wound. Another rocket exploded in the pilot house, mortally wounding the OIC and knocking the coxswain unconscious for precious seconds. Naked, without a guiding hand, 43 gesticulated wildly and careened into the north bank of the river, coming to her final, alien rest, high and dry amidst the mangrove foliage directly in front of the Viet Cong emplacements.
The bewildering, awesome reality of the situation was beclouded by momentary shock. The enemy, probably in a similar state of amazement, did not organize directly and afforded the 43’s survivors invaluable minutes in which to orient themselves. LT Lomas scurried into the pilot house and aided the wounded there. Sandlin’s pain was eased by a quick shot of morphine and a battle dressing. The sporadic shrapnel wounds of a minor nature were of no immediate concern. Survival, and survival only, was paramount, and to live, the survivors knew they had to fight. To this end, a hasty defense perimeter was formed. Campbell, with Piper and Broderick on the fantail, maintained constant M-79 grenade fire into the north bank. Luckily, the 43 boat canted toward the river and provided some natural cover for them. Crew members, discarding the .50 caliber weapons as useless, grabbed M-16 rifles and set up firing positions covering the south bank, thereby providing the stricken unit with a 360 degree perimeter.
Simultaneous with these actions, Ruiz and Lowry found the detachment’s M-60 machine gun, and, using the 43’s hull for cover, slid past the bow in order to set up a firing position in a natural emplacement ten meters away. Sandlin, ready to go, was given a rifle and carried to this frontal position thereby supplying additional firepower.
Concussion grenades were also used to supplement these basic weapons in the forty minute effort to ward off any attempts of an enemy assault. The foliage proved indeed provident, absorbing much of the enemy fire while precluding his use of rockets and heavy rounds altogether. Though continuous, the resulting incoming fire was relatively ineffective. Only Ruiz was seriously wounded in the ground action as a Chinese hand grenade exploded next to his M-60 firing position. Heroic acts became well-nigh routine as 43 was transformed into a blazing bunker: some fired while Hinson passed ammunition and loaded M-16 magazines; weapons jammed and were replaced; hand grenades were exchanged with the enemy but twenty meters away, a diabolical chess game, one Viet Cong spider hole checkmated by Lowry’s accurate throw. As a result of this aggressive perimeter action, the necessary volume of fire was sustained and the enemy never risked a frontal onslaught.
Thoughts gravitated toward rescue: where in almighty hell were the other boats? 43’s radio was destroyed beyond repair and the backup PRC-25 unit set up by LT Lomas and the SEALORDS staff officer lacked the transmission power to break into the net already froth with urgent traffic. PCF 38, seventh boat in the file, was just heading out of 43’s sight when she realized her trailing sister was missing. Brazenly, she attempted to implement rescue by reentering the ambush site. Thirty-eight’s bravery was thwarted by a rocket round which slammed into her pilot house, severely wounding the OIC and rendering her steering useless. The coxswain’s skillful manipulation of the twin screw throttles enabled the boat to limp out of the kill zone without suffering further damage.
Upon reaching the medevac area, 38 passed the word of distress, thereby galvanizing the command boat, PCF 31, and a cohort, PCF 5, into swift action. Both boats entered the kill zone with guns roaring and arrived intact at the scene of battle. Thirty-one maneuvered into a position adjacent to the wreckage while 5 poured out covering fire. Long prayed-for extraction became a euphoric reality as dead and wounded persons were passed up, and finally, the perimeter was withdrawn, exhausted and unbelieving. The evacuation completed, 31 and 5 raced to the medevac perimeter where the dazed men of 43 joined the somber procession, ferrying the wounded to the dustoff helicopters,vainly trying to collect and convey their thoughts of the past hour. l he air was heavy with a pungent haze of disbelief.
Meanwhile, only twenty minutes after her crew and UDT had been evacuated, 43’s fate was sealed as over a thousand pounds of high explosives and mortar rounds concocted an eruption of cataclysmic intensity, hurling a spuming vortex of flame, smoke, and twisting metal over five hundred feet into the air-her twin diesels could not be halted during the fight, had overheated and ignited fuel, thus starting the irrevocable chain which ended in her ultimate destruction.
Wisely, the boats refused to risk a night transit and bivouacked in the river, tethering to mangrove stumps within the reinforced defense perimeter. Few of the 43 boat’s survivors could muster the strength to close their eyes; frozen to the decks of their new homes, they gazed into the starry firmament, wondering, reckoning…
. . . First light of 13 April manifested typical magnificence; lacking, however, were contemplative spirits necessary for the breathing in of such grandeur. Following the sumptuousness of mawkish tomato juice and canned scrambled eggs, orders were barked and the perimeter troops reembarked in order to proceed with the days schedule of sweeps. The buzzing activity provided a well-needed elixir, forcing wretched visions of the previous day’s ambush into realms of temporary obscurity. Towards nightfall the sweeps terminated and the Marines formed protective enclaves for the night’s rest. The swiftboats, released from support duty, then formed the classic file and headed to sea and safety, retracing the path of the tragic twelfth.
Short minutes after getting underway the boats passed the still-life remains of the 43, an aesthetic aberration suspended on the north bank of the Duong Keo, simply out of joint with her surroundings. Looking at her bow, bending towards the azure heavens in a searching gesture, one could almost feel motion, a groping for the malignancy which was the cause of her agonizing death. The uninitiated might further try to recreate the essence of the once pulsating holocaust which presently stood calmly before them. The vibrant sensations of that enormity-the anguish, the torments, the frustrations, and the ecstasy-however, will forever remain an esoteric fact, privy to the surviving fifteen: no effort of meditation could possibly reveal those secrets.
By LTJG Peter N. Upton
Disclaimer Notice: Some or all of this material was written collaboratively by Teammates or visitors to this website. While every effort is made to ensure that the content of this website is accurate, the website is provided “as is” and sealtwo.org makes no representations or warranties in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information found on it. While the content of this site is provided in good faith, we do not warrant that the information will be kept up to date, be true and not misleading, or that this site will always (or ever) be available for use. For reliable information of any sort, you must consult an officially qualified professional in The U.S. Navy, or the Department of Defense. You may use this site at your own risk that none, part of or all of what is posted is factual. By visiting this website you are accepting all the terms of this disclaimer notice. If you do not agree with anything in this notice you should not enter into this website. Some material on this website, including text and images, is protected by copyright law and is copyright to sealtwo.org unless credited otherwise. It may be copied, reproduced, republished, downloaded, posted, broadcast and transmitted for your own personal only.
Erasmo “Doc” Riojas gives up all rights to all articles and graphics on www.sealtwo.org and seeks no compensation for its use. 2016
At long last I’ve published the third book in my Indomitable Patriot series, The Indomitable Patriot: the Submariners.
The book takes us back to 1943 and the OSS. The USS Great White (SS-299) has just put an OSS team ashore in the Philippines and has gone hunting for Japanese tonnage to sink. She almost gets more than she bargained for when she tangles with a Japanese battleship with five escorts. Will she survive her assault and live to fight again?
Lieutenant Commander Marcus Spencer, captain of the Great White experiences a number of twists and turns in his career as well, mainly involving the OSS and their covert activities in the Northern Mariana Islands. I’ve also introduced naval aviation into this book to present many thrilling scenes taking place above, as well as below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
As with my previous Patriot books, this book is historically accurate fiction. The book is geared toward submarine warfare and along those lines I read and reviewed dozens of actual patrol reports of USS Wahoo, Tang, and a number of WWII submarines. I lucked out in one additional way however. My technical editor was a retired Navy Command Master Chief who spent his entire naval career aboard diesel and nuclear submarines. His tireless efforts have enabled me to write a book about submarine warfare a reader with no knowledge of the boats will understand and enjoy, and a submarine sailor (also called a “Bubblehead”) will enjoy the realism, jargon and accuracy of the story.
If interested in looking further, just click this link and as-if by magic you will be transported to Amazon and the books listing. It’s available in both print and Kindle formats.
I hope, regardless of your decision to check out the book, everybody is healthy and prosperous.
All Best, Carl McLelland, Vietnam Veteran
One of our guys, although he had the misfortune of going Army instead of Navy, has become a writer in
his old age. His first few books were about the paranormal… he likes to chase ghosts in his spare time. But his latest
endeavor; Wow! He has started a new series of books he calls Behind the Lines. His first book, recently completed and
published is titled “THE INDOMITABLE PATRIOT: Fertig, the Guerrilla General.” It’s a historically correct novel about Wendell Fertig in the Philippines in World War II. Here’s what the book looks like.
Cover Final :
May, 1942. General Wainwright has just surrendered the Philippines. Wendell Fertig, a Corps of Engineers Lieutenant Colonel, refuses to comply and flees into the mountains of Mindanao. Fertig is soon
joined by dozens of former Philippino Army scouts who encourage him to form a guerrilla Army. Over the next few months Fertig is joined by several other displaced American soldiers, one of whom builds a small, makeshift transmitter and establishes contact with the Navy.
General MacArthur denounces Fertig, going on record claiming it’s impossible for a guerrilla movement in the Philippines to succeed. The O.S.S. decide to take a chance and covertly supplies Fertig by submarine. Once he receives the tools to wage war, his achievements become legendary. By the time MacArthur returns to the Philippines in 1944 he is met on the beach at Leyte by a force of over twenty thousand of Fertig’s guerrilla Army.
This fictional accounting is based upon the actual military records and reports of one man’s impossible achievements against overwhelming odds; against an enemy who outnumbered him a hundred to one. Wendell Fertig, a civil engineer and untrained amateur in the ways of war, defied the predictions of the experts and brought the Japanese Army to its knees. Enjoy this first installment in the new Behind The Lines series of combat thrillers based upon historical records.
The book is available from Amazon in either print or Kindle versions, or by special order from almost any book retailer.
(He’s not Tom Clancy yet. They don’t stock his books but they can order them). These links will take you to the Amazon listings. If you look at the Kindle listing there is a Look Inside feature that lets you read through the first chapter.
About the Author Carl’s professional career began as an Army and then FAA air traffic controller. He advanced from a small radar van in the Central Highlands of Vietnam to the TRACON in one of our nation’s busiest airports. He also became a commercial pilot and flight instructor, retiring after thirty-nine years of flying. By 1986 he was experiencing severe burnout. He put himself through the police academy, resigned from the FAA and became a deputy Sheriff in Reno, Nevada. He retired after a distinguished career on the street. Not only the cop on the beat, Carl became a renowned traffic accident reconstructionist on his departments Major Accident Investigation Team, as well as a highly acclaimed crime scene investigator. Throughout his life Carl has been a student of the paranormal and often experienced the effects of the supernatural in his personal life. In 2012 he became involved in the saga of the haunted Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas and its resident spirit, Ladell Allen Bonner. The result of dozens upon dozens of paranormal interactions with Ladell led Carl to write his first book about Ladell’s life and death. Writing that first book sparked a latent avocation in his life: writing. Carl has always been a connoisseur of military history, and that interest began a new direction for his writing. This latest book is the story of Wendell Fertig, and the beginning of a thrilling new series, ‘Behind The Lines.’ While the stories are fictionalized, they are all based upon factual military history. Join in with Carl and enjoy his books as you gain an interesting new insight in what war is all about.
The following is typical of the reviews I’m receiving on the book:
Just finished your book and you get 4.0 marks from this old Navy Seal. Really enjoyed and it adds to my hobby of WWII.
Spent 22 years of my 34 in and out of the PI. Have traveled every island and was trained a marksman by RJ when we were
stationed at Team 2 during Vietnam. Still a very good friend I keep in contact with. Going to recommend it to my friends,
at least the ones that can read.