INSIDE THE TEAMS…
TEAM 3’s RELUCTANT KNIFEMAN
I do not recognize the other guys.
Lucio Delacazada was already in U.S. Naval Underwater Demolition Team 3 when I arrived in 1948. I could never guess what his age was – but he was the tallest Filipino any of us had ever seen. He stood 6’ 3” – that was 8 inches over what was normal for Filipinos.
Several things stood out about this fellow as someone you should remember. First, the rumors about him were that he had been a guerilla fighter in the Philippines during WW2 and had been cutting Japanese throats since he was a baby. Second, he was taller than most and one of the best swimmers. Third, Lucio had a mouth full of solid gold teeth.
The amount of gold in the man’s mouth proved to be a constant source of wheeling and dealing, crude jokes and schemes to end all schemes. Team members were constantly trying to take him to the bank – wanting to deposit him. It all came to a head however, when the Team fathers, in Korea, were looking for Frog knifemen to ride the security boats.
The knifemen would be required to ride in on the security boat – swim in from the breaker line, sneak on the beach and silence any posted guard without drawing fire. With Lucio’s background he seemed to be a natural choice.
However, to the brass’s surprise, most Team members disagreed with this choice. When asked why, they replied, “Lucio is gonna make some fat Communist one rich sucker”. When asked, “How’s that”? – the reply was, “When they catch ‘em, they are gonna find a gold mine”.
Lucio became a knifeman anyway – and never gave up the gold mine….
Lucio Delacazada was an interesting Frog. He is shown here with the detachment Bravo, a photo from Team 3 - the detachment that blew up Hungnam. Also in the photo are Maxwell, Boynton and Kelly – all three of whom were old Team 3 hands from ’48 or before…
UDT 3 Detachment Brovo (the squad that blew up Hungnam). Front row L to R: Bayer, Lt. Boynton, Baxter, Eartl, and Kelly. Second row: Delacazada, Maxwell, unidentified
Shown here is the handiwork of Brovo Squad, blowing up Hungnam, Korea on Christmas Eve 1950. The 1st Marine division had just fought their way out of the Chosen Reservoir and been evacuated from the port. This Team 3 detachment set tons of explosives, wired them in and set them off. Working for hours in severe cold, rain and enemy sniper fire – as APD USS Begore (127) watched protectively from the harbor. This picture is said to be one of the most famous photos from the Korean War and undoubtedly the biggest blast – it destroyed all material the 1st
Marines could not carry out and all major water front facilities of the city. (One source indicated Chinese troops were swarming like fire ants on the supply dump when it was set off).
One of the most asked questions when old Teammates from this era get together is “What ever happened to Lucio”? Although this story has been published in a number of national Military Magazines, always asking about him – we have never heard a word….
Did he stay in the Teams and become a SEAL? Did he stay in for retirement with a full 20 years or did he return to the Philippines? Nobody knows – but we are still looking…
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