UDT Operations in
(reprinted from the Archives
Most of this material was originally compiled by Russ Eoff with assistance from Bill Tobin and John Kelly. The events they write about came from memory, a log and letters written home at the time. This particular operation, a reconnaissance at Taechon, took place forty-five years ago this month.
On the night of
In the briefing prior to the launch all crews and swimmers were given the latest intelligence, including all up-to-minute information available. This included the fact that a tourist who had been on the beach in the summer of 1949 had seen no soldiers or guns there. What more could we ask? A piece of cake!
Right on schedule, Horace A. Bass (APD-124) steamed into the area and sounded the general alarm that could be heard for miles; and with a nearly full moon, we didn't have any vision problems finding the beach. A stroke of luck!
Boats launched, they took off for the swimmer launch area (low profile, of course). Within minutes the guns started blazing, tracers everywhere! Boat #1 hit, eight men in the water as the boat sinks. Four swimmers in the water from the other boats. For most of the younger guys, this was their baptism under fire. "They're getting personal now, they're shooting at US!" "So this is what Hell Week was all about."
For what seemed like hours, the LCPR fished around for swimmers in the water. In the search Gunner Lade was taking no chances, blowing his damn whistle over and over. The final three swimmers swam a mile and three-quarters back to the ship.
All swimmers safely recovered, all hands aboard ship. Lessons learned: Don't put too much faith in intelligence reports.