UDT/SEAL - Vietnam Era


The years 1960 through 1975 were a time of growth and change for the UDT/SEAL Teams. The election of John F. Kennedy to the Presidency of the United States in November of 1960 heralded a new emphasis on naval special operations. The April 1961 Bay of Pigs unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro no doubt inspired Kennedy’s call for a major restructuring of our military to make it more versatile and responsive to crisis throughout the world. Kennedy, a decorated WWII Navy veteran, instructed the Pentagon to beef up the military’s special operations forces by redirecting millions of military dollars from other programs.

The Navy’s Underwater Demolition Teams, UDT, gave birth to two SEAL Teams, SEAL 1 and SEAL 2,  the first week of January 1962. From that time until 1983 when UDT melded into the ranks of SEAL Teams and ceased to exist as a separate entity, the two naval special operations units, UDT and SEAL, trained together, drawing from the same manpower pool and often operated together in Vietnam.

There have been several good books written about the formation of the SEAL Teams and about UDT/SEAL operations in Vietnam. This page is not about the history of the Teams. It is about the individual men who were the UDT/SEAL Teams, about their experiences  - their stories.


Larry W. Bailey – articles written for Soldier of Fortune

John T. Boyd – UDTRA Class 29 Recollections

John T. Boyd – DASH Helicopter Caper

Duane R. Dulin – Recollection of Duane R. Dulin

John Gulick – Green Brothers

John Gulick - Huey

John Gulick - Lockout

Craig Marley – all stories removed as Craig has a new book pending

Richard G. “Nick” Nickelson – A Time of Reflection

Richard G. “Nick” Nickelson – The Swim That Didn’t Happen

Richard G. “Nick” Nickelson – Naval Pentathlon

Richard G. “Nick” Nickelson – Faster Wasn’t Necessarily Better

Richard G. “Nick” Nickelson – Gary Lanphier and the Devil Car

Richard G. “Nick” Nickelson – The Old Oak Tree

John Carl Roat – Real Frogmen Stuff

Bruce T. Russell – Class 29 Memories

Robert D. Russell – Class 29 Training

Robert C. Wilber – Memories of Class 29 Training


NSWA home