Fifties Frogs Magazine

Vol  10

Pg 9 Memorials

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Departed Teammates

LTJG Kirby Ambler
YN1 Ellis "Mel" Dyal

PH1 Archie Grayson

EM2 Rodney D. Griggs
CPO George B. McNair
CWO Roger Moscone
SN Jack Rison

CAPT John O’Drain
CET7 Matthew Uter



Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson

More about this poem:

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LTJG Kirby Ambler
Training Class 13, LCK 11/54

Kirby served on a destroyer for two years and then volunteered for UDT training. He was the class senior officer and number one graduate and then served for two years in UDT-21, Kirby was not only a great athlete but an outstanding leader throughout his naval career. With team 21 he took part in many UDT operations and swam on the Phibase team. Kirby graduated from the University of North Carolina.

After serving in the Navy he became an airline pilot for Delta in 1990. He is survived by two daughters, Shannon and Heather, and mother Bonnie. He died April 24, 2007.

YN1 Ellis "Mel" Dyal
Training Class Early (1947) WWII.

Mel Dyal (r) in Kodiac, Alaska.

Mel entered the service in 1947 and served during WWII. He took a discharge in 1945. He was helping a Chief in a recruiting office carry things in. The chief signed him up again. He had a long varied career in the teams and made many operations in UDT Teams 1, 5, 11.

Mel retired in 1966 with 20 years service. He and his family raced dogs on a three-track Florida circuit. They used UDT methods by swimming the dogs and doses of high protein. They were quite successful.

Later he became a Corrections Officer for state of Georgia.

He remarried, to Hazel and has two sons, and three stepchildren Bonnie, Barbara, and Joseph. They live in Waycross. A few years ago, he had a stroke and with help from Hazel and therapy and held on for a long time with his UDT guts. He died April 27, 2007.

On operation in Artic waters his old dry suit filled with water. He stayed in the water till the job was done! Frozen to the suit, they had to cut it off him. He was purple and had a critical case of hypothermia. Revived with brandy, he went back in the water the next day.

You can read more of him in John B. Dryer’s "Commandoes from the Sea."

             Mel and Hazel

Editor: Mel lived a block down the street from me in Imperial Beach. We had many chats. He was a real frog and one of the finest yeoman in the teams. I had the privilege of stopping in Waycross just after he had a stroke and took this photo of him and Hazel.

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PH1 Archie Grayson
Training Class 11, LCK 10/53

Archie served in UDT-4, 21, 22 and SEAL Team 2. He retired in 1971 with 18 years in the team. In civilian life he was an insurance salesman. He did woodworking for a hobby. Archie enjoyed reading and taking of his good friends with his Christmas cakes he baked each year He died December 14, 2006. His wife Brenda and his daughter Lara who live in Florida survive Archie.

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When the rock is hard we get harder than the rock. When the job is tough, we get tougher than the job. —Geo. Cullen Sr.

EM2 Rodney D. Griggs
Training Class 6, COR 10/52

Rodney served in Underwater Demolition Team One and participated in Korean War Operations.

He enjoyed fishing, sailing, hunting, and home projects.

Rodney was an industrial engineer with Bendix for 30 years. He previously served with the Michigan State Police and was a member of Avon Lake United Church of Christ.

The family lived in Avon Lake for 25 years.

He is survived by two daughters, Kay, and Wendy Brash, and a son Steve. Also,  Rodney's brother Jack Griggs, and sister Marguerite Falkenstein and two grandchildren. He died May 23, 2007 after a lengthy illness.

CPO George B. McNair
Training Class 8, COR 7/53

George is a native of Georgia. He served his country for 34 years which included duty with Underwater Demolition Teams-12 and 22. When he retired he was Officer in Charge of SEERE School.

He is survived by his daughter Michele Trent and her husband, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

He died on October 2006, age 72.

Editor: I will print Lou Delara’s "George (Chicken) McNair Story in the next issue as I am running out of space.

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CWO Roger Moscone
Training Class 20, COR 1958

Roger joined the Navy in 1947 at age 17. He first served on the battleship Mississippi but applied for UDTRA in 1958. Roger was assigned to UDT-12 and was the team’s cartographer.

In 1965, he volunteered for duty with SEAL Team One and was in Detachment Golf which was on a trial bases for duty in Vietnam where he distinguished himself in action and awarded a Bronze Star in action.

Detachment Golf paved the way for many SEAL’s to come and provided the infra-structure for future SEAL Operations.

Roger is survived by Wife Sandra Rauch Moscone, his step daughter Brandi, 3 daughters and a son from his first marriage, Michele, Christina, Teresa, and son David, and four grandchildren Rachael, Ryan, Halley and Gianna. He died February 2007.

John Gulick on Roger: "Tom Truxell can verify Roger Moscone’s act of courage, loyalty, and sacrifice when he carried out Bill Machen’s body from a kill zone during the summer of 1966 under highly dangerous circum-stances. Billy was his fire team’s point man when they were ambushed in the Rung Sat. I don’t know if Roger was given a medal for this because in the early days, we weren’t thinking much about medals. Billy was first SEAL killed in action in Vietnam that I know of, and if ever there was an example of not leaving anyone behind, Roger lived it…"

Editor: The first time I saw Moscone and his physique all I could think of was Mat Matheny who I served with in UDT-4. Without a doubt these two were the most sturdy men I‘ve ever seen. They are sturdy in mind, sturdy in heart, and sturdy in loyalty. Both the best of the best!

To read more about Roger, see the 1st quarter of the Blast.

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SN Jack Rison
Training Class 2, COR 10/51

Jack served with UDT 1,3 and 5 during two deployments to Korea. He said that long hours of hard work on a farm in California helped him prepare for training with UDT Units in the Korea War.

After service he enrolled in college where he obtained a Masters Degree from Stanford University. He taught math and was wrestling coach for 28 years at Cambrian School in San Jose, CA. he died April 1. 2007. He looked forward to Christmas and West Coast Reunion. He loved being back with the frogs.

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CAPT John O’Drain
Training Class 1A, COR 8/51

Capt John was a legend in NSW community for the many positions he held. He served with UDTs-5, 11, and 12, SEAL Team 1, Inshore Undersea Warfare Group One, Coastal River Squadron One, OIC Nava Special Warfare Group, Vietnam, Commander NSW Group, Atlantic; and finally Commander NSW Group One.

He earned a Bronze Star with V and a Combat Action Ribbon.

He is survived by his wife Rosemary and four daughters—Jane, Roseanne, Julianne and Peggy. He died January 23, 2007 in Coronado, California.

Editor: I served with Capt O’Drain in Naval Operations Support Group, Atlantic before it became NSW Group, Atlantic, when he was Chief of Staff. He was a very fine officer and always looked out for his men. It was a real pleasure to serve with him.

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CET7 Matthew Uter
Training Class 1, LCK 7/47

Mat joined the Navy in 1946 where he first served with Amphibious units and then after UDTRA served Underwater Team 2 and 21. He retired in 1974 with 27 years of service.

He actively supported local food drives and the Hoyt Library and was a philanthropist for many other charitable organizations.

He survived by his sister, Eleanor Dorish. He died December 16, 2006. He lived in Pennsylvania.

"We make our living by what we do; we make life by what we give." —President Ronald Reagan

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