Vol. 16, No. 1, Feb. 2010 Page 7




Kenneth “Ken” Garrett

[Editor’s Note: Ken was a PN2 while in the teams and E-7 upon discharge. He and wife Jane have 4 children. Don’t miss the photos at the end of his article.]

I graduated High School in 1946 and within three weeks was in Boot Camp. Following completion of Boot Camp, I was sent to Motor Mack (MOMM) "A" school. Thereafter, I was assigned to the USS Bremerton, a Heavy Cruiser, where for some reason I was then assigned to the deck force learning how to become a janitor.
Many of us were soon assigned to the USS Duluth, a light Cruiser, and almost immediately sailed overseas to Japan, Korea, (yes, in 1947), China (Shanghai, Tsingtao, Hong Kong) then back to the States. I put in a "chit" to reenlist. In those days one did not speak to upper echelons, but rather used a chit to ask for basic things. My chit was denied because without me knowing it many of us on the Duluth were already on orders for ETS Discharge; so much for manpower retention. I took the discharge, but in two years reenlisted back into the Navy and was sent to the DesBase (Naval Station) in San Diego for fleet assignment. 
While at the DesBase hundreds of us attended lectures on how the Navy was run. One speaker, LCDR "Spike" Chace, offered a UDT recruitment lecture about cold water, long runs, long hours, bad things about UDT. I had never heard of UDT or Frogmen before, but when LCDR Chace mentioned that Congress was considering $50.00 per month hazardous duty pay for Frogs, that got my attention and I raised my hand. Of the approximately 300 enlisted men in the lecture only 16 volunteered for the Frogs. The next day I was sent to NAB, Coronado, CA., put through several physical evaluations, then entered “Frog School”.
One day in November of 1950 my class (the first organized class on the Strand) was told to saddle up, and within two days we were on a flight out of North Island heading West. My class was never given a graduation, a class number, or a diploma; but we were given an airplane ride to a War. Only UDT-1 and UDT-3 were handling the Korean War. My Class was split, with half (including me) going to Team 1 and the other half going to Team 3. (continued)

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