Tuesday, March 1, 2011

UDT - 1964 -

(Note:  This is a snippet of the article written by  R. Bornmann, LDCR, (MC), USN)

This article was written several months ago and scheduled for publication in the January 1964 issue of ALL HANDS. Although the death of President Kennedy has saddened the nation, the article which begins with a reference to his visit to Key West a year ago, is being published without change because it points up the continuing interest of the late President in Navy men and their varied duties.

WHEN THE PRESIDENT visited the Key West Naval Base last year, white uniformed sailors lined the streets at stiff attention almost the full length of his inspection route. Along one block, however, just inside the main gate of the Naval Station, was a strange honor guard of young men dressed in outfits of sneakers, bathing trunks, fatigue jackets and hats.

   At the entrance of the building behind them was a large three- dimensional sign depicting a wooden Scuba diver astride an eight-foot shark. The sign spelled out “U. S. Naval School, Underwater Swimmers.”  The Commander - in - Chief, attracted by the unusual sight, halted his motorcade for several minutes to talk with the school’s officers. His interest is shared by a large number of people, both inside and outside the Navy.
   Mission of the Underwater Swimmers School is to train selected officer and enlisted personnel in all classes of Scuba equipment and underwater electronics locator equipment. The training is for various specialized groups such as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians and Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT). In addition, personnel from other governmental agencies and representatives of friendly nations occasionally receive indoctrination from the school.
   The student divers who greeted President Kennedy were a mixed group containing personnel not only from the Navy, but from the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps as well. They included classmates from the Coast Guard and the Coast and Geodetic Survey. (Other students have been employees of the Fish and Wildlife Service or the Military Sea Transportation Service, or riggers from naval shipyards.) 

AH Magazine - January, 1964

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