HISTORY UNDERWATER DEMOLITION TEAM TEN
[Editor’s note: this article is a continuation of the series provided by Mack Boynton, who preserved an old history of UDTs of which there is one typewritten copy extant. There is more to come. Just a reminder to the reader that the grammar and misspellings are largely left as they appear without question or comment. For those who may not be familiar with it, the term (sic) is an editorial way of saying the preceding spelling, etc. is the error of the author not the editor.
This chapter had many spelling errors so the editor took the liberty of correcting them without noting each instance with sic.
In March 1944, Class 6A was in training at Fort Pierce Florida. When the program was through, this unit was divided into teams EIGHT, NINE and TEN. With Lieutenant Commander MCADAMS as Commanding Officer and Lieutenant H. F. BROOKS as Executive Officer, newly commissioned Team TEN left for San Francisco on 2 June. Boarding the U.S.S. MONTEREY, the outfit reached Maui H.T. on the 19th of the month.
There it was joined by twenty-
With the Maui stage of the training complete, the team embarked upon the U.S.S. RATHBURNE, an APD, on 18 August, and arrived at Guadalcanal Island off Cape Esperance where it took part in rehearsal maneuvers for the coming operations against the Caroline Islands. Under Rear Admiral KINGMAN, teams EIGHT and TEN formed the Demolition Unit assigned to make a reconnaissance of Anguar on 14 September.
Undercover of a bombardment from the fire-
On 15 September a similar operation conducted on Red Beach revealed no signs of underwater obstacles. The next day, however, while further current observations were being made of both of these beaches, activity was noted on them. Further investigation showed that barbed wire and jetted rails had been erected.
The following morning two platoons, equipped for demolition work, reported to the Beachmaster of Blue Beach. At first the men were delegated to guide in the assault waves, but about 1000 a mine was located, so the platoons were sent to search for more mines. In all eight mines were found moored about 300 yards from shore from five to ten feet under the surface. Four of them were buoyed, but as the team had no equipment for cutting them loose, no attempt was made to destroy them. In the afternoon, coral heads and limestone ledges were demolished and a channel cleared for landing craft on the southern extremity of Blue Beach.
On 19 September, orders were received to join the Ulithi Fire-
Leaving Ulithi on 25 September, the RATHBURNE transported the team to the Admiralties for rest. Some two weeks later, as part of the Beach Demolition Group under Rear Admiral OLDENDORE, THE RATHBURNE departed for Leyte Gulf, reaching its destination on 18 October. Because of a delay in minesweeping operations, caused by a typhoon, the team was a day late in reaching San Pedro Bay, its assigned beach area. When the reconnaissance was conducted however, swimmers were dropped about 400 yards off shore. Throughout the operation both swimmers and PRs, especially on the southern portion of the beach drew heavy fire from shore, consisting principally of mortar and machine guns. Complete observation, which showed the beach to be clear of all obstacles, was nevertheless, accomplished. The next day, Team TEN was allowed to go ashore where it witnessed General Mac ARTHUR come ashore to view his troops as they plunged inland.
Leaving the following morning for the Admiralties, the ship stayed there just long enough to refuel before pushing on to Florida Island, Guadalcanal where the team remained a week previous to sailing to Noumea, New Caledonia, on 8 November. Here the team enjoyed a pleasant two weeks rest. The Officer in Charge of the Receiving Station where the team was billeted was very helpful in organizing swimming and recreational parties with beer and food for all.
Next came a one-
30 December found the RATHBURNE, with the team once more aboard, off Kossol Passage. On 3 January 1945, Leyte Island was reached. Once again, under Rear Admiral OLENDORF’s Fire-
Two days later, the Rathburne left for Leyte Gulf, at which place the team rested before departing for Subic Bay just north of Manila on 25 January Here the operation plan called for a night reconnaissance of surf conditions on Red Beach. Arriving at the destination approximately four miles seaward of the beach at 0245, navigation was checked and a true compass course to the beach determined.
The radar screen indicated a large object offshore about one half mile south of the beach. At the time it was suspected that this was an enemy barge or patrol boat, but it later turned out to be a beached freighter. At 0300 four officers and eight men left the APD to conduct the reconnaissance. The sea was calm with an offshore breeze of about three knots, and a full moon made for good visibility. The operation was carried out without incident.
The following day upon reporting to the Beachmaster, the team was assigned to survey the beach front for suitable landing places for LSTs. This proved to be a difficult task (as a sandbar ran along most of the beach at a distance of 100 yards "with a water depth varying from six to twelve feet. Some changes were found on part of Reel Beach, however, and one excellent beaching area was discovered in Capone Cove about three miles south of the beach.
Departing from Subic Bay, proceeding via Leyte Gulf and Ulithi, the RATHBURNE disembarked the team on Guam in the last week of February. Here with Team EIGHT, it erected a small Demolition Base. On 5 May Team TEN left for the Maui Base, at which it arrived on the 16th. Soon orders were received to proceed with Teams NINE, FOURTEEN and FIFTEEN to the United States. Upon arrival here, all team personnel were granted delay en-