Underwater Demolition Team No. 11 was organized and trained at the Naval Combat Demolition Camp, ATB, Fort Pierce, Florida. Both Officers and men were carefully selected volunteers for what later developed into an extremely hazardous duty in the Navy. Approximately 20% of the men were CB's who had received previous training at Camp Peary, Virginia, 40% were from General Service, and the remaining 40% were from Boot camp. The average age of the men was 20 years. Three (3) of the officers were from indoctrination school, while the other ten (10) were from Midshipmen school. The average age of the officers was 24 years.

The first two weeks of training, beginning 1 May 1944, were devoted to a vigorous physical conditioning and toughening course designed to further eliminate men not fit for the work. One week of this period was very early designated as "Hell Week". The men were acquainted with the shock of explosives during this time by having several charges detonated near them as they were crawling through a jungle.

A ten (10) week course followed which included training in small boat handling, long distance swimming, handling of explosives, shallow water diving, rubber boat work and daily P.T.

The formal training was concluded with a "Pay Off' course in which the men and officers were required to approach an unknown beach at night in small boats, reconnoiter the beach and its obstacles, carry the necessary explosives through the high surf in rubber boats, place the explosives on the obstacles, and detonate the shot. Each row of obstacles was different and had to be demolished individually. All the work was done under actual battle conditions and had to be completed in an allotted time. The water obstacles usually consisted of reinforced concrete scullies. English scaffolding, jetted steel rails, steel tetrahedrons and log barricades. The land obstacles consisted of a 30 foot reinforced concrete wall 9 feet high, and 7 feet thick, backed by concrete cables, coffins, and dragons teeth, a double apron barbed wire entanglement with a concertina center section.

Breaching such obstacles as these proved to be excellent training for the Jap defenses later encountered.


Many difficulties were encountered in accomplishing this task ... one night in particular a sudden storm arose after we had anchored our small boats in position. The high wind and current caused the boats to drag anchor and as a result practically everyone hit the wrong beach and failed to get a shot set up. The operation was eventually called off

After finishing formal training on 15 July, 1944, the men and officers carried on a PT program to stay in condition. Word was received that at Jensen, a small town south of Fort Pierce, a channel through the coral at the mouth of an inlet was desired. Without training in this work, but confident that it could be done, this task was undertaken. Several trips were made and a channel was blasted. This proved to be the most rugged part of the training, even though it wasn't in the formal program. All parts of our previous training was used, including shallow water diving.

The nights were spent sleeping on the beach which was infested with sand fleas and swarmed by mosquitoes. The food as one would suspect, consisted of delicious "C" and "K" rations.

One incident was very humorous, but could have proved fatal. A charge had been laid and made ready for detonating with a ten (10) minute safety fuse. The small boat was anchored. After checking with the man standing by the anchor the firing pin was pulled. At this time it was found that anchor man was mistaken and the anchor was stuck amongst the coral head and couldn't be pulled up. Men moved faster to try to pull the anchor up than could be imagined. The boat officer then gave the word to cut the anchor line and buoy it. This was a great relief to everyone and the boat stood off at a safe distance. After such a scare, everyone was very much let down when only a short piece of primacord detonated.

To show a bit of ingenuity bearings from shore were taken on this boat, with the wonderful navigational hand compasses we were issued. This was done to enable us to locate the charge the next morning. The next morning the boat proceeded to the spot by compass and dropped the anchor. A diver was sent down and it was found that the anchor was holding alongside the charge. It would have been easier to mark it with a buoy but one wasn't available.

On the 15 September 1944, Lt. Comdr. C.R. CONGER, joined the team as Commanding Officer, and Lt.(jg), L.A. STATES was made Executive Officer.

The team left Fort Pierce on an antiquated troop train, on 2 October 1944, and arrived at Camp Schumaker, California six (6) days later to await transportation. On 11 October 1944 the men were transferred to Treasure Island, and on 14 October the team boarded the U. S. S.


GENERAL PATRICK (AP-150). Late that same day the ship sailed for Pearl Harbor, leaving the Golden Gate far behind.

After a one (1) day stop over at Pearl Harbor, to disembark from the U.S.S. GENERAL PATRICK and load the team baggage and personnel aboard LCT 388, the team proceeded to the NCDT&E Base at Maui. Arriving there the night of 21 October 1944. Alter much confusion with the gear, men were assigned tents. Three (3) days were allowed to get things in order and on 24 October the team began advanced training in small boat handling, coral blasting, hydrographic work and reconnaissance, long distance swimming, handling of small arms, lava blasting, shallow water diving and P.T.

This training was very good and every one was very thankful at a later date even though there was much griping about the hard work.

Living conditions could not be classified as the best, but it was a very healthy life. A tent was assigned to each five men. They were located on a hill and very susceptible to the volcanic dust which was continually being blown about.

A lighter touch was added by the amusement facilities of NAS Punene, and the towns of Wailuki and Kahilui. The team was fortunate enough to make the coveted trip to the Haleakala Volcano on the island, and a few venturesome souls even made the arduous 3,000 foot descent to the floor of the crater. Needless to say, many were sorry after they started their return trip.

Also many men amused themselves on free days by going spear fishing and shell hunting. One officer, Lt.(jg) JAMESON, ended his spear fishing career by making a wrong stab and getting a Moray Eel.                                 It looked for awhile as if the eel was going to capture him rather than the opposite. After a struggle, the eel was subdued, but Mr. JAMESON had a long gash on his thigh to show for it, and several stitches were taken.

As a result of an evening swim on the night of 27 October 1944, Lt. Comdr., C.R. CONGER, contracted pneumonia and was hospitalized.

The night of 1 Jan. 1945 the team operating without its regular C.O. and X.O., took part with UDT's 16, 12, and 13 in the final demolition rehearsal for the Iwo operation. The rehearsal was under the over all command of Comdr. D.L. KAUFFMAN, and was conceived and directed by him. Plans called for all four teams to load adjacent beaches with sand bags, and a double trunk line of prima cord, tying all four trunks together. Each team was to fire its section of beach simultaneously upon a given firing signal.


Due to a change in the firing signals from those in the written operation plans a misunderstanding as to these signals resulted with UDT#11 no being sufficiently informed as the procedure of firing with the result that an accident which seriously injured one officer and wounded several men.

Because the team was without its Commanding Officer, and Executive Officer, UDT#13 took its place in the Iwo operation and UDT#11 remained at Maui.

Lieutenant, L.A. STATES was subsequently made Commanding Officer, and Lieut.(jg} R.F.WELLS, formerly of UDT#7 was made Executive Officer.

On the 10 February 1945, a beer party was held by the team and ships company from the APD (120) was invited. This was done to get acquainted and promote good will among the men on the ship. Needless to say a good time was had by all.                       .

On 14 February the team loaded the U. S. S. KLINE (APD 120) and proceeded to Leyte Gulf via Eniwetok to rehearse for the Okinawa operation. During this trip everyone was very curious as to where we were going. No one seemed to know and everyone was very surprised when Commander KAUFFMAN told us at Leyte that we were to go to Okinawa.

We rehearsed for the operation 9 March off Homonhon Island.

On 21 March 1945 the team left Letye for Okinawa arriving at Kerama Retto 26 March 1945. After this date and until we left, the G.Q. bell took on a new and deadly serious effect.

On 29 March 1945, UDT#1 l, made a reconnaissance of beaches Brown 1, 2, 3, and 4 at Okinawa. The job was carried out very well and charts were made up. One thing was learned from this for future operations, that is, a reconnaissance should not be carried out at low tide, for it is impossible to get close to the beach.

Everyone was tense before the job, it being the first. After its completion a little incident that cannot be forgotten was told. All swimmers had put on silver paint to keep from being detected except on officer in the reserve boat. After all the swimmers were dropped, orders were received from ComUDT's to drop one more pair to fill a gap. This officer with no paint and a man to put over closer to the beach than the first swimmers to make up for lost time. It so happened that this officer, non other than Lt.(jg) JAMESON also was wearing goggles instead of a face mask.


Lt. 0g) JAMESON was the first to reach the reef because of the shorter distance and was just turning around and heading back when an officer who was approaching the reef some distance away sighted him. Mr. JAMESON weaved to him, this assured the other officer a Jap was going to shoot so he tried to set a speed record toward the boat. He didn't find out until later that it wasn't a Jap.

On 30 March 1945 UDT#11 and 16 were assigned the task of clearing the obstacles from Beaches Red 3 and Blue 1, 2, and 3. UDT#11 successfully completed its work but was required to return the following day to breach obstacles on that part of the beach which had been assigned to UDT#16. This mission was accomplished under heavy small arm fire but due to extremely efficient gunfire support no casualties were suffered.

On LOVE day, 1 April 1945, selected officers and men of the team guided the first waves of tanks and amtracks into Brown Beaches. The tank wave leaders were suspicious of the reef so S.C. CONRAD, CGM waded in front of the first wave.

On LOVE plus one (1) day, a channel was blasted for small boats on beach Brown 4. LOVE plus 2 day, every man was available on the beach for further channel blasting. After finding no further work, the team went on an extensive souvenir hunt. Many good souvenirs were found along with some useful ones. Two men captured a Japanese civilian and turned him over to proper authorities. The tombs were found to be very interesting, especially to one man, who passed up all sorts of fine Kimonos to find a skull and extract two teeth as souvenirs.

A comprehensive hydrographic survey of the Katchin peninsular beaches on 14 April 1945. As the boats approached the beaches Marines came to repel us. We soon informed them we were on their side and went about our work.

During our stay, every night held plenty of excitement in store for us. Kamikaze attacks seemed to be the Nips favorite sport in those days. One morning one of their planes came rather close, in fact every man aboard was ready to cash in the chips. Luckily after coming through flak from BB's, CA's and DD's a forty MM shell from our ship tore his wing off and he plunged into the sea a few yards away from us.

The team was released 15 April 1945, and left Okinawa the following day for Saipan. While passing through the nets of Saipan 20 April 1945, the ship was rammed by a suicide (properly named by our men) LST. There were no casualties but considerable damage was done to the port side of the ship. The ship sailed to Guam the same day. While the collision damage was being repaired, the team spent a very pleasant three weeks ashore at Guam.


On the following day an 800 yard gap was blasted in the obstacles.

On 27 June a reconnaissance was made on Klandassan beaches. This was a very poor day with poor visibility impeding air support, but the mission was accomplished.

The following day demolition was conducted and a 900 yards gap cleared. For some reason the Nips were waiting for us and as soon as we approached the beach they opened up with everything they could find.

One of the boats caught a piece of shrapnel which hit Ensign LANIER in the helmet and made a good sized dent. It dropped from his helmet on the bare leg of SMITH, H.P., Cox, and gave him a bad burn as well as a scare. Swimmers with powder were dropped and went on with their job.

While placing charges a dog appeared on the beach hopping on three legs, 40MM shells were hitting all around him. Many of the men whistled to him but to no avail.

On this particular job there was no reason to have detonators for the shot because it was detonated by an enemy shell two minutes after the fuse was pulled. Had this happened ten minutes sooner every man would have been among the obstacles. This is undoubtedly the nearest Team Eleven came to having a large number of casualties.

On 30 June the last 300 yards were blasted and the beaches were ready for the assault waves.

FOX plus two day we delivered explosives to the Aussies on the beach. While approaching the beach three boats were fired upon. The most perfect flank movement ever seen was executed with no command at this particular moment.

A post assault demolition job on 4 July 1945, at Sepinggang removed 500 yards of obstacles to permit the landing of heavy equipment necessary to repair the air field

On the 5 July, Admiral BERKEY awarded the Purple Heart medal to the six men injured in the Brunei Bay operation in an impressive ceremony aboard the U. S. S. KLINE.

During our stay at Balikpapan there was one air raid of four (4) Betty bombers. All our powder for the next day's operation was in the boats. The planes were coming in low and shells from other ships were bursting everywhere. Our 50 Cal. on the fantail were of very little use in repelling the attack as three out of four of them jammed.


Orders came on 7 July 1945, and the ship sailed for Manila. On the following day the ship recrossed the equator and the Pollywogs of both the team and ship's company were initiated into the Solemn mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep. At the conclusion of the day long ceremony, which included much paddle service and liberal dousing with sea water and garbage the initiates were given the royal haircut. Eventually most of the hair grew back, but not before we hit the States.

The team arrived at Manila P.I. and all hands took advantage of a five day lay over to visit the ruined city, eat fresh fruit at exorbitant prices and collect souvenirs.

On 16 July the ship sailed from Manila bound for the states, and after an uneventful trip arrived at Oceanside, California 5 August 1945. The team Commanding Officer, Lt. Comdr., L.A. STATES was transferred to Captain ROGERS staff at Manila and Lieut.(jg) R.F. WELLS was made the new Commanding Officer.

The team disembarked at Oceanside 6 August 1945, and reported for further training in preparation for the final assault on Japan.

The advent of the atomic bomb and Japan's surrender obviated the training program and the team reembarked aboard the U.S.S. KLINE at San Diego, California on the 17 August 1945.

On the 19 August we sailed for Pearl Harbor arriving 25 August. Six days were spent loading supplies and explosives and on the 1 September we sailed for Saipan arriving there 13 September to begin a miserable two day stay in the open roadstead. Huge ground swells rolled the ship from beam to beam constantly, making eating difficult and sleeping impossible.

On the 20 September 1945 the team arrived at Sasebo and the following day made a reconnaissance of harbor and beaching facilities. During this reconnaissance one of our rubber boats lead an LST to the beach.

The same night we sailed for Nagasaki, and arrived there in three hours. We tied up to a dock and were taken by surprise when several men suddenly were taken sick due to the terrific stench there. Reconnaissance was conducted in the harbor the following day.

The officers and men of the team were fortunate enough to visit the scene of the atomic bomb damage, and the complete and utter destruction it wrought will never be forgotten. It is difficult to attempt to describe the damage caused by this one bomb.


On the 26 September 1945 the ship left Nagasaki for Guam, arriving there on 1 October 1945. After a two (2) day layover the ship loaded forty-five (45) passengers in to odd corners and sailed for San Diego, arriving there on the 19 October 1945. The team disembarked the same day, reporting to ATB, Coronado, California for decommissioning.


(compiled by Robert Allan King for the UDT-SEAL Museum from public records at the Operational Archives of the Naval Historical Center)

TEAM ROSTERS - To protect the integrity of the Teams and the privacy of individual frogmen, Team rosters are not made public. If you or your relative was a member of UDT Team Eleven and you would like further information, we suggest you contact the UDT-SEAL Museum.

NSWA home