UNDERWATER DEMOLITION TEAM HISTORIES
WWII UDT TEAM THIRTEEN
The first volunteers for what was to
become Underwater Demolition Team THIRTEEN originated from the Sea Bee Unit at
On 3 October in compliance with orders,
the team proceeded to
Here, an intensive training program,
which stressed reconnaissance, was undertaken. Then, on
Reaching its destination on 14 February, the BARR was ordered to the eastern side of the island where Team THIRTEEN was to erect a navigational light on Higashi lwa, an islet about 4000 yards offshore. In spite of heavy enemy fire, which the BARR soon succeeded in silencing the three officers and fifteen men assigned to the task were successful in carrying out their mission without a casualty.
D minus 2, 17 February, found the team
conducting reconnaissance of Green Beach #1 on the east side of Iwo, and of
Purple Beach #1 on the west side of the island. Both were about five hundred
yards in length and under the northern shadow of
The next day, the navigational light had to be reestablished on Higashi lwa by members of the team. This was accomplished successfully.
From D-Day until D plus 9 Day, one or
more of the platoons aided the Beachmasters in directing landing waves and
particularly in salvage work on the eastern beaches of the island. Meanwhile on
D plus 5 Day, a few members assisted the Hydrographic Department in placing a
navigational light on the slope of
Receiving orders to proceed to
In the company of a huge fire support
task force, the BARR left Ulithi on 20 March to transport Team THIRTEEN to
Consequently, on the morning of 25 March
Team THIRTEEN conducted a reconnaissance of
On 3 April, transferred from the BARR to
the U.S.S. WAYNE (APA), Team THIRTEEN was happy to be on its way back to
The advent of the atomic bomb, causing the Japanese surrender proposals, also terminated any program for cold water training. Instead, in conjunction with the majority of the teams there, Team THIRTEEN prepared to go to sea. Before departing however, it was reorganized. Both Lieutenant Commander MORANZ and Lieutenant WALKER left as a consequence of which Lieutenant Commander F.D. FANE entered as Commanding Officer and Lieutenant (jg) R.E. GLEASON became Executive Officer. There were also changes among the other officers and men. As a unit of Demolition Squadron ONE, the team embarked upon the U.S.S. BURDO (APD-133), sailing for Pearl Harbor, Oahu, T.H. on 16 August.
There the team remained ten days taking on supplies. On 1 September, the BURDO departed for Saipan which she reached twelve days later. The next stop was Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan which she reached on 21 September. After reporting to the 5th Amphibious Force, the team conducted a reconnaissance of the harbor's dock areas. Further scouting and reconnoitering were continued for three days with liberty ashore on the last.
On 26 September the BURDO left Sasebo with final destination as San Diego, California. Intermediate stops were made at Guam and Pearl Harbor, after which she reached San Diego on 19 October. From that time forward, Team THIRTEEN was stationed at the Amphibious Training Base, Coronado, California while it went through the throes of decommissioning, a process which was completed on 3 November 1945.
(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 Thirteen and you would like further information, we suggest you contact the UDT-SEAL Museum.