WWII UDT TEAM SIXTEEN
Underwater Demolition Team SIXTEEN was conceived, trained and commissioned under an Amphibious Force Fleet Directive issued by Vice-Admiral TURNER., which called for the formation of three teams recruited from the Pacific Amphibious Forces.
All officers and men selected. were
All enlisted personnel had seen at least a year's combat
service with the fleet. Officers were recruited partly from the Pacific service
and partly from volunteers in small boat training at the Amphibious Training
The Team, from its conception, was commanded by Lieutenant E.A. MITCHELL assisted by Lieutenants ZANDT and FISCHER.
During the eight weeks training program, work with explosives was ingrained with a physical training and swimming program.
Early in February of 1945, orders were received commissioning Underwater Demolition Team SIXTEEN under the command of Lieutenant E.A. MITCHELL, with Lieutenant (jg) Robert E. FISCHER as Executive Officer. The organization was assigned APD 121 under Commander Samuel HALE.
On 13 February the team was embarked at
In addition, orders attached Team SIXTEEN to the Commander
Underwater Demolition Teams,
With token stops at Eniwetock and Asor, Ulithi the
Division proceeded to Tacloban,
On 23 March Team SIXTEEN embarked upon the U.S.S. RAYMON
W. HERNDON, bound for
At 0900, 29 March, landing craft were lowered and loaded. The sea was calm and smooth but swimmers faced the sun, causing them to be easily seen from the beach. Our units, however, provided good fire support, effectively countering sporadic small arms, light machine gun and mortar fire from the beach. At 1130 all swimmers were recovered and by 1145 all boats were aboard the APD. The reconnaissance report indicated three rows of wooden posts, approximately 40 yards from the high water mark, totaling 1200, imbedded in the reef across beaches Red Three, Blue One, and Blue Two. The posts averaged six feet in height and eight inches in diameter, and judging from the sea growth on them, had been in the water for some time. During the following two days Team SIXTEEN, in company with Team ELEVEN, placed charges and cleared the beaches of these obstacles. One casualty was suffered on 30 March when LYNCH, Francis Joseph was killed by enemy fire.
On 2 April Team SIXTEEN began post-assault reconnaissance
and demolition operations which consisted of blasting channels for LCTs and
LCMs. By 22 April, these operations were completed, and the team released from
Commander, Northern Attack Force. For the pre-assault operations at
The team next proceeded to Ulithi Atoll, which was reached
on 1 May. Disembarking on
One of the few teams to remain behind, SIXTEEN stood the base duty until 20 October, when it was decommissioned.
(compiled by Robert Allan
King for the
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 Sixteen and you would like further information, we suggest you contact the UDT-SEAL Museum.