UNDERWATER DEMOLITION TEAM HISTORIES
WWII UDT TEAM TWENTY-THREE
When Company Dog, later to be
commissioned as Underwater Demolition Team TWENTY-THREE, assembled at Fort Pierce, Florida on 15 December 1944, only three of the entire group had had previous demolition
experience. Under the guidance of Lieutenant Commander James J. DEEGAN as
Commanding Officer, and Frank D. SULLIVAN as Executive Officer, however,
everyone entered the rugged training program eagerly, completing it
Detached from Fort Pierce on 15 February 1945, the newly commissioned TWENTY-THREE received the
usual ten days delay en route before reporting to San Bruno, California. Quickly going aboard the U.S.S. METEOR, the team
reached Pearl Harbor, Oahu, T.H. on 16 March. From there an LSM transported the unit to
the Demolition Base on Maui, T.H. Here the team began its advanced training.
No sooner had this phase ended than the
team was ordered to depart for the cold water program at Oceanside, California on 21 July. The unexpected capitulation of Japan brought about the cancellation of this proposed
program, as nearly all the teams prepared to join the occupational fleets.
Among this contingent was Team TWENTY-THREE which embarked into the U.S.S.
BALDUCK (APD-132), arriving at Pearl Harbor
on 21 August. With refueling stops at Eniwetok and Okinawa, the
ship reached its final destination off Jinsen, Korea on 8 September in company with the SEVENTH
Amphibious Force. The team was given no specific orders except to stand by in
event of landing difficulties. Patrols, however, were maintained in LCPRs to search all
junks for uniformed Japanese soldiers and to guard against any suicide craft.
From 13 September until 19 September, members of the team also piloted vessels
through the harbor approaches to the anchorage areas.
Between then and the
27th, the BALDUCK, with the team aboard, steamed to Okinawa, back to Jinsen and returned
again to Okinawa. During this period two typhoons were encountered. On
5 October the APD served as an escort for an LST-LCT group bound for Tientsin, but on 9 October orders were received to join the
occupational forces at Tsingtao. On 17 October, the BALDNEK was once again at Okinawa preparing to transport the team to San Diego, California, which she reached on 7 November. Disembarking, Team
TWENTY-THREE was stationed at the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California until it was dissolved on 21 November
(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
TWENTY-THREE and you would like further information, we suggest you contact the UDT-SEAL Museum.