UNDERWATER DEMOLITION TEAM HISTORIES
WWII UDT TEAM SIX
The complement of officers and men who
were later to form Team SIX was composed of Sea
Next the team, still aboard the CLEMSON,
was ordered to join the task force which was then being assembled for the
attack on Palau Island in the
Upon arrival on 12 September, Team SIX
was informed that it had been allotted two beaches on
On the twelfth day of this battle, when the Marines had driven the enemy to the northern end of Pelelieu, this team and EIGHT were directed to conduct a daylight reconnaissance of the narrow straight between Pelelieu and Negesebus islands. The parties were to swim a distance of three miles during a great part of which they were exposed to mortar, machine gun, and sniper fire from both shores. Once again the team was fortunate in not sustaining any casualties, while successfully completing its mission.
The commander of the Demolition group, in his action report on the Pelelieu operation, commended the team for its "Outstanding performance in action requiring extra-ordinary courage and endurance while working with high explosives on an exposed reef without natural cover, while under enemy machine gun and sniper fire, for daylight reconnaissance under fire on 12 September 1944 and 26 September 1944 and night demolition work close to enemy held beaches."
Upon completion of the Negesebus
reconnaissance the team was ordered to join the task force which was then
assembling for the attack on the Philippine
Upon completion of this operation, the
team proceeded to the
Reorganized Team SIX commenced training
here on 1 June with a nucleus of veterans, augmented by men from the training
staff, as well as many newcomers. Lieutenant Carl P. HAGENSEN was made
Commanding Officer with Lieutenant (jg) FOLEY as his Executive Officer. Upon
completion of this six-weeks training period, the team was formally
commissioned and received a twelve day leave before it was to report to
On 18 August, Team SIX left for
The following is a letter from the Commanding Officer, which is in the file of UDT No. 6.
1 July 1944
From:The Commanding Officer
To: The Officers and Men of U.D.T. No. 6
Subject: Forager Operation - Performance of Team Personnel
1. Inasmuch as the end of the subject operation is near enough to permit a preliminary review of its performance, I wish to take this opportunity to thank the officers and men of U.D.T. No. 6 for the manner in which they have performed their duties.
2. In every military operation it falls to the lot of certain units to be held in reserve. The selection of the reserve units is seldom based on any conception of inferiority of those units, but rather on the military necessity that forces must be held ready for use whenever and wherever they may be needed. The task of adequately preparing for such a varied assignment requires a greater degree of application than is required of those performing definitely assigned duties. Furthermore, the inactivity and uncertainty necessarily arising from the reserve status imposes a severe strain on the morale and efficiency of any organization. You have borne that strain very well.
3. You have grumbled and occasionally felt left out; you have thought that the parts played by all of the teams in general and by this team in particular have been of no military value; and you have often said to yourselves that you want to get into an outfit that sees real service. To all of these complaints there are very obvious answers. The first is that it's a fighting man's privilege to grumble and gripe; his officers are always wrong, his outfit is "no good," and he's in the wrong branch of the service. If he doesn't feel that way at times, he's ready for the doctors. The second is that if the work of these teams were of no military value the Commander in Chief of the Pacific area would very quickly disband the teams; and the commanders of these large task forces would hardly waste so much of the force's naval strength in supporting the work of the teams if that work did not markedly further the successful performance of the operation. And the third answer is that if you want to get a better view of what the service thinks of your work, talk to men in other parts of the task force.
4. In spite of the difficulties under which you have worked you have done a good job on everything that this team has been directed to do. You have shown courage, skill and obedience in the face of the enemy. You have proved what I felt from the outset - that ours is the best team in the outfit. Let's keep it so.
5. This war is not yet over. There is still much unfinished business before us. In many respects our ability to do our work can be improved. It is hoped that certain changes can be made in our organization and equipment, but we must (...illegible...) those changes to the proper authorities. You are the ones who can best discover how we can improve our team. If you have any suggestions I would like for you to discuss them with me so that proper action can be taken on them.
6. There are greater operations ahead of us, operations that before too many months will put an end to Tojo's fantastic dreams of empire and will permit us all to return to our homes and loved ones in a victorious America. I sincerely hope that it will be my privilege to be your Commanding Officer in those operations.
(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 SIX and you would like further information, we suggest you contact the UDT-SEAL Museum.