The complement of officers and men who were later to form Team SIX was composed of Sea Beas from Camp Peary, Virginia. Incorporated into Classes 5 and 5a, these men and others went through the Fort Pierce, Florida stage of training in Demolition during March and April of 1944 as units of one officer and five men. Shipped to the Demolition Base on Maui, T.H. on 9 April, these units went through more extensive reconnaissance and demolition work. Then on 30 May, Teams SIX and SEVEN were commissioned, and left with Team FIVE for the Saipan - Guam - Tinian Operation.

Off Saipan on 13 and 14 June, the team was assigned standby duty. Over a month later, however, during the Guam invasion, the team received its first taste of action. In the forenoon of 27 July, Team SIX was ordered to blast ramps for tank landing craft over an area of at least 700 feet on the reef off Dacli Beach on the southwest coast of the island. This work was required to be completed before 1400 of the following day. A reconnaissance indicated an irregular reef front with numerous fissures and a large number of coral heads. Lieutenant (jg) CARR was directed to take two platoons to make a test load of about 200 feet of the reef. Commencing at 1400, the men loaded about nine tons of tetrytol before firing the shot at 1800. As a hurried check the next morning showed that the test shot had produced an excellent ramp with a clear approach, Lieutenant (jg) CARR resumed operations with the entire team, less certain personnel left aboard. Coral heads had been loaded with twenty-nine tons of powder. The excellent organization of the teams and ship personnel on board under the direction of Lieutenant (jg) METHWIN was responsible for this enormous and rapid output of powder for the reef loading. The shot was fired at 1245. Investigation was impossible since the CLEMSON left that area immediately, but it was thought that the results would be as satisfactory as the previous day's. For their work in the operation officers and men received the SILVER and BRONZE STARS respectively.

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 Caroline Group. Pending departure from the staging area at Manus Island on 7 September, the team was reorganized, additional personnel were obtained and a complete outfit of battle equipment was procured.

Upon arrival on 12 September, Team SIX was informed that it had been allotted two beaches on Pelelieu Island. An operational casualty, however, occurring to one of the accompanying teams resulted in it's work being shifted to Team SIX. This gave the team a total of three beaches and an LST area to reconnoiter. This operation conducted three days prior to the assault, was accomplished under heavy machine gun and sniper fire. The data assembled showed the areas were strewn with large coral boulders which would prevent the passage of tanks, DUKW's and other vehicular equipment. Furthermore, the enemy had erected lines of heavily braced posts near the shore abreast of the beaches. Finally it was reported that machine guns effectively covered the area. On the following two days, although constantly exposed to enemy fire, the operating platoons blasted the large coral boulders just off the beaches. On the second night eight picked units proceeded to within fifty yards of the enemy's rifle pits and machine guns to place over a 1000 demolition charges which successfully cleaned out the obstacles on the beaches. A fortuitous combination of good fire support, coolness, battle wisdom and good luck enabled the team to accomplish the whole operation without a casualty.

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 Islands. On 19 October the team arrived in Leyte Gulf. On this operation the conditions were far different from those to which Team TEN had become accustomed for here our attacking forces had such a wide choice of beaches that the enemy was unable to prepare adequate defenses. Since, moreover, there was no coral to be removed, the team's only task consisted of reconnoitering its assigned beaches for good landing facilities and searching for mines. Naturally enemy fire was encountered, but again, there were no casualties.

Upon completion of this operation, the team proceeded to the Admiralty Islands, where it disembarked from the U.S.S. SCHMITT. After a week aboard the U.S.S. PRESIDENT HAYS, SIX was on its way to Maui. Following a two week inter-island leave, a training program was instituted. Finally on 12 January 1945, the team left for San Francisco aboard the U.S.S. ISLAND MAIL. Upon arrival in the United States, all men were granted thirty days leave. On 3 April at Fort Pierce, Florida, Team SIX was reorganized with most of the personnel being assigned to the training staff.

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 Oceanside, California for the proposed cold water training program there. Japanese peace offers caused cancellation of the program, however, as most of the teams hurriedly prepared to go to sea.

On 18 August, Team SIX left for Pearl Harbor on the U.S.S. SCHMITT (APD-76). Leaving here, the SCHMITT arrived in Sasebo Harbor, Japan on 20 September. A reconnaissance conducted of this area revealed that the docks were of flimsy construction, but suitable for use. Two days later the SCHMITT arrived off Miyako Shima Sakishima Gunto the following morning. As heavy minefields had been reported, the APD lay about fifteen miles offshore, causing the team to take LCPR's in the rest of the way. Such intense mine fields were encountered upon nearing that beach that, according to previous instructions from Lieutenant HAGENSEN, the operation was canceled. On this same day the SCHMITT shoved off for Guam with it's final destination, the United States.

Arriving at San Diego, California on 19 October, the team immediately transferred ashore to the Naval Amphibious Base, at Coronado, where it was decommissioned on 2 November, 1945.

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 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 SIX and you would like further information, we suggest you contact the UDT-SEAL Museum.

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