Underwater Demolition Team
The Underwater Demolition Teams were an elite special-purpose force established by the United States Navy during World War II. They served during the Korean War and the Vietnam War, their primary function was to reconnoiter and destroy enemy defensive obstacles on beaches prior to amphibious landings. They were the frogmen who retrieved astronauts after splash down in the Mercury program through Apollo manned space flight programs; the UDTs reconnoitered beaches and the waters just offshore, locating reefs and shoals that would interfere with landing craft. They used explosives to demolish underwater obstacles planted by the enemy; as the U. S. Navy's elite combat swimmers, they were employed to breach the cables and nets protecting enemy harbors, plant limpet mines on enemy ships, locate and mark mines for clearing by minesweepers, they conducted river surveys and foreign military training. The UDTs pioneered combat swimming, closed-circuit diving, underwater demolitions, midget submarine operations.
They were the precursor to the present-day United States Navy SEALs. In 1983, after additional SEAL training, the UDTs were re-designated as SEAL Teams or Swimmer Delivery Vehicle Teams. SDVTs have since been re-designated SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams; the United States Navy studied the problems encountered by the disastrous Allied amphibious landings during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I. This contributed to the experimentation of new landing techniques in the mid-1930s. In August 1941, landing trials were performed and one hazardous operation led to Army Second Lieutenant Lloyd E. Peddicord being assigned the task of analyzing the need for a human intelligence capability; when the U. S. entered World War II, the Navy realized that in order to strike at the Axis powers the U. S. forces would need to perform a large number of amphibious attacks. The Navy decided that men would have to go in to reconnoiter the landing beaches, locate obstacles and defenses, as well as guide the landing forces ashore.
In August 1942, Peddicord set up a recon school for his new unit, Navy Scouts and Raiders, at the amphibious training base at Little Creek, Virginia. In 1942, the Army and Navy jointly established the Amphibious Scout and Raider School at Fort Pierce, Florida. Here Lieutenant Commander Phil H. Bucklew, the "Father of Naval Special Warfare", helped organize and train what became the Navy's'first group' to specialize in amphibious raids and tactics. Pressure to further implement human intelligence gathering prior to landings heightened after Naval amphibious landing craft were damaged by coral reefs during the Battle of Tarawa in November 1943. Aerial reconnaissance incorrectly showed the reefs were submerged deep enough to allow the landing craft to float over. Sailors and Marines were forced to abandon their craft in chest deep water a thousand yards from shore, helping Japanese gunners inflict heavy U. S. casualties. After that experience, Rear admiral Kelley Turner, Commander of the V Amphibious Corps, directed that 30 officers and 150 enlisted men be moved to Waimanalo ATB to form the nucleus of a reconnaissance and demolition training program.
It is here. In war, the Army Engineers passed down demolition jobs to the U. S. Navy, it became the Navy's responsibility to clear any obstacles and defenses in the near shore area. A memorial to the founding of the UDT has been built at Bellows Air Force Station near the original Amphibious Training Base Waimanalo. In early 1942 it became apparent that the Navy needed that capability to destroy submerged obstacles, natural or man-made, for amphibious landings. In late 1942, a group of Navy salvage personnel received a one-week concentrated course on demolitions, explosive cable cutting and commando raiding techniques; the Navy Scouts and Raiders unit was first employed in Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa in November 1942. During Torch, this unit cut the cable and net barrier across a river in North Africa, allowing Rangers to land upstream and capture an airfield. In early May 1943, a two-phase "Naval Demolition Project" was directed by the Chief of Naval Operations "to meet a present and urgent requirement".
The first phase began at Amphibious Training Base Solomons, Maryland with the establishment of Operational Naval Demolition Unit No. 1. Six Officers and eighteen enlisted men reported from NTC Camp Peary dynamiting and demolition school for a four-week course; those Seabees were sent to participate in the invasion of Sicily where they were divided in three groups that landed on the beaches near Licata and Scoglitti. In 1943 the Navy decided to create a component dedicated to eliminating amphibious obstructions, they were called Naval Combat Demolition Units consisting of one junior Civil Engineer Corps officer and five enlisted men. A NCDU was to clear beach obstacles for an invasion force with the team coming ashore in an LCRS inflatable boat. On May 7, Admiral Ernest J. King, the CNO, picked Lieutenant Commander Draper L. Kauffman USNR to lead the training; the first six classes graduated from "Area E" at NTC Camp Peary. From there the NCDU training was moved to Fort Pierce. Despite the move, Camp Peary was Kauffman's source of manpower.
"He would go up to Camp Peary and the Dynamite School, assemble the in the auditorium and say,'I need volunteers for hazardous and distant duty.'" Most of Kauffman's volunteers came from the Seabees, the U. S. Marines, U. S. Army combat engineers. Training commenced with one grueling week designed to "separate the men from the boys"; some said that "the men had sense enough to quit, leaving Kauffman with the b
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometres. The country's capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal; the country takes its name from the Solomon Islands archipelago, a collection of Melanesian islands that includes the North Solomon Islands, but excludes outlying islands, such as Rennell and Bellona, the Santa Cruz Islands. The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit them, naming them the Islas Salomón. Britain defined its area of interest in the Solomon Islands archipelago in June 1893, when Captain Gibson R. N. of HMS Curacoa, declared the southern Solomon Islands a British protectorate. During World War II, the Solomon Islands campaign saw fierce fighting between the United States and the Empire of Japan, such as in the Battle of Guadalcanal.
The official name of the British administration was changed from "the British Solomon Islands Protectorate" to "the Solomon Islands" in 1975, self-government was achieved the year after. Independence was obtained in 1978 and the name changed to just "Solomon Islands", without the "the". At independence, Solomon Islands became a constitutional monarchy; the Queen of Solomon Islands is Elizabeth II, represented by Sir Frank Kabui. The prime minister is Rick Houenipwela. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit the Solomon Islands archipelago, naming it Islas Salomón after the wealthy biblical King Solomon, it is said that they were given this name in the mistaken assumption that they contained great riches, he believed them to be the Bible-mentioned city of Ophir. During most of the period of British rule the territory was named "the British Solomon Islands Protectorate". On 22 June 1975 the territory was renamed "the Solomon Islands"; when Solomon Islands became independent in 1978, the name was changed to "Solomon Islands".
The definite article, "the", is not part of the country's official name but is sometimes used, both within and outside the country. It is believed that Papuan-speaking settlers began to arrive around 30,000 BC. Austronesian speakers arrived c. 4000 BC bringing cultural elements such as the outrigger canoe. Between 1200 and 800 BC the ancestors of the Polynesians, the Lapita people, arrived from the Bismarck Archipelago with their characteristic ceramics; the first European to visit the islands was the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, coming from Peru in 1568. Some of the earliest and most regular foreign visitors to the islands were whaling vessels from Britain, the United States and Australia, they came for food and water from late in the 18th century and took aboard islanders to serve as crewmen on their ships. Relations between the islanders and visiting seamen was not always good and sometimes there was violence and bloodshed. Missionaries began visiting the Solomons in the mid-19th century.
They made little progress at first, because "blackbirding" led to a series of reprisals and massacres. The evils of the slave trade prompted the United Kingdom to declare a protectorate over the southern Solomons in June 1893. In 1898 and 1899, more outlying islands were added to the protectorate. Traditional trade and social intercourse between the western Solomon Islands of Mono and Alu and the traditional societies in the south of Bougainville, continued without hindrance. Missionaries settled in the Solomons under the protectorate, converting most of the population to Christianity. In the early 20th century several British and Australian firms began large-scale coconut planting. Economic growth was slow and the islanders benefited little. Journalist Joe Melvin visited as part of his undercover investigation into blackbirding. In 1908 the islands were visited by Jack London, cruising the Pacific on his boat, the Snark. With the outbreak of the Second World War most planters and traders were evacuated to Australia and most cultivation ceased.
Some of the most intense fighting of the war occurred in the Solomons. The most significant of the Allied Forces' operations against the Japanese Imperial Forces was launched on 7 August 1942, with simultaneous naval bombardments and amphibious landings on the Florida Islands at Tulagi and Red Beach on Guadalcanal; the Battle of Guadalcanal became an important and bloody campaign fought in the Pacific War as the Allies began to repulse the Japanese expansion. Of strategic importance during the war were the coastwatchers operating in remote locations on Japanese held islands, providing early warning and intelligence of Japanese naval and aircraft movements during the campaign. Sergeant-Major Jacob Vouza was a notable coastwatcher who, after capture, refused to divulge Allied information in spite of interrogation and torture by Japanese Imperial forces, he was awarded a Silver Star Medal by the Americans, the United States' third-highest decoration for valor in combat. Islanders Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana were the first to find the shipwrecked John F. Kennedy and his crew of the PT-109.
They suggested writing a rescue message on a coconut, delivered the coconut by paddling a dug
The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigorous Congressional support in the face of stiff opposition, when considering the limitations imposed upon the Patriot supply pool; the main goal of the navy was to intercept shipments of British matériel and disrupt British maritime commercial operations. The initial fleet consisted of converted merchantmen because of the lack of funding and resources, with designed warships being built in the conflict; the vessels that made it to sea met with success only and the effort contributed little to the overall outcome of the war. The fleet did serve to highlight a few examples of Continental resolve, notably launching Captain John Barry into the limelight, it provided needed experience for a generation of officers who went on to command conflicts which involved the early American navy.
With the war over and the Federal government in need of all available capital, the final vessel of the Continental Navy, was auctioned off in 1785 to a private bidder. The Continental Navy is the first establishment of; the original intent was to intercept the supply of arms and provisions to British soldiers, who had placed Boston under martial law. George Washington had informed Congress that he had assumed command of several ships for this purpose, individual governments of various colonies had outfitted their own warships; the first formal movement for a navy came from Rhode Island, whose State Assembly passed a resolution on August 26, 1775 instructing its delegates to Congress to introduce legislation calling "for building at the Continental expense a fleet of sufficient force, for the protection of these colonies, for employing them in such a manner and places as will most annoy our enemies...." The measure in the Continental Congress was met with much derision on the part of Maryland delegate Samuel Chase who exclaimed it to be "the maddest idea in the world."
John Adams recalled, "The opposition... was loud and vehement. It was... represented as the most wild, mad project, imagined. It was an infant taking a mad bull by his horns." During this time, the issue arose of Quebec-bound British supply ships carrying needed provisions that could otherwise benefit the Continental Army. The Continental Congress appointed Silas Deane and John Langdon to draft a plan to seize ships from the convoy in question. On June 12, 1775, the Rhode Island General Assembly, meeting at East Greenwich, passed a resolution creating a navy for the colony of Rhode Island; the same day, Governor Nicholas Cooke signed orders addressed to Captain Abraham Whipple, commander of the sloop Katy and commodore of the armed vessels employed by the government. The first formal movement for the creation of a Continental navy came from Rhode Island because its merchants' widespread shipping activities had been harassed by British frigates. On August 26, 1775, Rhode Island General Assembly passed a resolution that there be a single Continental fleet funded by the Continental Congress.
The resolution was tabled. In the meantime, George Washington had begun to acquire ships, starting with the schooner Hannah, chartered by Washington from merchant and Continental Army Lt. Colonel John Glover of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Hannah was launched on September 5, 1775 from the port of Beverly, Massachusetts; the United States Navy recognizes October 13, 1775 as the date of its official establishment, the passage of the resolution of the Continental Congress at Philadelphia that created the Continental Navy. On this day, Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships; the first ship in commission was the USS Alfred, purchased on November 4 and commissioned on December 3 by Captain Dudley Saltonstall. On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines to be raised for service with the fleet. John Adams drafted its first governing regulations, which were adopted by Congress on November 28, 1775 and remained in effect throughout the Revolutionary War.
The Rhode Island resolution was reconsidered by the Continental Congress and was passed on December 13, 1775, authorizing the building of thirteen frigates within the next three months: five ships of 32 guns, five with 28 guns, three with 24 guns. When it came to selecting commanders for ships, Congress tended to be split evenly between merit and patronage. Among those who were selected for political reasons were Esek Hopkins, Dudley Saltonstall, Esek Hopkins' son John Burroughs Hopkins. However, Abraham Whipple, Nicholas Biddle, John Paul Jones managed to be appointed with backgrounds in marine warfare. On December 22, 1775, Esek Hopkins was appointed the naval commander-in-chief, officers of the navy were commissioned. Saltonstall, Biddle and Whipple were commissioned as captains of the Alfred, Andrew Doria and Columbus, respectively. Hopkins led the first major naval action of the Continental Navy in early March 1776 with this small fleet, complemented by the Providence and Hornet; the battle occurred at Nassau, Bahamas where stores of much-needed gunpowder were seized for the use of the Continental Army.
However, success was diluted with the appearance of disease spreading from ship to ship. On April 6, 1776, the squadron, with the addition of th
A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, any vessel. Naval mines can be used offensively, to hamper enemy shipping movements or lock vessels into a harbour. Mines can be laid in many ways: by purpose-built minelayers, refitted ships, submarines, or aircraft—and by dropping them into a harbour by hand, they can be inexpensive: some variants can cost as little as US$2000, though more sophisticated mines can cost millions of dollars, be equipped with several kinds of sensors, deliver a warhead by rocket or torpedo. Their flexibility and cost-effectiveness make mines attractive to the less powerful belligerent in asymmetric warfare; the cost of producing and laying a mine is between 0.5% and 10% of the cost of removing it, it can take up to 200 times as long to clear a minefield as to lay it. Parts of some World War II naval minefields still exist because they are too extensive and expensive to clear.
It is possible for some of these 1940s-era mines to remain dangerous for many years to come. Mines have been employed as offensive or defensive weapons in rivers, estuaries and oceans, but they can be used as tools of psychological warfare. Offensive mines are placed in enemy waters, outside harbours and across important shipping routes with the aim of sinking both merchant and military vessels. Defensive minefields safeguard key stretches of coast from enemy ships and submarines, forcing them into more defended areas, or keeping them away from sensitive ones. Minefields designed for psychological effect are placed on trade routes and are used to stop shipping from reaching an enemy nation, they are spread thinly, to create an impression of minefields existing across large areas. A single mine inserted strategically on a shipping route can stop maritime movements for days while the entire area is swept. International law requires nations to declare when they mine an area, to make it easier for civil shipping to avoid the mines.
The warnings do not have to be specific. Precursors to naval mines were first invented by Chinese innovators of Imperial China and were described in thorough detail by the early Ming dynasty artillery officer Jiao Yu, in his 14th century military treatise known as the Huolongjing. Chinese records tell of naval explosives in the 16th century, used to fight against Japanese pirates; this kind of naval mine was loaded in a wooden box, sealed with putty. General Qi Jiguang made several timed, to harass Japanese pirate ships; the Tiangong Kaiwu treatise, written by Song Yingxing in 1637 AD, describes naval mines with a rip cord pulled by hidden ambushers located on the nearby shore who rotated a steel wheellock flint mechanism to produce sparks and ignite the fuse of the naval mine. Although this is the rotating steel wheellock's first use in naval mines, Jiao Yu had described their use for land mines back in the 14th century; the first plan for a sea mine in the West was by Ralph Rabbards, who presented his design to Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1574.
The Dutch inventor Cornelius Drebbel was employed in the Office of Ordnance by King Charles I of England to make weapons, including a "floating petard" which proved a failure. Weapons of this type were tried by the English at the Siege of La Rochelle in 1627. American David Bushnell developed the first American naval mine for use against the British in the American War of Independence, it was a watertight keg filled with gunpowder, floated toward the enemy, detonated by a sparking mechanism if it struck a ship. It was used on the Delaware River as a drift mine. In 1812 Russian engineer Pavel Shilling exploded an underwater mine using an electrical circuit. In 1842 Samuel Colt used an electric detonator to destroy a moving vessel to demonstrate an underwater mine of his own design to the United States Navy and President John Tyler. However, opposition from former President John Quincy Adams scuttled the project as "not fair and honest warfare." In 1854, during the unsuccessful attempt of the Anglo-French fleet to seize the Kronstadt fortress, British steamships HMS Merlin, HMS Vulture and HMS Firefly suffered damage due to the underwater explosions of Russian naval mines.
Russian naval specialists set more than 1500 naval mines, or infernal machines, designed by Moritz von Jacobi and by Immanuel Nobel, in the Gulf of Finland during the Crimean War of 1853-1856. The mining of Vulcan led to the world's first minesweeping operation. During the next 72 hours, 33 mines were swept; the Jacobi mine was designed by German-born, Russian engineer Jacobi, in 1853. The mine was tied to the sea bottom by an anchor. A cable connected it to a galvanic cell which powered it from the shore, the power of its explosive charge was equal to 14 kilograms of black powder. In the summer of 1853, the production of the mine was approved by the Committee for Mines of the Ministry of War of the Russian Empire. In 1854, 60 Jacobi mines were laid in the vicinity of the Forts Pavel and Alexander, to deter the British Baltic Fleet from attacking them, it phased out its direct competitor the Nobel mine on the insistence of Admiral Fyodor Litke. The Nobel mines were bought from Swedish industrialist Immanuel Nobel who had entered into collusion with Russian head of navy Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov.
Despite their high cost t
Enewetak Atoll is a large coral atoll of 40 islands in the Pacific Ocean and with its 664 people forms a legislative district of the Ralik Chain of the Marshall Islands. With a land area total less than 5.85 square kilometres, it is no higher than 5 meters and surrounds a deep central lagoon, 80 kilometres in circumference. It is 305 kilometres west from Bikini Atoll, it was held by the Japanese from 1914 until its capture by the United States in February of 1944, during World War II. Nuclear testing by the US totaling more than 30 megatons of TNT took place during the cold war; the Runit Dome is deteriorating and could be breached by a typhoon, though the sediments in the lagoon are more radioactive than those which are contained. The U. S. government referred to the atoll as "Eniwetok" until 1974, when it changed its official spelling to "Enewetak". Enewetak Atoll formed atop a seamount; the seamount was formed in the late Cretaceous. This seamount is now about 1,400 metres below sea level, it is made of basalt, its depth is due to a general subsidence of the entire region and not because of erosion.
Enewetak has a mean elevation above sea level of 3 metres. Humans have inhabited the atoll since about 1,000 B. C; the first European visitor to Enewetak, Spanish explorer Alvaro de Saavedra, arrived on 10 October 1529. He called the island "Los Jardines". In 1794 sailors aboard the British merchant sloop Walpole called the islands "Brown's Range", it was visited by about a dozen ships before the establishment of the German colony of the Marshall Islands in 1885. With the rest of the Marshalls, Enewetak was captured by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1914 during World War I and mandated to the Empire of Japan by the League of Nations in 1920; the Japanese administered the island under the South Pacific Mandate, but left affairs in hands of traditional local leaders until the start of World War II. The atoll, together with other part of Marshall Islands located to the west of 164°E, was placed under the governance of Pohnpei district during the Japanese administration period, is different from rest of Marshall Islands.
In November 1942, the Japanese built an airfield on Engebi Island. As they used it only for refueling planes between Truk and islands to the east, no aviation personnel were stationed there and the island had only token defenses; when the Gilberts fell to the United States, the Imperial Japanese Army assigned defense of the atoll to the 1st Amphibious Brigade, formed from the 3rd Independent Garrison, stationed in Manchukuo. The 1st Amphibious Brigade arrived on January 4, 1944; some 2,586 of its 3,940 men were left to defend Eniwetok Atoll, supplemented by aviation personnel, civilian employees, laborers. However, they were unable to finish the fortifications. During the ensuing Battle of Eniwetok, the Americans captured Enewetak in a five-day amphibious operation. Fighting took place on Engebi Islet, site of the most important Japanese installation, although some combat occurred on the main islet of Enewetak itself and on Parry Island, where there was a Japanese seaplane base. Following its capture, the anchorage at Enewetak became a major forward base for the U.
S. Navy; the daily average of ships present during the first half of July 1944 was 488. In 1950, John C. Woods, who executed the Nazi war criminals convicted at the Nuremberg Trials, was accidentally electrocuted here. After the end of World War II, Enewetak came under the control of the United States as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands until the independence of the Marshall Islands in 1986. During its tenure, the United States evacuated the local residents many times involuntarily; the atoll was used for nuclear testing as part of the Pacific Proving Grounds. Before testing commenced, the U. S. exhumed the bodies of United States servicemen killed in the Battle of Enewetak and returned them to the United States to be re-buried by their families. Forty-three nuclear tests were fired at Enewetak from 1948 to 1958; the first hydrogen bomb test, code-named Ivy Mike, occurred in late 1952 as part of Operation Ivy. This test included B-17 Flying Fortress drones to fly through the radioactive cloud to test onboard samples.
B-17 mother ships controlled the drones while flying within visual distance of them. In all 16 to 20 B-17s took part in this operation, of which half were controlling aircraft and half were drones. To examine the explosion clouds of the nuclear bombs in 1957/58 several rockets were launched. One USAF airman was lost at sea during the tests. A radiological survey of Enewetak was conducted from 1972 to 1973. In 1977, the United States military began decontamination of other islands. During the three-year, US$100 million cleanup process, the military mixed more than 80,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil and debris from the islands with Portland cement and buried it in an atomic blast crater on the northern end of the atoll's Runit Island; the material was placed in the 9.1-metre deep, 110-metre wide crater created by the May 5, 1958, "Cactus" nuclear weapons test