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 Author  Topic: I thought you would all enjoy this read, of linking the past
  TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Oct 18, 2013 - 8:05am
All;
Below is a article with I wanted to share with all of you. When I was in NSW(Nov 1989-Jul 2001), I was DET lead Navigator on DET One MKVSOC 951 and DET Four MKVSOC 964 (1999-2001). As you will read, the article which appeared in Ethos Magazine, centers around linking the PT Boat past with todays SWCC heritag, someting I on the East Coast and SBCM(ret.) Jim Gray on the west coast always stressed, in whatever, training evoloution we were participating in or conducting. I am PROUD to see our brothers who came after us, still realize and honor where we came from. 70 years and 6 months later, the last two operational MKVSOC's from SBT -12, retrace the most famous PT BOAT journey.
Enjoy,
TED

ONE LAST RIDE
The craft was aging, said Capt. Todd Veazie, former commodore, Naval
Special Warfare Group 4. The technologies that were envisioned for the
crafts operational environment when it was developed 16 or so years ago
have changed.
The last two operational MK Vs, assigned to Special Boat Team 12
(SBT-12), were deployed to the Republic of the Philippines to conduct
full-spectrum maritime special operations in support of the Global War on
Terrorism and had recently wrapped up a six-month deployment.
In the early morning of Sept. 16, 2012, Special Warfare Combatant-craft
Crewman (SWCC) assigned to SBT-12 made final preparations for the last
voyage of the remaining MK Vs in service.
The teams commanding officer, executive officer and command master
chief joined the crew for the last journey on the vessel that has carried
SEALs and SWCC into battle for more than 16 years.
The final voyage was special, not only because it would be the crafts
last, but because of the historical route that it tracked. The two MK Vs
followed the same hair-raising path that Gen. Douglas MacArthur used to
exit the Philippines in 1942, minus mines, rough seas, and the Imperial
Japanese Navy. Retracing MacArthurs Philippines exit route was the idea
of Command Master Chief (SWCC) Miguel Albelo, who wanted to honor the
men of the Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boats that present day SWCC members
trace their roots to.
What a better way to set up the voyage than to travel the same route
that General MacArthur did during World War II, said Albelo. I cannot think
of a better way to pay homage to the MK V and to preserve the history and
heritage of the Naval Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen.
The first leg of the three-day journey was a seven-hour boat ride from
the southern region of Mindanao to the island of Cebu. From there they
would travel to the island of Corregidor and then make a shorter ride to
their ultimate destination of Naval Base Subic Bay, located near the city of
Olongapo in the region of Zambales.
After a day of travel, the men stopped in Cebu to rest for the night. Early
the next morning they set out for Corregidor. On the way, they observed Fort
Drum, known as the Concrete Battleship. During World War II, Fort Drum
was used as the primary defense of Manila Bay.
Until I found out we were going to Corregidor, I had never heard of
it, said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Faron Uebelacker, SBT-12s
independent duty corpsman. After looking it up, I read that there was an
island there that was made of concrete and supposed to look like a ship, but
when we came around and saw it, I had no idea that it was going to be that
big or be that intact. I could see why back then, people would be afraid to
come through there.
The two boats circled Fort Drum several times to get a good look at the
giant spectacle and then docked in Corregidor to spend the night after 10
hours of transit. There, they spent the night in a hotel that locals believe is
haunted and toured the historical sites on the island.
We toured the entire island learning of battles from the past, seeing the
remains of what once were completed structures and learned how the PT
Boats from World War II played an important part in the War in the Pacific,
said Chief Mass Communication Specialist Casey Dillow.
The tunnels were really big and to live in them, like they did for a year at
a time, is unheard of, said Uebelacker. What was most interesting to me
was to see some of the old batteries and guns. They were put there in the
late 30s, to early 40s and some of them weigh 12 to 16 tons. I have no idea
how they got some of these in some of the places they put them.
The whole purpose of the trip was to link the new SWCC to their
heritage, said Albelo. Its one thing to study history, but to actually walk the
walk and actually walk the tunnels and see McArthurs headquarters and
hospital are two different things.
The next morning, members from SBT-12 and members of the Philippine
Naval Special Operations Group met up at the Pacific War Museum for a
short ceremony. As a parting gesture of respect, the two forces hoisted flags
simultaneously, lowered them and exchanged them.
Shortly after the MK Vs were set to get underway, the crews leadership
gathered at the same place MacArthur stood nearly 70 years earlier, and in
good humor, recited his famous words, I shall return.
Two and a half hours later, the MK Vs and their crews arrived at Naval
Base Subic Bay. As the voyage came to an end the two craft were hoisted
out of the water by crane. After more than 16 years of service, the MK Vs
marked with hull numbers 971 and 972 were placed on a cargo ship and
sent back to the United States for decommissioning.
Ive been on the rigid-hulled inflatable boats and the MK V, said
Uebelacker. And I know its not considered a ship because of its size, but
when youre on the MK V, it has the feel of a ship and you get attached to
it. I dont know how anyone else felt during the trip, but I had a sorrowful
feeling about letting it go. I didnt want the boat to go away.
I think I can speak for everyone who was on this trip, that we sent the
MK V out with honor and dignity by paying tribute to warriors of the past and
learning about battles from long ago, said Dillow. We experienced a small
piece of history that should not be forgotten.

from ETHOS MAGAZINE, wriiten by: MC1 John Scorza


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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Oct 18, 2013 - 11:52am
VERY cool! Thanks, Ted.

Will

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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Oct 18, 2013 - 7:45pm
What a great story Ted. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Dave

David Waples

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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Oct 18, 2013 - 11:05pm
Nice Ted, I'm sure most of us here would have liked to have made that final trip. I hope the Navy has the foresight to preserve a boat or two.



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  TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Oct 19, 2013 - 9:43am
Jeff;
I know the disposition of the boats, but can't post it here. However, below is a photo of my first MKV, MKVSOC 951, she was the first production boat. I really miss riding on these boats, and I always will. They could really take it! and more importantly they were reliable and FUN! She is now a lawn ornament, outside of NSWG 4. Next to her is a restored MK I PBR (one of only 3, I believe in existence). I took this photo last month.
Take care,
TED



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