04-04-05, 08:48 PM
Behind the Lines: <br />
Secret Naval Raids in Korea <br />
If you think the U.S. Navy's activities off Korea were limited to offshore bombardment and carrier strikes, you don't know JACK! <br />
04-04-05, 08:50 PM
Atcheson handled all rubber boat training and amphibious raiding instruction, including swimming and demolitions. Pagnella served as weapons instructor, on everything from M-1 rifles to .50-caliber machine guns and 57mm recoilless rifles. He also trained SMG personnel in the use of hand grenades, mines, booby traps and instinctive fire. He later built a 1,000-inch range, a 250-yard rifle range and a parachute landing fall platform on the rocky terrain of Yong Do with the help and support of Atcheson and the SMG personnel, 25 of whom became airborne qualified. An expert pistol shot, Lieutenant Curtis gave separate classes in the .45 automatic and added his knowledge and expertise to unarmed combat instruction and classes in guerrilla warfare. Majors Kramer and Han, plus his staff, consulted on the entire training program, which included foreign weapons (Chinese and Russian), first aid, map reading, patrolling, ambushes, small-unit operations and mortars.
The SMG's principal mission platform was the destroyer transport, or APD. Fast and agile, with a shallow draft that enabled them to get close to hostile shores, high-speed destroyer transports, with their four 36-foot LCPRs (landing craft personnel, ramped) had proven themselves during World War II carrying Marine raiders and UDTs throughout the Pacific campaign. Four APDs served in Korea: Diachenko, Horace A. Bass (APD-124), Wantuck (APD-125) and Begor (APD-127). From 1951 through 1952, Horace A. Bass, Wantuck and Begor took turns supporting CIA-sponsored behind-the-lines operations.
Standard operating procedure for launching and recovering SMG teams was based on years of wartime experience and subsequent tactical refinement. An APD would halt on station several thousand yards off the target beach at night. In silence and darkness, LCPRs, or sometimes LCVPs (landing craft vehicle, personnel), were launched and tows engaged to guerrilla-laden rubber boats. About 500 yards from shore, the tow was released, after which the raiders started paddling their rubber boats toward the coast, stopping about 250 yards offshore. From there, swimmer scouts were dispatched to reconnoiter the target. If an "All clear" was signaled via infrared light, the guerrillas paddled on in for the mission.