UWSS sew on patch

UWSS Decal









Story from Larry Hart 1964: A day on the UWSS PT Grinder. The usual AM circle to inflict max discomfort and pain with various body and bone twisting as decreed by the day's instructor. This particular day it was Peter Dirks. who was not known to be sociable (gross understatement) with students. Pete had instructed the "hamburgers" to chase the rabbit. Someone hollered out L & C "Who is the rabbit?" Student and CPO Knobb responded that "I am " and proceeded to haul ass from the PT Field headed to the barracks or wherever, with the entire class close behind. I can clearly recall the face of Instructor Dirks. Hard to analyze other that he was less than happy. Of course all hands knew that we would pay the price and most definitely did so. Recollections of the entire class in the diving lab doing pushups forever made more difficult by the puddles of sweat on the deck.
Story from Larry Bailey:Class 30 UDTR (East Coast, where training was really training), convened at UWSS in late November 1963. Well do I remember our first evolution with SCUBA; it was in the pool, and it was called "Pool Harassment." The weather was the coldest Key West had experienced in many years, and we had no protection at all from the cold air or cold water. We were miserable from the moment we got into the water until we got out. I think I was most miserable of all; as we swam in counter-clockwise circles around the pool and the instructors "did their thing."  Let's see--I think I remember that there were five things that an instructor could do to the us poor neophyte swimmers as we swam.  They could: (1) cut off our air supplies, (2) take off our face masks, (3) release our weight belts,  (4) take off one or both of our fins, and (5) yank out our mouthpieces. And the agonizingly cold water was the greatest harassment of all! If you remember, if you stopped and stood up in the pool, that was considered a "fail," at least for that evolution. Well, I failed, I guess, because, when my face mask was ripped off, my mouthpiece was yanked out of my mouth, my air was cut off, my weight belt was stolen, and both fins were gone, I STOOD UP! I couldn't breathe, I couldn't see, I couldn't stay underwater, and I couldn't swim--what was I to do? Well, I can only guess that the instructors realized my situation was extraordinary and let me pass, thus making me eligible for membership in the FO of UWSS!
Another story from Larry Bailey 1963: One of the UDT instructors at UWSS, Gene Cahill, loved to stick it to us tadpoles, and he did it pretty often.  However, he was no fool in choosing the objects of his harassment, as evinced by the following story. Once again, the cold weather was a major factor; Class 30 had just finished its first night swim, and the first swimmers clambered up onto the beach to await the rest of the class in the frigid December air.  Just like in pool harassment, we were not allowed thermal protection of any kind, so we poor tadpoles just had to wait and shiver.  Being a basic wienie and desirous of creature comfort, I looked around for something that would keep me a bit warmer. I saw it in the form of a "six-by" truck that was idling on the beach nearby. I crawled under the truck and was making love to the muffler and tailpipe and getting sweet relief from the cold. I guess my feet were sticking out from under the truck, because Gene started ranting and raving about that sorry trainee who couldn't take a little cold weather; he walked quickly toward the truck, malice clearly on his mind.  He ordered me to abandon my comfortable situation and identify myself.  When he saw who it was, he said, "Oh, it's YOU, sir!" and that was the end of it.  I guess rank DID have its privileges; that night I wasn't going to argue!
Thanks to C. Seger, D. Robin, L. Barber, M. Simoson, T. Wright, C. Allen and R. Anderson for contributing many photos to the UWSS archives, and to L. Bailey and L. Hart for stories.