July 1962- President Kennedy's Schedule - History

July 1962- President Kennedy's Schedule - History


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1The President and Mrs Kennedy began their day by visiting the Monument to the 1910 Revolution. They then attended Mass at the Basilica de Guadalupe. Mexico City. After mass they headed for the Airport and departed Mexico City and flew back to Washington.
2The President began his day with a meeting with Dean Rusk. He then met with Douglas Dillon and Douglas Dillon and Henry Fowler. She then met with Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. After lunch the President met with George Kennan. The President next met with Walter Heller, and then with Clark Clifford.
3The President began the day with a Breakfast meeting with Democratic Congressional leaders. On arriving in the office the President met with George Kennan. He met the noted urologist Dr Victor Marshall. He next met with the members of the Country Team Seminar of the Foreign Service Institute. After Lunch the President had a meeting with McNamara, Dillon, Bell, Gilpatric, Charles Sullivan, Bundy, Ellis Veatch of the Budget Bureau and Carly Kaysen. The President ended his day with a meeting with Herbert Mathews of the New York Times.
4The President traveled to Philadelphia for Independence Day Celebrations. Over 100,000 attended the celebration were the President spoke. After the ceremonies the President traveled to Camp David.
5The President returned to the White House. He met with LBJ, Rusk, Bundy, Feldman, Heller, Manning, Salinger and Sorensen in preparations for his Press Conference. The President met with Mathew Welsh the Governor of Indiana. the President next had a meeting with his economic team. After lunch the President gave a Press Conference. Late in the afternoon the President met with Governor Edmund Brown of California.
6The President met with the US Ambassador to Uruguay. He then met the new Ambassador of Uruguay. The President then had a meeting with officials of the Agency for International Development. After lunch the President met with the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic. The President then left for Hyannis Port.
7President Kennedy, his family, and guests cruised with Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
8President and Mrs Kennedy went to mass at St Xavier Church. President Kennedy, Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. Kennedy, and LeMoyne Billings go for a speedboat ride, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
9The President returned to Washington. He hosted a Meeting with the National Security Council to discuss the Soviet Union's long range attack capabilities. In the afternoon he had a meeting with the Deputy Leader of the British Labor Party.
10The President began his day with a Breakfast meeting with Democratic legislative leaders. The President met with a group from a Mexico. The President then met with a National Security Council Meeting. President Kennedy next met with Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara, John McCone, McGeorge Bundy and LBJ. The President next had a meeting with RFK and General Taylor. President Kennedy next met with the outgoing Ambassador of Lebanon. The President attended the All Star Baseball game taking place at Washington Stadium, throwing out the first ball. Late in the afternoon the President had an off the record meeting on Berlin.
11President Kennedy met with Senator Eugene McCarathy to start his day. The President and the Senator then went to the South Lawn where they greeted the American Field Service Students. The President next met with the Ambassador of France. The President met with Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago. After Lunch the President met the Governor of Nevada together with Nevada Senators Alan Bible and Howard Cannon. He then met with Dean Rusk. The Presidents next meeting was with Alan Boyde the Chairman of the Civil Aeronatics Board. The Presidents last two meetings were with Congressman Albert Thomas and then with David Astor.
12The President met with Arthur Goldberg, Walter Reuther and Donald Douglas. The President then met with Dean Rusk. Next the President met with the Ambassador of Thailand. The President next met with the National Commander of AMVETS. The President had a luncheon for a group of businessmen. After lunch the President met with the Governor of North Carolina. In the evening President Kennedy, Vice President Johnson, Sen. Smathers, and Sen. Russell inspected the Marine Corps barracks in Washington D.C..
13The President began his day with a meeting on economic development and policies. He then met with Ladd Plumely the President of the US Chamber of Commerce. Next the President met with Meeting with Dr. Omar Mohallim Mohamed, Ambassador of the Somali Republic. The President next met with Matthew McCloskey the newly appointed Ambassador to Ireland. After lunch the President hosted a large meeting on Financial Policy. The President then left for Hyannis Port.
14President Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, and Stephen Smith go sailing and cruise aboard the Marlin , Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. The President and Caroline drove around town in the evening.
15President and Mrs Kennedy went to mass at St Xavier Church. The President and Mrs. Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, and the Stephen Smith family cruise aboard the Patrick J, Edgartown, Massachusetts.
16The President returned to Washington. He then met with Senator John Pastore. After lunch the President met with Meeting with General Lauris Norstad. He then met with Norstad together with Dean Rusk. The President then met with Rusk, Bohlen, Kohler, Bundy and Hillenbrand.
17President Kennedy began his day with a Legislative Leader Breakfast. He then met with the Ambassador to the Sudan. His next meeting was with John Murphy the President of the Bricklayers. Masons International Union. The President then met with Anthony Celebrezze and HEW Secretary Abraham Ribicoff. Celbrezze was taking over from Ribicoff who was running for Senate. President Kennedy next met with LBJ and group of Texas businessmen. The President met with Richard Bissell of the CIA. In the evening the President met with National Security Council. The Presidents last meeting of the day was with Anatoliv Dobrynin the Ambassador of the USSR. In the evening the President visited the Alsop residence.
18The President began the day with a meeting with Frank Ikard and Frank Porter the President of the American Petroleum Institute. The President next met George McGovern. He then met Eugene Zuckert the Secretary of the Airforce. The President then presented the Robert J. Collier Trophy for outstanding achievement in aviation to four X-15 rocket plane pilots. The President next met with Dean Rusk. After lunch the President met with his economic team. The President next posed for pictures with Democratic Senator and Candidates. In the evening the President went to New House Office Building Gymnasium to attend the gyms annual supper.
19The President began his day with a meeting with top advisors including Rusk and McNamara on the Contingency Planning on Berlin. The President met with Senator Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale the Attorney General of Minnesota. President Kennedy greeted newly appointed members of the Consumers' Advisory Council. The President met with Luis Munoz Marin the Governor of Puerto Rico. After lunch the President met with Senators Mike Mansfield and Richard Russell. He then met with Congressional Candidates. The President then met with John Steele of Time. In the evening the President took a group of guests on a cruise on the Potomac aboard the Sequoia.
20The President first met with John McCone of the CIA. The President then met with French Minister of Finance Valery Giscard D'Estaing. The President met with Arthur Goldberg. The President then met with Stephen Smith. He then met others of his advisors before departing to Hyannis Port.
21President and Mrs. Kennedy cruise aboard the Patrick J and on the President's sailboat with Mr. John Glenn, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
22President and Mrs Kennedy went to mass at St Xavier Church. They went sailing in the course of the day.
23President returned to Washington. When he arrived he greeted the President of Ecuador on his arrival in Washington. The President had a Pre-Press Briefing with LBJ, Ball and others. The President had a luncheon in the White House in honor of the President of the Ecuador. After the luncheon the President gave a Press Conference. It was the first one broadcast live on a satellite. The President then met with the President of Ecuador.
24The President began his day with a meeting of Legislative Leaders Breakfast. He then met with John Gleason the Administrator of the Veterans Administration. Next the President met with Benny Goodman Herbert Landon and Muriel Zuckerman. The President next met with the new Ambassador of Turkey. The President went to the Embassy of Ecuador where a luncheon was held in his honor. On returning to the office the President met with President Carlos Arosemena Monroy of Ecuador and his entourage. The President next met Ong Yoke Lin the new Ambassador of Malaya. The President met with Senator Pat McNamara , followed by Senator Joseph Clark, and Robert Kerr.
25The President began his day with a meeting with Senator Yarbourough. His next meeting was with William Q Halm the outgoing Ambassador of Ghana. The President next met with Senator Olin Johnson. Next the President met with British Ambassador David Ormsby- Gore. The President met with George Meany the President of the AFL CIO. He next met with Congressman James Healey. The Presidents last meeting before lunch was with John D Jenegan the former US Ambassador to Iraq. After lunch the President met with Journalist Lester Markel. His next meeting was with James Webb the administrator of NASA. The President's next meeting was a special meeting to discuss the breakaway Congo province of Katanga. The President then had a meeting with his economic team. The President ended his day with a meeting with Maxwell Taylor and Lyman Lemnitzer.
26President Kennedy began the day with a meeting with Robert McNamara. He next chaired a Cabinet Meeting. The President had a brief meeting with Edward Day the Postmaster General. Next the President met with Douglas Dillon, Walter Heller and Robert Roosa. After lunch the President met with Joseph Alsop. The President left the White House to meet with Justice Frankfuter. On returning to the White House the President met with Dr Dubrandrio the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. The President concluded his official day with a meeting with 15 Senator and Congressmen on the domestic lumber industry.
27President Kennedy began his day with a meeting with Averell Harriman. The President then met the Argentine Minister of Economy. The President's next meeting was an Arms Control Policy Meeting. Next the President met with Prince Souvanna Phouma, Prime Minister of Laos. After his daily swim the President hosted a luncheon in honor of the Prime Minister of Laos. After lunch the President met with the David Ormby- Gore the Ambassador from Great Britain. His last meeting before heading to Hyannis Port was with James Loeb the Ambassador to Peru.
28 President Kennedy goes sailing on the Victoria, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
29President and Mrs Kennedy went to mass at St Xavier Church. In the afternoon they went on a cruise to Egg Island.
30The President returned to Washington and met with Lincoln Gordon the US Ambassador to Brazil. He next had a brief meeting with Theodore Brooks the National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans. The President met with Dean Rusk, George Ball, Edwin Martin, Lincoln Gordon, Ward Allen, Teodore Moscoso and McGeoge Bundy. The President then met with his economic team. The Presidents last meeting of the day was on Nuclear Testing.
31The President began his day with a meeting of Legislative Leaders Breakfast. The President next greeted a group of 76 Brazilian students. Next the President took part in the swearing-in ceremony for Anthony J. Celebrezze as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. After lunch the President met with Allan Steward the US Ambassador to Venezuela. He later met with Edwin Lahey the Chief Washington Correspondent of Knight Newspapers. The President ended his day meeting with the Soviet Editor Georgi Bolshikov and Robert Kennedy.

HistoryLink.org

On October 21, 1962, President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) is scheduled to attend the final day of the Seattle Century 21 World's Fair. He bows out with a "cold," interrupting a nationwide tour to return to Washington, D.C., for "bed rest." This is a ruse. What is actually unfolding is the Cuban Missile Crisis, the closest the United States and the Soviet Union will ever come to nuclear war.

President Kennedy's visit was to be a fitting conclusion to Seattle's enormously successful six-month world's fair. Washington was one of seven states he would visit over a three-day period during which he was mainly campaigning for Democrats in the upcoming November election. His Seattle visit was his only nonpolitical stop. He was to arrive on the evening of October 20, 1962, and depart the following afternoon. His cross-country swing began on the morning of October 19, with a brief stop at Cleveland before heading for Springfield, Illinois, to lay a wreath at the tomb of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). After speaking at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, the President headed for Chicago to attend a Democratic banquet.

It Is Contagious

The following day, on the morning of October 20, 1962, Pierre Salinger, President Kennedy’s press secretary, announced that the president had an upper respiratory infection. The president’s doctor, Salinger said, instructed him to cancel the remainder of his trip and return immediately to Washington, D.C. It was announced that when he arrived at the White House he would probably spend part of the day in bed. A photograph of the president leaving a Chicago hotel shows him looking congested and wearing a gray fedora hat. This is only the second time JFK had been seen wearing a hat, the first time being the top hat he wore for his inauguration.

Upon hearing the bad news, Senator Warren Magnuson (1905-1989) attempted to get Vice President Lyndon Johnson (1908-1973) to attend the closing ceremonies, since Johnson was scheduled to pass through Washington state on October 21. Unfortunately, it seemed that the vice president also had a cold and would be unable to attend.

The real reason that Kennedy’s trip, including his stop at Seattle, was cancelled was the Cuban Missile Crisis. On October 16, 1962, President Kennedy was shown photographic evidence, taken by U-2 reconnaissance spy planes, of Soviet Union missile sites on Cuba. Some missile sites had ballistic missiles on launch pads. The president immediately called together about 20 men to decide on a response. Called the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (Ex Comm), it included Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968), Vice President Johnson, people from the State Department, Defense Department, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Joint Chiefs of Staff, and White House staff. Ex Comm quickly concluded that the missile sites would have to be removed from Cuba. To accomplish this, three options were discussed:

  • "Talk the missiles out" (negotiation)
  • "Squeeze the missiles out" (quarantine Cuba using a naval blockade around the entire Island) and
  • "Shoot the missiles out" (surprise attack on Cuba missile sites using 400 to 500 military planes) (On the Brink, 7).

The first option was quickly dismissed as ineffective. The committee seemed equally divided between an air strike and a blockade.

While these discussions were going on, President Kennedy, not wanting to arouse suspicion by canceling his promised midterm election campaign stops, left Washington, D.C., on October 19. During the day, further investigation determined that the Soviet-made missiles were closer to being ready to fire than first thought. Meanwhile, journalists were getting wind of something major going on. President Kennedy, believing that time was of the essence in order to retain the element of surprise, feigned a "cold" and returned to the White House the following morning (Saturday, October 20).

It would be many hours before the president got his "recommended bed rest." The president attended meetings and reviewed documents concerning the crisis for the rest of the day. He decided to address the nation on the missile crisis on Monday evening October 22, 1962.

Following is President Kennedy’s proposed Seattle itinerary of his October 20-21, 1962, compared with what he was actually doing in Washington, D.C.

October 20, 1962

SEATTLE: 7:35 p.m. The president was scheduled to arrive at Boeing Field with a brief welcoming ceremony to follow.

What actually happened in WASHINGTON, D.C.: Pierre Salinger, President Kennedy’s press secretary, called the president to tell him that a journalist at The Washington Post had heard that the United States is “on the brink of war.” President Kennedy replied angrily, "This town is a sieve." A pause and then "Pierre, how much longer do you think this thing can hold?" Pierre Salinger, not yet briefed on the crisis, replied "Whatever the story is, too many good reporters are chasing it for it to hold much longer. I would say through tonight and maybe tomorrow" (Missiles of October, 245.). A short time later, the White House contacted editors of The Washington Post and The New York Times and asked them to refrain from printing the story for national security reasons. They agreed not to print the story.

October 20-21, 1962

In SEATTLE: The President was scheduled to stay overnight in the Presidential Suite on the 11th floor of the Olympic Hotel. At perhaps 8 a.m. the president planned to breakfast at the Olympic before attending Mass at St. James Cathedral at 9th Avenue and Madison Street.

What actually happened in WASHINGTON, D.C.: The president and his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, return to the White House after attending 10 a.m. Mass at St. Stephen’s Church. Then, from 11:30 to 12:30 Eastern Daylight Time, President Kennedy held a meeting in the Oval Office. In attendance were Attorney General Robert Kennedy (the president's brother), Secretary of Defense Robert McNamera, Air Force General Walter C. Sweeney, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Maxwell Taylor. McNamara reported that overflight photographs showed about 40 missile launchers in Cuba. General Taylor, pushing hard for an air strike, estimated that an initial strike of 400 to 500 planes could destroy about 90 percent of known Soviet Union made ballistic missiles. Arriving during the meeting with the latest intelligence, CIA Director John McCone, who also supported an air strike, reported that from 8 to 12 missiles were capable of being fired in three to four hours.

In SEATTLE: In the early afternoon President Kennedy was scheduled to attend the Century 21 World’s Fair, arriving at the fairgrounds at 12:30 p.m. At 1 p.m. the president planned to give a speech in front of the United States Science Pavilion, which was built with federal funds, to announce the transfer of title of the $9 million science building to the nonprofit Pacific Science Center Foundation for $1 per year. During the ceremonies a transmission from the Mariner space probe hurtling towards Venus would have been received. At 1:30 p.m. President Kennedy was scheduled to leave the fair for his plane at Boeing Field, which was scheduled to be airborne and heading towards Cheyenne, Wyoming, at 2 p.m.

What actually happened in WASHIINGTON, D.C.: President Kennedy attended the full National Security Council at 2:30 p.m. and announced that he had decided in favor of putting a blockade around Cuba first but keeping the air strike capability on standby. Much of the meeting was spent discussing the text of President Kennedy’s national speech on the missile crisis that he would deliver the following day. Admiral George Anderson, Chief of Naval Operations, gave a briefing on the details of establishing and maintaining a blockade around Cuba. At 5 p.m. the meeting concluded and as Admiral Anderson was putting his charts and maps away the president stepped up to him and said, "Well, admiral, it looks as though this is up to the Navy." Admiral Anderson replied, "Mr. President, the Navy will not let you down” (Eyeball to Eyeball).

President Kennedy Addresses the Nation

The following day, on October 22, 1962, at 4 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation over radio and television. Following are excerpts from his strongly worded speech:

"Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation [by the Soviet Union] on that imprisoned island [of Cuba]. The purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere. . Several of [the sites] include Medium Range Ballistic Missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead for a distance of more than 1,000 nautical miles. Each of these missiles . is capable of striking Washington, D.C. . or any other city in the Southeastern part of the United States . .

"But this secret, swift and extraordinary build-up of Communist missiles[,] . this sudden, clandestine decision to station strategic weapons for the first time outside of Soviet soil -- is a deliberately provocative and unjustified . which cannot be accepted by this country, if our courage and our commitments are ever to be trusted again by either friend or foe. .

"To halt this offensive build-up, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba from whatever nation or port will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. .

"[A]nd finally: I call upon Chairman Khrushchev to halt and eliminate this clandestine, reckless and provocative threat to world peace and to stable relations between our two nations. I call upon him further to abandon this course of world domination . He has an opportunity now to move the world back from the abyss of destruction . ." (Cuban Missile Crisis, 150-154 includes full text of speech).

Close to Armageddon

As former CIA Director William E. Colby put it, the next six days of the crisis would bring the world "as close to Armageddon" as it has ever been (Wyden, Bay of Pigs, 7). The most precarious moments were on October 26, when it was determined that work on the missile sites was actually speeding up and on October 27 when a U-2 spy plane failed to return from a photographic reconnaissance over Cuba and was assumed shot down. President Kennedy, apparently deciding to initiate the air strike, called up 14,000 Air Force reservists.

The next day Premier Khrushchev informed the United States that the Soviet Union would dismantle the missile sites and remove offensive weapons. On November 20, 1962, the blockade was called off.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), n.d.

Sources:

The Seattle Times, October 17, 1962, p. 1 Ibid., October 18, 1962, p. A Ibid., October 19, 1962, p. 22 Ibid., October 20, 1962, p. 1. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 18, 1962, p. 4 Ibid., October 21, 1962, p. 12 Kenneth P. O’Donnell and David F. Powers, "Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye": Memoirs of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1972), 311, 321-322 The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962: A National Security Archive Documents Reader ed. by Laurence Chang and Peter Kornbluh (New York: The New Press, 1992), 150-154, 359, 363 James G. Blight and David A Welch, On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: Hill and Wang, 1989), 7 Robert Smith Thompson, The Missiles of October: the Declassified Story of John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Simon and Schuster: New York, 1992), 245, 248, 249 Dino A. Brugioni and Robert F. McCort (editor), Eyeball to Eyeball: The Inside Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: Random House, 1991), 248, 327 Peter Wyden, Bay of Pigs: The Untold Story (New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1979), 7 Chronicle of the 20th Century ed. by Clifton Daniel (Mount Kisco, NY: Chronicle Publications, 1987), 889-891.


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JFK’s Speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia – July 4th, 1962

Kennedy’s task was to express American support for the unfolding emergence of a new European community committed to greater political unity and economic interdependence free from colonial possessions. But to get there, he first reminded his audience about the grander ideas and more fundamental principles at stake in the shaping of a more free world. Kennedy can be seen here attempting to make freedom America’s #1 export. While he understood doing so to be an important check against the advance of communism, he kept his rhetoric relatively free from such literal moorings. He chose to inspire with ideas rather than joust with politics. The result is a masterful collection of words worthy of occasional revisitation.

Speaking through the ages, JFK reminds us of the virtue of a system that champions both unity and dissent, encouraging differences and celebrating the right to harbor and express them peacefully but freely.

This is still our system, with all its wonder and progress coexisting alongside its hair-pulling frustration and incalculable friction. It remains worth celebrating 239 years after it was given life … bequeathing to us a free country along with the sacred obligation to care for it. The question we must ask ourselves on Independence Day is whether we are living up to that obligation as our founders would have expected … and whether we’re fully affirming, harvesting, and sharing the fruits of the freedom they secured for us.

Kennedy on the Declaration of Independence:

“it is still a revolutionary document … to read it today is to hear a trumpet call.

“….a document, not of rhetoric, but of bold decision. It was, it is true, a document of protest, but protests had been made before. It set forth their grievances with eloquence, but such eloquence had been heard before. But what distinguished this paper from all the others was the final, irrevocable decision that it took … to assert the independence of free states in place of colonies and to commit to that goal their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.”

The best leaders teach us about our values. Sometimes, by giving speeches that still move us 53 years later … and sometimes by raising their right hands and and committing to the goal of continued independence their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. JFK reminds us that those who started this grand experiment were not merely great authors penning thoughts about high-minded ideals. They were men of action who staked their lives to those ideals.

On this Independence Day, save a thought for men and women of action … those living the revolutionary example of our founders, and in turn setting an example for the rest of us to admire and hopefully vindicate.


Legislative Summary: Health

Community Health Services and Facilities Act of 1961
H.R. 4998— Public Law 87-395, approved October 5, 1961
This measure expands and improves community health servicesand facilities for the health care of the aged and other persons by
Increasing the availability, scope, and quality of community health services and facilities to assist in meeting the health needs of the chronically ill and aged

Increasing and expanding research to more effectively develop and utilize hospitals and other medical care facilities

Continuing grants to assist in the objectives of health research facilities.

To accomplish the above objectives, this act
Increases from $30 million to $50 million, for each of the next 5 years, the appropriation authorization for matching grants-in-aid to States to assist them in expanding their public health services for the chronically ill and aged.
Authorizes through June 30, 1966, up to $10 million annually in special project grants to public and nonprofit organizations for studies, experiments, and demonstrations of new or improved methods of providing health services outside hospitals, primarily for chronically ill or aged persons.

Increases for 3 years the annual appropriation authorization, from $10 million to $20 million, for grants-in-aid to States to construct public and other nonprofit nursing homes under the Hill-Burton program.

Liberalizes the eligibility criteria of rehabilitation centers for construction assistance under the Hill-Burton program, by requiring that, rehabilitation centers, to qualify for Federal assistance, need to provide for medical services and either psychological, social, or vocational services. (Under existing law, all four are required.)

Amends the Hill-Burton Act to extend to June 30, 1964, the authorization for loans for construction of hospitals and other medical facilities.

Increases the annual appropriation ceiling for hospital research grants from $1,200,000 to $10 million, extends the program to medical facilities other than hospitals, and authorizes appropriations for grants for constructing and equipping experimental or demonstration hospitals and other medical facilities.

Amends the authority of the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service to make non-matching grants for constructing health research facilities by permitting it to expire June 30, 1962.

Extends for an additional 1 year, until June 30, 1963, the matching grant program for constructing health research facilities, and increases the authorization from $30 million to $50 million a year.

Practical Nurse Training
S. 278— Public Law 87-22, approved April 24, 1961
Recognizing the essential role of practical nursing in aiding the ill, Congress extended the 1956 act for another 3 years (making a total of 8) providing Federal assistance on a matching basis for vocational education training programs for practical nurses.
Up to 1956, there had been similar programs in the fields of agriculture, home economics, trades and industry, distributive occupations, and fishing which have proved highly successful through the years.

An innovation in the present bill is that Congress has agreed to include Guam as a participant under the act. At present all of the States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have practical nurse programs in operation-increasing from 7,000 participants in 1957 to 40,000 in 1960.

The limit set for Federal grants in the nursing program is $5 million which must be matched by the participating State.

Water Pollution Control
H.R. 6441— Public Law 87-88, approved July 20, 1961
Congress, as a part of the President's natural resources program, enacted the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1961 which would
Increase the existing $50 million in annual authorization for Federal grants to assist communities in constructing sewage treatment plants to $80 million for fiscal 1962, $90 million for fiscal 1963 and $100 million for each of the fiscal years 1964-67, retaining the requirement that 50 percent of the grants be used for communities with populations of 125,000 or less.

Limit individual construction grants to 30 percent of the estimated cost of building the sewage treatment plant, or to $600,000, whichever is smaller.

Authorize construction of joint sewage treatment projects serving more than one municipality, with $2.4 million set as the maximum Federal grant for the multiproject.

Bar the approval of any construction grant exceeding $250,000 in any State until all applications filed prior to 1 year following the effective date of the act had been either approved or rejected.

Authorize the reallocation of construction grant funds not obligated within 18 months after allocation and permit the Secretary to use the uncommitted allocation to increase aid to a project within the State where pollution occurred because of Federal activities.

Increase annual Federal matching grants to States for the administration of water pollution control programs from $3 million to $5 million, extended the program for 7 years through June 30, 1968, and directs the States by July 1, 1962, to list the criteria used in determining the priority of projects.

Extend Federal pollution abatement authority to all interstate and navigable waters in or adjacent to any State or States whether the matter causing or contributing to the pollution is discharged directly into such waters or reaches such waters after discharge into a tributary of such waters.

Authorize the Secretary of HEW, in cases of intrastate pollution, to conduct investigations and make recommendations on abatement only at the request of the State Governor.

Authorize the Secretary, in cases of intrastate pollution, to request the Attorney General to bring suit on behalf of the United States to secure abatement where his previous instructions had not been carried out, but he must obtain the consent of the Governor of the State involved in cases of intrastate pollution.

Authorize $5 million annually with a total limitation of $25 million, to develop new methods of sewage treatment.

Authorize the establishment of water pollution demonstration and research facilities and require that at least one laboratory be located in each of the following areas: Northeast, Middle Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Remove the $100,000 annual limitation on research fellowships granted by HEW, but require an annual report by the Secretary to the appropriate committee of Congress on the operation of the program.

Air Pollution Control Study
S. 455— Public Law 87-761, approved October 9, 1962
Extends to June 30, 1966, and authorizes up to $5 million a year in appropriations for a continuation of the present study being conducted by the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service and the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, in conjunction with various State agencies into the causes, effects, and ways to abate air pollution.

American Hospitals of Paris
H.R. 11996— Public Law 87-673, approved September 19, 1962
Grants perpetual succession to the American Hospital of Paris.

The American Hospital of Paris was incorporated by an act of Congress in 1913. The purpose of the corporation was to establish, maintain, and conduct in the city of Paris a hospital to furnish medical and surgical aid and care to the citizens of the United States of America. For some 50 years the hospital has administered to the American community in France and to Americans traveling in Europe. Since World War II it has provided medical services to the U.S. Army in Europe.

The hospital is a nonprofit institution. It receives no subsidy from any government. Its income is derived from charges to patients, donations, and the return on its endowment.

The charter which Congress granted in 1913 was for a period of 50 years, expiring January 30, 1963. This legislation amends the charter of the American Hospital of Paris to give it perpetual succession.

Drug Industry Act of 1962
S. 1552— Public Law 87-781, approved October 10, 1962
As enacted into public law this bill would
Extend the period the Food and Drug Administration has for acting on a manufacturer's application to market a new drug broaden FDA's powers to inspect drug factories and require every plant to be registered.

Authorize FDA to seize products from any drug plant where unsanitary conditions are found or where current good manufacturing practice was not followed.

Require prescription drug advertising and labels to carry the generic name of the drug in type at least half as large as the brand name.

Require FDA to pass not only on the safety of drugs but also on claims for their effectiveness.

Empower the Secretary of HEW to decide on official names of drugs when the industry is unable to agree.

Require manufacturers to keep records on their experience with new drugs.

Extend present Federal certification controls on certain antibiotic drugs to cover all antibiotics.

Provide for cooperation between the Patent office and HEW on questions relating to drug patents.

Provide that regulations may include provisions for adequate tests in animals before a new drug may be distributed by manufacturer for testing and evaluation of its effects on humans.

Require regulations to have due regard for interests of the patients as well as the professional ethics of the medical profession.

In signing the bill, President Kennedy said:

I am pleased to approve this bill, which is designed to provide safer and more effective drugs to the American consumer. Enactment of this legislation will help give the American consumer the protection from unsafe and ineffective drugs. It will also insure that our pharmaceutical industry will be even better equipped to provide us with the best possible drugs to be found anywhere.

The Congress is to be congratulated in moving so quickly. Fortunately, prior to the revelation of the dangers posed by drugs like thalidomide the foundation for legislative action on drugs had been laid down in exhaustive hearings conducted by Senator Kefauver and others who introduced the present bill in its first version and in legislative proposal on drugs and factor inspection introduced in the House by Congressman Harris.

I believe that enactment of this legislation is a major step forward toward giving necessary protection to the American consumer.

National Institutes of Health
H.R. 11099— Public Law 87-838, approved September 16, 1962
Authorized an Institute of Child Health and Human Development to be established and elevated to Institute status the existing Division of General Medical Sciences.

Clarified existing project grant language to specifically include research training projects as well as research projects, and clarified the Surgeon General's authority to appoint advisory committees for reviewing applications for grants for research or research training projects.

This measure also extends for 3 years the present program for construction facilities to be used in research in the sciences relating to health.

The newly authorized Institute for Child Health and Human Development is to coordinate programs of the present disease category Institutes in the fields of child health and the various stages of human development and to stimulate new interest and effort in these research areas.

Vaccination Assistance Act of 1962
H.R. 10541— Public Law 87-868, approved October 23, 1962
Authorized a 3 year program of special project grants to States and, with State approval, to local communities to pay part of the cost of intensive vaccination programs against four contagious diseases--polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus.

Grants totaling $36 million over the 3 year period will be used to hire extra State and local health personnel and to buy vaccine for children under 5 years of age.

Clean Air Act
H.R. 6518— Public Law 88-206, approved December 17, 1963
Replaces the existing Air Pollution Control Act to provide a greatly expanded national effort to control air pollution through research, establishment of pollution and control agencies and legal action to halt existing causes of pollution brought about by urbanization, industrial development, and the increasing use of motor vehicles. Encourages cooperative activities by State and local governments and authorizes Federal participation.

Authorizes compilation and publication of criteria reflecting accurately the latest scientific knowledge indicating the type and extent of effects which may be expected from the presence of air pollutants.

Authorizes grants to air pollution control agencies to develop, and specifies that grants to air pollution agencies cannot exceed 20 percent of total funds authorized.

Authorizes grants up to two-thirds of the cost of developing, establishing, and improving air pollution control programs to air pollution control agencies, and up to three-fourths of such costs to inter-municipal or interstate air pollution control agencies.

Directs the Secretary of HEW to encourage continued efforts on the part of the automotive and fuel industries to prevent pollutants from being discharged from the exhaust of vehicles.

Authorizes the establishment of a technical committee to evaluate progress in the development of automotive pollution control devices and fuels, and to develop and recommend research programs for this purpose.

Authorizes $95 million for fiscal years 1964 through 1967 to carry out the purposes of the act.

In signing this Act, President Johnson said:

I am glad to approved this legislation which is to be known as the Clean Air Act. It will make possible a national effort to control air pollution, a serious and growing threat to both our health and our safety. Ninety percent of the population of our cities, over 100 million people, already suffer from a degree of air pollution that demands immediate action.

There are over 6,000 communities which need assistance. This act will permit expanded research, foster cooperative efforts among the States, provide better State and Federal control over pollution. The Federal Government will encourage industry to seek effective solutions to problems of pollution and organize cooperative projects with local, State, and Federal participation.

Now, under this legislation, we can halt the trend toward greater contamination of our atmosphere. We can seek to control industrial waste discharged into the air. We can find the ways to eliminate dangerous haze and smog. All of us are very grateful to Congressman Roberts, to Senator Ribicoff, Senator Muskie, to the chairmen of the Senate and House committees, Senator McNamara and Congressman Harris, and to all of their colleagues in both the House and the Senate who developed and guided this important bill through the Congress. They truly can be proud of the efforts they made and the achievements that resulted.

If we keep getting bills down here like the education and the pollution bill, I am going to have to take new bids on pens to see if we cannot increase the budget by getting cheaper pens.

Health Benefit Plans
H.R. 1819— Public Law 88-59, approved July 8, 1963
Amends the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act to provide additional choice of health plans for Government employees.

Maternal-Child Health and Mental Retardation
H.R. 7544— Public Law 88-156, approved October 24, 1963
Amends the Social Security Act to assist States and communities in preventing and combating mental retardation through expansion and improvement of maternal and child health and crippled children's programs, through provision of prenatal, maternity, and infant care for individuals with conditions associated with childbearing which may lead to mental retardation, and through planning for comprehensive action to combat mental retardation.
Specifically the bill would
Increase appropriation authorization for grants to the States for maternal and child health services to $30 million for fiscal 1964, $35 million for fiscal 1965, $40 million each for fiscal 1966 and 1967, $45 million each for fiscal 1968 and 1969, and $50 million for each succeeding fiscal year. (Under existing law the authorized appropriation was $25 million for each fiscal year.)

Increase appropriation authorizations for grants to the States for crippled children's services to $30 million for fiscal 1964, $35 million for fiscal 1965, $40 million each for fiscal 1966 and 1967, $45 million each for fiscal 1968 and 1969, and $50 million for each succeeding fiscal year. (Under existing law the authorized appropriation was $25 million for each fiscal year.)

Establish a 5 year program of project grants to assist in reducing the incidence of mental retardation caused by complications associated with childbearing.

Authorizes appropriations of $5 million for fiscal 1964, $15 million for fiscal 1965, and $30 million for fiscal 1966, 1967, and 1968 for grants to assist in meeting project costs.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to a State health agency or to the health agency of any political subdivision of the State to pay up to 75 percent of the cost of projects for necessary health care to prospective mothers who qualify for such services.

Authorize appropriations, up to $8 million a year, for grants to or jointly financed cooperative arrangements with public or other nonprofit institutions of higher learning, and public or other nonprofit agencies and organizations engaged in research or in programs in the field of maternal and child health or crippled children, and for contracts with nonprofit public or private agencies and organizations engaged in research or such programs for research projects relating to maternal and child health services and crippled children's services which show promise of substantial contribution.

Authorize an appropriation of $2.2 million to assist States to plant for an take other steps leading to comprehensive State and community action to combat mental retardation.

On signing H.R. 7544, President Kennedy stated:

It gives me great pleasure to approve this bill, the Mills-Ribicoff bill, which strengthens our maternal and child health and crippled children services. It will initiate a new program of comprehensive maternity and infant care, aimed directly at preventing mental retardation. It will help arouse local communities to a major attack on the problems of mental retardation.

An estimated 15 to 20 million people in our country live in families where there is a mentally retarded person who must accept support of some kind throughout his entire life. This condition affects more of our children and more of our people than blindness, cerebral palsy, and rheumatic heart disease combined.

Studies indicate that much of this suffering is preventable that we can prevent what cannot afterwards be cured. Infants born prematurely are 10 times more likely to be mentally retarded. Mothers who have not received adequate prenatal care are two to three times more likely to give birth to premature babies. Yet, in 132 large cities, studies have shown that an estimated 455,000 mothers are unable to pay for health care during pregnancy and after birth. This bill will help insure that no child need be born retarded for such reasons, which are wholly in our control.

I am encouraged by the speed with which the State governments are acting to take advantage of the opportunity provided by this law to establish comprehensive plans for community action against mental retardation. About half of the States are already in a position to implement the planning grants made possible by the law, and I am confident that the other half will soon be in a similar position.

Enactment of this legislation is, therefore, an important landmark in our drive to eliminate one of the major health hazards affecting mankind. We can say with some assurance that, although children may be the victims of fate, they will not be victims of our neglect.

Medical Care for Fishing Boat Owners
S. 978— Passed Senate May 28 pending in House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee
Restores to self-employed U.S. fishermen eligibility for medical care in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other medical facilities of the Public Health Service in the event of illness or injury incurred while engaged in their hazardous and essential occupation. Such eligibility existed from 1798 to 1954.

An administrative ruling in 1954 differentiated between wage-earning fishermen and their coworkers who held ownership or part ownership in the craft from which they fished. Under this ruling medical benefits were retained for the former but denied to the self-employed, although both risk the same disabling misfortunes and perils at sea.

Medical School Bill
H.R. 12— Public Law 88-129, approved September 24, 1963
Authorizes a 3 year (fiscal 196466) $175 million program of matching grants for construction of teaching facilities to train physicians, dentists, nurses, and professional public health personnel as well as pharmacists, optometrists, and podiatrists. In addition, the bill authorizes loans for students of medicine, dentistry, and osteopathy enrolled within a 3year period, which will extend into 6 years at a total estimated cost of $61.4 million.

Construction grants for facilities.Authorizes a total of $175 million for the 3 year matching grant program to be allocated as follows:
One hundred and five million dollars for the 3 fiscal years to construct new teaching facilities for physicians, osteopaths, pharmacists, optometrists, podiatrists, nurses, or professional public health personnel. Of this amount not more than $15 million will be available for fiscal 1964 and not more than $35 million for fiscal 1965.

Thirty-five million dollars for the 3 year period to construct new teaching facilities to train dentists however, not more than $5 million will be available for fiscal 1964 and $20 million for fiscal 1965.

Thirty-five million dollars for the 3year period for replacement or rehabilitation of existing medical and dental teaching facilities however, fiscal 1964 is limited to $5 million and fiscal 1965 to $20 million.

Authorizes transfer of funds among the above categories for fiscal 1964 subject to the overall ceilings for the 3year period.

Requires that applications for construction grants be submitted to the Surgeon General before July 1, 1965.

Specifies that an applicant must be a public or other nonprofit school which is accredited by a recognized body approved by the Commissioner of Education and that an applicant may be a hospital affiliated with a medical school or school of osteopathy. Limits assistance to hospitals to teaching facilities, an increased training capacity, or to prevent curtailment of enrollment or deterioration in the quality of instruction. Requires the Surgeon General to determine the facility will be used for not less than 10 years for the purposes for which constructed, that sufficient funds will be available to pay the non-federal share of the cost of construction and for operation after construction. Also requires the applicant to furnish reasonable assurance that for each of the first 10 years after expansion of an existing school enrollment will exceed the highest first-year enrollment at the school during any of the 5 years preceding the application by at least 5 percent or by five students, whichever is greater.

Requires that grants for new medical and dental school facilities be made only to expand a school's training capacity and grants for replacement or rehabilitation to prevent a substantial curtailment of enrollment or quality of training.

Requires the construction to meet minimum standards and that prevailing wages be paid laborers or mechanics employed on the job.

Provides that a grant may not be approved for construction of a hospital, diagnostic or treatment center unless an application has been made under the Hill-Burton program and denied for lack of priority or lack of funds from the State's allotments under that program.

Requires the Surgeon General to consider geographical distribution, population, and the availability of facilities and health personnel.

Limits Federal grants to one-half of construction costs but allows payment up to two-thirds for a project which would provide a major expansion of training capacity and up to three-quarters for public health facilities.

Permits recapture of payments if within 10 years after completion the facility ceases to be used for teaching purposes or if the facility is used for sectarian instruction or as a place for religious worship.

Establishes an 18 member National Advisory Council on Education for Health Professions to advise the Surgeon General on policy matters and in the review of applications under this program.

Prohibits any Federal direction, supervision, or control over, personnel, curriculum, methods of instruction, or administration of any institutions. Authorizes the Surgeon General to prescribe general regulations and to provide technical assistance and consulting services to State or interstate planning agencies.

Student loans. Authorizes a 3 year (fiscal 196466) loan program to students of medicine, dentistry, and osteopathy to be administered by individual schools required to put up 10 percent of the funds loaned. Loans repayable within 10 years beginning 3 years after graduation. Rate of interest will be 3 percent a year or the "going Federal rate" on the basis of market prices of long-term Federal obligations, whichever is higher. Limited loans to $2,000 per student a year. Authorized $30,700,000 for the loans: $5,100,000 for fiscal 1964 $10,200,000 for fiscal 1965, and $15,400,000 for fiscal 1966. Authorized appropriations for fiscal year ending June 30, 1967, and for the next 2 fiscal years in the amounts necessary to provide funds for loans to students who have received loans for any academic year ending before July 1, 1966, in order to permit these students to continue or complete their education. Estimated cost for the 6year period is $61.4 million.

President Kennedy, in signing the bill, stated:

It gives me great satisfaction to approve the Health Professions Educational Assistance Act of 1963, the culmination of 14 years of effort by many devoted and dedicated citizens. The construction of urgently needed facilities for training physicians, dentists, nurses, and other professional health personnel can now begin. More talented but needy students will now be able to undertake the long and expensive training for careers in medicine, dentistry, and osteopathy.

With the accelerated national effort initiated by this act, better use will be made of the wealth of new medical knowledge now being gathered in research laboratories throughout the land to maintain and improve the health of our growing population. We will be able to provide to those most frequently in need of medical care--the aged, the chronically ill, the mentally ill, and the mentally retarded--more of the kind of attention that modern medicine makes possible.

The measures authorized by this Act cannot accomplish all the goals we have envisioned. But it is a good beginning, a firm foundation on which to build in the future. The legislative history of the Act makes it clear that the intent was to inaugurate a program of action which can be reevaluated after a suitable period of time. This will enable the Congress to consider further measures after some experience with the program has accumulated.

I would like to sign this act because it is one of the most significant health measures passed by the Congress in recent years.

Medical Student Loans
S. 2220— Passed Senate December 9 pending in House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee
Amends the Public Health Service Act to permit cancellation of up to 10 percent of student loans to physicians and dentists if they practice in a shortage area so designated by the appropriate State health authority for periods up to 5 years. In addition to the maximum 10 percent figure, accrued interest may also be canceled.

Mental Health Program
S. 1576— Public Law 88164, approved October 31, 1963
Authorized a 4year, $329 million mental health program of grants to States and private and public institutions for construction of centers connected with universities and affiliated hospitals for research into the causes of mental retardation and facilities for treatment of such cases for construction of community centers for care and treatment of mental patients and for training of teachers of mentally retarded, mentally ill, and handicapped children.

Construction of Research Centers and Facilities for the Mentally Retarded
Authorizes $26 million over the 4year period beginning July 1, 1963, for project grants to pay for a maximum of 75 percent of the costs of constructing research centers that would develop new knowledge for preventing and combating mental retardation.

Authorized $32.5 million over the 4year period beginning July 1, 1963, for project grants to pay for a maximum of 75 percent of the costs of constructing college or university associated facilities for the mentally retarded.

Authorizes $67.5 million over the 4year period beginning July 1, 1964, for formula grants to be allocated among the States to pay 45 to 75 percent of the costs of constructing public and other nonprofit facilities for the care of the mentally retarded.

Construction of Mental Health Centers
Authorizes $150 million during the 3year period beginning July 1, 1964, for formula grants to be allocated among the States to pay 33 1/3 to 66 2/3 percent of the costs of constructing public and other nonprofit community mental health centers.

Training of Teachers of Mentally Retarded and Other Handicapped Children
Authorizes $47 million over the 3 years beginning July 1, 1963, to extend and strengthen the existing programs for training teachers of mentally retarded children and deaf children and to expand these programs to include the training of teachers of other handicapped children such as the visually handicapped, the speech impaired, and the emotionally disturbed. This expanded program will be pointed toward providing more classroom teachers for all handicapped children.

Authorizes $6 million over the 3 years beginning July 1, 1963, to finance grants for research or demonstration projects relating to the education of the handicapped.

On signing the bill into law, President Kennedy stated:

I am delighted to approve this bill. It will make possible the major attack on the problems of mental retardation and mental health.

Last week I approved the bill to extend the programs of maternal and child health to enable us to overcome a major cause of retardation, lack of adequate care before birth and during infancy.

This bill will expand our knowledge, provide research facilities to determine the cause of retardation, establish university related diagnostic treatment clinics and permit the construction of community centers for the care of the retarded. For the first time, parents and children will have available comprehensive facilities to diagnose and either cure or treat mental retardation. For the first time there will be research centers capable of putting together teams of experts working in many different fields. For the first time, State and Federal Governments and voluntary organizations will be able to coordinate their manpower and facilities in a single effort to cure and treat this condition.

Today, we cannot even identify the cause of retardation in 75 percent of the cases. Under this legislation, research in the life sciences will be encouraged and, in a few years, we can look confidently forward to knowing enough about mental retardation to prevent it in most cases.

I am informed that the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has already taken preliminary steps to implement the program. Dr. Aldrich, Director of the Institute, will shortly call together some 50 distinguished scientists from the United States and other nations to plant the direction which research relating to premature birth should take. Premature birth has been identified as a factor closely connected with many cases of mental retardation, but no one yet knows what factors induce labor. With the help of the best minds of the world, and under the authority of this legislation, we are optimistic about the possibility of finding out the causes of premature birth.

Other parts of the bill are equally significant. Under this legislation, custodial mental institutions will be replaced by therapeutic centers. It should be possible, within a decade or two, to reduce the number of patients in mental institutions by 50 percent or more. The new law provides the tools with which we can accomplish this.

But no law providing facilities can be effective so long as there is a persistent and nationwide shortage of qualified personnel to instruct the handicapped. Title III of the bill helps cure that deficiency. There are today about 5 million handicapped children in need of special education. Two hundred thousand teachers are needed, but there are only about 60,000 available. Under this legislation, steps will be taken to educate more teachers for the handicapped.

I am glad to announce at this time that we are establishing a new division in the U.S. Office of Education to administer the teaching and research program under the act. This will be called the Division of Handicapped Children and Youth, and will be headed by Dr. Samuel Kirk, who is now professor of education and psychology and director of the Institute of Research on Exceptional Children at the University of Illinois. He will bring the kind of leadership, experience, and wisdom we need to meet the challenges the many problems present.

The Nation owes a debt of gratitude to all who have made this legislation possible. It was said, in an earlier age, that the mind of a man is a far country which can neither be approached nor explored. But, today, under present conditions of scientific achievement, it will be possible for a nation as rich in human and material resources as ours to make the remote reaches of the mind accessible. The mentally ill and the mentally retarded need no longer be alien to our affections or beyond the help of our communities.

Physically Handicapped Employment
Senate Joint Resolution 103— Passed Senate November 20 pending in House Education and Labor Committee
Increases the authorization for appropriations for the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped from $300,000 a year to $400,000 in order to finance the expanding work of the Committee in behalf of job opportunities for the mentally restored, the mentally retarded, and the increasing numbers of physically handicapped being rehabilitated for employment.

Water Pollution Control
S. 649— Passed Senate October 16 pending in House Public Works Committee
Passage of bill vesting authority to establish purity standards for interstate water and authorizing $80 million in new grants to help States and localities develop new methods of separating combined stormwater and sewage-carrying sewer systems.

Specifically the bill
Establishes a Federal Water Pollution Control Administration within the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and provides for an Assistant Secretary to supervise and direct the administration of the program.

Expresses as the act's purpose to enhance the quality and value of our water resources and to establish a national policy to prevent, control, and abate water pollution.

Authorizes research and development grants in the amount of 50 percent of the estimated reasonable cost of projects which will demonstrate new or improved methods of controlling discharge of untreated or inadequately treated sewage or other wastes from sewers into any waters. Increases appropriations from $100 to $120 million for fiscal year 1964 and for each of the next 3 succeeding fiscal years and earmarked to new funds for demonstration grants. Limits a grant for any single project to 5 percent of the total amount authorized for any 1 fiscal year.

Increases the dollar ceiling limitations on individual grants for construction of waste treatment works from $600,000 to $1 million for a single project and from $2,400,000 to $4 million for a joint project involving two or more communities.

Authorizes an additional 10 percent in the amount of a grant for construction of waste treatment works for a project certified as conforming with a comprehensive plan developed or in process of development for a metropolitan area.

Authorizes application of enforcement measures to abate pollution when a person is prevented from marketing shellfish or shellfish products in interstate commerce as a result of such pollution and action of Federal, State, or local authorities.

Authorizes the Secretary to prepare and to encourage development of regulations establishing standards of water quality to be applicable to interstate waters.

Provides that discharges of matter into waters of the United States from Federal installations will be controlled under permits administered by the Secretary.

Establishes a procedure to evaluate progress in developing decomposable detergents so they will not cause or contribute to pollution of surface or underground waters to develop standards of decomposability for such detergents and to authorize promulgation of standards at such time as detergents conforming to the proposed standards of decomposability are generally available to the manufacturers of detergents.

Provides for accountability of financial assistance furnished under the act.


The Road to the Coup: the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations

There were a number of important moments in the journey of the US government towards support for the 1964 coup in Brazil. The first came at the end of July 1962, when President Kennedy spoke with his advisors and considered military options in Brazil. The second came in December 1962, when President Kennedy sent his brother Bobby to speak with President Goulart, and try to persuade him to change the composition and direction of his government. In October 1963, Kennedy and his top advisers considered their options in a White House meeting, in which they explored support for a coup. Finally, at the end of March 1964, after the coup makers had already made their first move, President Johnson was briefed by his advisors and told them to do everything they could to ensure the coup's success.

The declassified documents from these and other meetings suggest that US policymakers knew less about Brazil than many contemporary observers thought was the case. Furthermore, although they had a well-defined sense of national interests, US policymakers were open to several possible outcomes in Brazil, and as late as the end of 1963, doubted the capacity of the Brazilian military to carry out a successful coup against Goulart. Furthermore, although the names of potential successors to Goulart were discussed in these meetings, none of the leading figures of the post-coup government in Brazil seem to have been well known to Kennedy, Johnson, or their advisors. The picture the documents paint is not of a meticulously planned and well-executed clandestine operation. It is rather of a haphazard series of reactions to (often) unanticipated events, in which US interests eventually prevailed, but largely because they coincided with those of significant domestic forces in Brazil.

It is well known that the US did not issue any condemnation of the military-civilian attempt to block the accession of Vice President João Goulart to the presidency after the resignation of Jânio Quadros in 1961. The US observed the resolution of the conflict, which was that Goulart assumed the presidency with limited powers, in a parliamentary system concocted for his mandate. It was the period of the Alliance for Progress, and the US was offering economic assistance to some countries in Latin America, within the limits of the capitalist system and liberal democracy of the period.

Later, Gordon said of the Brazilian military, ‘they are very friendly to us: very anti-Communist, very suspicious of Goulart.’ A little later in the conversation, the presidential advisor Richard Goodwin said, ‘Because we may very well want them [the Brazilian military] to take over at the end of the year, if they can.’ Further on in the discussion, President Kennedy asked: ‘What kind of liaison do we have with the military?’ Gordon: Well, it's pretty good. The military is not united. This is one of the things that make it complicated.' And later, ‘Well, we need, we need a new Army attaché badly … The Army is much … that's the … most important [of the three Brazilian armed services]. This is the key fellow in the relationship.’

After more discussion, Kennedy said: ‘We gotta get somebody down there who can establish liaison quickly … you got to speak Portuguese.’

(From White House, Transcript of Meeting Between President Kennedy, US Ambassador to Brazil Lincoln Gordon and NSC Director Richard Goodwin, 30 July 1962, pp. 18–22.)

This was a significant meeting. It led to the sending to Rio of Vernon Walters, who had an important role in the 1964 coup, but one that is still not fully understood due to the persistence of classified documents that have not been made public (de Oliveira, 2009 ). However, this meeting was not, as Tavares ( 2014 : 111) claims, a moment in which US policymakers definitively decided to support the ouster of Goulart. Nevertheless, the discussion did contradict official US policy at the time. The day after the fateful meeting, on 31 July 1962, Kennedy met the Brazilian Ambassador Roberto Campos and a group of visiting Brazilian military students at the White House. One of the students asked Kennedy what the reaction of the US government would be if Brazil were to socialise the means of production in order to engage in the struggle against underdevelopment more effectively. Kennedy's response was urbane, liberal, and tolerant. ‘I think that the decision of your country about the means to achieve progress is your decision, and if by socialisation you mean control over the means of production and basic industries, this is a judgment that you have to make. What we are against is the negation of civil liberties …’ (From White House Audio Tape, President John F. Kennedy making remarks to the Brazilian Ambassador to the US and Visiting Brazilian Students, 31 July 1962.) Publicly, Kennedy acknowledged Brazil's right to economic sovereignty behind closed doors, he contemplated US support for an anti-constitutional, armed intervention in order to protect US economic and strategic interests.

However, in 1962, US policymakers were focused primarily on pushing Goulart towards the centre-right of the political spectrum, rather than overthrowing him. This was partly because they thought Goulart was pliable, but also because they had no confidence in the capacity of the Brazilian military for effective action against Goulart. They also feared the political backlash an unsuccessful coup attempt would generate.

A second important step towards US support for the coup came in December 1962, when Kennedy sent his brother Bobby, then US Attorney General, to meet with President Goulart in Brasília. This meeting occurred after the Cuban Missile crisis of October 1962, when the US emerged strengthened from the confrontation with the Soviet Union. Earlier in the year the US government had moved to expel Cuba from the Organisation of American States at this point. Brazil had not fully supported the US in this action, which irritated the Kennedy administration. After a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council on 11 December 1962, Bobby Kennedy went to Brazil, where he met President Goulart in the Alvorada Palace on 18 December, together with US Ambassador Lincoln Gordon and an interpreter.

Bobby Kennedy spoke with Goulart for 3 hours in that meeting. Bobby Kennedy mentioned many problems from the US point of view: the presence of Communists, ultranationalists (read nationalists), extreme leftists (read leftists) and anti-Americans in Goulart's government. He also spoke of the expulsion of the Peace Corps from a Brazilian state and Goulart's alleged lack of support for the Alliance for Progress. Bobby Kennedy also expressed concern about the economy, with inflation at 5 percent per month and low international reserves. He brought up the expropriation of an ITT subsidiary in Rio Grande do Sul (by Governor Leonel Brizola) and the possibility of Brazil exchanging one hundred helicopters from Poland for coffee.

President Goulart's response was long and detailed, emphasising the delicate political position of his government and the country. At one point in Goulart's response, Bobby Kennedy wrote a note to Gordon that said, ‘We seem to be getting no place’. Later, Bobby compared Goulart to Jimmy Hoffa, the powerful leader of the Teamsters Union in the US, with whom he had clashed in a Congressional hearing in 1957, and whom he accused of corruption. (From U.S. Embassy, Rio de Janeiro, Airgram A-710, 'Minutes of Conversation between Brazilian President Joao Goulart and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Brasilia, 17 December 1962, pp. 1–17. The passing of the note from RFK to Ambassador Gordon is described on p. 10.)

From the Kennedy administration's point of view, Bobby Kennedy's meeting with Goulart had not gone well. In January 1963, the opportunity the meeting represented was lost, because Goulart won the referendum that restored full powers to his presidency, and he became increasingly autonomous of the US. In this regard, the interpretation of Loureiro ( 2014 ) seems correct. Loureiro argues that in 1963, the Kennedy administration began to block economic assistance to Goulart and abandon the attempt to use economic incentives to induce his government to move to the centre-right. Over the course of 1963, the White House became more and more interested in overthrowing Goulart's government, and actively sought partners in this endeavour.

In a White House meeting on 8 March 1963, Bobby Kennedy was the advisor toughest on the Goulart government. He insisted, as he had when he met Goulart three months before, that Goulart had to make adjustments to the economy being demanded by the US, and remove anti-US and leftist politicians from his cabinet. He said, ‘they're going to have to do something down there … this is not something that Congress will tolerate, the American people will tolerate, or that you [President Kennedy] can tolerate’. Congress, Bobby went on, is ‘going to have a hell of a time trying to sell any kind of help and assistance to a country that wants this kind of money from us and yet at the same time puts important communists or people who are very anti-United States in important positions of power … they haven't vocally and enthusiastically aligned themselves with the Alliance for Progress and I mean, that's the whole operation in South America and Central America … we're not fooling around about it, we're not going to continue, we're giving him some time to make these changes but we can't continue this forever … he can't have it both ways, can't have the communists and put them in important positions and make speeches criticising the United States and at the same time get 225-[2]50 million dollars from the United States. He can't have it both ways. He's got to really make the choice, because you don't have any choice about it.’ (From White House, Excerpts from John F. Kennedy's conversation regarding Brazil with US Ambassador to Brazil Lincoln Gordon on Friday 8 March 1963, Meeting 77.1, President's Office Files, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston, pp. 7–9.)

Goulart had to make a choice, but he had no choice – this was Bobby Kennedy's logic. Goulart was being made an offer he could not refuse. His continued recalcitrance resulted in US policy switching track from persuasion to violence. As Fico ( 2014 ) argues against the interpretations of Netto ( 2014 ) and Tavares ( 2014 ), 1963 was the key year in which US policymakers resolved to support the removal of Goulart. There is no evidence in the declassified documents that the decision was taken earlier.

During the rest of 1963, the Kennedy administration searched for a plausible group within the armed forces capable and willing to overthrow Goulart. On 7 October 1963, a meeting to explore US options took place in the White House. Kennedy's advisors still lacked conviction at this point that a coup attempt could be successful. At one point Kennedy asked, ‘Do you see a situation coming where we might be – find it desirable to intervene militarily ourselves?’ Ambassador Gordon said that he was working on a plan involving people in Rio, Washington and Panama, where SOUTHCOM (Southern Command of the US Army), commanded by General Andrew O'Meara at the time, was based. (This plan has still not been declassified. Contrary to Fico ( 2014 : 74), I see this plan as having been entirely separate from Operation Brother Sam, the naval task force sent in support of the coup in early April 1964.) Gordon said that a US invasion would require six divisions, many ships and a ‘massive military operation’. He then declared that ‘it all depends on what the Brazilian military do’ but he feared that a coup attempt could lead to an ‘internal clash’ and ‘the beginnings of what would amount to a civil war’. (From White House, Excerpts from John F. Kennedy's conversation regarding Brazil with US Ambassador to Brazil Lincoln Gordon on Monday, 7 October 1963, Tape 114/A50, President's Office Files, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston, pp. 7–8). President Johnson inherited these contingency plans when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in late November. It remained for him to execute them. On the evening of 31 March 1964, Johnson was at his ranch in Texas when George Ball, his Undersecretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs, called him. The context of this telephone call is important. In January, Panamanians protested against the US military base in the Canal Zone, and the Republicans had criticised Johnson for responding with insufficient firmness. The Republican primaries had begun, and the leading candidate in them, Barry Goldwater, alleged that Johnson was not a strong enough Cold warrior, quoting Cicero that ‘extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice’. Johnson was not worried about getting the nomination to be the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, but he was not sure he would win the November general election.

In Johnson's phone conversation, which was secretly recorded, Undersecretary of State Ball briefed the President. He mispronounced Minas Gerais, sounded confused about the number of states in Brazil, and told the President that a naval task force ready to help the coup plotters (but with no commitment) could not arrive in Brazil before 10 April. He also said that the task force could be sent in a way that would ‘not cause any sort of stir’ – i.e. it would not be made public. (Former US Ambassador Lincoln Gordon ( 2003 ), claimed that the US government did not even tell the coup plotters about the naval task force. This defies logic and seems to be an attempt by Gordon to diminish his responsibility for the installation of the dictatorship.) Ball said that the situation in Brazil was confused, but that São Paulo was the key to the coup. He said that he was waiting for news of the actions of the Second Army (located in São Paulo), which he hoped to receive in several hours.

Ball reassured Johnson that the coup against Goulart had begun and talked of civilian support for the coup, especially from nine anti-Goulart governors from the big, important states. He said that he'd told Ambassador Gordon not to make any more contacts with Brazilians and that it would be prudent to wait another 12 hours or so before making a judgment about what to do. President Johnson's response was emphatic. ‘I think that we ought to take every step that we can, be prepared to do everything that we need to do, as we were in Panama, if that is at all feasible’, said the President ‘I'd put everybody there, anyone that has any imagination or ingenuity… we just can't take this one and I'd get right on top of it and stick my neck out a little.’ (From White House Audio Tape, President Lyndon Johnson discussing the impending coup in Brazil with Undersecretary of State George Ball, 31 March 1964.)

Johnson feared an unsuccessful coup attempt, a debacle that the Republicans could use against him in the election. In the end, he need not have worried. The White House recognised the new government in Brazil with indecent haste, on 2 April 1964. By historical coincidence, the Civil Rights Act, the result of years of mobilisation by African Americans and their allies, arrived in the US Senate on 26 March 1964, five days before the coup in Brazil. In a week when millions of African Americans were finally having their rights of citizenship recognised by the US government, Brazilians were losing theirs.

In Washington there were many celebrations after the coup in Brazil. One member of Congress called the Brazilian coup the best thing that had happened in Latin America for a long time. General O'Meara, head of SOUTHCOM, testified in Congress: ‘The arrival in power of the government of Castelo Branco last April in Brazil saved the country from a dictatorship that would have been followed inevitably by Communist domination’. Congressional representative Harold Gross asked the General, ‘Is it a dictatorship today?’ and the General replied ‘No’ (quoted in Languth, 1978 : 116).

When US Ambassador to Brazil, Lincoln Gordon returned to Washington after the coup, he encountered Bobby Kennedy. Kennedy was happy about what had happened in Brazil. According to the journalist A. J. Languth, Kennedy said: ‘Well, Goulart got what was coming to him’… ‘Too bad he didn't follow the advice we gave him when I was down there’ (Languth, 1978 : 116).

In summary, the 1964 coup was not inevitable. The United States government prepared for numerous different outcomes in Brazil. Contrary to the interpretations of Bandeira [1978] ( 2001 ), Netto ( 2014 ) and Tavares ( 2014 ), there is no evidence that US policymakers fully committed to supporting the overthrow of Goulart in 1961 or 1962. But when the possibility of a coup arose in 1963, the domestic political situation in the US, together with previous experiences in the exercise of US foreign policy in Latin America – especially the ‘loss’ of Cuba – influenced Washington to weigh in heavily on the side of the coup plotters. In this way, a sad chapter in the history of US foreign policy ended. The episode is a reminder of how important US policy once was to Brazil and the rest of Latin America, in contrast to the present era, in which Washington's polices are, if not irrelevant to Brazil, then much less significant than they used to be (Brenner and Hershberg, 2013 ).


July 1962- President Kennedy's Schedule - History

Beginning with the year 1794, each link to the individual pay charts is associated with the military pay raise percentage and the President who signed the legislation or executive order that implemented it. Basic pay raises did not become a yearly evolution until President Kennedy's raise of 1963.

U.S. Military Pay Raise History, 1794 to Present Day

United States' military pay charts.
The 1790's Navy Pay Charts
President Washington
1794-1814
The 1800's Navy Pay Charts
President MadisonPresident JacksonPresident Buchanan
1814-18341835-18591860-61
4.1%32.3%13%
President Lincoln President GrantPresident Harrison
1862-186918701893 CPO
0%25%0%
The 1900's to 1930's Military Pay Charts
President T. Roosevelt President WilsonPresident Harding
1908-19191920-19211922-1942 Officer Pay1922-1940 Enlisted Pay
20%4.8%0%15%
The 1940's Military Pay Charts
President F.D. Roosevelt President Truman
1940-19411941-19421942-19461946-1949
28%14.4%26.4%23.7%
The 1950's Military Pay Charts
President TrumanPresident Eisenhower
1949-19511952-19541955-19571958-1962
22.9% 4%10%8.3%
The 1960's Military Pay Charts
President KennedyPresident Johnson
1963196419651966
12.6%2.5%E:11% O:6%3.2%
President Johnson
196719681969
5.6%6.9%12.6%
The 1970's Military Pay Charts
President Nixon
19701971197219731974
1971-2
8.1%7.9% & 11.6%7.2%6.7%6.2%
President Ford President Carter
19751976197719781979
5.52%5%3.6%6.2%5.5%
The 1980's Military Pay Charts
President Carter President Reagan
19801981198219831984
7%11.7%14.3%4%4%
President Reagan
19851986198719881989
4%3%±*3%2%4.1%
The 1990's Military Pay Charts
President H.W. Bush Clinton
19901991199219931994
3.6%4.1%4.2%3.7%2.2%
President Clinton
19951996199719981999
2.6%2.4%3%2.8%3.6%
The 2000's Military Pay Charts
President Clinton President G.W. Bush
20002001200220032004
4.8%¹3.7%¹&circ¹6.9%4.7%4.2%
President G.W. Bush
20052006200720082009
3.5%3.1%4.6%¹&circ²3.5%3.9%
The 2010's Military Pay Charts
President Obama
20102011201220132014
3.4%1.4%1.6%1.7%1.0%
President Obama President Trump
20152016201720182019
1.0%¹&circ³1.3%¹&circ³ 2.1% 2.4% 2.6%
The 2020's Military Pay Charts
President TrumpPresident Biden
2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
3.1% 3.0% 2.7%P TBD TBD
President Biden TBD
2025 2026 2027 2028 2029
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

ECI = Employment Cost Index. P = Proposed. E = Enlisted. O = Officer. C = Latest congressional approval.

ECI: Pay raise percentage based on appropriate Employment Cost Index figure per U.S.C. Title 37. ±: 1986 pay frozen at 1985 levels. The 1986 chart does not display what was paid, but does show the amount per the 3% increase that was passed and would have been paid out if not for being frozen. Note ¹: Targeted basic pay raises effective July 1, 2000 beyond the approved January 1, 2000 increase of 4.8%. Note ¹&circ¹: Targeted increases, effective July 1, 2001, the basic pay amounts for enlisted personnel in grades E-5 through E-7. Note ¹&circ²: Additional targeted increase totaling 4.6% for various pay grades effective April 1, 2007. Added longevity raises at the 30, 34 and 38 year mark for only the most senior enlisted and officer pay grades. Note ¹&circ³: Pay raise as indicated for all pay grades except O-7 through O-10 which were frozen at 2014 levels.

Important Legislation

Before 1920, in congressional legislation the term most commonly used to define what is now known as "basic pay" was "the pay of" because pay was mostly defined by Servicemember's job and not by a pay structure like the one we are used to today, e.g., "the pay of the schoolmaster shall be twenty-five dollars per month and two rations per day."[1]

Military "base pay", the term used from 1920 to 1949, and "basic pay", the term used from 1949 to present, is the primary pay earned by each member serving in the armed forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard*).

Public Law 67-235, the "Joint Service Pay Readjustment Act of 1922", signed by President Harding on June 10, 1922, was the first pay legislation that dealt with compensation for all the Services. It increased the pay rates, and established that officers would be paid according to “pay periods.” The Act essentially created the first pay tables for officer and enlisted personnel in which pay was based on longevity, and not just pay grade.

Public Law 77-607, the "Pay Readjustment Act of 1942", signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War II, instituted the method of computing longevity pay for enlisted personnel the same as that for commissioned officers, that is, 5 percent of base pay for each three years of service, up to a maximum of 30 years.

Public Law 81-351, the "Career Compensation Act of 1949", signed by President Truman on the 12th of October 1949, was the first legislation that made reference to the primary element of Servicemembers' pay as “basic pay.” Basic pay was coupled with the two primary allowances “basic allowance for quarters” (BAQ) and “basic allowance for subsistence” (BAS). And, for the first time, the law incorporated the use of "E" for enlisted "O" for officer and "W" for warrant officer for a rate or rank's position on the pay scale (E-1, E-2 O-1, O-2, etc.).

How adjustments to Military Basic Pay are made

Each year, Congress and the President has the ability to write and approve new legislation as they deem necessary to change military pay otherwise, since 1962, Title 37 of the United States Code has dictated how military pay adjustments will be automatically calculated.

Currently, U.S.C. Title 37, Chapter 19, § 1009 -- Adjustments of monthly basic pay, reads, "An adjustment made under this section in a year shall provide all eligible members with an increase in the monthly basic pay that is the percentage (rounded to the nearest one-tenth of one percent) by which the Employment Cost Index [wages and salaries, private industry workers] for the base quarter of the year before the preceding year [three-month period ending on September 30 of such year] exceeds the ECI for the base quarter of the second year before the preceding calendar year (if at all)."

Additionally, the Title goes on to say, "If, because of national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, the President considers the pay adjustment which would otherwise be required by this section in any year to be inappropriate, the President shall prepare and transmit to Congress before September 1 of the preceding year a plan for such alternative pay adjustments as the President considers appropriate, together with the reasons therefor."

*The Coast Guard is currently a part of the Department of Homeland Security, and it is from that budget the compensation for personnel in the Coast Guard is derived. United States Code Title 14 dictates that the Coast Guard will be a branch of the military at all times. Because of its status as a military branch, even when it previously fell under the Department of Transportation, the pay and allowances have always been in lock-step with that of the Department of Defense.

Site Navigation

Current Military Pays

Military Information

[1] "An Act to increase the Navy of the United States.", approved January 2, 1813. United States Statutes at Large, Volume 02, pg. 789, Government Printing Office.


July 23, 1962: Telstar Provides First-Ever TV Link Between U.S., Europe

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Telstar pushes international communications to the next level.

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1962: The Telstar 1 communications satellite relays the first trans-Atlantic television signal in history.

Telstar was the product of an international collaboration to push the development of satellite communications. NASA, AT&T, Bell Labs and the French and British national post offices were all involved, with Bell Labs doing the actual construction.

A spherical satellite festooned with solar panels and packed with transistors, Telstar used a helical antenna to receive microwave signals from the ground station, which were then amplified and rebroadcast to the main receiving station in southern England.

The satellite was launched July 10 aboard a NASA Delta rocket and placed in an orbit that provided for a narrow, 20-minute transmission period per orbit.

President Kennedy was supposed to launch this historic moment in communications with a trans-Atlantic press conference, but the transmission signal was acquired before JFK was ready, so Ernie Banks may have been the first human image relayed across the Atlantic. Needing to kill a little time, the producers picked up a TV broadcast of a major league ballgame between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs from Wrigley Field.


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Navy SEAL History

The U.S. Navy SEALs were established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 as a small, elite maritime military force to conduct Unconventional Warfare. They carry out the types of clandestine, small-unit, high-impact missions that large forces with high-profile platforms (such as ships, tanks, jets and submarines) cannot. SEALs also conduct essential on-the-ground Special Reconnaissance of critical targets for imminent strikes by larger conventional forces.

Birth of the Navy SEALs

SEALs are U.S. Special Operations Command’s force-of-choice among Navy, Army and Air Force Special Operations Forces (SOF) to conduct small-unit maritime military operations which originate from, and return to a river, ocean, swamp, delta or coastline. This littoral capability is more important now than ever in our history, as half the world’s infrastructure and population is located within one mile of an ocean or river. Of crucial importance, SEALs can negotiate shallow water areas such as the Persian Gulf coastline, where large ships and submarines are limited by depth.

The Navy SEALs are trained to operate in all the environments (Sea, Air and Land) for which they are named. SEALs are also prepared to operate in climate extremes of scorching desert, freezing Arctic, and humid jungle. The SEALs’ current pursuit of elusive, dangerous and high-priority terrorist targets has them operating in remote, mountainous regions of Afghanistan, and in cities torn by factional violence, such as Baghdad, Iraq. Historically, SEALs have always had “one foot in the water.” The reality today, however, is that they initiate lethal Direct Action strikes equally well from air and land.

WWII Origins

Today’s SEALs embody in a single force the heritage, missions, capabilities, and combat lessons-learned of five daring groups that no longer exist but were crucial to Allied Victory in World War II and the conflict in Korea. These were (Army) Scouts and (Navy) Raiders Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDUs), Office of trategic Services Operational Swimmers, Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs), and Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons.

These varied groups trained in the 1940s for urgent national security requirements, saw combat in Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific, but mostly disbanded after orld War II. However, The UDTs were called upon again and expanded quickly for the Korean War in 1950. Exercising great ingenuity and courage, these special maritime units devised and executed with relatively few casualties many of the missions, tactics, techniques and procedures that SEALs still perform today.

These missions included beach and hydro-reconnaissance, explosive cable and net cutting explosive destruction of underwater obstacles to enable major amphibious landings limpet mine attacks, submarine operations, and the locating and marking of mines for minesweepers. They also conducted river surveys and foreign military training. While doing this, the SEALs’ predecessors pioneered combat swimming, closed-circuit diving, underwater demolitions, and mini-submarine (dry and wet submersible) operations.

OSS Maritime Unit

Some of the earliest World War II predecessors of the SEALs were the Operational Swimmers of the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS. British Combined Operations veteran LCDR Wooley, of the Royal Navy, was placed in charge of the OSS Maritime Unit in June 1943. Their training started in November 1943 at Camp Pendleton, moved to Catalina Island in January 1944, and finally moved to the warmer waters in the Bahamas in March 1944. Within the U.S. military, they pioneered flexible swim fins and facemasks, closed-circuit diving equipment, the use of swimmer submersibles, and combat swimming and limpet mine attacks.
In May 1944, Colonel “Wild Bill” Donovan, the head of the OSS, divided the unit into groups. He loaned Group 1, under LT Choate, to ADM Nimitz, as a way to introduce the OSS into the Pacific Theater. They became part of UDT-10 in July 1944. Five OSS men participated in the very first UDT submarine operation with the USS BURRFISH in the Caroline Islands in August 1944

Scouts and Raiders

To meet the need for a beach reconnaissance force, selected Army and Navy personnel assembled at Amphibious Training Base, Little Creek, on 15 August 1942 to begin Amphibious Scouts and Raiders (Joint) training. The Scouts and Raiders mission was to identify and reconnoiter the objective beach, maintain a position on the designated beach prior to a landing and guide the assault waves to the landing beach.

The first group included Phil H. Bucklew, the “Father of Naval Special Warfare,” after whom the Naval Special Warfare Center is named. Commissioned in October 1942, this group saw combat in November 1942 during OPERATION TORCH, the first allied landings in Europe, on the North African coast. Scouts and Raiders also supported landings in Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and southern France.

A second group of Scouts and Raiders, code-named Special Service Unit #1, was established on July 7, 1943, as a joint and combined operations force. The first mission, in September 1943, was at Finschafen on New Guinea. Later ops were at Gasmata, Arawe, Cape Gloucester, and the East and South coast of New Britain, all without any loss of personnel. Conflicts arose over operational matters, and all non-Navy personnel were reassigned. The unit, renamed 7th Amphibious Scouts, received a new mission, to go ashore with the assault boats, buoy channels, erect markers for the incoming craft, handle casualties, take offshore soundings, blow up beach obstacles and maintain voice communications linking the troops ashore, incoming boats and nearby ships. The 7th Amphibious Scouts conducted operations in the Pacific for the duration of the conflict, participating in more than 40 landings.

The third Scout and Raiders organization operated in China. Scouts and Raiders were deployed to fight with the Sino-American Cooperation
Organization, or SACO. To help bolster the work of SACO, Admiral Ernest J. King ordered that 120 officers and 900 men be trained for “Amphibious Roger” at the Scout and Ranger school at Ft. Pierce, FL. They formed the core of what was envisioned as a “guerrilla amphibious organization of Americans and Chinese operating from coastal waters, lakes and rivers employing small steamers and sampans.” While most Amphibious Roger forces remained at Camp Knox in Calcutta, three of the groups saw active service. They conducted a survey of the Upper Yangtze River in the spring of 1945 and, disguised as coolies, conducted a detailed three-month survey of the Chinese coast from Shanghai to Kitchioh Wan, near Hong Kong.

Naval Combat Demolition Unit (NCDU)

In September of 1942, 17 Navy salvage personnel arrived at ATB Little Creek, VA for a one-week concentrated course on demolitions, explosive cable cutting and commando raiding techniques. On 10 November 1942, this first combat demolition unit succeeded in cutting a cable and net barrier across the Wadi Sebou River during Operation TORCH in North Africa. Their actions enabled the USS DALLAS (DD 199) to traverse the river and insert U.S. Rangers who captured the Port Lyautey airdrome.

Plans for a massive cross-channel invasion of Europe had begun and intelligence indicated that the Germans were placing extensive underwater obstacles on the beaches at Normandy. On 7 May 1943, LCDR Draper L. Kauffman, “The Father of Naval Combat Demolition,” was directed to set up a school and train people to eliminate obstacles on an enemy-held beach prior to an invasion.

On 6 June 1943, LCDR Kaufmann established Naval Combat Demolition Unit training at Ft. Pierce, Florida. Most of Kauffman’s volunteers came from the Navy’s engineering and construction battalions. Training commenced with one grueling week designed to eliminate the men from the boys. Some said that the men had sense enough to quit, and left the boys. It was and is still considered “HELL WEEK”.

The training made the use of rubber boats and surprisingly little swimming. The assumptions were that the men would paddle in and work in shallow water leaving the deep-water demolitions to the Army. At this point, the men were required to wear Navy fatigues with shoes and helmets. They were ordered to be life-lined to their boats and stay out of the water as much as possible. Kauffman’s experience was at disarming explosives, now he and his teams were learning to use them offensively. One innovation was to use 2.5-pound packs of tetryl paced into rubber tubes, thus making 20 pound lengths of explosive tube that could be manipulated around obstacles for demolition.

By April 1944, a total of 34 NCDUs were deployed to England in preparation for Operation OVERLORD, the amphibious landing at Normandy.

Tested in combat: Normandy D-Day invasion

Six men from Kauffmans Naval Combat Demolition Unit Eleven (NCDU-11) were sent to England in the beginning of November 1943 to start preparations to clear the beaches for the Normandy invasion. Later NCDU 11 was enlarged into 13 man assault teams. The Scouts and Raiders were also deployed to start their recon of the Normandy Coast.

General Rommel, Hitler’s greatest military Field Marshal, had implemented the intricate defenses found on the French coastline. These creatively included steel posts driven into the sand and topped with explosives. Large 3-ton steel barricades called Belgian Gates were placed well into the surf zone. Additionally, he strategically placed reinforced mortar and machine gun nests. The Scouts and Raiders spent weeks gathering information during nightly surveillance missions up and down the French coast. Replicas of the Belgian gates were constructed on the South Coast of England for the UDT to practice demolitions on. The strategy of the UDT was to knock the gates flat, not to shred and spread them along the beaches, thereby creating more of an obstacle for the advancing troops.

Men armed with naval offshore artillery, which included bombs and shells, led the initial attack on the two American landing beaches of Omaha & Utah. Then a first wave of tanks and troop carriers were to land and clear any remaining German bunkers and snipers. The Demolitions Gap-assault teams would come in with the second wave and work at low tide to clear the obstacles.

As happens often during the fog of war, the Allied aircraft ended up dropping their bombs too far inland. Navy artillery then sent the majority of their shells far over the German positions – wreaking havoc on the French farmlands but leaving the well-positioned German guns in perfect operating condition. These guns sent withering ground fire against the approaching Allied forces. The tides also ended up pushing many of the demolition crews well ahead of the first wave. They found themselves the first to land on the beaches. Many of the teams were killed by machine gun and mortar fire before reaching the beach. Other team members under enemy fire managed to set charges on the obstacles and blow them. At one point, soldiers were taking cover behind the obstacles, which were emplaced with demolitions charged with timers. The GIs quickly made their way onto the beaches to avoid becoming a friendly casualty of war. The mission was to open sixteen 50-foot wide corridors for the landing. By nightfall only thirteen were open, and these beaches exacted a heavy toll on the Navy Gap-Assault teams.

Of the 175 NCDU and UDT men on Omaha beach, 31 where killed and 60 wounded. Their Teammates on Utah Beach faired far better because the beach was considerably less fortified. Four were killed and11 wounded, when an artillery shell landed among one of the teams working to clear the beach. Weeks before the invasion all available Underwater Demolition men were sent from Fort Pierce to England. The largest loss occurred at the landing on Omaha beach, Normandy. Within months of the War’s end, the UDT teams were dispersed. This ended a trying but evolutionary time in the history of Naval Special Warfare.

On 6 June 1944, in the face of great adversity, the NCDUs at Omaha Beach managed to blow eight complete gaps and two partial gaps in the German defenses. The NCDUs suffered 31 killed and 60 wounded, a casualty rate of 52%. Meanwhile, the NCDUs at Utah Beach met less intense enemy fire. They cleared 700 yards of beach in two hours, another 900 yards by the afternoon. Casualties at Utah Beach were significantly lighter with 6 killed and 11 wounded. During Operation OVERLORD, not a single demolitioneer was lost to improper handling of explosives.

In August 1944, NCDUs from Utah Beach participated in the landings in southern France, the last amphibious operation in the European Theater of Operations. NCDUs also operated in the Pacific theater. NCDU 2, under LTjg Frank Kaine, after whom the Naval Special Warfare Command building is named, and NCDU 3 under LTjg Lloyd Anderson, formed the nucleus of six NCDUs that served with the Seventh Amphibious Force tasked with clearing boat channels after the landings from Biak to Borneo..

The South Pacific – Growth of UDT

After a major catastrophe on the island of Tarawa, the need for the UDT in the South Pacific became glaringly clear. The islands in this region have unpredictable tide changes and shallow reefs that can easily thwart the progress of the naval transport vessels. At Tarawa, the first wave made it across the reef in Amtracs, but the second wave in Higgens boats got stuck on a reef left exposed by the low tide. The Marines had to unload and wade to shore. Many drowned or were killed before making the beach. The Amtracs, without reinforcements from the second wave, were slaughtered on the beach. It was a valuable lesson that the Navy would not permit to be repeated. The Navy Combat Swimmers were turned to for an answer.

The Fifth Amphibious Force set up training at Waimanalo, on the coast of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. Attending were men from Fort Pierce as well as men from the Army and Marines. Represented were the Scouts and Raiders as well as the Naval Combat Demolitions Teams. They hastily trained for the attack on Kwajalein on 31 January 1944. This was a major turning point for the tactics of the UDT. The plan was to send in night reconnaissance teams such as the Scouts and Raiders were accustomed to. Then Admiral Turner, worried about the presence of obstacles emplaced by the Japanese, ordered two daylight recon operations.

The missions were to follow the standard procedure. Team one was to go in a rubber boat in full fatigues, boots, life jackets and metal helmets. The coral reef kept their craft too far from shore to be certain of the beach conditions. Ensign Lewis F. Luehrs and Chief Bill Acheson made a decision that changed the shape of Naval Special Warfare forever. Removing all but their underwear, they swam undeterred across the reef. They returned with sketches of the beach gun embankment locations, along with information about a log wall built to deter landings and other vital intelligence. Naval Combat Swimming had now entered onto the Mission Essential Task List of the UDT.

After Kwajalein, the UDT created the Naval Combat Demolition Training and Experimental Base on Maui. Operations began in April 1944. Most of the procedures from Fort Pierce had been modified, with importance placed upon developing strong swimmers. Extensive training was conducted in the water without lifelines, using facemasks and wearing swim trunks and shoes in the water. This new model gave us the image that stands today of the WWII UDT “Naked Warrior”. The landings continued and at Iwo Jima the surveying teams fared favorably. The largest casualties of the UDT occurred not in the water, but aboard the destroyer USS Blessman when a Japanese bomber hit it. When the bomb exploded in the mess hall, fifteen men on the UDT Team were killed. Twenty-three others were injured. This was by far the most tragic loss of life suffered by the UDT in the Pacific theater.

Up until now all the islands worked upon were in southern waters. Soon the forces moved North toward Japan. Having no thermal protection, the UDT men were at risk of hypothermia and severe cramps. This problem was extreme during the surveying of Okinawa. The largest UDT deployment in the war employed veteran Team’s Seven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen and newly trained teams Eleven, Sixteen, Seventeen, and Eighteen. Close to a thousand UDT forces worked in concert on operations both real and deceptive to create the illusion of landing in other locations. Pointed poles set into the coral reef of the beach protected the landing beaches on Okinawa. Team’s Eleven and Sixteen were sent in to blast the poles. After all the charges were set, the men swam to clear the area and the following explosion took out all of Team Eleven’s and half of team Sixteen’s targets. Team Sixteen broke from the operation due to the death of one of their men hence, their mission was considered a failure and a disgrace. Team Eleven was sent back the following day to finish the job and then remained to guide the forces to the beach. The UDT continued to prepare for the invasion of Japan. After the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war quickly ended. The need for an invasion of Japan was averted and the UDT’s role in the South Pacific came to an end.

All told 34 UDT teams were established. Wearing swim suits, fins, and facemasks on combat operations, these “Naked Warriors” saw action across the Pacific in every major amphibious landing including: Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Angaur, Ulithi, Pelilui, Leyte, Lingayen Gulf, Zambales, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Labuan, Brunei Bay, and on 4 July 1945 at Balikpapan on Borneo which was the last UDT demolition operation of the war. The rapid demobilization at the conclusion of the war reduced the number of active duty UDTs to two on each coast with a complement of 7 officers and 45 enlisted men each.

China

An Annapolis graduate, named Milton E. Miles, once lived in China and knew how to speak the language. He was sent there to do anything in his power to prepare for an Allied landing in China. Although the landings were never conducted, Miles proved a great disturbance to the Japanese occupied regions of China. He set up a valuable chain of surveillance along eight hundred miles of the coast. He also formed a guerilla training camp called “Happy Valley” in conjunction with a Chinese warlord. From Happy Valley, they commanded many successful raids and guerilla warfare forays against the Japanese. Another UDT man, Phil Buckelew, also spent time under cover on Mainland China disrupting enemy lines of communication and providing intelligence to Naval commanders. The Philip Buckelew Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California is named for this legendary man.

UDT in Korea

The Korean War began on 25 June 1950, when the North Korean army invaded South Korea. Beginning with a detachment of 11 personnel from UDT 3, UDT participation expanded to three teams with a combined strength of 300 men.

During the “forgotten war” the Underwater Demolition Teams fought heroically and with little fanfare. The UDT started to employ demolition expertise gained from WWII and adapt it to an offensive role. Continuing the effective use of the water as cover and concealment as well as a method of insertion, the Korean Era UDT targeted bridges, tunnels, fishing nets and other maritime and coastal targets. They also developed a close working relationship with the Republic of Korea (ROK) UDT/SEALs, whom they trained, which continues to this day.

The UDT refined and developed their commando tactics during the Korean War, with their efforts initially focused on demolitions and mine disposal. Additionally, the UDT accompanied South Korean commandos on raids in the North to demo train tunnels. The higher-ranking officers of the UDT frowned upon this activity because it was a non-traditional use of the Naval forces, which took them too far from the water line. Due to the nature of the war, the UDT maintained a low operational profile. Some of the better-known missions include the transport of spies into North Korea and the destruction of North Korean Fishing nets used to supply the North Korean Army with several tons of fish annually.

As part of the Special Operations Group, or SOG, UDTs successfully conducted demolition raids on railroad tunnels and bridges along the Korean coast. On 15 September 1950, UDTs supported Operation CHROMITE, the Amphibious landing at Inchon. UDT 1 and 3 provided personnel who went in ahead of the landing craft, scouting mud flats, marking low points in the channel, clearing fouled propellers, and searching for mines. Four UDT personnel acted as wave-guides for the Marine landing.

In October 1950, UDTs supported mine-clearing operations in Wonsan Harbor where frogmen would locate and mark mines for minesweepers. On 12 October 1950, two U.S. minesweepers hit mines and sank. UDTs rescued 25 sailors. The next day, William Giannotti conducted the first U.S. combat operation using an “aqualung” when he dove on the USS PLEDGE.

For the remainder of the war, UDTs conducted beach and river reconnaissance, infiltrated guerrillas behind the lines from sea, continued mine sweeping operations, and participated in Operation FISHNET, which severely damaged the North Korean fishing capability.

The Korean War was a period of transition for the men of the UDT. They tested their previous limits and defined new parameters for their special style of warfare. These new techniques and expanded horizons positioned the UDT well to assume an even broader role as the storms of war began brewing to the South in the Vietnamese Peninsula.

Vietnam ramps up – SEAL Teams formed


In 1962, President Kennedy established SEAL Teams ONE and TWO from the existing UDT Teams to develop a Navy Unconventional Warfare capability. The Navy SEAL Teams were designed as the maritime counterpart to the Army Special Forces “Green Berets.” They deployed immediately to Vietnam to operate in the deltas and thousands of rivers and canals in Vietnam, and effectively disrupted the enemy’s maritime lines of communication.

The SEAL Teams’ mission was to conduct counter guerilla warfare and clandestine maritime operations. Initially, SEALs advised and trained Vietnamese forces, such as the LDNN (Vietnamese SEALs). Later in the war, SEALs conducted nighttime Direct Action missions such as ambushes and raids to capture prisoners of high intelligence value.

The SEALs were so effective that the enemy named them, “the men with the green faces.” At the war’s height, eight SEAL platoons were in Vietnam on a continuing rotational basis. The last SEAL platoon departed Vietnam in 1971, and the last SEAL advisor in 1973.

Early colonial period

The French colonized Vietnam in 1857. They made it a part of French Indochina until World War II, when it fell under Japanese rule for a short time. Vietnamese citizens rebelled during the period of Japanese rule, supported by the Communists and American OSS (Office of Strategic Services which was the pre-cursor to the CIA). A new sense of nationalism emerged amongst the Vietnamese. World War II became the catalyst for the nationalist movement, which was led by a man calling himself Ho Chi Mihn.

After the war, France returned and sought to resume control of Vietnam and other Japanese-controlled territories. As early as 1941, Indochina’s Communist Party called for liberation from France. The Viet Mihn, the nationalist movement’s political and military organization, under the leadership of Ho Chi Mihn, were gaining strength in the north. In 1945 Ho Chi Mihn proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam and right for the Vietnamese to rule themselves. Their Declaration of Independence was written to be similar to the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776, hoping to gain support and sympathy from their one-time ally, America.

Elections that followed were strongly in favor of the Viet Mihn position. Ho Chi Mihn was proclaimed President of the new Republic and he demanded the immediate withdrawal of the French and complete independence for Vietnam. Ho Chi Mihn made these demands, relying on the support and aid he was receiving from two important sources: the Communist Chinese, and the American OSS Teams. The Communist Chinese trained the Viet Mihn and fought with them against the Japanese. The American OSS was advising Ho Chi Mihn in their common struggle against the Japanese. The United States government realized that the Viet Mihn was an effective fighting force and Ho Chi Mihn’s organization was the only stable leadership in Vietnam.

With the Chinese and OSS supporting Ho Chi Mihn, France found it difficult to oppose his new Republic. By late 1945, the OSS Teams were finally withdrawn and the French agreed to recognize the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam as long as it remained part of France. The French also agreed that if some time in the future the country wanted to unite under Ho Chi Mihn, France would submit to the decision of the people.

However, negotiations failed when neither side was willing to make any real compromise. Armed confrontations began between French Troops and the Viet Mihn, now called the National Front. The country of Vietnam divided: Ho Chi Mihn consolidated to the north in Hanoi, while the French set up government and command in the south at Saigon.

The French, with their Vietnamese allies, fought against the Viet Mihn from 1946 to 1953. This war consisted mostly of guerrilla actions, leaving neither side with a clear advantage. France’s military policy was not effective against guerrilla tactics, and the best the French could do was to hold the primary populated areas and main lines of communication, hoping to draw the Viet Mihn into a major action. The French were suffering heavy losses and casualties and needed a major win. They believed that if they were to get the Viet Mihn onto a conventional field of battle, France would have the upper hand.

The trap was set in a small valley in northwestern Vietnam, which was believed to be a guerrilla power base, about 150 miles west of Hanoi and 25 miles from the Laotian border. Under the control of General Henri Navarre, the French troops planned to lure the Viet Mihn into battle with a large airborne assault force, which would secure the valley and establish a fortification around the deserted airfield there. When the Viet Mihn attacked, the French would destroy them.

Dien Bien Phu became one of the greatest post-WWII battles. The French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu because they greatly underestimated the determination and abilities of the Vietnamese guerrilla forces. The French fortifications were insufficient they were out manned, outgunned, and outmaneuvered. Neither the bravery of the French troops, nor the legendary heroics of the French Foreign Legion paratroopers, were enough to save the situation. This defeat shocked the French people and their government, eliminating their will to continue the war.

In July 1954, talks between France and the new Republic, held in Geneva, finally produced an agreement. The Geneva Agreement ended colonial rule in Vietnam with a working plan for the smooth transition of power from the French to the Vietnamese. The agreement divided Indochina into four parts: Laos, Cambodia, and North and South Vietnam. The ardently Communist Viet Mihn, lead by Ho Chi Mihn, ruled the North, while the French assisted in the establishment of an anti-communist Vietnamese government in the South, headed by Emperor Bao Dai.

With the northern region being the industrial center, and the southern regions being agricultural, the division of Vietnam posed economic problems. This division also caused a major shift in population. The large Catholic population in the North, fearing retaliation from the new Communist regime for their support of the French began an exodus to the South. An estimated 100,000 of the Viet Mihn stationed throughout the South, by order of the Hanoi government, began their own exodus to the North. However, at least 5,000 of their ranks remained behind, joining the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam to form the Viet Cong (VC). They lived in the South Vietnamese villages and fought against the American-funded ARVN (Army of the Republic of Viet Nam) and American troops.

Ho Chi Mihn was confident that he would win the elections, and turned his attention toward the economic and social troubles facing his government. He realized that the U.S. might aid the South in its establishment, but he did not foresee that South Vietnam would find grounds to cancel the elections. The Americans supported the Premier of South Vietnam, Ngo Dihn Diem, who replaced the self-exiled Bao Dai. Ngo Dihn Diem gradually increased his sphere of power, while the United States began to assume the role of supporter left vacant by the French.

America gets involved

Cambodia was the only state involved which refused to sign the Geneva Agreement it was self-declared neutral and led by Prince Norodom Sihanouk.

Although Cambodia tried to play all sides against one another, the war didn’t lead into Cambodia until later years Laos, whose leader was Prince Souvanna Phouma, tried to develop a neutralist coalition government of both pro-Western and pro- Communist supporters. Prince Phouma’s half-brother Prince Souphanouvoing headed the Communist faction, called the Pathet Lao. Prince Boun Oum had the support of the 25,000-man Royal Laotian Army (RLA) the RLA led the pro-Western faction, and the United States Government supported it in order to counter a growing Communist presence in Asia.

Each faction actively tried to gain an advantage in the government. The 1958 elections gave the Pathet Lao more votes and the U.S. put pressure on Souvanna Phouma to resign in favor of the American-backed, Phoui Sananikone, who would continue the neutralist policy. This support from the United States was offensive to many. A young captain, Kong Le, who commanded the paratroop battalion of the RLA, seized the Laos capital, Vientiane, demanding a return to the neutralist policies.

The Soviet Union began sending arms, vehicles, and antiaircraft to Kong Le’s forces, while the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) sent cadres to train the troops of the Pathet Lao.

Due to the landlocked position of Loas, to gain any advantage American troops would have to be committed and the supply problems were too great. The United States abandoned Laos and turned its support of arms and military aid, including aircraft and Special Forces Advisors, to South Vietnam.

At the end of the 1950s, there were few Special Operations Forces. The Army had the Green Berets, and the Navy had their Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT). These elite units were trained to fight and operate behind the lines of a conventional war, specifically in the event of a Russian drive through Europe.

The Navy entered the Vietnam conflict in 1960, when the UDTs delivered small watercraft far up the Mekong River into Laos. In 1961, Naval Advisers started training the Vietnamese UDT. These men were called the Lien Doc Nguoi Nhia (LDNN), roughly translated as the “soldiers that fight under the sea.”

President Kennedy, aware of the situations in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for unconventional warfare and utilized Special Operations as a measure against guerrilla activity. In a speech to Congress in May 1961, Kennedy shared his deep respect of the Green Berets. He announced the government’s plan to put a man on the moon, and, in the same speech, allocated over one hundred million dollars toward the strengthening of the Special Forces in order to expand the strength of the American conventional forces.

Realizing the administration’s favor of the Army’s Green Berets, the Navy needed to determine its role within the Special Forces arena. In March of 1961, the Chief of Naval Operations recommended the establishment of guerrilla and counter-guerrilla units. These units would be able to operate from sea, air or land. This was the beginning the official Navy SEALs. Many SEAL members came from the Navy’s UDT units, who had already gained experience in commando warfare in Korea however, the UDTs were still necessary to the Navy’s amphibious force.

The first two teams were on opposite coasts: Team Two in Little Creek, Virginia and Team ONE in Coronado, California. The men of the newly formed SEAL Teams were educated in such unconventional areas as hand-to-hand combat, high altitude parachuting, safecracking, demolitions and languages. Among the varied tools and weapons required by the Teams was the AR-15 assault rifle, a new design that evolved into today’s M-16. The SEAL’s attended UDT Replacement training and they spent some time cutting their teeth at a UDT Team. Upon making it to a SEAL Team, they would undergo a three-month SEAL Basic Indoctrination (SBI) training class at Camp Kerry in the Cuyamaca Mountains. After SBI training class, they would enter a platoon and train in platoon tactics (especially for the conflict in Vietnam).

The Pacific Command recognized Vietnam as a potential hot spot for conventional forces. In the beginning of 1962, the UDT started hydrographic surveys and Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) was formed. In March of 1962, SEALs were deployed to Vietnam for the purpose of training South Vietnamese commandos in the same methods they were trained themselves.

In February 1963, operating from USS Weiss, a Naval Hydrographic recon unit from UDT 12 started surveying just south of Da Nang. From the beginning they encountered sniper fire and on 25 March were attacked. The unit managed to escape without any injuries, the survey was considered complete and the Weiss returned to Subic Bay.

By 1963, the Vietnamese LDNN was starting to meet success within their missions. Operating American-provided, Norwegian-built “Nasty” class fast patrol boats out of Da Nang, the LDNN were able to make several raids against North Vietnamese targets. On 31 July, the Nastys were used on a mission to destroy a radio transmitter on the island of Hon Nieu. Using 88mm mortar on the night of 3 August, they shelled the radar site at Cape Vinh Son.

Due to the immense firepower of the 88mm recoilless, the North Vietnamese believed the large guns of an U.S. Naval ship were bombarding them. Under this assumption, NVA gunboats made a daylight attack on the USS Maddox, which was cruising off the North Vietnamese coastline, intercepting radio transmissions. This and a second attack later the same day on the USS Turner Joy came to be known as The Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

The Gulf of Tonkin Incident gave the Unites States the legal and political power to justify a stronger involvement in the Vietnam conflict. A bombing of an U.S. Air Base on 30 October 1964 killed five servicemen. Another attack on Christmas Eve hit a U.S. billet in Saigon, killing 2 servicemen. President Lyndon Johnson ordered “tit-for-tat” reprisal: for every attack from the North Vietnamese, American troops would respond in the same manner. The initiation of Operation “Flaming Dart,” which included the American bombing of targets in North Vietnam, placed America in the middle of an all out war.


The CIA began SEAL covert operations in early 1963. At the outset of the war, operations consisted of ambushing supply movements and locating and capturing North Vietnamese officers. Due to poor intelligence information, these operations were not very successful. When the SEALs were given the resources to develop their own intelligence, the information became much more timely and reliable. The SEALs and Special Operations in general started showing an immense success rate, earning their members a great number of citations.

Between 1965 and 1972, there were 46 SEALs killed in Vietnam. On 28 October 1965, Comdr. Robert J. Fay was the first SEAL killed in Vietnam by a mortar round. The first SEAL killed engaged in active combat was Radarman second-class Billy Machen who was killed in a firefight on 16 August 1966. Machen’s body was retrieved with the help of fire support from two helicopters, after the team was ambushed during a daylight patrol. Machen’s death was a hard reality for the SEAL teams.

The SEALs were initially deployed in and around Da Nang, training the South in combat diving, demolitions and guerrilla/anti-guerrilla tactics. As the war continued, the SEALs found themselves positioned in the Rung Sat Special Zone where they were to disrupt the enemy supply and troop movements, and into the Mecong Delta to fulfill riverine (fighting on the inland waterways) operations.

The brown water of the Delta provided the foundation for the development of SEAL riverine operations. The SEALs adapted quickly and with deadly results. The braces, inlets and estuaries intermingled and left a broad area for both the North and South to operate. The SEALs and Brown Water Navy Boat Crews made it their job to win this part of the war, impeding as much as possible the movement of troops and supplies coming from the North.

The SEAL teams experienced this war like no others. Combat with the VC was very close and personal. Unlike the conventional warfare methods of firing artillery into a coordinate location, or dropping bombs from thirty thousand feet, the SEALs operated within inches of their targets. SEALs had to kill at short range and respond without hesitation or be killed. Into the late sixties, the SEALs made great headway with this new style of warfare. Theirs were the most effective anti-guerrilla and guerrilla actions in the war.

However, back at home the politics of war were working against the administration. The anti-war protest became much louder by the end of the sixties. The American public began to question this war that was claiming so many of their young men. The anxiety and anger caused by the war began to take its toll and violence erupted at home. National Guard units were sent to college campuses to disperse protesters. The now infamous incident at Kent State that resulted in four fatalities was one of many clashes between protesters and the government.

SEALs continued to make forays into North Vietnam and Loas, and unofficially into Cambodia, controlled by the Studies and Observations Group. The SEALs from Team 2 started a unique deployment of SEAL team members working alone with South Vietnamese Commandos. In 1967, a SEAL unit named Detachment Bravo (Det Bravo) was formed to operate these mixed US/ARVN units, which were called South Vietnamese Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRU).

In the beginning of 1968, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong orchestrated a major offensive against South Vietnam. Virtually every major city felt the effects of the “Tet Offensive.” The North hoped it would prove to be America’s Dien Bien Phu. They wanted to break the American public’s desire to continue the war. As propaganda the Tet Offensive was successful: America was weary of a war that could not be won, for principles no one was sure of. However, North Vietnam suffered tremendous casualties, and from a purely military standpoint the Tet Offensive was a major disaster to the Communists.

By 1970, the US decided to remove itself from the conflict. Nixon initiated a Plan of Vietnamization, which would return the responsibility of defense back to the South Vietnamese. Conventional forces were being withdrawn, however, operations of the SEALs continued. The SEALS had developed a new base at the tip of the Ca Mau Peninsula and created a floating firebase, now known as Seafloat, by welding together fourteen barges. Accessible from sea, it also provided a landing area for helos.

On 6 June 1972, Lt. Melvin S. Dry was killed when entering the water after jumping from a helicopter at least 35-feet above the surface. Part of an aborted SDV operation to retrieve Prisoners of War, Lt. Dry was the last Navy SEAL killed in the Vietnam conflict. The last SEAL platoon departed Vietnam on 7 December 1971. The last SEAL advisor left Vietnam in March 1973.

The UDTs again saw combat in Vietnam while supporting the Amphibious Ready Groups. When attached to the riverine groups the UDTs conducted operations with river patrol boats and, in many cases, patrolled into the hinterland as well as along the riverbanks and beaches in order to destroy obstacles and bunkers. Additionally, UDT personnel acted as advisors.

On May 1, 1983, all UDTs were re-designated as SEAL Teams or Swimmer Delivery Vehicle Teams (SDVT). SDVTs have since been re-designated SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams.

Special Boat Units

SBU can also trace their history back to WWII. The Patrol Coastal and Patrol Boat Torpedo are the ancestors of today’s PC and MKV. Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron THREE rescued General Macarthur (and later the Filipino President) from the Philippines after the Japanese invasion and then participated in guerrilla actions until American resistance ended with the fall of Corregidor. PT Boats subsequently participated in most of the campaigns in the Southwest Pacific by conducting and supporting joint/combined reconnaissance, blockade, sabotage, and raiding missions as well as attacking Japanese shore facilities, shipping, and combatants. PT Boats were used in the European Theater beginning in April 1944 to support the OSS in the insertions of espionage and French Resistance personnel and for amphibious landing deception. While there is no direct line between organizations, NSW embracement is predicated on the similarity in craft and mission.

The development of a robust riverine warfare capability during the Vietnam War produced the forerunner of the modern Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman. Mobile Support Teams provided combat craft support for SEAL operations, as did Patrol Boat, Riverine (PBR) and Swift Boat sailors. In February 1964, Boat Support Unit ONE was established under Naval Operations Support Group, Pacific to operate the newly reinstated Patrol Torpedo Fast (PTF) program and to operate high-speed craft in support of NSW forces. In late 1964 the first PTFs arrived in Danang, Vietnam. In 1965, Boat Support Squadron ONE began training Patrol Craft Fast crews for Vietnamese coastal patrol and interdiction operations. As the Vietnam mission expanded into the riverine environment, additional craft, tactics, and training evolved for riverine patrol and SEAL support.

SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams

SDV Teams trace their historical roots to the WWII exploits of Italian and British combat swimmers and wet submersibles. Naval Special Warfare entered the submersible field in the 1960’s when the Coastal Systems Center developed the Mark 7, a free-flooding SDV of the type used today, and the first SDV to be used in the fleet. The Mark 8 and 9 followed in the late 1970’s. Today’s Mark 8 Mod 1 and the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS), a dry submersible, provide NSW with an unprecedented capability that combines the attributes of clandestine underwater mobility and the combat swimmer.

Post-Vietnam War operations that NSW forces have participated in include URGENT FURY (Grenada 1983) EARNEST WILL (Persian Gulf 1987-1990) JUST CAUSE (Panama 1989-1990) and DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, Liberia, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and a host of classified mission around the world. See the Operations content for insight into some of these more interesting operations. See the “Take the Challenge” section for information on the path to becoming one of these elite warriors.