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U. S. Navy Uniforms in World War II Series: U. S. Naval Amphibious Forces Hardcover – February, 2007
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Regrettably, with respect to combat demolition, this broad sweep through the history suffers from notable factual inaccuracies. Neither the Underwater Demolition Teams, established in Hawaii in late 1943, nor the Naval Combat Demolition Units, founded mid-year, were the brainchild of Draper Kauffman, although he had a significant impact on the two programs. The "flying mattress," which he put to use with near disastrous consequences in the Marianas, was a motorized, one-man raft, with no application whatsoever to swimmer cast and recovery. Eyewitness testimony belies any notion that the Japanese plane that strafed and bombed the USS BLESSMAN (APD 48) struck the side of the ship. The damage reports are detailed and clear on the path of the bomb that demolished the starboard mess hall. For my MA thesis on UDT 15 and the BLESSMAN, I interviewed dozens of veterans, including ship's company. If an aircraft the size of a "Betty" smacked into them, they would know.
The UDTs were never a sub-unit of the NCDUs. Most frustrating of all, the author references no written sources indicating the basis for such flawed reporting. Having researched the subject for over twenty years,
I was very disappointed with that aspect of Warner's effort.
The re-enactors I know pride themselves on developing a useful library. A military historian and an actor, I have worked with them on location. We agree that history is where you find it, and we research thoroughly.
There is, in fact, so much misinformation about the history of the Teams, in print media and on the Net. That the author adds to it detracts from an otherwise engaging graphic display.