Title: A Swimming Party

Published: May 1996

By: Lyle Davis


Early 1943, somewhere in the Gulf Stream, Caribbean. . . We’d been at sea for three to four weeks.  Our ship came to a dead stop.  Cargo nets were rigged to the hull and an all hands swimming party was called.  Marines with MI’s were dispatched in picket boats 100 yards out to keep the sharks at bay.  The rest of us into the water we went.  What beautiful deep blue water with the closest land fall at least 200 miles.  We had people diving off all the free board decks.  The signal bridge held a special attraction and it was at least 40 feet above the water line.  A number even used the aviation crane to swing out over the water and drop off like Tarzan.


“C” Division had a young man who was an exceptionally talented swimmer.  His kick was fantastic and he executed the crawl like an Olympic champion.  He was a radioman second or third class, well built, with sandy hair which was receding.  Anybody remember his name?  We kept trying to get him to volunteer for the Navy’s underwater demolition teams but he constantly refused.  That program developed in what we know today as the Seals.


Lyle Davis, “N” Division