Buddy Line

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Buddy Line
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Key West, FL
Fraternal order of underwater swimmers school
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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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The Key West reunion that everyone wanted is coming a year early The date for the next FO/UWSS Reunion has been set to May 10 13, 2018 in Key West, Florida Since that is Mothers Day weekend we are planning special activities for families and to honor mothers. Accommodations are being made available for us in the Fly Navy building (Gateway Inn) Information about making r eservations will be in the February issue of the Buddy Line The reunion will kick off at 1 4 00 on Thurs day with a time to sign in, pick up badges, and browse the Lolo Gear store T he Icebreaker starts at 1600 at the Chief Petty Officers Club W e are invited to tour Special Forces Underwater Operations Center on Fleming Key on Friday Then we will have a tour of Key West with a special loop for remembrance of the Truman annex where we all traine d see where the school was, the boat hou se and the b each where we swam to back then ll wind up the day with a BBQ at the Chief Petty Officers Club at 1600 finish the evening with an auction i members so bring some treasures and some junk from UWSS days Satur day morning we have the business meeting at 0900. The first order of business will be election of officers. A slate of candidates for president, vice president and secretary/treasurer, nominat ed by the board from a list of volunte ers will be presented and additional nominations will be accepted from the floor. The second business is choosing the location of the next reunion. After the business meeting we have free time until the banquet at 1800 The February Buddy Line will have mo re information about activities for the ladies and for families. We hope to wind u p this reunion with a Mother s Day brunch Sunday morning to honor mothers, and fortify you for your travels. See more reunion information on page 3 Newsletter of Fraternal Order of Underwater Swimmers School, Key West, Florida November 2017


Buddy Line November 2017 2 UWSS LOGO ITEMS All prices include shipping. Beefy T t shirt ................................ ...................... 25.00 ea white or ash gray, l arge logo back, small logo pocket Sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL Long sleeved t shirt ................................ ............. 28.00 ea white or ash gray, l arge logo on back, small logo on front (no pocket ) Sizes S, M, L, XL,XXL Polo shirt 50/50 cotton/poly ................................ 28.00 ea white or ash gray, s mall logo on pocket Sizes M, L, XL, XXL Pique polo all cotton ................................ ............ 29.00 ea birch gray, embroidered logo left front ,(no pocket) Sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL Blue denim shirt, short sleeves ........................... 38.00 ea embroidered logo above pocket Sizes M, L, XL, XXL *All shirts size XXL add $2 .00 ea Cap natural with logo ................................ ....... 20 .00 ea Baseball cap blue, embroidered logo ............... 30.00 ea C ap 3.00 less if ordered with shirt Embroidered Patch ................................ ............. 12.00 ea UWSS logo decal transparent or white .............. 3.00 ea UWSS commemorative coin ............................... 12.00 ea enameled brass, raised design, 1 5/8 inch diameter UWSS all service commem orative coin .............. 15.00 ea enameled brass, raised design, 2 inch diamete r Key Chain with enameled logo medallion ........... 10.00 ea Make check to FO/UWSS Send with order to Bob Shouse Jr., Treasurer 274 Boca Ciega Point Blvd N. St Petersburg, FL 33708 Questions? e mail: or phone (561) 391 6727 All logo items are pictured on the web site Membership November 1, 2017 Members in database 226 Members in good standi n g 124 A ccount Balance August 31,2017 $1 3,293.66 Dues + 650.98 Logo G ear S ales + 292.61 Logo Gear Purchase 179.76 Logo Gear P ostage 42.65 Buddy Line P rinting & M ailing 67.08 Account Balance November 1, 2017 $ 13, 947.7 6 FO/UWSS Mission The Fraternal Order of Underwater Swimmers Schoo l was formed in order to keep lines of communication open between personnel of the armed forces who were staff or students at the U.S. Naval Underwater Swimmers School Key West, Florida from 1954 to1973. One of the most important reasons for our existence a s an organized group is to plan for and participate in biannual reunions, which are held at various locations selected by FO/UWSS Officers President ................................ ....................... Bob Bureker Vice President ................................ ................ Dave Byers Secretary/Treasurer ................................ .. Bob Shouse Jr The Buddy Line news letter is published quarterly in February, May, August and November. Buddy Line editors are Don and Art Stone. e mail : p hone: (561) 391 6727 snail mail: 1440 SW 5 th Ave., Boca Raton, FL 33432 WEBSITE : Buddy Line by e mail You may prefer receiving t he email version of the Buddy Line newsletter. It is delivered to your inbox as a pdf file for Adobe Acrobat Reader. The benefits to you are faster delivery and color photos (when originals are color). The benefits to the FO/UWSS are the savings on printing and postage for the Buddy Line mail out. To receive the Buddy Line by email, send your request to Dues ($25.00 for 2 years) are payable in May of odd numbered years. Your paid thru date can be found on your label or in the Buddy Line delivery email. Make check to FO/UWSS and send to Bob Shouse Jr., 274 Boca Ciega Point Blvd N ., St Petersburg, FL 33708.


Buddy Line November 2017 3 Dave Gholson is a true hero of our Reunion Plans and has been working hard to batten down our 2018 Key West Reunion H e has a fantastic plan and has great contacts in Key West. The 10 13 May 2018 schedule us es the Chief Petty Officer Club as the center of operations. there is a special plan in the works for honoring our b eloved mothers. More to come as the plans firm up in the future. It will be great to see Key West again under better physical comfort conditions than the training program we all had the honor of enjoying in our past involvement. The sad news is that Don an d Art Stone will be stepping down as Logo Store Operator and Buddy L ine Editor in May. The Last Man Standing survey provided several members who want to serve in various positions for the organization. Now is the time to step up and get ready to participat e. The FO/ UWSS board will be having an online Board meeting soon and will be reviewing the volunteers for UWSS officer positions and operation of the Buddy L ine newsletter and Logo Gear store to be ready for the changeover at this Reunion. We owe a great deal of thanks for the service of the current board members and all the hard work it takes to put together the Reunions and keep the Logo Store and Buddy L ine going .. Now i t is time for others to put in time and effort to continue the operations necessary to keep on with a great tradition. I will continue to provide the free web hosting and website operations in the future as long as my health allows. However, I will be stepping aside as Presid ent in May I t has been a pleasure working with our current board members and I know some of our exceptional members will be able to do an excellent job in the future. I am looking forward to enjoying many more reunion s in the coming years. Reunion information Continued from page 1 Tentative Schedule 10 13 May, Key West Florida. Thursday 1400 1600 Sign in, get goody bags, badges 1600 2100 Ice Breaker, Chief Petty Officers Club Friday 0900 1100 Visit to Special Forces Underwater Operations Center 1600 1 900 Cookout Chief Petty Officers Club 1900 2100 Auction Saturday 0900 1100 Business Meeting 1100 1800 Free time 1800 2200 Banquet To be announced Sunday Mothers Day Optional activities to honor mothers The Executive Corner Bob Bureker, President Welcome new members Robert E. Blansett, Virginia Beach, VA USN 62 81, UWSS 1969 EOD Nelson Citta, Lake City, FL Donald A. Ashby, Virginia Beach, VA USN, UWSS Class 7AUG70


Buddy Line November 2017 4 Unidentified class photo from the archives Can you identity the class or the students? UWSS Staff 1973


Buddy Line November 2017 5 Remembrances of U.S. Navy Underwater Swimmers School By Chris Segar The choice to join EOD after OCS sent me to Underwater Swimmers School in Key West, Florida in the spring of 1961 T he school day started with an hour of heavy calisthenics led b y the very fit Don Stone f ollowed by a two mile run through the town and o ut to the sugary beaches of Key West. R unning in soft sand was much harder than jogging along on a street. We kept up a good pace, as we chanted bawdy songs and counted cadence together. Going by the Marine barracks included a version of want a In the beginning of training thighs were burning and we were sweating profusely when we came to the turnaround point on the beach where w e were allowed a short rest before running back to the base. Initially, it required considerable willpower for me to stay with the pack, but as the days went by it became much easier, and eventually was something we looked forward to every morning. Besid es demanding workouts, our days in dive school were filled with classroom time studying the equipment, learning the science of diving, and beginning to use the equipment in the pool. Arcane theories such as Boyles Law and the Partial Pressure of Gasses we re explored and mastered. I was not a science major in college, so I found myself scrambling to understand the physics and consequences of diving pressures, gas mixtures, nitrogen narcosis, and the bends. Our lives as divers would depend on how well we mas tered these theories. In the classroom, in the pool, and on the dive barge we learned every detail of the various diving equipment. My favorite rig was the old Mk V. Getting into this rig took some time. First came the thick rubber and canvas suit with the cumbersome three fingered gloves then the 35 pound canvas and bronze shoes. I then sat on a little three legged stool while my diving mates put the heavy chest plate over the rubber neck piece with the bronze studs sticking out to secure the chest pl ate to the diving suit. In the photo are t raining o ffice r Dave Schaible, my dive buddy Peter Wells, George Coughlan and Ed Abel The helmet came next, and if one were in the least bit claustrophobic, this is where you would find out. The crew lowered th e spun copper helmet over my head, and, with a clank, it dropped into the bayonet type fitting. With a slight jerk to the right, the helmet threaded tightly into the breast plate and I was locked inside. I could see out of the helmet through four small p ortholes, one directly in front of my face, one on either side and one slightly above me. All communication took place with a two way radio in the helmet through a speaker just above the right ear. Now I stood up and my dive mates eased the 85 pound wei ght belt over my shoulders and buckled it in front. I checked communications, confirmed my knife was in place, and the air was turned on. Excess air was dumped from the rig by pushing a chin button inside the helmet. When ready to dive I awkwardly moved o ver to the ladder at the stern of the dive barge. Continued on page 6


Buddy Line November 2017 6 Remembrances Continued from page 5 In Key West, I weighed about 150 pounds wearing only my skivvies, but fully dressed in the Mk V rig I weighed an additional 185 pounds W alking around on a heaving dive barge was not easy but once down the ladder and into the water the Mk V rig was in its element. The hissing sound of incoming air and the steady voice of the dive master calmed the adr enalin rush that came as the surface slipped away above my viewing port and I eased down toward the ocean floor, connected to the surface by my air hose and a thick steel wire. Each 33 feet I descended added another atmosphere of pressure -about 15 pounds -to every square inch of my body, including my ears. In the hard hat rig, there was no way to relieve the pressure except to yawn vigorously or to place my lip on the edge of the port in front of my face and push it up against my nose. If I blew against my nostrils I could equalize the pressure and continue the descent. Sometimes I was not able to do that maneuver and had to ascend a few feet to ease the pressure and try it a gain. If I did it right, I could fill the suit and helmet with just the proper amount of air so that I was slightly negatively buoyant, and my descent was gradual and controlled. Too much air and I would float back to the surface; too little air and I wo uld plunge out of control toward the bottom. It was a marvelous sensation to descend from the surface in a gradual freefall with the sound of gurgling air escaping from the helmet dump valve and the colors of the surface gradually losing their intensity u ntil I reached the sandy bottom 125 feet down, and became part of a gray white monochromatic and alien world. There was plenty of light at that depth because the white sand reflected it, but there was very little marine life. No coral, few fish, and only the occasional sea slug on the bottom TO BE CONTINUED


Buddy Line November 2017 7


. Fraternal Order of Underwater Swimmers School Buddy Line Newsletter 1440 SW 5 th Avenue Boca Raton, FL 33432 New Member Application Fraternal Order of Underwater Swimmers School Full Name: ________________________________ ____ ________________________________ _________________ Mailing Address: _______________________________ City St Zip ________________________________ ________ Phone Number: ________________________________ E mail: ________________________________ ___________ ________________________________ __ Buddy Line Newsletter by email_____ or snail mail ________ Branch of Service: ______________________________ Dates of Service: ________________________________ ___ Dates & Class # at UWSS ________________________________ ________________________________ _________ Send copy of class picture if you have one. 2 Year Membership $25.00 Make check payable to FO/UWSS and mail to Bob Shouse Jr, Treasurer, 274 Boca Ciega Point Blvd N, St. Petersburg, FL 33708 Touring tank