UDT Museum

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Welcome to another unofficial UDT Museum webpage.

(Official Page Here: http://www.navysealmuseum.com )

This past Winter I had the privilege to visit this fine museum while in Southern Florida.  I was in search for "PTF Nasty" stuff and discovered this great collection of  history that most of us haven't even really consider the importance of. It is of medium size and I am told that 40% of the artifacts are still stored away due to lack of funds to expand their building.

Make a point of visiting the UDT Museum.  The driving directions from the Ft Lauderdale area are:

  • North on I-95, take the Ft Pierce exit (#65) and proceed East on Ochicobe Road to US-1.
  • Travel North on US-1 until the A-1A North turn-off to the first stop light.
  • Turn left at the light (notice a Radisson Hotel on your right) and travel 1/4 mile north.
  • You won't miss it on the right hand side of the road.

NOTICE: Because they are very understaffed it is not practical to answer Emails. They will answer telephone questions, but they are unable to do research for you. Please visit in person and they will be glad to assist you on site in anyway possible.

UDT Museum logo


The UDT-SEAL Museum was dedicated in November 1985. The addition was opened in November 1993.

The outside exhibits show the evolution of Naval Special Warfare in the varied types of crafts used from World War II to the 1980s, including the museum's latest acquisition--a Seawolf helicopter from the Vietnam era. Specialized equipment includes swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs) and swimmer propulsion units (SPUs) and boats, such as the PBR, a river patrol boat. Also on the grounds are obstacles left from the early training days in Fort Pierce and an Apollo spacecraft, a reminder of still another area of involvement for the Navy's elite forces.

An exhibit in the lobby pays tribute to Rear Admiral Draper L. Kauffman, called the "Father of Demolition," and includes some of his personal memorabilia. The rest of the museum is arranged in chronological order beginning with the earliest training of the Naval Combat Demolition Units and Scouts & Raiders in Fort Pierce in 1943 to Korea and Vietnam and even the most recent SEAL Team involvement in Somalia in 1993 and Haiti in 1994. In text, photographs, and artifacts, exhibits trace the history of Naval Special Warfare from the earliest "demolitioneer" to the modern SEAL.

The museum has several exhibits dedicated to weapons, including firearms of all types, and a collection of Special Warfare knives. Both open- and closed-circuit diving gear is on display, including basic compressed air SCUBA tanks and closed circuit gear, such as the Pirelli and Emerson rebreathers. Other exhibits are dedicated to the varied equipment used by the Navy's elite forces and to aspects of life in the teams, such as training, operating in cold climates, and involvement in America's space program.

In a small viewing room visitors can see films dealing with Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, SEAL involvement in Vietnam and Panama, interviews with people directly involved in some aspect of Naval Special Warfare, and other related subjects. The Ship's Store stocks T-shirts, books, videos, and various mementos.

Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM
Monday (Jan.-Apr.) 10 AM - 4 PM
Sunday, Noon - 4 PM
Admission: Adults $4.00
Children 12 & Under $1.50
Pre-Schoolers Free
Group Rates Available
UDT logo 3300 N. State Road A1A
North Hutchinson Island
Fort Pierce, Florida 34949-8520
Phone - (561) 595-5845
Fax - (561) 595-5847

A Brief History of Naval Special Warfare

The U.S. Navy entered the underwater demolition arena with the formation of a l7-man detachment that spearheaded the invasion of North Africa in November 1942. In 1943, another group--Naval Demolition Unit One--opened channels through Sicilian beaches. As the Navy raised its sights for further attacks on both European and Pacific targets, the need for permanent clearance units became apparent. That summer formalized training of 6-man Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDUs) began in Fort Pierce, Florida.

In November, while being deployed in both theaters, the amphibious invasion of the Japanese-held island of Tarawa was to have significant impact on the operational concept of the NCDUs. During this invasion Marine- laden assault craft ran aground on an uncharted reef. While wading ashore, submerged depressions became as lethal as enemy bullets as hundreds of the men drowned. This disaster, plus the prospective attack on Kwajalein, resulted in the reorganization of future Pacific Fleet NCDUs into 100-man Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs) and the incorporation of pre-assault hydrographic reconnaissance as an integral part of their demolition clearance mission.

While two UDTs were being organized in Hawaii for the Kwajalein operation scheduled for January 1944, the first NCDUs began arriving in England in preparation for the Normandy invasion. On the 6th of June they were among the first to land on Omaha and Utah Beaches. Sustaining overall casualties in excess of 40 percent, the surviving Omaha Force returned to Fort Pierce, while the Utah Force redeployed to England to participate in the invasion of southern France. This was the last NCDU of the war in

Europe and the last major invasion in which demolitioneers were not swimmers. Also in June 1944 in the Pacific, Saipan was invaded with five newly formed UDTs leading the way. From this point on UDTs participated in every Pacific island campaign from Borneo to Okinawa. By war's end there were 30 teams with about 3,500 men in all.

During the Korean War, UDTs were once again called into combat. In addition to their classic mission of pre-assault hydrographic reconnaissance and clearance, UDTs conducted night inland demolition raids against enemy railroads, bridges, and tunnels, and served as human mine sweepers in harbors and rivers.

In Vietnam UDTs shared their roles with Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) Teams, formed in 1962 in response to President Kennedy's stimulus to expand the Navy's role in unconventional warfare. SEAL Teams were made up of former UDT personnel. For more than six years, SEALs amassed an impressive combat record by successfully interdicting major Viet Cong troop and supply movements. For their size SEALs emerged as one of the most highly decorated units of the war, including three Congressional Medal of Honor winners.

In 1983, the U.S. Navy converted all UDTs to SEAL Teams and merged their missions. From their early days in World War II as NCDUs and UDTs to the present day SEALs, these elite combat units have been in the forefront of every conflict, contingency, and national emergency that has faced the nation. Their history has been one of accomplishment and pride, and the men who lived it have given the UDTs and SEALs the undeniable prestige which they enjoy today.