The first sword in the Home Islands, 73 years ago today
And it was to a UDT guy!
LCDR Edward Porter Clayton, USN, (center, back to camera) Commanding Officer of Underwater Demolition Team 21, receiving the first sword surrendered to an American force in the Japanese Home Islands:
The surrender was made by a Japanese Army Coast Artillery Major (standing opposite LCdr. Clayton) at Futtsu-misaki, across Tokyo Bay from Yokosuka Navy Base on 28 August 1945. Members of UDT-21 had landed from the converted destroyer escort USS Burke (APD-65), whose boats are beached in this view.
The donor provided identifications of many of the other UDT-21 members present. Those to the left of LCdr. Clayton include (from left to right, in the first boat except as noted): Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class William P. Griffis; E.W. Pangburn; J.E. Paul; R. Rice; Seaman 1st Class A.L. Vadenburg (standing on beach in swim gear); Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Robert Lee Wicall (kneeling, in white shirt); Gunner’s Mate 2st Class Robert A. Winters (standing, behind Wicall); Seaman 1st Class Frank P. Goodwill (standing, beside Winters); Radio Technician 2nd Class L. Wurzel (kneeling, beside Wicall); Motor Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class O’Brien; Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Philip Masters (in white shirt, at bow of boat); Others identified, to right of LCdr. Clayton, include: Motor Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Myron Earl Townsend (in second boat, only head & shoulders visible, just to right of Japanese Major); Coxwain Shirley Cox and Gunner’s Mate 1st Class E.G. Chesney (left to right, in swim gear, standing on beach just to right of group of Japanese in center).
As for USS Burke, she decommissoned 22 June 1949 and, after two decades in mothballs, transferred to Colombia as the ARC Almirante Brión (DT-07), where she served until 1974. ATB Little Creek-based UDT-21 went on to serve in Korea and Vietnam and was disbanded in 1983, absorbed into the SEALs.