Special Boat Unit - 13



1978-2002 - Special Boat Squadrons

Special Boat Squadron -1


Special Boat Squadron - 2

Special Boat Unit - 11

Special Boat Unit - 12


Special Boat Unit - 20

Special Boat Unit - 22

Special Boat Unit - 13

Special Boat Detachments


Special Boat Unit - 24

Special Boat Unit - 26

Special Boat Units TWELVE and Thirteen were put into commission October 2, 1978 at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, CA. Additional history can be read in the attached articles and photos below preserved by your shipmate GMCM Jim Gray (SWCC) Ret.

patch48.jpg (10363 bytes)  
Original Second Variation Final The SBU-13 Challenge coin with unit logo, the opposite side showed NSWG-1 which SBU-13 was part of.  

"We are saddened  to announce the death of YNCS Mike" Marty" Martin of SBU-12 and SBU-13 following his valorous fight with cancer. Fair winds and following seas Marty."



12-03-07 SPECIAL BOAT UNIT-13 Short Fuse Reunion remarks:

Oh Aye, it was a short fuse, but the call went out, and they still came. One from Alaska, two from Colorado, and one from Texas. When you look upon them, you see some of the Old Men, with grey hair, or no hair, Over weight. and they earned it! Paid for the right in service of their country.
Read More Here

Operation Earnest Will - 1988
as experienced by
GMCM Jim Gray (SWCC) Ret.

10/05/03   I commanded the 753 in the Gulf during Operation Earnest Will in 1988. The Army called it Operation Prime Chance. It was a interesting time, the first mission of the newly formed US Special Operations Command. We operated off converted Oil Rigs paid for by the Kuwaiti Gov.


They were called Mobile Sea Bases (MSB) They were set up as Naval Special Warfare Task Units (NSWTU). Commanded by a SEAL Commander. Each MSB had two dets of MKIII PBs, a Seal Platoon. Army Helo Gunships and BlackHawks from TF-118 and TF-160 (Nightstalkers) and we had Air Force Combat Air controllers. and Marines for Barge security. The MSBs were manned By Both East Coast and West Coast NSW Units, The MSB Barge Hercules was Manned by the East Coast units, West Coast units were attached to MSB Barge Wimbrown VII.

Chart showing my 38th Patrol in Persian Gulf: Note Barge WBVII anchored in KNOWN Mine Field. You can also note Barge Hercules Position and How Close to Iranian Waters they were.

On WimBrown VII the MKIII were PBs 753 and 757 from Special Boat Unit 13, PBs 775 and 776 were from Special Boat Unit 12.

The Hercules had PB detachments from SBU-20 and SBU-24. I don't recall all there boat numbers , I remember the 777 and 758 for sure as I worked with them on a few occasions. Mostly Each NSWTU conducted there own missions both answering to Naval Special Warfare Task Group. PB Missions were primarily Coastal and Interdiction Patrols to stop the Iranians from mining the sea lanes for Oil Tankers and Small Boat attacks on Oil Tankers.

We also conducted SEAL Support operations, and escorting oil tankers to Kuwait. Threats we faced from the Iranians in this operation were Mines, Aircraft and Missiles and our personal nemmisis, Small combatant craft operated by the Pasadaren Guard. These boats included Armed Boston Whaler types and sizes, and the fast armed Bogghamer. the Iranian had MKIII PBs also!!!, left over from the Shaw of Iran. So when on patrol if you came across other PBs you took a real hard look at them. As we operated in the Northern Persian Gulf The Iranians used Farsi Island and and Karge Island and Bushere as their boat bases as well as Iranian controlled Oil Platforms as launching points for attacks. The Iranian Navy had several European built FACs with Exocet missiles. Every Indigenous craft in area was looked at because Oll Platform support boats could and did sow mines. The Native Dhow we knew could and did sow mines, and gather Intelligence on us. We were very worried about a Suicide Boat attack on the Barge, and one of the duties of the PBs was to not let ANY vessel within a mile of the barge. This task was called Pouncer Duty. For us on the Wimbrown VII the normal duty schedule was Patrol a day, Patrol a Day, Maintenance day, and Pouncer day, then start over. Seal Support Ops and Escort duty were extra, and could screw up the schedule!

At first we only did Night Patrols but later we did day and night patrols That made a LONG DAY. Ask any Boat Guy there, sleep was a Blessing. Maintenance day to work on the boat and get some rest was often interrupted by a SEAL op. or escorting a convoy up to Kuwait. In the Northern Gulf it was divided, the Iranians had a mythical line called The Iranian Exclusion zone officially, their "Line of Death". No one could cross that line. and most of the time we honored it. We called it the Romulain Neutral zone, a spoof on Star Trek movies. Because the Gulf is very small, a tug often moved our barges so they couldn't be targeted. and operating ranges for patrols were not large, which makes for limited movement of the barges, I remember the Barge being anchored on a known Mine field on our charts, and on a another occasion being only 16 miles from Farsi Is. When an incident happened, ship attack etc, it went down fast and it didn't take long to get there. Don't get me wrong, most old warriors will tell you it 90% of time things are Boring! The other 10% your scared to death. It was no Different there in the Gulf.

The Biggest Thing I learned about was the awesome responsibilty of command in a war zone. Your decisions made could be Life or Death for your crew.

Well I rattled on long enough, If you want to read about Operation Earnest Will, read my Barge CO.s book Inside the Navy Seals, By Gary Stubblefield.

This is only my story and view of this event. Many of My fellow Boatguys served as Boat Captains and Crewmen and have their memories as well. This was just my moment in time."

Best Regards, Jim Gray

Capt. Peter Wikul, SEAL is a NSW legend starting as a Enlisted and retiring as a Full Captain. He started out in the UDTs and Seal Teams and served also in Special Boat Units 12 and 20 and commanding SDV Team 2. He held the Rare Title of "Bull Frog" The longest serving SEAL in the Teams at the Time of retirement of 39 years service.

The following is his point paper he wrote based on his experience on the Barge Hercules 1987. Read Here

(04-06-2011) Pete said: Jim, Great to see you're still going strong, I have been busy with a number of projects. You can use anything I have written. If I get more time I will send more stuff on the Barges and Boats.

I want to say CMDR Paul Evancoe was the first C.O. of barge Hercules 1987.

My Best  Pete.. Bullfrog 13

WBVII  This was NSWTU (Pac) Middle East Forces 1988. MKIII PBs alongside Wimbrown VII, note sandbagged Marine gun
positions and skid for PB
PB753 and me in the skids on Maintenance Day, Note personal GQ
gear by weapons positions, Note heavy duty swim platform we made
82nd Airborne test fire their 20mm Vulcan on WBVII PB775 "Nightmare" on Day Patrol with us.

Barge Hercules NSWTU (Lant) Middle East Forces with its PBs and TF-160 helos one PB comes out to join us on a escort a convoy to Kuwait. East Coast PB7510 passes Soviet Minesweeper at Kuwait anchorage.

Floating M-08 Mine Exploding Mine thanks to EOD The Iranian Bogghamer.. The BadGuys

Iran IRGC Rocket Whaler.... with Chinese 107mm multiple rocket launcher.

A Bad Guy IRGC PBMKIII They would often use them as Navigational
Mother ship for Whalers.

My Boat PB753 the "Myassis Dragon" on step note the Jolly Roger Patrol Flag.

This Tanker got shotup by 107mm rockets by a couple of IRGC Boats.
Early FLIR [forward lookinig infrared radar] on PB757 the "Ho Dad Cab Company" Its strap down with chair on top of Pilot house
a wild ride for the Observer.. note twin M-60s

FLIR on Patrol on my boat. Jeff Hunter the Observer. The FLIR was always on Lead Boat of Patrol. Dragging SEALs hanging on cargo net as we practice a emergency extraction.
My Boat being used as target vessel for VBSS exercise.. SEAL Dave Billings (Great Guy)
Boatguy on 40mm is Cal Hastings
GMG2 Brian Eschbaugh in 40mm mount and EN1 Rob McKinney leaning over.

40mm MK-19 Grenade Launcher and Dhows and GMC Jim Gray


The OH57D (AHIP) in gunship mode flew off Wimbrown VII and Hunted at Night.
They use to drop green chemlights on our night patrol to let us know they were up there.
Rarely could we spot them at Night.

Pasadarin Gun Boat a fast large whaler type with Twin ZU-23mm cannon on Bow. One of the boats would wind up in US hands and eventually at the Special Boat Units that hunted them.


IRGC practices shooting up tankers... this hit is from a 107mm rocket.

SBU-13 htm  a SBU-13 PBMKIII in its Prime 1986

JFQ [Joint Force Quarterly] Magazine - Autumn/Winter 2001-02. Will open as a .pdf


Special Boat Unit 13 plays a unique role in Naval Special Warfare history by being the first unit to deploy Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (called RIBs) into Combat Operations. Upon receiving orders from NSWG-1 via CSBR-1, SpecBoat Unit 13 sent Detachment  Bravo off with two 24' Willard Ribs and 6 Combatant Craft crewmen. This det. was to supplement SBU-12's HSB dets. On 21 Sept 90 Det Bravo arrived in Saudi Arabia and were originally based at Ras Al Gar NSWTG. They began area specific training for combat operations and NBC warfare, learning how to support SEALs with such a small craft. Later they moved up to Ras Al Mishab and conducted nightly patrols. Waiting for the war to kick off was a long wait like all the Desert Shield vets wanted Desert Storm to kick off and go home. During Desert Storm Det Bravo was moved to NSW Task Element Kilo operating off of a Kuwaiti motorized Barge called the SAWAHILL, which had a nickname of "Happy Duck". This Kuwait Vessel had escaped the Iraqi Invasion with two FACs  a 45' meter FAC called Instigall  and a 57' meter FAC called AL SAN BOUK. During Desert Shield/Storm they conducted CSAR Operations, Reconnaissance, Insertion and Extraction and Battle Damage Assessments.

At war's end SBU-13 RIB det Bravo returned home 12 Mar 1991.


SBU-13 RIB underway and it does get Cold in the Persian Gulf SBU-13 RIB acting as Support craft for SDV Launching off Sawahill Free Kuwait Navy Fast Attack Craft Instagall a part of a NSW Task Element
Free Kuwait Navy Motorized Barge Sawahil known also as "Happy Duck" served as a Base for a Naval Special Warfare Task Element Free Kuwait navy Al San Bouk a Fast attack craft that escaped the Iraqi Invasion served in a NSW Task Element.

12-14-07 Pete Frede BMCS ret.    "Jim, I retired BMCS in 96 after I was told I wasn't medically fit for sea duty. I had the choice to stay at Bethesda Naval Hospital or since I already had over 20 in I could retire. So, I swallowed the anchor. My wife Patty and I are living in Greenville N.C. and yes, I'm still riding a Harley. Here's some photos and info for the webpage. During my time at SBU-13 I did the following deployments:   Read More  Great history collection here.

(04-27-12) My Last Overseas OP with Special Boat Unit 13 -  Jim Gray MCPO DBG Ret.

After Desert Storm the Country of Kuwait was in shambles and much of its infrastructure was  in ruins. The surviving Kuwaiti Military that escaped to the South and fought their way back formed the backbone of rebuilding its military branches. Coalition Forces moved to Kuwait to help in the process, especially in aiding to get rid of tons of un-exploded

ordinance everywhere in the country.    Read More  Follow with Bill Hansen story below.

(10-29-2013) Bill Hansen  - Jim, my recollections regarding the content of the training program are consistent with what you’ve written about.  And, I remember that we intended to offer equivalent training to the CG.  So, I won’t cover that aspect, since you’ve ably described the course of instruction.  Instead, I’ll just offer some memories that have stuck with me. Read More


10-09-06 - Jeffrey Hunter      Jim - Remember Lt Jim Ostrich ? Now a Captain I think. He was so much FUN ! We used to take his little car, a Toyota if I remember right, and place it on the end of pier 13... SIDEWAYS !  One of our guys "Big Al", had a Buick that he used to drive down from L.A., and for some reason his key would work on the LT's car. So we were constantly . . .

10-11-06 -  Phil Garn     I saw Jeff's blurb on the gun shoot. A couple of minor corrections and additions. We were on an ACTDUTRA at SCI and had been working with HAL 5 who had been shooting in the same area, I think they shot the day before.

Officer Call - Operation Northern Hawk 1986

09-10-07 Frank Lipovisk   I was a LT at SBU-13 in the Reserves at the time. The operational side of Northern Hawk is kinda' fading now but I do remember a number of great missions during the exercise. On the transit north I remember Phil Garn kept taking his team into isolation/seclusion where they would just shutter themselves into a compartment and go through some SEAL-inspired immersion planning exercise.  Read More

09-10-07 - Cmdr. Mark Bauer USNR ret. (then LT. SBU-13)   First op with the SWCL was to insert and blow a missile base on Indian Island to smithereens with a limited amount of C4. We took 818 and I skippered the op. I can’t remember if there were two boats, but I know we picked up the SEALS. PO2 Marler was sleeping at 0200 when the explosion was supposed to go off. I was the only person awake on the boat. Read More

(01-05-08) Don Gardner   I remember the First day I checked aboard, only because it was the same day that the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded over Florida, 01-28-1986...It was a very solemn day, and no other event could possibly shadow the horrific accident of losing 7 US Hero's in space,  Read More

01-15-08 Scott Meaney GMG1  I was at SBU-13 from 88-90, I was in the gunshop with Sigsworth before that I was at ACU-1 with Bill Danforth. I swapped with Gardener to come over to 13. I wont take to much of your time I was wondering if any of the guys from 13 ever got together, if so could you let me know i sure would like to see them. Thanks for the website Master Chief.

09-11-07 Phil Garn  - Ground Swell     In the late afternoon and behind schedule, we finished the post operational debrief on the ASDV, but everyone (SEALs, Boat Unit and  most of all SUBPAC) was generally pleased with the last couple of days of sub ops. (1)  I, then an Ensign (0-1) was really glad to get some topical steroids from the Diving Medical Officer for a rash on my forearms,    Read More

12-28-06 - OS2 Ray "mad Dog" Evanouski PB757  Do we all remember those tough and grueling "training evolutions" at beautiful San Clemente Island? Ah yes, loading up the old PBs; 20mm, .50 cal., 7.62mm, and my favorite: 81 mike mike mortar rounds.  Read More

12-28-06 - ENC Harry F. Lowrey (SWCC) Ret     Jim. How are ya boatmate? I just found today the warboats web page. I found a Pic of SBU-12 AND SBU-13, that was taken on the Wimbrown. We were the first DET to arrive in the gulf from 12 and thirteen. In the pic I am 2nd from left standing. Being in the boats was the best time of my life while in the Navy.

HMC J.A. Greenough, USNR, Ret. -  I can remember being aboard a US Navy 65' Specter class patrol boat (PB-755), around 1979-1982. We were conducting open house activities in Marina Del Rey, Calif, as part of Special Boat Unit Thirteen. A group of Puerto Rican Communist activists came aboard and  unfurled a banner denouncing the United States's presence in Puerto Rico. The group was order of the vessel, but refused to leave. The Officer in charge then ordered the crew to make ready to get underway. The Specter's three dual turbo charged Detroit 8V-71 Diesel engines were fired up and Lines were cast off. The demonstrators became frantic and asked what are you doing? The reply was that we were making ready for sea, and that after we cleared the break water all unauthorized persons aboard the boat would be thrown overboard. At this they could not get off the boat fast enough. We departed the harbor for about a half hour and the continued our open house with out further incident. This was one of the best moments in my memory of my service in the US NAVY.

06-20-07 Jim Ostrich, Operations Officer at SBU-13  -  The Water Buffalo's on fire..............,  * Hey sir, I think you ran that small car off the FWY with that lane change....... * Camp Schlongmaster / IBS Beach Ops ...... A great collection of SBU-13 Stories.

11-12-07 - THE "RAT PATROL" GUN TRUCK OF SBU-13 - On the West Coast, Special Boat Units would conduct underway gunshoots at San Clementi Is for their heavy crew served weapons such as 20mm and the 60mm and 81mm mortars and 50 cal MG. However during the winter months "inclimate weather caused sea states too rough for our small boats and many a scheduled gunshoot and valuable training times were lost. Read More

12-15-07 - Billy Hoffmann - I was at SBU-13 from 1981 to 1983 and I learned (OJT) on one of our green LCPL's and after a break-in period became coxswain of my own boat. I just loved it. As you well remember, sometimes we provided boat support to the UDT teams (SDV and otherwise), occasionally SEAL Team 1, Force RECON and even had the chance to work with some Army Rangers once as they were conducting Helo water insertions and recovery training.      Read More

Commissioning article with 13 insignia 1986-Active & Reserve, Officers and Enlisted --
Plankowner's certificate 1984 - Active and Reserve, Officers and Enlisted --
    1981 - Doc's guys.. Lt Bennett, Doc Greenough next to LT Pryor, Ltjg Eberling can you ID the rest of the guys??  Click HERE for very large format version.
SBU-13 command history  



Seven Man Teams for SBU-13

  C.O. Elson addresses Unit 

 (Added 05-30-2012)


SBU-13 Seafox Crews, 1985.      
Low Res High Res   Whatever the odds... Det Kodiak

This cartoon represents when we did SHOBA Range Patrol at San Clemente Island. The patrols were long and boring and lasted 1 week at a time, Monday - Friday. The Uniform of the Day was shorts, boots and hats. We did lots of fishing and trading with the local fishermen.

Seafox Drawing Seafox Cartoon  

Boat Pictures
Deployment training for Persian Gulf, 1988. En2 McKinney, ET2 Hunter, GMG2 Eschbaugh. PB MKIII & SWCC tied to pier at N.A.B., Coronado UDT-12 frogmen cast from SBU-13 PB MKIII off San Clementi Is. "Big Ski", GMC Leroy Gerzkowski, later Command Master Chief Lt. Phil Garn

GMG1 Gray, EN2 McKinney, OS2 "Mad Dog" Evanouski. 1990- Lt Phil Garn, GM Brian Eschbaugh, Robin McKinney, Tom Folkeson. LT Greybill PCF Swift Boats, MKII828, Mk1 104. Lt Brian Herring.

GMG Gray, preps fuses on 81mm illumination round for night gunshot on MKIII PB. Seafox SWCC at speed 1987. SBU-13 and SBU-X1 deploys boats to Washington for OP Northern Hawk aboard USS Fort Fisher. Note SBU-13 Sea Foxes, SBU-X1 PBR's. In well deck SBUX1 MiniATCs. Mad Dog Evanouski finishes a sardine breakfast while OIC up chucks breakfast. PB MKIII, note SBU-13 insignia and CO's pennent. 25mm chain gun on bow.

Heading out for a gunshoot. SBU-13 reserves spent much of their weekend drills at San Clemente Is doing gunshoots, seal support and FXP-6 drills.qA MKIII PB at speed. Note SBU-13 CO Pennant flying . That means Commanding Officer on board. 20mm Mk16 Cannon on PB MKIII, 850 rounds per min. Operation Earnest Will, Persian Gulf 1988. SBU-13 MKIII. Pouncer Intercepts Dhow, getting too close to Bangi. GMG Bill Danforth off San Clementi Is. 60mm Mortar MK4 (Naval) being fired by trigger.Note aimsights , lightweight and fits into a tripod.

Gun Tub Wimbrown VII 1988 Persian Gulf    SBU-13htm


Persian Gulf - 1988 "Operation Earnest Will". Wimbrown 7, NSWTU(PAC)MEF Home to SEALS, Spec Boat Dets, Marines, Army & Air Force and one serious deterrent to Iran.  Note one PB on barge undergoing maintenance. SBU-12 & 13 provided the MKIII PBs and crews. GMCS Jim Gray on Kuwaiti Navy Boat, 1993. PB753 "Dragon Boat" on Day Patrol, Persian Gulf 1988. This is 1992 and it is an Iranian Boghammer brought back to Coronado after being sunk during Operation Earnest Will. Special Boat Unit-13 had two and they were used as “aggressor boats” against the fleet in exercises. Persian Gulf 1988 -Mines were a big threat in the Gulf to tankers and even "Boats" if it was a floater. The joe was "anybody could be mine sweeper ONCE!"

Iranian Boghamer from "Operation Earnst Will." Note on the bow the box is 107mm rocket launchers and also carried 51 cal on stern, plus RPGs & SAAM missles. SBU-13 24' Willard RIB 1990 Support Combat Swimmer Ops. SBU-13 Op Earnst Will PB753, 1988 Jeff Hunter Photo - SEAFOX at sunset on OP NORTHERN HAWK. I remember we were going out to do a night mission, but don't remember exactly what that mission was. Maybe it was to find LT Stans infamous "Lost Platoon" from SEAL Team Three, remember that one ?

PB & SeaFoxes at Wilson Cove, SCI GMG2 Brian Eschbaugh on a hot day in Persian Gulf 1988 with his " M-60 Back Pack" 600rds 7.62 mm ready to go.  Brain Ekberg on MTT with Kuwaiti Navy Jan.1993, on board Kuwaiti navy boat, a modified civilian speed boat as most of their navy was lost during1990-91War. Note Kuwaiti Navy crewman on lookout.....and its close to lunch time. Gunner engages "moving" targets on SCI with his 20mm Mk16. Note expended brass being ejected and on deck. Photo credit ENC Ed Bermender  

Post OP Desert Storm SBU-13 ARG Rib det works with Kuwaiti Navy 1992

SBU-13 SEAFOX  Boyz 1984      

YN1 Martin Tommy Cappell      

(Added 10-12-2011) More Doughman photos

EMC John Reyes

SBU-13 Quarter deck Chain of Command circa 1985

Petty Officer Scarber Perry Marler and Tommy Capell  

LTJG Garn with captured AK-47 Prepping for night op in Puget Sound. SBU-13 ACDUTRA Lt. Randy Morgani Platoon .50 cal shoot of PB MKIII Lowering SBU-13 SWCL into water at Vallejo (SBU-11) for ACDUTRA SeaFox gunshoot, M-60 & .50 cal at SCI

SBU-13 ACDUTRA SeaFox Sacramento River Delta, Jay Duenas EN2 McKinney, GMC Gray, HMC Greenough sitting on a SeaFox. Lt Garn shoots .50 cal from SeaFox ASDV PB and Fountain Speedboat off SCI 1990 SBU-12 & SBR-1 ex. Lt Jack Spratt SBU-12 SWCls Vallejo SBU-13 ACDUTRA

SBU-13 SWCLs and PBs with SBU-11 Minis in Vallejo. PBR in Mike Boat SBU-11 Puget Sound ACDUTRA SBU-13 SWCL Crew ACDUTRA Sacramento River. b. Hackett, T. Folkesson, J. Duenas, P. Garn. PB Sacramento River Delta SBU-13 ACDUTRA Off loading SBU-13 SWCL at Vallejo for ACTDUTRA

SBU-12 PB's op at Vallejo ACDUTRA Infamous gunshoot at SCI.50cals away TOC crew Mission Bay, Brian Eschbaugh, Phil Farn, Jeff Hunter, Robin "Rob" McKinney TOC prepping for kayak ops. 1990. Hackert & Doc Kyle Castle Rock gunshoot. ET2 Hunter, LT Ostrich

Garn & Eschbaugh canoe pair Mission Bay TOC Canoe pairs, Garn, Eschbaugh, Hunter, McKinney   PB & SeaFoxes at Wilson Cove, SCI  

06-23-07 Rory Towne  Here are some more pic's. There are some of San Clemente Island and when I was Squadron Sailor of the Quarter. They had the base photographer take the pic's of the engine room of the 736. I had it looking great. It also ran great. The guy reading the book is Brian Larence. (Other Rory Towne photos HERE)

added 04-22-2013)
  Rory Towne shooting twin M-60s off PB MKIII Foal Eagle exercise in 1985. news paper photo SBU-13 SEAFOX
Troy Boone, 1984-87 Troy helo transfer      

Added 11-06-07 The Gunboat Section
1993 SBU-13's Iranian Gunboat, a "prize" from Op.Earnst Will inserts "Agents" onto a hostile Golf course in Coronado.
After insertion the "Agents" watch the Iran Gunboat withdraw, Note the Coronado Apartments in Background. SBU-13 also had a Iranian Boghammer. The Iranian Gun Boat AKA "the Flying Bathtub" on its trailer. a 40 knot boat powered by twin volvo penta engines check out those outdrives. SBU-13 Gunboat loading out for a ship attack, note 50calMG with BFA
The second Iranian Gunboat, a Boghammer, here captured by a SBUXI PBR in a wargame in 1991

SBU-13 24' Willard RHIBs frozen in Kodiak Alaska
Newly minted LCDR Bob Koerber Training Officer and 24'Hurricane RHIB
SEAL Combat Swimmers in SWCL swimmers compartment check their dreggers before dive. 1993 awards ceremony at SBU-13 SEAFOX receives IBS squad of SEALs at San Clementi Is.


Added 01-05-07 >
Familiar faces in 1992 Klein and Bronson   SBU-13 Practice water survival and IBS Training. 1984
Even SCPO Big Ski can find time for a break

SCPO Big Ski pauses in thought before addressing his remarks to the troops

Pulling the increment bags off 81mm HE round Loading a 81mm mortar Loader just dropped in a 81mm mortar round down the tube.
81mm Mortar round going down the tube, the loader quickly ducks to avoid the muzzle blast 81mm Mortar and 50cal MG  on stern of PBMKIII LT Herring and GMG1 Gray

An old MK67 mount firing, note ammo stowage box built into mount. Lt. Bare firing M-79      

13 boys fun on 24ft Willards 1991, note new Squadron building being built.
McKinney, Hale, Murrain, Marler, Hunter Back turned unknown
Gary Hunt on SEAFOX SEAFOX on step  

Added 03-10-08

SBU-13 milling about smartly before Blues Inspection 1981
SBU-13 forming up for Inspection. No those aren't all CPOs, those are the enlisted Zuwalt Dress Uniforms which were not Popular Addressing the Command Awards Ceremony, but note the crackerjack uniform making its comeback into the 1981.
Doc's guys.. Lt Bennett, Doc Greenough next to LT Pryor, Ltjg Eberling can you ID the rest of the guys??
Ray Evanouski and John Nickols. PB753 off San Clementi Is, I.D'd Norris, Greenough, Berry, possibly Lipe on helm. Sea Specter PB MKIII note SBU-13 insignia
50cal gunshoot Gun run on beach SCI, Doc in the casual attire.

SBU-13, 1981 photo. Note the Zumwalt enlisted uniforms. BM1 Al Stroup in the GULF during Earnst Will

BM2 Perry Marler, SBU-13 1984-1986, retired BMC 1999, NAC Recruiter     'When I was at SBU-13 I was sent on a Exercise called Allied Special Warfare JTX, Tandem Orbit-85. The Command sent a seven man detachment and SEAFOX 8212. We were to operate out of Kaneohe Bay Hawaii.   Read More


Added 12-05-08

  PBMKIII set up their 20mm cannnons  for gun run on San Clementi Is. MK67 Mount for 20mm Cannon on PBMKIII Off San Clementi Is. at Night SBU-13 PBs after a gunshoot at SCI
Sundown and now the Night work begins.
SBU-13 like all NSW Boat units night ops and night gunshoots were the norm.      

(05-27-09) Thomas Michael BM1  1987-1988 His Det Photos on Wimbrown VII, Operation Earnst Will


(Added 10-26-2010) Don Gardner SBU-13 1986-1989
PB MKIII steaming towards San Francisco Believe this was PB755 from From San Francisco trip PB755 Skipper Elson on 757 heading towards San Francisco... Ohhhh what a Trip! SBU-XI's PBRs They were in Bahrain too.. we teased them calling them Bahrain Taxis

Final Game between SBU-12 and SBU-13 prior to our deployment to Middle East. SBU-12 Robbed 13 of victory due to a Ref calling Back a Touchdown due to Showboating!!!!????  That's what we did best .....1987

SBU-13 side lines Skipper Elson, Lt Meyer.....


heading to Gulf stopover in Philly and Jones  by one of the good things in Philly

East Coast PBMKIII at Piers in Bahrain


What do you do first Day in Middle East? Haki Sak

Wimbrown VII we were First Dets on Her.

Harry Lowery one hell of a engineer ..at least he kept us afloat and alive Boat Captain BMC Dave Calfey "where my coffee and damn Cigarettes!" Jones and Quinn and???? Typical sight the Native DHOW
Is that Damn thing sending IFF or not??? Relaxed Battle Stations Maintenance Day on Barge.

Harry Lowery somewhere in Gulf.

PBMKIII alongside an FFG. Note size difference. We often used their ships' store

(12-11-2010) Bruce M. Cooley Jr, QM3 -  I was a QM3 in  SBU-13 from 1992 until it was Decomm'ed in 1993, just getting back into the Navy after spending a year and a half as an Army Officer (I resigned after the L.A. Riots). When I first got there I was assigned to SoCal Det 1 under LT's Scoggin (I think) and Harding. I drove the SeaFox's, the 24' Willard Rhib's (with ET3 Malloy), and was navigator for PB 755. We participated in several "ship attack" scenarios with the Coast Guard WHEC's and was the M-60 gunner on two of those, and also did a couple of ops up at San Clemente Island doing guard exercises for the SEALs doing a night fire out to sea. I did most of those exercises on PB 755 except the ship attacks, which were on the Rhib's. We also did several rendezvous ops on PB 755. I was part of the last group to get their 9533 prior to decommissioning the unit. On a land Nav exercise I borrowed Chief Alvarado's compass but didn't check the deviation setting, so my group was way lost. LT Harding then announced to the entire bus that I was no longer QM3 but a BM3.....everybody got a laugh about it.....!

My best memories were when I would come in during the week to get some boat time with the active duty. After they learned to trust my abilities they gave me more responsibility and I credit that with helping me stay in the Navy and teaching me about real leadership....something I have striven to provide for my sailors since then. I really enjoyed the team atmosphere and camaraderie that we had at Special Boat Unit 13, and took that with me to the MIUW/Naval Coastal Warfare community, and now as a LCDR with the 5th Navy Expeditionary Logistics Regiment.

By the way, I ran into now CAPT Maxim (Spelling??) at the NOSC San Diego!!! He spoke to my "new" CAPT at the time and paved the way for me at that unit, so I guess the camaraderie doesn't expire!!
 I could go on but those were the most rewarding and memorable.
 Nice to hear from you!
 LCDR Bruce M. Cooley Jr.  - bruce.cooley@navy.mil
 Fuels Readiness Officer
 5th Navy Expeditionary Logistics Regiment
 526 Laguna Road, Building 632
 Point Mugu, CA 93042-5001

(04-21-2011) In 1983 Naval Special Warfare was  discreetly involved in El Salvador trying to stop the spread of a communist threat by El Salvador's Neighboring countries. Spanish Speaking NSW advisors were added help build the small boat navy of El Salvador. Their Senior Naval Advisor was LCMDR Albert A. Schaufelberger SEAL.

On May 25 1983 Schaufelberger was Killed in a ambush in his car by F.P.L. terrorists. His body was return to the USA and his family had him cremated, the family requested his ashes be spread at sea. Tasking was given to Special Boat Unit 13.

Two PBMKIIIs were stripped of weapons and cleaned spick and span and Crews and OICs and the C.O. of the Unit in Dress Whites recieved the The ASHES and Chaplin and SEAL Officer Escorts and  Albert Schaufelberger's Family. The PBs got underway from Coronado NAB and slowly with Flags at Halfmast made their way to sea. At the chosen Point a somber simple ceremony was held and his ASHES were given to the Sea.

Special Boat Unit 13 Commanding Officer Tom R. "Hulk" Richards would leave his Command at take Schaufelbereger's Place as Senior Naval Advisor in El Salvador.

(04-21-2011) Peter Prince HTFN  Jim, I wanted to take a minute to thank you for your website, I've already met some of the guys I served with and look forward to meeting & talking with other brown Navy sailors, My name is Pete Prince, I went to N.A.B. Coronado in Sept. 81 and left in 83. I was fresh out of boot & everyone from my company went straight to the fleet. I got my orders for SBU-13 Coronado San Diego. After getting off the plane I was confused, when I got to the base I was shocked. I realized I wasn't in the Navy, it was the beach, I was amazed. The guy's were having a cookout and beer party when I showed up. Everyone was in shorts & tees and that was the beginning of my fun there.  After tearing my ACL I was on crutches for 2 months and assigned to the HT shop where i met a bunch of "cool dudes", Chuck Smith, Randy (cant remember last name) and Lane, all Hts.  Eventually I got on the 753 and then moved to the 736 for a major overhaul. It was a piece of junk, but with 3 guys and lots of hard work we put it together again.. I had a lot of good times on the Silver Strand beach & the Gator Club. I lived on the top floor of the spec. war barracks and I remember there was a beer machine on the first floor and lots of cool guys.. I'm pretty sure that me and the guys that came at the same time, were there to replace the women in the unit. That didn't go over to well I guess. I'm starting to put names to faces, but it was so long ago. 

I would appreciate anything you can do, to help me get in touch with the kids and men I was there with, and meet more guys like you, who were there for the long haul. I went to the USS New Orleans LPH-11 after the boats, I didn't know a thing about ships and was lost. I heard they were gonna make it a closed community.. but I missed it. 

I thank you in advance for your time and effort, I feel like a kid again talking about the old days. You have helped me to re-live some great memories.

Your shipmate, Peter Prince HTFN   Missing San Diego, Stuck in Boston Mass

Peter Prince Part 2 - I wanted to tell you a couple SCI stories. During the summer of "82" we were pulling weekend duty and tied up to the pier at SCI. It was a boring day with no shooting. I was fishing with a line, sinker and a can of jack mackerel. This one fish kept coming up closer and closer. My buddy on the boat had scuba gear, rocket fins etc..  so I got out his self release spear and waiting for this fish. I let the spear go and it sank to the bottom, about 25 ft, it was about dusk, and we had seen seals all day and sea lions migrating to the isle. My Bro was not in the best of moods to put on all his gear to retrieve the spear I lost, so he said grab my fins strip down and dive in and get the spear. I was down 20-25 ft and could see the spear right in front of me, reaching for it, and something big and dark swam right past me. I almost had a heart attack. I'm not sure it was a g. white or a sea lion. I wasn't hanging around to find out. It's really gloomy at that depth at dusk with not much light. I got to the surface and SCRAMBLED on the boat. The next day on Sunday my buddy put on his gear laughing at me saying it was just a sea lion, when he came up an hour later, after the dive, he said I was right. the was a big fish down there, and not a sea lion. I never jumped off the boat again!!! 

Another time in the SD bay we were following an SDV across the bay to 32nd St Navsta. on a mock mine planting op.  It was scorching hot, the sun coming up of the water was burning my eyes. I was following the "little orange ball" staying a little behind, making sure no other boats are in the area, etc. I'm on the bow of the PL, bored shitless, but it was kind of cool knowing what the SEALs were doing. The ship they were using was the New Orleans, LPH-11. When we got back over to NAB the guys said one of the divers got stuck under the ship for awhile. I thought they were joking, He went too near an intake and the had to yank him out. I don't see how those guys do all there underwater ops so fearlessly. I myself am now scared of deep water.. funny being a Navy Guy, rough tough HT. Later on I was stationed on the same ship, and underway for OPPE or REFTRA. After we had a swim call I jumped in, swam a few minutes and climbed back up the cargo net. I had to put aside my fear as I was thinking of the guys who do the real deal and all the risks they take on ops..

Pete Prince, Htfn Boston, Mass.         NAB SBU-13    1981 - 83

(added 06-22-2011) Brenda Walker - I'm one of the few women at SBU-13. I was there from 1979 to 1981 as a HT3. I rode PLs and later the PB753
with GMG1 Bill Danforth as my Boatcaptain, later I worked in the MAA shack. It was one of the best times of my life.

(Added 11-29-2011)
  Seafox with Green Berets at Camp Pendleton SWCLs and PB 1986 NAB Coronado PB 753 Dragon Boat in Persian Gulf 1988 SCPO Gray and the ugliest Oakley sunglasses ever sitting on Nemis Boghammer

(added 09-27-2013)    

SBU-13 PBMKIIIs with SBUXI during Specter Strike EX 1982. Guns stowed so not to offend civilians while anchored in Avalon.

SBU-13 Seafoxes on LPD heading to EX Northern Hawk 84


(added 03-02-2014) Mike Siggsworth      
Burning Trash in the GULF .. entertainment PB DET CHARLIE1988 Wimbrown 7