Talking with ‘Nam vets is always a learning experience. They are a truly remarkable bunch of guys who accomplished a lot with very little. I am fortunate to know a SEAL who did some time during the heyday of Vietnam. Reading stories about the Brown Water Navy and SEAL/UDT Platoons in books were great but I had unanswered questions. I was always intrigued on what they did. Their exploits during liberty in the P.I. are hilarious, however what I found most interesting is what they had to work with. What was available? What worked and what didn’t? One particular piece of gear that I read about, and I believe does need mentioning is the Stoner 63. (Mike Perry has an excellent article on the subject.)
What got me curious was what they packed in their load-out. During one such conversation, the question I asked is what specifically they carried. Unlike today, assets can be called in as needed, but during the 60’s it wasn’t so easy. Long range radio communications were very unreliable most times. The River Rats (SWCC) and the Sea Wolves were used for insertion and extraction, but primarily SEAL Platoons were on their own. Recalling past missions he says that they when they geared up, they expected to be outnumbered. So in preparation, a platoon brought everything.