Celebrating Diversity in the Teams

February is Black History Month and the Navy SEAL Museum is proud to honor the Black Teammates who fought for our country beginning in World War II.
Largely unrecognized for their contributions until much later, Black men served in some of the most critical areas of combat during the Second World War–only to come home to fight for the same liberties promised to all Americans. This became known as “Double Victory.”

Fred “Tiz” Morrison was among the first of Black servicemen in the Teams. Against all odds and despite discrimination and segregation, Tiz joined the Navy in 1944 to fight for his country during WWII. He was ordered to an all-Black base company of 200 men on Johnson Island in the Pacific, but as the war raged on, an urgent need for Underwater Demolition Team members prompted a call for sailors to UDT. Tiz rose to the challenge. He was one of only six men out of 115 who completed the rigorous training.

In 1948, he was ordered to UDT 1. The Teams were on a 13-month stateside, 6-month deployment in Japan when the Korean War broke out, so Teams were deployed from Japan to Korea. It was during his time in Korea as part of UDT 12 that Tiz earned the Bronze Star for heroism

Tiz served with the Teams from his World War II training at Maui through the Korean War until he retired in 1962. Download article

Submarine Trunk Procedures For Combat Swimmers

Filmed in the early 1970s at the Naval Amphibious School in Coronado, California, this training video shows the procedures used by divers to enter and exit a submarine through the airlock. The film features extremely rare footage of the Special Operations submarine USS Grayback (SSG-574 / LPSS-574) which carried miniature submarines (known as SEAL Delivery Vehicles or SDVs) in its hangar. SDVs are used by Navy SEALs for special operations. This film is part of the Periscope Film archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation footage collections in the United States.

The Dirty Dozen

Alpha: To Vietnam and Back

“We were just the guys who’d do the missions no one else would dare to do.”

This 45-minute documentary is about SEAL Team ONE Alpha Platoon, told with the support of images captured by (then PH1) Chip Muary in December of 1968. Chip’s photos quickly gained attention in the military community for not only their compelling composition, but raw authenticity, including the now renowned “Dirty Dozen” photo of the group displaying a Viet Cong flag.

Alpha set an unprecedented record of conducting 101 operations in only six months. Also unique to the group: nine of the fourteen men had endured 26 weeks of training together in Coronado, California at the time when Navy SEALs were first formed. This tightly-knit bond, in addition to joining a group of several seasoned veterans, made them an “exceptional platoon”–and ultimately very successful in Vietnam.

Here is a rare glimpse into the Brotherhood and service of SEAL Team ONE’s Alpha Platoon. Many thanks to Marie Morrell for directing, producing, editing, and sharing this important piece of SEAL history.