Author Topic: A Brief History of the US Navy’s SWCC Teams  (Read 1167 times)

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A Brief History of the US Navy’s SWCC Teams
« on: October 18, 2021, 09:53:47 am »
A Brief History of the US Navy’s SWCC Teams
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By Matt Fratus | October 13, 2021

Marketed to potential recruits as “the best kept secret in the US Navy,” Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman, or SWCC, units comprise elite gunboat drivers who support Navy SEALs and other special operations units. Colloquially known as “boat guys,” these Special Boat Teams — like other Naval Special Warfare units — trace their history back to World War II.

In fact, John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, served as a patrol boat skipper in World War II. Kennedy’s squadron harassed ships on the “Tokyo Express” — a dangerous route Japanese forces used to transport supplies to their island bases in the Pacific Theater. On the night of Aug. 1, 1943, a Japanese battleship collided with Kennedy’s boat, PT-109, and threw his crew of Navy sailors into an eight-day survival saga. After Kennedy wrote an SOS message on a coconut, the castaways were eventually rescued.

Kennedy’s ordeal was perhaps the most famous PT boat story from World War II. However, all 43 PT boat squadrons included 12 boats and frequently undertook sensitive operations.

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