LT Melvin Spence Dry.

Ver el tema anterior Ver el tema siguiente Ir abajo

LT Melvin Spence Dry.

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Mar 22 Feb 2011 - 12:34



Lt. Melvin Spence Dry served with heroism and distinction during combat operations as the officer-in-charge of Alfa Platoon, SEAL Team ONE, while embarked on the amphibious-transport submarine USS Grayback (LPSS-574) from April to June 1972. His combined UDT/SEAL special warfare detachment participated in Operation Thunderhead, a highly classified combat mission conducted off the coast of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War to rescue U.S. prisoners said to be escaping from a POW prison in Hanoi.

Demonstrating great flexibility in adapting to a unique chain of command created for this sensitive operation, Lt. Dry's superior leadership, exemplary professionalism, and total mission commitment galvanized the morale of the men under his charge. Of more than 20 special warfare platoon and detachment commanders embarked in Grayback under my command during 1971 and 1972, Lt. Dry stood above all others in professionalism, leadership and aggressive pursuit of operational objectives. During rigorous training evolutions in port and underway, he was relentless in his drive to increase his platoon's combat readiness from its already high level.

On June 3, 1972, the first night of submerged operations in the northern Gulf of Tonkin, Grayback detected high-speed enemy patrol boats along the coast at a distance of no more than three miles. North Vietnamese fire control radar also was intermittently detected. Lt. Dry and then CWO Philip L. Martin were launched in SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) manned by two UDT crewman to reconnoiter the area and select a position on an off-shore island in the vicinity of the mouth of the Red River appropriate for covert surveillance to detect the escaping prisoners of war. The SDV was launched without incident, but due to strong surface and tidal currents it ran out of battery power fighting two knots of unexpected and uncharted currents. Lt. Dry then decided that he and his team must swim the SDV in tow out to sea and away from North Vietnam's coast to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. They accomplished this and were rescued by a Navy helicopter seven hours later. The SDV, too heavy to be retrieved, was scuttled on the orders of Lt. Dry to prevent its capture and disclosure of the operation to the enemy.

The helicopter returned the four mission personnel to the flagship, the guided-missile cruiser USS Long Beach (CGN-9). The debrief in Long Beach also concluded that Lt. Dry's leadership had been instrumental in the survival of the team in enemy waters for eight hours. Throughout the night, he and his team avoided enemy patrol boats whose engines could be heard close by. His critical decision to scuttle the SDV quickly enabled the helicopter to remain undetected by enemy observation posts ashore a few thousand yards away.

Lt. Dry made an impassioned argument to the commanding officer of the Long Beach and me (by secure radio) to return to my submarine to lead future missions. His unique tactical information from the first night of operations, leadership and experience were judged vital to the success of future SEAL insertions. Accordingly, an operation to return the four personnel to the Grayback was planned for the night of June 5, 1972 by cast from a helicopter assigned to Helicopter Combat Squadron Seven (HC-7). The submarine's position was marked with an infrared flashing beacon on the top on an antenna that was to be raised before the arrival of the helicopter.

Limited visibility and other factors made it extremely difficult for the helicopter's air crew to sight the infrared beacon. At one point in the flight the helicopter nearly impacted the water when it descended to the surface (close enough to have water enter through the side door). The helicopter also flew over the North Vietnamese coast at one point in its increasingly challenging circumstances.

During multiple unsuccessful approaches, Lt. Dry was aware of the pilot's difficulties, but he was determined to return to Grayback that night if possible. His last words, reported subsequently by then CWO Martin, were, “We've got to get back to Grayback.” When the helicopter pilot thought he had sighted the infrared beacon and made his final approach for the cast, he signaled for the team to exit the helicopter. Discounting the potential personal risks, Lt. Dry did not hesitate; he was the first to jump from the helicopter and was killed instantly (shortly after midnight on June 6, 1972) when he struck the water. Reconstruction of the helicopter's approach suggests it was outside the optimal envelope for a safe cast.

By his heroic leadership, courage and uncommon devotion to duty during an operation conducted to rescue fellow American POWs, Lt. Dry reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service

doc_breacher
ALPHA Squad · S08

Mensajes : 9248
Fecha de inscripción : 02/05/2010
Edad : 29
Localización : melilla

Volver arriba Ir abajo

Re: LT Melvin Spence Dry.

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Mar 22 Feb 2011 - 12:36








doc_breacher
ALPHA Squad · S08

Mensajes : 9248
Fecha de inscripción : 02/05/2010
Edad : 29
Localización : melilla

Volver arriba Ir abajo

Re: LT Melvin Spence Dry.

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Mar 22 Feb 2011 - 12:37








doc_breacher
ALPHA Squad · S08

Mensajes : 9248
Fecha de inscripción : 02/05/2010
Edad : 29
Localización : melilla

Volver arriba Ir abajo

Re: LT Melvin Spence Dry.

Mensaje por Contenido patrocinado Hoy a las 14:14


Contenido patrocinado


Volver arriba Ir abajo

Ver el tema anterior Ver el tema siguiente Volver arriba

- Temas similares

 
Permisos de este foro:
No puedes responder a temas en este foro.