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North Virginia Beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Navy SEAL Monument

 
 
Navy <small>SEAL</small> Monument image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 17, 2021
1. Navy SEAL Monument
Inscription.  
The Naked Warrior
Here stands an Underwater Demolition Team swimmer ready for combat. These SEAL forerunners swam through enemy waters under fire to find and demolish obstacles in the way of amphibious landings. They saved countless lives and were the most decorated Navy combat veterans of World War II.

Called "Naked Warriors" and armed only with knives, they carried minimal equipment. They used weighted lines to measure water depth and marked the location of obstacles on the slates around their necks. This man stands atop a horned scully, typical of the obstacles he risked his life to destroy.

Created by Seward Johnson, this statue is life-size to denote that SEALs and their predecessors are ordinary men who do extraordinary things in the service of our country.

Identical naked warriors stand guard at Fort Pierce, Florida; Waimanalo, Hawaii; and Coronado, California. His presence in Virginia Beach completes the symbolic chain that links all major SEAL heritage sites and bonds SEALs of all generations.

Medal of Honor
The
Navy <small>SEAL</small> Monument image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 17, 2021
2. Navy SEAL Monument
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Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy that can be bestowed upon a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. A Medal of Honor is etched on the monument's interior wall for each SEAL who has received the award.

Family Love and Strength
In peace or war, SEALs are too often separated from their loved ones while they train and deploy to protect us and the freedoms we hold dear. Of the team is the SEAL The source of the SEAL is the love of his family.

Fallen Teammates
Gold stars commemorate all SEALs and SEAL forerunners who gave their lives in the service of their country. Each star bears silent testimony to the sacrifice of one of these men and women.

Gold paw prints represent all the faithful and true war dogs who were killed in action protecting their teammates. Without their courage, there would be many more gold stars for SEALs on these walls.

We Are The Navy SEALs
Our forefathers first came together near this beach in 1942 to prepare to fight in World War II. Since then, generations of us have gone to the far ends of the Earth, doing extraordinary things to serve our country.

This is our story.

Amphibious
Navy <small>SEAL</small> Monument image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 17, 2021
3. Navy SEAL Monument
Scouts And Raiders
Navy and Army men formed the Amphibious Scouts and Raiders at Little Creek, Virginia in August 1942. Their mission was to identify landing beaches and lead troops from ships to them. In November, during the Allied assault in Morocco, they guided assault craft to shore in darkness and under heavy fire. Other operations were at Salerno and Anzio, Italy and Normandy, France.

Special Mission Naval Demolition Unit
Another specialized unit also trained at Little Creek to help capture a crucial airfield in Morocco in November 1942. Under heavy fire, the men blasted a cable blocking a river passage. Allowing the USS Dallas to land Army Rangers and capture the airfield.

Naval Combat Demolition Project
Operational Naval Demolition Unit #1 was formed in Solomons, Maryland in May 1943 to blast channels and remove underwater obstacles for the Sicily assault during July and August.

Naval Combat Demolition Units
An NCDU School was founded in Fort Pierce, Florida in 1943 to train volunteers as Assault Demolitioneers. The training was rigorous: most failed. "Hell Week," a fundamental component of SEAL training, began then. NCDUs distinguished themselves on the beaches of Normandy, France on 6 June 1944 (D-Day).
Navy <small>SEAL</small> Monument image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 17, 2021
4. Navy SEAL Monument
Under heavy fire, they cleared the way for thousands of American troops to come ashore at Omaha and Utah beaches. Fifty-two percent were killed or wounded; six earned the Navy Cross in August. NCDUs supported the final European amphibious assault in Southern France.

Office of Strategic Services Maritime Unit
OSS MU was formed in June 1943, and trained as America's first combat swimmers. They developed underwater attack techniques with swim fins and face masks, closed circuit diving equipment, submersible vehicles, and limpet mines. Their capabilities were adopted by the post-war Underwater Demolition Teams and many live on in the SEAL and Special Boat Teams.

Special Services Unit #1
Special Services Unit #1 was formed in Australia in July 1944. Operating in New Guinea, they collected intelligence and trained guerrilla forces. They later became the 7th Amphibious Scouts.

Sino-American Cooperative Organization
The Scout and Raider School began training men under project "Amphibious Roger" for duty with SACO in July 1944. Their mission involved guerrilla operations with Chinese counterparts against occupying Japanese forces.

Underwater Demolition Teams
The first UDTs were Navy, Army, and
Navy <small>SEAL</small> Monument image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 17, 2021
5. Navy SEAL Monument
Marine Corps volunteers at Waimanalo, Hawaii in December 1943. A UDT training base was formally established at Maui in March 1944. UDTs surveyed landing beaches and demolished obstacles in every major Pacific amphibious landing. Armed with only a Ka-Bar knife, these "Naked Warriors" were the most decorated Navy veterans of World War II, and were the only SEAL predecessors who remained after the war. UDT detachments were sent to Korea soon after war broke out in 1950. Throughout the conflict, UDT men performed traditional beach reconnaissance and mine clearance tasks, and also carried out demolition raids behind enemy lines. After Korea, the UDTs were involved in the Suez and Lebanon crises and several Cuban operations. They acquired parachuting capabilities during this period. UDT men also supported the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space flight programs, helping tain astronauts and recovering them at sea after splashdown. The men of UDT would create the SEAL Teams.

Birth of the SEAL Teams
Emerging conflicts in Southeast Asia and communist interventions in Caribbean and Central American countries led Navy leaders to form unconventional warfare units. Names SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Teams for
Navy <small>SEAL</small> Monument image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 17, 2021
6. Navy SEAL Monument
their all-around capabilities. SEAL teams ONE and TWO were established in January 1962. The SEAL teams, UDTs, and their support structure were called NAval Special Warfare.

SEALs in Vietnam
Vietnam was the crucible in which the SEAL identity was forged. SEALs operated in the Mekong Delta from 1962 to 1973. Their mission was to gather intelligence, raid Viet Cong strongholds, set ambushes, capture prisoners and generally create fear and havoc among the enemy. Only a few hundred SEALs and UDT men served in Vietnam. But their contributions were far out of proportion to their numbers. They earned three Medals of Honor and established a lasting reputation as tough warriors.

After Vietnam
Differences between UDT and SEALs had buried enough so that in 1983, all UDTs became SEAL or SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams. These SEALs refined mountain warfare, sniper, combat swimmer, high-altitude parachuting, combatant submersible, and other capabilities that would prove crucial in the future.

Incursions and Counterterrorism
Grenada
SEALs saw their first
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combat since Vietnam during Operation Urgent Fury in October 1983. They conducted pre-assault reconnaissance, destroyed the radio station, and rescued and evacuated the Governor-General.

The Achille Lauro Hijacking
Palestinian terrorists hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro off Egypt in October 1985, murdering an American in a wheelchair. After agreeing to withdraw in exchange for safe passage, the terrorists departed in an Egyptian airliner. Forced to land in Sicily, they were surrounded by SEALs vand taken into custody by Italian forces.

Panama
Operation Just Cause was launched during December 1989 to bring Panama's corrupt President Noriega to justice. SEALs disabled Noriega's aircraft to prevent his escape, and destroyed his private boat in a swimmer attack.

The Battle of Mogadishu
In response to lawlessness and alarming warlord activities, Task Force Ranger deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993. An attempted capture of key enemies became a prolonged urban battle after Somali militiamen shot down two Black Hawk helicopters. A rescue effort eventually succeeded; five SEALs participated and all earned Silver Star medals.

Operation Desert Storm
Just before the invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990. SEALs
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detonated explosives off the coast, convincing Iraqi defenders that an amphibious assault was imminent. The Iraqis reinforced that area, making them vulnerable to the main attack elsewhere.

The Global War on Terrorism
Task Force K-BAR
On 11 September 2001, terrorists crashed hijacked airliners into the World Trade Towers, Pentagon and Shanksville, PA. SEALs immediately deployed to Afghanistan, commanded by a SEAL TF K-BAR, integrated allied allied special operations forces to eliminate numerous Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders.

Battle of Ramadi
SEAL reconnaissance patrols and snipers in Iraq helped the 1st Armored Division purged Famadi of Al-Qaeda insurgents in 2006. For the first time, SEALs fought alongside Army soldiers, and Marines in a major battle. Two SEALs perished. Many were wounded, and one was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. SEAL operations and activities expanded in Afghanistan and Syria, Yemen, and East Africa.

Operation Neptune Spear
SEAL on Army nightstalker helicopters attacked the secret compound of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan on 1 May 2011. In a short, audacious operation, they killed Osama Bin Laden, the founder of Al-Qaeda and planner of the 11 September 2001 attacks and collected vast amounts of intelligence material.

Hostage Rescues
Notable rescues by SEALs: Army soldier Jessica Lynch in Iraq in 2003; merchant ship Captain Phillips, held at sea by Somali pirates in April 2009; humanitarian worker Jessica Buchanan, held for ransom by Somali pirates in 2012; and Dr. Dilip Joseph, held for ransom in Afghanistan in 2012. In the last mission, a SEAL was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Tragedies
During Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan, a helicopter with eight SEALs on board went to reinforce other SEALs caught in a prolonged firefight. It was shot down on 28 June 2005, all 18 on the helicopter and all but one SEAL on the ground were killed. The Medal of Honor was posthumously awarded to one of the SEALs. Extortion 17 was the call sign of a helicopter carrying SEALs attempting to reinforce Rangers in Afghanistan on 6 August 2011. It was shot down with the loss of all 38 on board.

Naval Special Warfare in 2017
SEAL Teams
The size and number of SEAL teams in 2017 has varied greatly since 1962.

SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team
SEALs operate and Navy technicians maintain submersibles and their submarine transport systems. SDVs conduct highly classified maritime special operations globally.

Enabling Support
Specially trained men and women from the Navy and other services and organizations augment support, and enable SEAL operations. They include logistics intelligence, and communication specialists, explosive ordnance disposal technicians, Seabees, Air Force combat controllers and pararescuemen, and SEAL counterparts from other nations. Highly trained combat assault dogs accompany SEALs on many operations. SEALs rely on ships, submarines, helicopters, various aircraft, and many other assets to complete their missions. Several SEAL have qualified as astronauts; one was the first commander of the International Space Station.

Special Boat Teams
SBT Special Warfare Combatant-Craft crewmen are uniquely trained to operate on rivers and near-shore regions with global-reach capabilities and extreme firepower. They support SEALs and conduct direct action and special reconnaissance missions.

This short summary of our history ends 75 years after it began. We have relentlessly engaged America's enemies around the world since 1942. We leave it to future generations to record their own extraordinary deeds.
 
Erected 2017.
 
Topics and series. This memorial monument is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceMilitaryWar, World IIWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Distinguished Service Cross/Navy Cross/Air Force Cross Recipients, and the Medal of Honor Recipients series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is August 1942.
 
Location. 36° 51.974′ N, 75° 58.755′ W. Marker is in North Virginia Beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Memorial is on Virginia Beach Boardwalk 0.1 miles north of 37th Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3800 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach VA 23451, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Threshold of a New Nation (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Graveyard of the Atlantic (about 800 feet away); The Princess Anne Hotel (about 800 feet away); A Day at the Beach (about 800 feet away); Seaside Park Casino / The Cavalier Hotel (about 800 feet away); The Ash Wednesday Storm (about 800 feet away); The Winds of Change (about 800 feet away); VB Now (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in North Virginia Beach.

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 20, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
 
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Mar. 8, 2021