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BM2 Perry Marler - SBU-13


 


BM2 Perry Marler, SBU-13 1984-1986, retired BMC 1999, NAC Recruiter

'When I was at SBU-13 I was sent on a Exercise called Allied Special Warfare JTX, Tandem Orbit-85. The Command sent a seven man detachment and SEAFOX 8212. We were to operate out of Kaneohe Bay Hawaii.

The Bos'n at the SOMS Boat house referred to us as the Navy's Misfits because we played hard, and we worked hard, but he didn't think so. The one operation we were going on was a night op. at Bellows Beach Park to insert a SOF element, I think from Thailand. Weather was Bad and going to be worse by the time of the op. The last weather report I called and the seas were to be 13' foot seas at the time we got we got to the insertion point.

When the Operations Officer got down to the boat the crew was in dive booties, UDT shorts and dive tops and he said' you think you're going to get wet' and I said yes, just not sure how we will get. Before we left the pier I told him he had to sign the deck log and take responsibility of the boat, I then slipped it into my dive top. Well we got underway and did get to the insertion point. We got the Zodiac of the top and put on the outboard motor and the gas cans and then the SOF element found out they had no gas lines. But the weather and sea state was so bad we could never have gotten the Zodiac back on top of the swimmers compartment and almost lost the outboard motor.

The SOF element decided they would paddle in. So the Ops Officer had us give them all our flares and first aid kit. Just as they got clear I heard QM2 Murrain yell HANG ON! and I grabbed the radar mast and not sure what everybody else grabbed. A huge wave broke over the top of the SEAFOX breaking out the center window and we were taking on water quick. QM2 had glass in his left leg and no first aid kit. So I had the idea to bring the boat up to full speed and you could hear the screws cutting the air wave to wave. I then took the emergency engine room access cover off  and we went topside and put it over the broken window. The water level in forward compartment was 10 to 12 inches deep and the seawater coming in through the broken window the electronics were gone, the radios and radar. The gyro was still on but shocked you every time you touched it.

We eventually made it back to the SOMS boat house in Kaneohe Bay by using the coastline lights. Going through the emergency boat harbor was tricky because it went from 20feet deep to 2 inches on the sides! The next day we got someone from Pearl Harbor to come over and look at our electronics and they weren't able to fix them. When they took off the radar dome cover sand and water came running out! When it came time to leave we had to drive the boat to Pearl Harbor to be craned out of the water and put back on the skid. When we had to lower the forward compartment we had to cut the pins holding it up because they were bend like fish hooks (stainless steel pins!) that's how strong the water was that broke over the boat that night.'

 

   
Perry Marler in dress whites note his OIC boatpin.
 
Perry Marler on Seafox Commodore /Cmdr. Paul Plumb presents Perry Marler with a SBR-1 plack for sailor of quarter for Special boat Squadron One.