Born, JT


JT Born - Service Info

OUR UNIT:   Mobile Support Team Two, Detachment Alpha
                  Boat: Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM-6) (MIKE)
                  Call Sign: KANUTE ONE ONE for the Mike Boat and Sierra One for
                  SEAL Assault Boat (14' Boston Whaler or IBS Inflatable Boat Swimmer                                                    

                  Base: March 1967 at Cantho
                           April-August at My Tho   
                  Two units comprise MST-2
                  1.   SEAL Team Two
                  2.   Boat Support Unit One (BSU-1)

                  Detachment Bravo
Boat: Landing Craft Personnel Light (LCPL)
                  Base: March-August 1967 at Cantho
                  Units Involved
                  1. SEAL Team One
                  2.  Boat Support Unit One (BSU-1)

LT. Sam W. Braly CO
BM1 John H. Harrison (Boat Captain)
EN2 Richard L. Settle (Chief Engineman)
GMG2 Wallace E. Knuteson
EN3 John W. Warden (Assistant Boat Captain on Assault Boats)
BM3 James T. Born    (Assistant Boat Captain on Mike Boat and Captain on Assault Boats)
EMFN Joseph W. Raffell
SN George C. Bosserdet

LT Stephen W. Baumgart XO
ENC James W. Rose (Chief Engineman)
BM2 James R. Owen ( Boat Captain)
EN2 William E. Mount
EN2 "K" "T" Raines
ETN3 Therle W. Lawrence
BM3 David F. Goff
SA Dennis W. Thompson

NOTE'S:   1.   BSU-1 is now called Special Boat Unit Twelve, in Coronado, CA.
               2   MST-2 was originally called "Project Zulu" The members were hand selected and trained with SEAL Team One for six months before going into combat together. This marked the first time in Naval history that the SEALS trained in this manner and allowed someone other than there own to go into combat with them. Every man was swimmer qualified, sent to Marine Engineman's School, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Training, Weapons School (30 and 50 cal. Machine guns, 106mm Recoilless Rifle, AR-15, 9mm pistol, hand grenades etc), Self Defense, Ambushes, Booby Traps, Explosive Ordinance training, Patrol Tactics, Communications, and a host of additional SEAL type training. I was sent to Assault Boat Coxswain School and was required to be an underway qualified coxswain on the PTF (Patrol Torpedo Fast), LCSR (Landing Craft Swimmer Recovery), PBR (Patrol Boat River), SWIFT boat and Boston Whaler. MST-2 was one of the most decorated units in the Delta and yet it is little known, because of the secrecy that lasted until recent declassification of the unit.

Second Email for JT Born

Was received brand new from the Navy in 1966. It still had the breaking in engine oil in her. She was placed on wooden rail road blocks in a protected area near Pier 13 at the (BSU-1 Compound) Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, CA. Modifications of the craft came in the form of first time ever special armor plating made from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. They were 4'x4' 15/16 ceramic plate glued to 1/4" armor plate and each weighed 456 pounds. They were placed two feet back from the bulkheads in the well deck. Two were made into a swing out door on the bow and the con had a double layer of them, spaced apart , to absorb rocket hits. Slits were cut into the plates that allowed the coxswain to peer through when under fire and trying to operate the craft. At first we sported a canvas top over the well deck and after it got shot down we built a wooden platform. The weapons consisted of 6- 50cal machine guns, 2- 7.62 machine guns, 5 Honeywell 40mm grenade launchers, 81mm mortar, 106mm Recoilless Rifle, 8- AR15 rifles, 8- 9mm pistols, grenades of every assortment (percussion, fragmentation, gas etc.) and what ever the SEAL's came on board with. Our unit enjoyed "Priority One" status and were able to divert any resource (air support, Destroyers stationed off of Yankee station - 5" guns, etc.) as necessary. What this amounted to for Charlie was a very bad mistake when he engaged our boat. With few exceptions we operated alone and were out for days at a time. During the time of our presence we completed 39 combat missions. At times the Mike would insert the SEAL'S but for the most part I inserted and extracted them by a tag along 14' Boston Whaler or our rubber boat. Using the rubber boat in crock infested areas in the back waterways was not my preferred method of travel. On one occasion a crock attacked a SEAL in the water and he had to shoot it. Our boats top speed was 12 knots. When going against the tide we had to tac like a sailboat or we would go backwards. Our typical insertions were made in the early am hours, during rain and on darkened (moonless) nights. The Mike boat would launch the whaler about two or three miles up or down stream from the insertion point and guide me in by the Mike's radar. Picking up the SEALS was accomplished by pre designated red lens flashes.  It was not uncommon to pick them up after they just made the natives unhappy, red tracers coming out of the jungle meant that they were in front of them and a drive through them and into the direction they were coming from was in order.  

U.S. Navy Presidential Unit Citation with two bronze stars
Army Presidential Unit Citation with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Navy Unit Commendation with "V" device
South Vietnam  Gallantry Cross with palm

Photos: Next page for photo album



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