Henry Joyce, Jr.: Missing the Pulitzer…

When Sealion left PH for her third war patrol, she carried a well known correspondent, who was supposed to ride for the full patrol and write it up for the folks back home. Well, submariners being what they are, they started playing with this guy's mind about the time they got under way. All the usual crap, plus a twist.
Every now and then, one of the crew would take this guy aside and, in a serious and scared voice, talk about what a nutcase Capt. Reich was. They told stories about his complete disregard for the crew's safety in pursuit of a CMH, and how they all feared for their lives every second they were underway.
The point, of course, was just to rattle the guy's cage a little, for the entertainment value (We [all] know how that works). Anyway, they forgot one small detail, a refueling stop at Guam (?). Per my dad, before the brow was even over, this guy "remembered" a previous commitment back in the States and off he went.
To quote my dad, "he missed a Pulitzer for the story he could have written on the Kongo, and we missed our chance to be famous, not to mention a tour of the States as heroes peddling war bonds". 

Patches Watson: First SEALs on the SeaLion

We were the first ones to go on the Sea Lion as SEALs. If I remember right, it was all 27 guys from the First Team. There was also a Platoon from Forced Recon aboard, as well as Capt. Ski and his gunny Sgt. Webb (what a trip he was!). The operation was off of Viegas. We and the Marines were to create havoc prior to the landing, and then go against the landing Force.

So, there we were -- decks awash with our IBSs to go in. Louie (SKI) was our leader???? Tip and I were #1 (that's 'up front') as we paddled in. The book says the first two guys are scout swimmers and should swim in the last few hundred yards to check out the beach. Well, Tip and I were not looking forward to getting wet and having to sleep in wet clothes, but we had the job.....and all good frogs do what they have to do.

As we approached the beach, Tip and I were waiting for the word, which is 'scout swimmers out'. We did not get the command from Ski until the boat touched the shore.....boy, you talk about two happy campers -- that was us! After hiding our boat we proceeded to a safe?? place to sleep; we would then look over the situation in daylight.

When we woke up, we were in the middle of a cow pasture under a tree with a cow licking Ski's face. What a surprize to Ski!!! I have - to this day - never seen Ski come apart like he did that morning. ​

Shipmate's Stories

USS Sealion Crew