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Frankie Frogman Club patch sells for over $500.00

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by Seahuntjerry, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Mike Lev

    Mike Lev Barracuda

    Sounds good.Frankie stuff is rare.Iv,e seen news letters and brochures sell into the hundreds.They had a kids dive lung also.
  2. lionfish-eater

    lionfish-eater Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: On an Island in the Mississippi River
    The unusual bidding was probably the result of one bidder entering a high maximum bid and letting ebay do the increments as other bids come in. Most bidders don't use the feature. but it is the best way to win, as time will run out before other bidders can manually raise their bid.
  3. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    @Mike Lev
    Post on this board when you place your patch on e bay so we can follow the bidding-- I am and I assume other are interested to see who will be bidding and how much collectors are will it pay for a vintage patch.

    I am surprised that there are no Canadians divers interested in this thread or the patch.

    Frank was so involved in training the Canadian frogmen in WW !! -- He was their training officer --they all came to California for training where Frank became a Lt jg in the RCN and " Frankie the frogman" stuck as a common name for him...We were friend via a dive club we belonged to and when he retired we remained in touch via letters and occasional telephone conversations right up to his death when I received a nice letter from his wife Charlotte that Frank had passed away.... so many years have passed so few remining ...

    SDM 111
    kelemvor likes this.
  4. abnfrog

    abnfrog Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: great white north
    again Sam ...a wealth of knowledge
  5. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!

    You are the only Canadian who has posted about the father of Canadian diving

  6. Mike Lev

    Mike Lev Barracuda

    Hell Sam I know who the 2nd high bidder was.You know him.He’s a Sea net collector among other things.Ron from CA with a impressive vintage speargun collection.The seller is Gene Gable.I believe I spoke with him many years ago.He said he collected vintage full face masks.He sure had some nice one’s for sale.
  7. abnfrog

    abnfrog Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: great white north
    Sam I was ignorant of the fact till you piped up , googled his life story and educated myself , and now I will educate my students about the man
  8. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
    Frank Roedecker was quite a early waterman !
    He was a LA Co life guard, a vintage surfer and a pioneer diver,
    He was America's and Canada's first "Frogman."
    He certainly deserves the title "Frankie the frogman !.
  9. abnfrog

    abnfrog Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: great white north
    RCN DIVING BRANCH HISTORY ‐ Part 3 By Charles Rolfe 2014

    We would be remiss if we did not include the vital information about the World War Two(WW II)

    “Frogmen” annals of one RCNVR LCdr(ret) Bruce Stanley Wright C.D., O.C. as detailed in his book ‘THE


    In January 1941 RCNVR Sub Lt. Wright had command of the boom Patrol Vessel, a decked‐over Motor

    Launch which patrolled the St. John’s, NFLD harbour entrance. During the long dreary night, he

    speculated as to how one might evade all the security at the entrance, then proceed to an attack on

    shipping and docks of the inner harbour. He surmised that the enemy attackers would have to pass over

    the sensitive Asdic loops on the sea bottom, get through the torpedo nets, pass by the Coastal Defence

    guns and finally the patrolling Motor Launch if they were to be successful. Being a swimming champion

    while attending the University of New Brunswick, I had been fascinated by reading articles in the

    newspapers of abalone skin divers in California USA, who used paddleboards, dive masks and swim fins

    in their activities. As the coming dawn was just breaking, a solution meshed in my mind. A team of skin

    divers could leave a submarine lying just outside the Asdic loops on the bottom of the harbour entrance,

    towing a cigar shaped plastic mine that would not register on these loops, they would swim to the net,

    dive down to cut a hole in it and pass through. After stealthily passing by the patrolling Motor Launch

    and Coastal Defence guns, they would proceed to their intended targets, plant the mines, then return

    via the same route to their submarine, waiting off‐shore. Shortly thereafter, I was posted to the

    Corvette, HMCS LETHBRIDGE for patrol duties to protect our ocean‐going Convoys, where I mulled over

    and perfected my scheme. I then talked it over with the ship’s Captain, who informed me that it should

    be put on paper as an official submission and he would forward it to higher authority. This I did,

    entitling it “The Use of Natatorial Assault and Reconnaisance Units in Combined Operations”. To make a

    long story short, the report went to the Royal Navy Admiralty in Whitehall, England. They informed the

    RCN Headquarters that I was to “Proceed by air to the United Kingdom for six months duty to develop

    and demonstrate my proposals. I was to bring with me surfboards complete with built in waterglasses,

    single‐windows‐type underwater masks, ‘kicky fins’ for hands and feet, and spring guns complete with

    arrows”. The experts wanted to be shown. The fat was in the fire! I was sent off to the USA with a sum

    of $5,000.00 to purchase the necessary equipment, and also to get some first‐hand practice in its use. It

    all arrived in Ottawa ON to a hush‐hush site, as by now it was all classified as TOP SECRET. Shortly it was

    dispatched to a ship sailing in convoy to the U.K., while I travelled by an RCAF Bomber to finally end up

    in the RN Admiralty Whitehall, Combined Operations Headquarters. Unfortunately, all the diving

    equipment was lost at sea when the ship was torpedoed and sunk in the convoy! All of it was eventually

    replaced through “resources at hand”, an euphemism that really meant “scrounge whatever you can”.

    Meanwhile, I had officially met with Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma, who

    informed me that he wanted me to train his Royal Marines in this new technique, and that I was to go

    to the Royal Marine Boom Patrol Detachment in Portsmouth, where I would find everything I would

    need. After some time had elapsed, I was eventually provided with 40 men(I had requested 60!) to train

    as swimmers for a Commando Swim Team. Since all Commando Units were commanded by an Officer

    of the rank of Army Major, or the equivalent, Lord Louis promoted me to the rank of LCdr, and asked me

    where I wanted to train my team. Knowing that it would be almost impossible to train them in England,

    as the water is too cold and the visibility underwater is not great enough, I proposed to him we should

    train in California, USA where the water is warm and clear, while there is a lot of heavy surf required for

    adequate training. The Admiral concurred, stating he would ensure all the necessary arrangements will

    be made. He also stated that everything must still remain TOP SECRET.

    And so the SRU(Sea Reconnaisance Unit)was born! My staff consisted of two American expert skin

    divers from California, who travelled up to Esquimalt BC to sign up with the RCN, Lt. RCNVR Hal

    Messinger and SLt. RCNVR Frank Rodecker, and Canadian Lt. Bruton Strange, who was posted in to the

    US Marine Base, CAMP PENDLETON in Southern California from where he had been serving aboard a

    Corvette on a mid‐ Atlantic convoy. I appointed Captain E.H. “Mick” Muldoon, M.C., General List, British

    Army as my XO(Executive Officer, or Second in Command). Our Doctor, RNVR Surgeon Lt. Robinson

    joined us later. In due course, we received 55 volunteer from England, and we then developed a series

    of tests to weed out those who were unable to pass. After heavy training, we had our target force of 40

    men, while those 15 men who were unable to complete the training, were R.T.U.’ed(Returned To Unit).

    We then began our first operational training, with the Unit organized into four Sections of two Officers

    and eight men each, as follows:‐

    Number One Section Commander, Capt. Jock Elder M.C., the Black Watch, with RNVR Midshipman Barry

    Kimmins our Senior “Snotty”.

    Number Two Section Commander, RCNVR Lt. Bruton “Brute” Strange, with RNVR Midshipman J.R.S.

    “Sandy” Docherty as Second in Command.

    Number Three Section Commander, RNVR Lt. John Junor, with RNVR Midshipman “Bonzo” Booth as

    Second in Command.

    Number Four Section Commander, RCAF Flt. Lt. G. Harry “Canuck” Avery, with Lt. J.E.M. “Dick” Turpin,

    Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment as Second in Command.

    The teams became so proficient that, near the end of November 1943, the US Marine General

    commanding CAMP PENDLETON visited us to see everything we did, and asked us some very

    penetrating questions, such as:

    Q. Could my men reconnoitre an enemy held beach undetected?

    A. That is what we are training for.

    Q. How many miles offshore could they start from?

    A. That depended on the method of getting there. Five or ten miles at least with the paddleboard.

    Q. What did we know about coral?

    A. Nothing yet, but that has still to come.

    What about sharks?

    A. No one knew, but I intend to find out soonest. Although it was known that sharks were near us during

    our swimmer training exercises, there have been no attacks by sharks to date”.

    The General listened intently to all I had to say and, as he was about to depart, stated “Wright, I think

    you have the answer. You will be hearing from me soon”.
    The very next day 21 November 1943, the

    electrifying news broke. The Battle for the island of Tarawa commenced in the long fight for the central

    Pacific. After a sojourn in the Bahama’s, to become better acquainted with sharks and other dangerous

    sea life, we all returned to the U.K. fully expecting to be in on the D‐Day attacks, which was not to be.

    After some length of time, we all moved to Ceylon in late 1944, and then went into action against the

    Japanese in Februrary 1945 in Burma, for the crossings of the Irrawady River near Manadaly.

    At the end of WW II, having shown the exploits of what so‐called “Frogmen” could do for the Allied

    cause, the SRU was disbanded, with personnel returned to their various units. Forty men had gone into

    Burma, taken fire from the enemy, and forty men came out! The back of the Japanese Army had been

    broken by the multiple crossings of the Irrawady by the British Army. As my aircraft circled to land at

    the Torbay airport in St. John’s, I looked out to the harbour entrance, and considered my “Great Idea”

    had come full circle – an episode of my life was finished.

    NOTE; RCNVR LCdr Bruce Stanley Wright died in Fredericton NB on 19 April 1975 at age 63.

    Our correspondent in Switzerland, Haydn iuchi‐sutton sent us an article about the American OSS(Office

    of Strategic Services) Combat Swimmers marking the 70th Anniversary in 2012 of the founding in 1942 of

    the USA’s first covert espionage organization for secret, unorthodox overseas wartime operations. This

    70th Anniversary being held at the Adventurer’s Club in Los Angeles, includes the Amphibious classified

    OSS MU(Maritime Unit) – Special Operations Diving Unit and its OSG(Operational Swimmers Group),

    who were the forerunners of the Navy SEAL’s. Most people have no idea that it was in Southern

    California where all this took place! This event recognizes, celebrates and honours how the OSS

    “Swimmando’s” (Swimmer/Commando, Combat/Frogman) came into being, via a very storied legend

    and lore that is steeped in Southern California’s geographical, societal, Hollywood and watermanship

    history. This event brought together the still living OSS MU, and MU Operational Swimmer veterans, to

    honour them at the place where they developed their diving and watermanship techniques, to make

    this type of special maritime warfare possible:‐ the Santa Monica and Los Angeles coastline, CAMP

    PENDLETON, Catalina Island, Newport Beach and, for some, in the Bahama’s. These intrepid

    swimmermen knew of the “British” SRU(Swimmer Reconnaisance Unit), under the command of RCNVR

    LCdr Bruce Wright, which were then training in CAMP PENDLETON in Southern California. Some of the

    American Swimmers eventually went into action against the Japanese, with the British later in 1945
  10. abnfrog

    abnfrog Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: great white north
    a little digging and it was actually Oshawa where they went NOT Ottawa the site was sts103 or camp X as it was known a whole story of that place can be goggled , super classified place up to the 70's

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