Freedom Fighters: Bob Bassett - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Freedom Fighters: Bob Bassett

By Joan Hallmark

Bob Bassett was a young navy seabee in 1943 when he volunteered for a highly secretive underwater demolition team.

The elite world War Two Fighting force bassett joined, was formed after the navy lost three thousand men in the invasion of Tarawa because of coral sink holes.

That udt team, later referred to as "frogmen",and in the mid 1950's officially named "navy seals", were to save tens of thousands of American lives in subsequent landings.

What these"naked warriors",: as they were sometimes called, did have was swim trunks, face mask. Flippers, a knife, and explosives.

The Japanese had used ingenious obstacles to block American landings including sharpened coconut logs fastened to coral reefs, concrete blocks with pieces of metal sharpened into spears, and land mines buried in beaches.

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