JFK and SEAL Team 2 - April 1962
Was poking around in the basement archives again and stumbled across a film negative file with some interesting shots.
On April 13 1962, JFK made a quick visit to Norfolk area naval installations (just 3 hours).
After his visit, he boarded the command ship Northampton to view naval maneuvers off the Virginia Capes. We have plenty of photos of Kennedy and members of the official review party observing those maneuvers but perhaps we’ll save those for another post.
We’d like to feature seven shots of Kennedy at the Norfolk Naval Base but first, some additional information that may make these shots a little more special.
On May 25, 1961, Kennedy addressed a special joint session of Congress. This speech later became known as the “man on the moon” speech. I’m sure we’ve all heard sound bites of Kennedy issuing a challenge to place an American on the moon within the decade.
There were two paragraphs in the speech that tie into our photos.
Kennedy said, “I am directing the secretary of defense to expand rapidly and substantially, in cooperation with our allies, the orientation of existing forces for the conduct of non-nuclear war, paramilitary operations, and sub-limited or unconventional wars.
“In addition, our special forces and unconventional warfare units will be increased and reoriented. Throughout the services new emphasis must be placed on the special skills and languages which are required to work with local populations.”
And with this order to the secretary of defense, the teams we know today as the “Sea, Air and Land Teams” or the Navy SEALs officially began their development.
Less than a year after that announcement, Kennedy passes through Norfolk on the visit mentioned at the beginning of this post.
Examining the photos more closely, and in particular the first photo, I believe that JFK is actually talking to members of, the first team of Navy SEAL Team 2, which was based at what was named Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek and is now known as Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek - Fort Story, in Virginia Beach.
We welcome any additional information or your comments below the post.
I believe the gentleman on the far right is Navy SEAL Lt. Commander Roy Boehm.
Correction added 7/20/2011 - John Callahan, the first Commanding Officer of SEAL Team Two is the gentleman on the far right.
Lt. Commander Boehm
image of Boehm from - navycaptain-therealnavy.blogspot.com
Attachment 17633Attachment 17634
This is the only photo that ran in print. It was cropped much closer only showing the president and the diver.