The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, Ft. Pierce, FL.
During WWII, the Navy built a 20,000 acre amphibious training base at nearby Ft. Pierce Inlet where thousands of frogmen and combat demolition specialist trained. Among their missions was to clear the beaches on D-Day. When the war ended, the training base was closed but least the story of what it accomplished be forgotten, a small group former SEALS and UDT men got together and started this special place.
Today, The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum is all about United States Navy’s special forces and the incredible missions they’ve been given dating back to the first WWII frogman. If you remember the movie Captain Phillips, you’ll remember that terrorists boarded the cargo ship Maersk Alabama and took the captain hostage in one of the ship’s lifeboats. The Navy SEALs extracted him using high-power rifles. That life boat is right here. What else? You’ll find a wall of sniper rifles and other special weapons used by the SEALs, combat knives, Vietnam-era machine guns, a ready-for-combat Blackhawk helicopter with doors open for you, and mannequins rogered up with NVGs. There is a Fast Attack Vehicle on display from Iraq, a PBR patrol boat from Vietnam, an underwater Seal Delivery Vehicles (SDV), and a scale model of the Bin Laden compound.
The point is, everything here was actually used in planning, in combat, or on a mission – and there are no replicas. Even those Hedgehogs and other underwater obstacles used in 1944 to train the UDT specialists for D-Day. Not only are they real but they can be found in the grassy area behind the museum. Walk among them and let your mind go back to that fateful day.
The museum is located on Hutchinson Island just across the causeway from Ft. Pierce. To make sure you don’t miss it, there is a rakish Seawolf combat helicopter on a pedestal out front plus a space ship command module (used to train divers to recover our astronauts in the ocean), and a bronze statue of a special forces operator with a gun in one hand and a fallen comrade over his shoulder.
Driving directions are on the web site and they are sure to make you smile. Leave it to our SEALs to give you all the information you need to get there – even if you parachute in!
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 4pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm