SAN MARCOS, Calif. (KGTV) — One of the first Underwater Demolition Team divers of World War II and one of the last living frogmen died early October.
Hank Weldon, 95, was a frogman on the first Navy Seal Team 10.
Donna Weldon was married to Weldon for 12 years, she tells 10News, “It’s been the most wonderful marriage you could ever imagine. He was the most wonderful person ever."
Donna had one daughter, two sons and a few stepsons. Hank had three daughters. Together they created one large family. Two of his daughters talked with 10News Friday.
“I would stand on his feet and dance," Kathy Berg, Weldon's oldest daughter, said.
Friday, the family remembered their best memories with their dad.
"He was just my dad, he wasn’t a war hero, he wasn’t a good cop, he was just my dad. He didn’t talk about that at home," Terry Andrew, Weldon’s middle daughter, said.
To his three daughters, it wasn’t until their adult lives they realized the impact their dad has made and the historic courage he had.
“Articles started coming out about you know, what his place really was in the history,” Berg says. She remembers when she started to realize her dad was a war hero when she read about what he did for the country during World War II.
Weldon’s wife says he would swim into beaches with nothing but fins, swim bottoms, a mask, and a knife. The frogmen would locate mines and notify ships coming in behind them so the ships wouldn’t hit them.
After the war ended, he got out of the Navy in 1945. Six months after he got out, he received a letter telling him he was receiving a Bronze Star.
His team was the only team that got through the whole series of operation without losing a man.
Fifty years later Hank Weldon was inducted into the Green Berets, known officially as the U.S. Army Special Forces.
When Weldon died, his wife got a call, “I got a phone call and it said we’d like to bury him in the national cemetery free of charge but I said no. We’ve had our places in Valley Center for some time and I really want him close to where I can go visit him."
Weldon’s Celebration of Life will be held at the Skyline Clubhouse in Valley Center on Oct. 27 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The family has invited the public to join them.