objective areas without detection from above. The OSS immediately understood the LARU’s potential and quickly embraced the concept.
Upon completion of his medical training, Dr. Lambertsen was commissioned in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and attached for service with OSS, specifically to take advantage of his expertise in underwater operations. He became instrumental in establishing the OSS Maritime Unit as the unit’s medical officer and primary trainer of its operational swimmers, including development of tactical functions of the LARU and a swimmer submersible. After the surrender of Japan and before being reassigned to hospital duty in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Lambertsen did everything he could to protect and save the Maritime Unit’s diving equipment, since OSS was disbanded almost immediately in September 1945.
Dr. Lambertsen joined the University of Pennsylvania medical faculty in 1946 and became a professor of pharmacology in 1952. While a faculty member, he continued to combine diving research and underwater equipment developments and began a one-man campaign to introduce OSS diving capabilities to the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 1947 he wrote a lengthy letter to the chief of naval operations summarizing underwater swimmer capabilities.
The UDTs fully adopted OSS capabilities, which were called simply “Submersible Operations” and were immediately classified to protect the tactics and techniques being used. This was a seminal period for the UDTs, since the LARU and OSS tactics vastly improved their maritime special operations potential. Capabilities introduced by Dr. Lambertsen also included use of the British submersible canoe Sleeping Beauty, which would lead to decades of UDT and SEAL team combatant submersible refinement, organization of the U.S. Navy SEAL delivery vehicle teams, and modification of U.S. Navy nuclear submarines for dedicated support of SEALs. Indeed, his expertise in all areas of underwater operations placed him at the forefront of this rapidly developing field.