by Mike Smith
This “old salt” was a friend who shared a locker with me at the Seven Seas Club in San Diego before we deployed to Westpac in 1968. In 1969, Dusty Barton (Kizzi Barton Danh) took the Seal Team test six times before they finally accepted him into BDU/UDT class 53. Class 53 was the first integrated Seal/Underwater Demolition Team Class at Coronado.
Dusty was aboard USS Sterett with me for only a little over a year, but I was impressed with his wit and perseverance. We celebrated his 21st birthday in the forward boatswain locker listening to the 5th Dimension on a record player.
Dusty passed away a little over a year ago…. He was always considered something of a weird duck later on as he became a civilian. He was a poet, a pacifist, and loved nature, his dog, his 1950’s Willy’s Jeep, and his family.
As you might guess by the photo, he was a little eccentric. Fellow shipmate, Jim Trotter and I had the pleasure of having lunch with him two times on the Florida coast over the last couple of years. I always wondered why this pacifist friend of mine wanted to join the UDT Teams so he could learn how to blow up shit, which he did with great regularity while serving on Seal Teams 11 and 13 over the next couple of years.
Rest in Peace, Dusty.