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#51 Thurman

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 03:45 AM

Army & Navy Register - June 10, 1944
 
Seabee Regiment Commended
 
a regiment of navy seabees has been commended by army, navy, & marine corps officers for the part it played in repelling a sustained 17- day counter-attack on bougainville.
 
The Seabees were under command of Comdr. L.v. Clark Deichler, USNR.
 
Two batt., bivouacked just off the torokina fighter strip, were subject to especially heavy fire.
 
In order to remain alive, in the bivouac area between march 8 and 24, 1944, an official report stated, it was necessary for all hands to spend some of the daylight hours in foxholes and to sleep in foxholes each night.
 
In one 24 hour period, the japs scored 11 direct hits on the camp of one battalion and dropped more than 110 shells within 50 yards.
 
These combat conditions did not prevent the seabees from completing all emergency repairs on the piva fighter strips, which had taken a heavy battering. During the entire 17 day period, no naval facility was out of commission for more than 30 minutes.
 
Airfield repair groups have been recommended for appropriate awards by maj. Gen. R.j. Mitchell, U.S.M.C.., who was then com. Aircraft, Solomon islands, and who is now Com. Air South Pacific.
 
Throughout the assaults, the Seabees continued work on a hospital, a pt base, boat pool repair facilities, and other important naval base structures. They replaced infantrymen in handling rations & unloading cargo. They furnished a combat team of approximately 400 men to be held in reserve for front-line duty.
 
Their work, in the face of continued enemy opposition has been on the highest order and reflect great credit upon the battalion participating, said rear admiral O.O. Badger, U.S.N. Com. Service Squadron, South Pacific Force. This command, rear admiral badger continued, takes this opportunity to commend the regiment for the excellence of their performance.
 
The Seabees also were commended by Maj. Gen. Mitchell, Capt. H.S. Sease, U.S.N.. Com. Air center, Torokina, Maj. Gen. O.W.. Griswold, Army Com. Off. And Capt. O.O Keesing, U.S.N., Com. Naval air base, Torokina.


#52 Thurman

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 03:52 AM

Civil Engineer Corps Bulletin - June 1949.
 
"Action At Peleliu"
 
Commander  P. Corradi's story of how the 33rd Seabees hit the beach and built a landing strip during the attack on Peleliu.
 
D-day - the first Seabees went ashore early this morning. They've been on barges at the reef all day, transferring beans, bullets, and men from the assault boats to the amphibious tractors that are being used as ferries between the reef and the beach. Mortar shells are dropping all around them, and disabled amtracks are piling up pretty fast. None of the transfer barges which are manned by the seabees have been hit.
 
It's amazing that there is any fight left in peleliu's defenders. For days the big guns of the pre-invasion bombardment force have been pouring heavy shells into the island. Since before dawn this morning, strike after strike of carrier planes have strafed and bombed the beaches. The LCI's have been whizzing 5-inch rockets into shore defenses all morning but still the Japanese mortars make the stretch from reef to beach deadly. The beach itself is a bedlam of gear, wrecked equipment, and pinned down marines and Seabees.
 
About noon, Freddie Davis, and Obie Obrien, went ashore with two hundred more Thirty-Thirders to join the shore party and help unscramble the beach.
 
D+1- we were to start work on the airfield today, but intense fighting is still going on at the southeast portion of the airdrome. The northwest portion is still in Japanese hands. The thirty-thirders are engaged entirely in shore party operations. Casualties amongst the aid parties have been extremely high, so our people have taken over stretcher bearer's assignments. We started a cemetery at orange beach today.
 
D+2- fighting has moved up to the northwest end of the airdrome. The skipper and hank auch (lt herman h. Auch, cec, usnr) made a reconnaissance of the airfield with colonel francis fenton, the division engineer, first marine division. There isn't much left of the Japanese strips. The pre-invasion bombardment and the fighting of the past two days has left them hardly recognizable as air strips. The plan is to repair one strip as a fighter field and to completely rebuild the other thirty five hundred foot strip as a bomber strip, extending it to 6,500 feet.
 
D+3- the mortar fire is too heavy at the reef to risk beaching the lst's hence no equipment is available to start the airfield work. We are going to work like the japs undoubtedly did- with pick and shovel. Lt walter suydam and fifty more of the battalions men were landed today with a supply of hand tools. A human chain was formed across the area where the Japanese strip had been, and we started to comb the place for shrapnel, unexploded bombs, booby traps, etc. Chief carpenter's mate, salvatore impelletteri, and his boys were kept busy disarming and disposing of the bombs and booby traps. A mound of heaped up pieces of shrapnel soon began to form. Impelletteri's crew dug up a Japanese torpedo war head that had been rigged with a pressure tripping device. The easterly end of the former strip had been cleared by dark.
 
D+4- filling in the holes at the east end of the strip was begun at dawn. The work is hot and slow. Crockford was killed. The battalion command post was moved up to the strip from the beach. Dugouts were excavated to replace the individual fox holes. A battery of 155-mm guns was set up in our bivouac are. The pontoon causeway sections were launched form our lst's and some of the heavy equipment was transferred from the tank decks to the pontoons via the bow doors. This had to be done outside the range of the shore guns in deep water. When the tractors, shovels, trucks, etc. Had been moved onto the pontoons, the causeways were tied up alongside the lst's for the rest of the night.
 
D+5- the 155's fired over our heads all last night. After the sound had been likened to a subway express by a few former denizens of new york, little further note was taken of them and we even managed to sleep while the guns pumped shells all night into bloody nose ridge. One loaded causeway section was beached and we now have 2 trucks, 3 graders, and a dozer with scraper. Repair work on the fighter strip really speeded up with the acquisition of this equipment. A damaged fighter plane landed on our partially completed strip this afternoon. Our rubber tired motor graders were practically immobilized by the many bits of shrapnel that still cover the field. Efforts were re-doubled to clean up the remainder of the steel fragments. Snipers still cause work stoppages. The carpenter crew that started erection of the flight operations tower, which lt cambell and wo hynes had prefabricated back in the russells, was twice stopped by sniper fire.
 
D+6- more equipment was landed over the pontoon causeway today. Twenty three officers and six hundred and seventy three men are now ashore with the battalion. Enough equipment is at hand to start construction of the bomber strip. Freddie davis shore party group has rejoined the battalion foor the airfield work. More dugouts were excavated and tarps were stretched over them to keep out the blistering sun and, alternately, the pouring rain. A squadron of our fighters landed on the strip this afternoon. We started the fighter taxiways. We had our first hot meal today.
 
D+7- heavy rains today. We concentrated on removal of wrecked equipment from around and in the airfield. Someone counted over one hundred enemy aircraft that we had hauled to a central dump. The borrow pit for coral is in full operation. No one thought thought the one and one half cubic yard shovel would ever make it over the floating pontoon causeway which is only two pontoons wide. The heavy equipment crew moved it safely, however. Fighting continues on the northwest edge of the airdrome. Chief Strasser was killed today.
 
D+8- unloading the construction equipment has finally been completed. We now have our own distillation units. One was put into immediate operation. We had been drinking water that was hauled ashore in steamed out oil drums, but its taste was horrible. Work is proceeding on the bomber strip taxiways. We tried to make better time by working after dark tonight, but the marines shot out our lights which were silhouetting their troops on the slope below bloody nose ridge. We worked for awhile by moonlight. The heat and the flies are bad. Doc york and doc geer are busy with their numerous dysentery patients.
 
D+9- impelletteri's crew has all mines, duds, and booby traps cleared from the airfield area but they can't be everywhere. Chief Pellissier and Gene Yuettner were wounded by a booby trap today while attempting to salvage some enemy gear. One Japanese roller has been reapaired and was put into service on the taxiway today. Grading continues.
 
D+10- the coral pit is really producing. Surfacing of the bomber strip has been started. The argus 20 radar installation was completed today. The crew that has been trying to put in the avgas spillway on the west road has not been able to get back to location as fighting has broken out there again. Attempts to drill wells for fresh water have been unsuccessful. Since brackish water is the best we can bring in, myron watson (ccm, cec, usnr) is hooking up the intake to the distillation units to the best of the brackish water wells. Today we have a gang shower piped up from the well. What a joy!
 
D+11- we worked all night last night hauling coral. The moon was bright and the star shells over bloody nose ridge gave an almost continuous bright light. Today, work was resumed on the avgas spillway. The temporary camp is well along. We have cots set up in the dugouts, dormitory style. The ga;;ey tent is serving hot meals continuously.
 
D+12- thew enemy resistance has been pretty well localized on bloody nose ridge. Our fighter planes are taking off almost continuously from the strip we put into operation just a few days ago. They are strafing and bombing the enemy on the ridge about a thousand yards yards to the north of the strip itself. The skipper took a reconnaissance trip in a piper cub today. He reported that the marine pilot who flew him took along a supply of hand grenades which he tossed out at likely targets. As a result of this and other reconnaissance it was decided to locate the proposed hospital up the west coast of the island on land which has not yet been secured. Lt bety was assigned the job of following up on the hospital.
 
D+13- work progresses on the bomber strip. Planes continue to pile in and emphasis has shifted to providing taxiways and dispersal areas for them. Twenty four hour operation has been approved and coral hauling help from other units obtained. There was a rumor that the japs had surrendered today, but the intense firing on the ridge continues. Bell and bartlett were killed.
 
For this, the Thirty Third received a Navy Unit Commendation, while the shore party who landed on D-day was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation.


#53 Thurman

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:31 AM

 
AX-PACKING SEABEE GOES ON WARPATH 
 
For shouldering an ax, tramping into the woods, and capturing a Japanese soldier, Seabee Carl E. Hull, former policeman in San Pedro, California, has been awarded the Silver Star by Admiral William F. Halsey. 
Admiral Halsey described Hull as "a hatchet-packin" Seabee and a worthy member of our South Pacific jungle-hacking, Japanese-cracking all-services team. II 


#54 Thurman

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:35 AM

JAPANESE HAVE NIGHTMARES AS SEABEES COMPLETE THIRD FIELD IN BOUGAINVILLE AREA 
 
Bruised and battered by American planes taking off from newly-built airfields all about them, wobbling Japanese at Rabaul dream of pink Seabees when they manage to get a  few minutes sleep between Allied raids. 
 
Latest take-off point for vengeful Yank pilots is the Seabee-built airfield on Treasury Island, 30 miles from Bougainville. Won from the Japanese in November, and scene of Seabee Aurelio Tassone's now-famous one-man bulldozer attack on an enemy pillbox, Treasury Island is the newest of a string of Seabee bases which, for all practical purposes, are eliminating Rabaul as an enemy stronghold. 


#55 Thurman

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:45 AM

HEROISM IN SHIP SINKING EARNS LEGION OF MERIT FOR SEABEE OFFICER 
 
For Swimming to the rescue of a drowning sailor, despite his own severe ,wounds, suffered when an LST on which he was aboard was torpedoed in the Mediterranean Carpenter George G. Bethune, (CEC) USNR, has been awarded the Legion of Merit in a personal presentation by Navy Secretary Frank Knox.
 
The citation presented to Bethune read:
 
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services while assisting in the rescue of survivors of an LST after that vessel had been torpedoed in the Mediterranean Sea. Thrown from the ship into the sea by the terrific impact of the explosion, Carpenter Bethune observed nearby another crew member who was struggling to remain above water. Realizing that the man was about to drown, he unhesitatingly swam to the rescue despite his own severe injuries and kept the distressed survivor afloat by by sharing a life jacket. His heroic spirit of self -sacrifice in saving the life of another at great risk to himself was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."


#56 Thurman

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:52 AM

"JOIN JUNIOR SEABEES," - MARINES INVITED BY 20TH 
 
Men of the 20th Battalion erected a sign inviting Leatherneck neighbors to "Climb on the 20th Bandwagon" and "Get your Junior Seabee Badge Today". The Marines, who receive chow at the Seabeee' mess hall were advised that after serving with the the battalion for three months they were entitled to wear a "Junior Seabee Badge". 
The Fighter Builders had a picture of the badge on the slgn too. It was similar to the "junior G-Man Badge" youngsters in the States get for saving box tops.


#57 Thurman

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:57 AM

SEABEE 0-ln-C STORMS PILLBOX, KILLS Japanese, IN GILBERTS 
 
The first Seabee ashore on Betio Island, Commander L. E. 
Tull, CEC, USNR, also personally accounted for at least one 
Japanese when, after a pillbox had been dynamited open, he and 
Frank R. Hearn, CM3c, tore into the wreckage and destoryed the 
lone enemy soldier who had survived the blast. 
 
Commander Tull and Carl L. Catt, CMlc, made three attempts 
to land on Betio on November 20, the first day of the invasion, 
but were driven back by enemy fire. They succeeded in getting 
ashore the following morning, and later, made a reconnaissance 
of the landing strip while it was still under sniper fire.


#58 Thurman

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 08:59 AM

 
"BRIDGE 910 OPENS AGAIN AFTER ENEMY DEMOLITION" - APRIL, 1969. 
 
Bridge 910 was destroyed and their was continuing enemy activity throughout the, but MCB 62 went to work and replaced the bridge with lightning speed, adding a few improvements in the process. 
 
Battalion Seabees took less than three days to erect a new bridge after the old one, a two lane, single span structure of steel and timber construction, was ripped apart by satchel charges. The bridge is located about 11 miles west of the Dong Ha Combat Base on highway nine, a vital supply route across Northern I Corps. 
 
With the structure destroyed, the heavy convoy traffic along the highway was forced to use a narrow culvert bridge nearby. Since MCB 62 is responsible for the upkeep and improvement of route nine from Dong Ha to the Vandegrift Combat Base, 25 miles west, the Battalion was assigned to replace bridge 910. Blown up early in the morning of Sunday, April 20, the debris of the old bridge had been cleared and fabrication of the new one was well underway by Sunday afternoon. 
 
On Monday, a crew from MCB 62's Charlie Company began putting the new structure in place, finishing up on Tuesday, The new bridge is of the same type as the former structure, but it is wider and walkways have been added along each side. While the bridge work was underway, there was enemy activity in the area almost constantly. The bridge bypass and and the road beyond were peppered with mines, and sweep teams were harassed by repeatedly by sniper fire. 
 
MCB 62's initial survey party, examining the wreckage of bridge 910 in preparation for the replacement work, took a round of mortar fire. A Marine driver accompanying the group received shrapnel wounds. The bridge job was, of course, an unscheduled addition to the Battalion's regular workload, but according to Chief Builder A.F. Hotopp of the operation department, it was taken in stride my MCB 62. We had planned to do a lot of work on that bridge anyway, he said. 

Edited by Bruce Linz, 02 May 2016 - 07:09 AM.


#59 Thurman

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 08:59 AM

"BEES JOIN MARINES TO DUMP NVA" - May 1969. 
 
Marines in Vietnam have gone into battle in tanks, trucks, tractors, jeeps, bulldozers and now a giant earth mover.Two MCB 62 men, EOCA Tommy J. Giddons and EO1, C.M. Vail, are responsible for this latest innovation in combat transportation. 
 
The two equipment operators were working at 62's Cam Lo Bridge project when "B" Company 1st Bn., 9th Marines, received a call for help from a reconnaissance team nearby. The recon team was engaged in a fire-fight with the enemy and needed reinforcements. When the Marines grabbed their weapons and began looking for transportation to the battle site, the two Seabees volunteered their TS-24 earth mover. The Marines scrambled into the scoop of their new assault vehicle and, with the Seabees driving, off they went. 
 
EOCA Giddons at the controls took the Marines took the Marines to the edge of the fighting and waited there for their return. The enemy forces withdrew when the reaction force arrived. EO1 Vail went into the bush with the Marines to assist them in getting back to the earth mover for the return trip. Staff Sergeant W.W. Miles, leader of the Marine reaction force, said, it would have taken us at least 35 to 40 minutes to get there on foot, but the Seabees got us there in five minutes, and they drove us close in toward the fire-fight. 
 
Captain K. E. Junkins, commanding officer of "B" company commented, The Can-Do attitude of the Seabees and the working rapport of the Marines and Seabees has proven that they are a winning team! 


#60 Thurman

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 09:00 AM

 
Seabees Join Marines at Elliot To Aid in Road Sweeping Operations August 1969. Vietnam. 
 
A four mile hike before breakfast is said to be very healthful. However, the Marines and Seabees at Elliot Combat Base don't necessarily agree. It is their job to sweep almost four miles of Route #9 between Elliot and Bridge 912 for mines, booby traps and ambushes each morning. 
 
The Marines are members of "A" Company of the 11th Marine Engineers. The Seabees are MCB 62 men who walk the road with the Marines to point out places where Battalion men will be working and in progress construction which may be booby trapped. From 20 to 30 Marines make up the major part of the sweep team. Of these, about 18 provide point (forward), flank (side) and rear security. 
 
Three two-man teams perform the actual sweep. One man on each team operates the detection gear as his partner probes for hidden demolition. A Sergeant in charge, a Hospital Corpsman, a radioman and, often, a Marine sentry dog and his handler comprise the rest of the team. A five-ton truck follows behind to carry the men to the starting point after the sweep. Many times tanks and other heavy armored vehicles come along to provide greater fire support. Engineering Aid Constructionman Danny Hawes is one of the Seabees who walks the route with the Marine group each morning. It is his job to point out new working areas which must be swept. Certain places off the road such as those where equipment operators pick up fill dirt with their scrapers are also checked. 
 
At the end of each hike Hawes reports to the operations officer on all mines and traps found. Presently, two men from the First Platoon of 62's Charlie Company also travel with the team. The men, who are assigned the mission on a rotation basis, are taking the place Builder Third Class Frank Ryncarz who previously worked with the sweepers. The Charlie Company men are responsible for making sure that the sites where the company is building culverts are swept. Each morning the sweep team and the Seabees clamber aboard a truck which takes them to the main gate of Elliot Combat Base. There the Marines don the headsets of their detection devices. They assemble the main component of their detectors, a long collapsible pole with a flat metal plate attached. As the gate guards remove the road barriers, the team forms into three columns, one in the middle of the road and one on each road shoulder. At a signal from the Sergeant the columns move out, each man keeping well away from the men around him. Moving slowly as they sweep the detectors back and forth before them, the Marines try to cover every inch of roadway and shoulder. If they detect something the spot is marked. The next man in line then probes the ground with a bayonet to discover what caused the reading on the detector. 
 
The team has discovered relatively little enemy activity along the route lately. Since mid-July, however, the sweep teams have discovered two Claymore anti-personnel mines, two 60-pound anti-tank mines and several grenades, dud mortars and artillery rounds. Any demolition found is destroyed by the Marines with c-4 plastic explosive. Although the four mile walk each morning is more than a mere constitutional for the three Seabees, it means a much more healthful place to work for 62's other Bees on Route #9


#61 pathfinder11

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 05:59 AM

Don't forget Bucky: http://seabeemagazin...of-bucky-meyer/



#62 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 05:47 AM

GUAM SEABEES WERE ON 24-HOUR WORK - FIGHT SHIFT 
 
Seabees who went into Guam with the Marines worked by day, fought by night, and in between times still found opportunities to display the ingenuity for which they have become famous, according to Sgt. Harold A. Breard, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent writing from the newly-conquered island. 
During the first few days of the battle the Seabees acted as part of the Marines shore party. Besides working on the beaches all day and doing some emergency road building on the side, at night they moved into the front line area to back up the assault troops. At one time, when Marine tanks had to move up a steep ridge to blast Japs entrenched in caves, the Seabees braved sniper fire to bulldoze a 1000-yard road up the incline. The tanks followed in their wake. 
 
The battle for the island was still in its infancy, said the Marine Corps correspondent' when the Seabees tired of the tarpaulin-covered galley their cooks had thrown together on the beach when they first came ashore. Instead, the builders set up the "Guam Greasy Grill," reputed to be the most elaborate galley on Guam. The Grill was built of odds and ends of lumber, sheet metal and canvas, and screened with mosquito netting. A carpenter's crayon was enough to produce the sign above the doorway announcing the name


#63 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:01 AM

RETURNS JAPANESE FIRE WITH CAMERA SHOTS 
 
Some of the best action photographs of the invasion and occupation oi the Green Islands to reach the States were taken under fire by Roland Spencer, Jr" CPhoM, member of a Seabee battalion which landed with the first Allied forces. 
 
The Seabee also photographed the invasions of New Georgia, Vella Lavella, Rendova, Kolambangara and Arundel and was among the first ashore in the Treasury Islands campaign, taking pictures all morning while rifle and mortar fire burst around him. In the Bougainville assault, he landed with the first LST. Heavy shelling and bombing didn't stop the click of his camera. 
 
Reflecting on his Green Islands photographs which are being published in newspapers throughout the United States, the Seabees ace cameraman said, What gets me, is that I studied music and there I was taking pictures under fire.


#64 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:02 AM

AND NO CPO TO TELL HIM HOW 
 
An average Seabee battalion numbers 1083 men - which as far as Henry Ondrick, MMlc, is concerned, is 1082 too many. 
 
The 37 -year-old Seabee, now in the Green Islands, recently returned from a special mission on New Georgia Island and where, for four days he acted as a one-man battalion, doing everything from preparing three squares a day to operating a bulldozer and building a dock for PT boats. 
Ondrick, who volunteered for his hazardous assignment, traveled by LCT to an outpost on the northern tip of New Georgia. He took,with him a water distillator, pontoons, and a bulldozer, His principal job was to build a dock from which PT's could secure fresh water. The Japs didn t like the idea, so the Seabee found himself finishing up under fire.


#65 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:02 AM

SEABEE AIRFlELD READY EVERY TIME WE ADVANCE, SAYS PILOT IN NEW GUINEA 
 
I found my fanny in a real tight spot one day and force-landed on a dirt strip the Seabees had just hacked through the Jungle a week before,wrote Lt. R. R. Loftus, with a bomber group in New Guinea to a Seabee friend. 
 
The Seabees work like a bunch of beavers around here," the air corps man continued, and every time we advance, much to our amazement the strip is ready and waiting.


#66 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:25 AM

UNACCUSTOMED LUXURY 
 
Man, these are the first barracks I've slept in since leaving the States. For nearly two years I've lived in either tents or foxholes," said F. J. Dyer, SF'2c, as he stretched out luxuriously on his bunk at a South Pacific base.
 
Dyer was in on the invasion of Guadalcanal in 1942, helped complete the 
 fighter strip, which saved the island from recapture by the 
Japanese, and also worked on Henderson Field. 
 
After a rest in New Zealand, the Seabee moved to Tarawa where he manned an anti -aircrait gun aboard ship during the landing operations. 
Assigned to a Marine detachment, Dyer later went into Saipan on D-Day. He received neck and back wounds from flying shrapnel and was evacuated to a naval hospital. Recovered he was assigned to the 62nd Battalion -- and the comparative luxury of barracks. 

 



#67 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:31 AM

BULLDOZERS OVER TANKS  - GENERAL PATTON'S CHOICE 
 
The part construction men and construction equipment are playing in winning the European and Pacific wars has been spotlighted by a statement credited by
Newsweek to Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. If he had to choose between tanks and bulldozers for an invasion he would choose road-building equipment every time. 
Construction and road-building equipment, "Newsweek" observes, "by now have proved themselves among the most imoortant and versatile combat weapons of the war." . 
It was revealed that one of the real secret weapons unveiled by Army Engineers in Normandy was a new "tank-dozer" -- a regular tank fitted with an 800-lb. bulldozer blade. Lumbering up the beaches," said "Newsweek: "it gouged out obstacles cunningly designed to snarl the treads of a tank. Later it moved on to even more effective work, tearing a way through the hedgerows of the Normandy Peninsula. " 
Telling how construction equipment had played vital r oles in other campaigns, the magazine recounted how, on New Georgia Island, it was demonstrated that the infantry front lines could advance only so fast as construction equipment blazed the trail. 
At Tarawa, bulldozers knocked down pillboxes still standing after the bombardment. In several amphibious landings, especially waterproofed tractors waded into the water to rescue bogged-down trucks and tanks. Fifty-ton mobile shovels in Italy quickly dug emplacements and set up the 240-millimeter guns which helped  knock out Cassino. At the Volturno River in Italy, tractors and bulldozers made possible a crossing by quickly tearing down banks to permit Army Engineers to throw up a bridge . 
"Capable of any necessary battle front. pushing, hauling, or shoving special road and construction machinery was slow to win attention in this war," 'Newsweek" said. But its performance in combat zones quickly pointed up the urgency and importance of its role until, as Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell pointed out, "The tractor and bulldozer have become as important in modern war as some of the weapons themselves. " 


#68 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:35 AM

COMBAT CATSKINNERS 
 
"Seabees building roads on Guam varied their usual procedure," reported Sgt. Bill Allen, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent. "Instead of one man, each truck, road scraper, and bulldozer had two -  a driver and a guard. Not once, but often, did bullets fly at these men. Some found their target.
 

The Seabees had learned the ropes of war on Bougainville," he continued. "Resourceful as ever, they methodically picked their way through mine fields and out-smarted concealed Japanese traps.

 

 

"During the battle of Agat the second night , a bulldozer could be heard laboring away on the road just outside our camp. "Then the Japs opened up, the motor didn't even sputter. The work kept right on. 'Hey', somebody yelled to the driver, 'those are Japanese shells. 
"The driver replied: Rotten marksmen, aren't they,?' and kept right on working.

 



#69 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:39 AM

FIRST THINGS FIRST 
 
Like the cook who, when confronted with a crate of broken egg's, decided he had wanted to feature scrambled eggs on his menu anyway, CMM George A. Reir is a man who likes to make the best of things. 
During the battle for Guam, a Japanese shell burst a water main near the Seabees' encampment. The Chief simply looked upon it as a heaven sent opportunity to do some fancy plumbing. As a result, reports PFC Cyril O'Brien, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent, three days after the first landing, Marines and Seabees were sharing a 15 man shower which was enjoyed by as many men from both outfits as could get near it. 
 
To build the shower , Reir tapped the water mains with pipes and valves found in abandoned farmhouses. The shower floor was on the unique side, the Chief and his mates built it with Japanese and American shell cases. 
 
The only obstacle encountered was a Japanese sniper who picked at the 
workmen from a nearby hill. The Seabees killed him as soon as they had completed 
the shower.

 



#70 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:41 AM

HEAVY CALIBRE SHOOTING 
 
One of the tough, unpublicized jobs of the Pacific campaign has been that of picked teams of Marines and Seabees assigned to mop -up work on the tiny coral islands which surround larger, already captured atolls. 
The assignment calls for many miniature invasions . Like their larger counterpart, each follows a familiar pattern. The islands are shelled in advance; H-Hour sees the initial wave swarming over the beaches, and each Japanese fights to the death. 
"You've heard what it's like to go through an invasion says James R. Williams, CM2c, who Participated in one of these missions,  Well, multiply one of them by ten, and youll have an idea of how we felt after the last Japanese outpost was cleaned out. 
 
"And do our Marines go in for heavy shooting," the Seabee said sorrowfully, "I know .... I carried the ammunition!


#71 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:44 AM

WATER BABY 
 
The unique experience of Swimming off one of the Marshall Islands before an invasion took place is one which Irving J. Weyant, SF2c, expects to remember for a long time. 
The Seabee was attached to a demolition and reconnaissance squad that spent the night before the attack off the beach of the island diving in the water searching for mines, barbed wire or any other obstruction that might impede the assault troops. Weyant topped this with a swim right up to the beach to observe possible Japanese defense positions, "But", he remarked, "it's more relaxing to go swimming after the Americans have taken over.


#72 Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:49 AM

HEROISM UNDER FIRE 
 
For its part in rebuilding and maintaining in operation an airfield which was under heavy Japanese counter-attack, the 36th Battalion has been commended by COMNAVNORSOLS and nine of its members have been awarded commendations with ribbons by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN . The Seabees who were cited are W. J. Honan, CSK; C. C. Miner, SF1c; F. Watson, SF1c; G. L. Filhart, SF 2c; O. H. Smallwood, SF2c; W. K Swenson, SF'2c; D. C Skaggs, SF3c; and D. E. Volkers, M3c.


#73 Thurman

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:50 AM

AROUND THE CLOCK 
 
A battalion of Seabees, most of them battle-hardened veterans of the suicidal Japanese last-stand attacks during the Bougainville campaign, worked all day and then manned defensive positions in the hills of Guam every night for two weeks, it was revealed by Lt. Cmdr. G. J. Whelan, CEC, USNR, the battalion's OinC.
 
The Shore Party work was very successful," Lt. Cmdr. Whelan said. -Ships unloading on the beaches assigned to the battalion were fully unloaded sIx hours before the ships of other transport divisions.
 
Besides working on the beaches, the Seabees set up watering points, established gravel pits and took, over the job of keeping open the vital supply lines to the front line troops. New roads were constructed, old lanes cleared and widened. Destroyed bridges were repaired when possible and new ones built where the existing ones were found beyond repair. 
Moving into the town of Agana soon after its capture, Seabee bulldozers cleared the main streets of mines and debris caused by the heavy shelling of the town. 
"Great numbers of land mines were located and disarmed," Lt. Cmdr. Whelan said.
 
Despite the fact that the Seabees were under heavy mortar shelling and enemy sniper fire while on the beaches, the battalion suffered few casualties.


#74 Thurman

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 05:51 AM

SEABEE SCOUT PARTY SAW FRONT LINE DUTY IN FRANCE 
 
The eventful reconnaissance mission of a party of Seabees in Normandy had 
its full share of thrills even before it culminated in the capture of a German fort and 330 prisoners, Lt. Frank Lauer, CEC, USNR, one of the two officers who led the group, revealed. 
 
The Navy shore party of 52, which included Coast Guardsmen and members of the Fleet Navy as well as Seabees, reached a Normandy beach along with an Army division on D Day. German opposition apparently was heavy; Lt. Lauer reported that casualties on the beach were high. 
 
"We went forward with the Army Division until we reached St. Mere Eglise," he related, "then we joined another Army unit until we reached Montbourg. We were in the front line trenches, in the thick of everything. 
"We stayed on with an Airborne Division until we reached Valognes, fighting and digging in all day with no sleep at night as the Jerries kept up their bombardment all night with their 88's 
 
"On June 24 we moved up to Glasier and from our point atop a hill we could 
watch Cherbourg burn and our artillery raising hell. On June 25 at 1 p.m. we entered Cherbourg under heavy sniping of machine guns and rifles. June 26, the German Admiral and General surrendered at 10 a.m. but the sniping was still very bad. 
 
"Our little party made quite a name for itself in Cherbourg," the Lieutenant concluded.


#75 Thurman

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 11:40 AM

SEABEES SAWED OFF HILL TOP TO READY MUNDA AIRSTRIP 

 
Jan. 1944. 
 
In one of his last columns, Raymond Clapper, the famous correspondent recently killed over the Marshalls, wirelessed this description of what the Seabees had done at Munda: 
 
We got in here early last August. Three days later the Seabees moved in with bulldozers and dynamite to remove cocoanut groves and saw off the top of a hill, and in 56 hours we were using an airstrip. The Japs strip here, as everywhere else, was too small. It was 3700 feet long. We built one 8000 feet long and three times as wide as the Japs. 
 
Now, after five months, Munda has a huge coral-surfaced airfield and 
hard surfaced roads, and the hills are covered with installations and supplies, making a strong forward base out of this place. 
 
The conditions under which the Seabees worked were extremely difficult. Clapper wrote, Admiral Nimitz was understating it when he said this was 
the worst terrain he had ever seen. It is surely the worst he ever will see. One Marine colonel said the jungle was so dense he never saw the sun for days at a time. 
 
"The Japs had only narrow roads or trails. All their work was done by hand. They had no heavy road-building machinery such as we bring in everywhere out here. We went into jungle this way, patrols first, bulldozers next, followed by jeeps and artillery." 



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