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Seabees!

Discussion in 'Land Warfare in the Pacific' started by Thurman, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. Thurman

    Thurman Member

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    [SIZE=small]DOZER OPENED PATH FOR TANKS ON SAIPAN

    A bulldozer-riding Seabee, clearing the way for tanks and infantry, led
    American assault forces into Laulau Peninsula on Saipan Island, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent Sgt. David Dempsey revealed in an eye-witness account.
    Marines advancing into Laulau Peninsula on this island yesterday met unexpected resistance in the form of tanks, piLlboxes, and dugouts, Dempsey wired from Saipan. "The infantry requested tank support.
    When the tanks arrived, they were unable to negotiate a particular strip of terrain leading from the beach onto the high ground of the peninsula. The tanks requested engineer support.
    The engineers sent a bulldozer. Manned by a lone, exposed Seabee, it scooped out a passageway for the tanks and became officially the first American vehicle to enter the peninsula."
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  2. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Missed this thread for a while.
    Glad to see it being updated.
     
  3. Thurman

    Thurman Member

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    [SIZE=small]HE HELPED TURN BACK JAPANESE ATTACK

    The information carried by a Seabee who volunteered to act as runner from a beach command post to two Marine divisions, frustrated an attempt by a large concentration of Japanese to drive a wedge between the two Marine Divisions on Saipan.
    The Seabee battalion 121st N.C.B., 3/20, 4th Marine Division, was holding down the position of beach security battalton during the invasion of the island. It was D-plus 1 and the situation as outlined on the CP s map looked bad. No information had been received on the progress of the 2nd Division for some time and besides, it was feared that the Japs were concentrating to split the two divisions with a drive to the beach.
    CCM Leslie G. Smith of Los Angeles, Calif., chief in charge of the CP, called for a volunteer to run the gauntlet to the 2nd Marines, Frank H. Chmielewicz, Slc, of Camden, N. J. popped out of his foxhole to accept the assignmenL
    Risking being shot at by his own mates as well as by Japs and Marines, Chmielewicz made his way up the fringe of the beach and found the Marine CP. Securing the desired information he made the perilous 2 1/2 mile return journey to the Seabee CP and then set off to contact the 4th Marine Division in the opposite direction.
    With the maps prepared by the Seabee plotters at the beach CP, the Marines were able to locate the Jap wedge and eliminate it.
    Chmielewicz's battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its part in the capture of Saipan and Tinian. Chmielewicz was wounded during the later campaign and has received the Purple Heart.
    [/SIZE]
     
  4. Thurman

    Thurman Member

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    "AHEAD OF OKINAWAS FRONT LINES"


    AHEAD OF OKINAWAS FRONT LINES WENT A FIVE MAN SEABEE SURVEYING TEAM TO LAY OUT THE SITE FOR A NEW AIRFIELD. CCM DOYLE L. CROWELL AND HIS MEN WORKING IN "NO MANS LAND" FOR TWO DAYS - SOMETIMES MORE THAN A HALF-MILE IN FRONT OF THE FIGHTING. THE MARINES DIDN'T CATCH UP WITH THE SURVEYORS UNTIL THE THIRD DAY
     
  5. Thurman

    Thurman Member

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    "TANK TROUBLE SHOOTER ON IWO!"


    TANK TROUBLE SHOOTER, WAS JOSEPH G. KISSEL, EM2CM ATTACHED TO THE MARINES "5TH TANK BATTALION" ON IWO WHO WORKED ON TANKS AT A TIME WHEN ALL PERSONNEL EXCEPT THE ASSAULT TROOPS, WERE BUSY DIGGING PRIVATE FOXHOLES.

    PRAISE FOR KISSEL, WHO WAS ASSIGNED TO THE TANK BATTALION TO GIVE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE WITH THE NEW FLAME-THROWER TANKS, CAME FROM COL. WILLIAM W. COLLINS, OF THE FIFTH MARINES.

    SAID THE COLONEL;

    "KISSEL WAS SENT ON TEMPORARY DETACHED DUTY TO FURNISH THIS NECESSARY TECHNICAL ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE. THIS DUTY HE PERFORMED TO A VERY HIGH AND PRAISWEORTHY DEGREE. HE LANDED ON D-PLUS-1, AND PROCEEDED IMMEDIATELY TO THE FLAME TANKS AND CORRECTED SOME REGULATOR TROUBLE. AT THIS TIME ALL PERSONNEL EXCEPT THE ASSAULT TROOPS WERE BUSY DIGGING A PRIVATE FOXHOLE. HE CONTINUED THIS HIGH STANDARD OF PERFORMANCE DUTY DURING THE ENTIRE OPERATION AND PERSONALLY ACCOMPANIED THE FLAMETANKS INTO JAPANESE POSITIONS TO OBSERVE THEIR EFFECT.
     
  6. Thurman

    Thurman Member

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    "SEABEE OFFICERS HONORED FOR THEIR PART IN RISKY MARINE PATROL"


    WHEN THREE CIVIL ENGINEER CORPS OFFICERS WERE NEEDED TO JOIN A MARINE RECONNAISSANCE PATROL ON A DANGEROUS VISIT TO A JAP HELD ISLAND IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC, VOLUNTEERS INCLUDED LT. WILLIAM T. MALEY, CEC, USN. LT., CLEVELAND R. HORNE, JR., CEC, USN, AND LT. (JG) JOHN H. HARKER, CEC, USNR ALL OF WHOM WERE ATTACHED TO SEABEE BATTALIONS STATIONED AT ADVANCED BASES IN THE AREA.

    FOR THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS WHILE ON THIS MISSION, LT. MALEY AND LT. HARKER HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE SILVER STAR MEDAL. LT HORNE HAS RECEIVED A CITATION FROM ADMIRAL HALSEY.

    THE PARTY'S HAZARDOUS ASSIGNMENT WAS TO OBTAIN INFORMATION CONCERNING TERRAIN, HYDROGRAPHIC CONDITIONS AND HOSTILE DISPOSITIONS ON THE ENEMY HELD ISLAND. IT'S MEMBERS KNEW THEY WERE ENTIRELY ON THEIR OWN, THEY COULD EXPECT NO OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE FROM ALLIED FORCES. THE DATA THEY GATHERED IS EXPECTED TO BE OF CONSIDERABLE VALUE IN THE CONDUCT OF FUTURE OPERATIONS.
     
  7. Thurman

    Thurman Member

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    BULLDOZERS RIP PATH FOR TANKS: SEABEE-LED ATTACK CRUSHES JAPS

    When tanks were unable to pass through the extraordinarily thick jungle to attack a Japanese force threatening the Cape Gloucester airfields on which the Fighter-Builders were working, dare-devil Seabees solved the problem by driving their bulldozers through the entangled vegetation. As they smashed their way through, Australian and American infantrymen followed up, making a lane for the land battle-wagons.

    The tanks were needed to outflank a strong enemy position within ten miles of the airfields . Jap forces, recovering from their stunned surprise after the Marines first quick thrust, had regrouped in the hills to the rear of their lost base. Strongly entrenched in pillboxes on both sides of a stream, they were set to inflict severe casualties on any Allied units attempting a crossing.

    Until the Seabee bulldozers swung into action, working around the enemy position had appeared impossible. The battling construction men bulled through the wall of jungle, leading the way for the tanks, and then, as they approached the stream's west bank, manipulated their bulldozers to shear down steep cliffs like so much paper.

    Under the protection of General Sherman 75mm. tanks, other Fighter-Builders built a bridge across the rivulet, despite withering fire from the enemy ' pillboxes. Marines then crossed over and in frontal assaults smashed the formidable Jap defenses.

    The strong resistance was a surprise in view of the report from prisoners that the Japgeneral in command of the area had fled on foot from cape Gloucester to Talasea be cause of the intense American aerial bombardment preceding the Marines' and Seabees' initial landing.
     
  8. Thurman

    Thurman Member

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    FIFTH TRY SUCCESSFUL

    After four previous attempts to carry out the mission had been blocked by enemy sniper fire, Seabee O. L. Bourland, GMlc, and a Marine escort party blew up two disabled General Sherman tanks stalled on a Peleliu reef. The demolition job was requested by a Marine tank unit to prevent the Japs using the two Shermans as temporary pillboxes.
     
  9. Thurman

    Thurman Member

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    "DOUBLED AS CORSPMEN ON IWO"

    SCORES OF SEABEES WHO LANDED ON IWO-JIMA ON D-DAY VOLUNTEERED AS FIRST AID MEN AND HELPED CARE FOR WOUNDED MARINES AND SEABEES ON THE HARD WON BEACHHEAD, ACCORDING TO STAFF SGT. BILL DVORAK, A MARINE CORPS COMBAT CORRESPONDENT.

    THEY CARRIED STRETCHERS, APPLIED TOURNIQUETS, AND ASSISTED IN ADMINISTERING PLASMA. ALL OF THIS WAS ACCOMPLISHED WITH THE FRONT LINES LESS THAN 400 YARDS AHEAD, AND WITH JAP SHELLS AND MORTARS COMING DOWN IN A MURDEROUS BARRAGE.

    AMONG THEM WERE GEORGE MABBET, COX., OF PLYMOUTH MASS. CEM, L.B. HUNTER OF SHELTON WASH., AND HENRY SHMUNCK, F1C, OF SCOTTS BLUFF NEBRASKA.

    OUR JOB ONCE WE HIT THE BEACH WAS TO UNLOAD AMMUNITION AND SUPPLIES FROM THE SHIPS, SAID MABETT. WHEN WE LANDED, ABOUT TWO HOURS AFTER THE FIRST MARINE ASSAULT TROOPS, THE JAPS WERE MAKING THE ENTIRE BEACH HOT, AND THE REGULAR DOCTORS AND CORPSMEN WERE UNABLE TO KEEP UP WITH THE CASUALTIES. THOSE OF US WITH ANY EXPERIENCE STEPPED IN TO HELP, THATS ALL.

    IT WAS ROUGH THE FIRST FEW HOURS LIKE I NEVER IMAGINED IT COULD BE, SAID HUNTER. IT WAS MY FIRST TASTE OF COMBAT AND A PRETTY IMPRESSIVE INITIATION. I DIDN'T LIKE IT BUT I ADMIRED THE COURAGE OF THE MARINES SO MUCH THAT I HOPE I'LL BE WITH THEM IN FUTURE OPERATIONS.

    THOSE BOYS HAVE GUTS. ORDERED TO HUG THE SAND ON THE BEACH WHEN THE JAPANESE FIRE WAS COMING IN THICK, THOSE AROUND ME WERENT SHOWING ANY FRIGHT, THEY WERE JUST ASKING PERMISSION TO GET GOING, CUSSING THE JAPS. WHEN THEY DID ASSAULT THE JAP PILLBOXES AND OTHER DEFENSES, USING FLAMETHROWERS AND ALL THEIR OTHER WEAPONS, THEY DID A WORKMANLIKE JOB - THEY ARE ALL HEROES.

    HUNTER AND SCHMUNK, BESIDES HELPING UNLOAD THE FIRST SHIPS TO REACH THE BEACH WITH AMMUNITION, CARRIED THE EXPLOSIVES ON THEIR BACKS UP A SANDY SLOPE TO THE FRONT LINES, WORKING ALMOST WITHOUT SLEEP FOR TWO DAYS, UNTIL ROADS FOR VEHICLES COULD BE ESTABLISHED ON THE ISLAND.
     
  10. andrwoo

    andrwoo New Member

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    My grandpa was a Seabee (as was I). He was in Iwo Jima with CBMU 620. Here is some pictures of him there. Get to see some of the base they built there. He was a carpenter.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Here is the album with full size http://imgur.com/a/aJ9yt#0
     
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  11. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    That's really neat andrwoo. Unfortunately I have run through my quota of salutes for today :(.
     
  12. andrwoo

    andrwoo New Member

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    Smiley 2.0, what area of Kentucky? I have deep family ties in eastern Kentucky. Pikeville, Paintsville, Louisa, Van Leer, Pilgrim.. a few others. Lots of coal miners.
     
  13. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    I'm actually from northern Kentucky :( . I live several miles from Cincinnati. It is still nice to see someone who has roots in the Bluegrass State ;)
     
  14. BMaxwell

    BMaxwell New Member

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    I have a huge collection of photos from Guam during the war sent by my father to my mother. Daddy wrote on the back of the photo with information including the names of the officers in his unit the CBMU 515. I'm in the process of scanning an organizing this material into a history. From what I've seen so far this kind of detail about a specific Seabee unit is rare. Here is a group picture left to right is Warrant Officer (WO) Fred Gemmer, Ens. Carl Swanson, CPO Mason, Chief WO Hamelick. In the back again left to right Chief WO Bill Thomas Lt (jg), Executive Officer Ken Jennings Lt (jg), and my father Clyde Maxwell Lt (jg). View attachment 24668
     

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  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Consider donating them to the Naval History and Heritage Command "some day"?
     

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