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SEPTEMBER 15, 1944 - PELELIU, WESTERN CAROLINE ISLANDS.

In one of the most brutal but often forgotten battles in the Pacific, Seabees accompany the 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) in the landing on Peleliu, Western Caroline Islands. 33rd,73rd,17th Special, 302nd N.C.B. Detachment - CAN-DO!


Added: September 15, 2009
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My name is Stan Lampe. My Dad, JEROME (Jerry) LAMPE was a SeaBee inducted in Granite City Illinois or St.Louis Missouri somewhere between 1944-1949. My family is looking for anyone who may have served with our father to help us celebrate his SURPRISE 80th birthday party on November 16th 2009. Any names, pictures or stories would be greatly apprieciated to help us with this Celebration of our Father.

Added: September 13, 2009
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I am browsing U. S. Navy sites this evening. I found a post looking for members of CBMU 542 during WWII in the Pacific theater. I was married to Jean C. Halterman, Seaman First Class, enlisted in 1943, discharged February, 1946. I recognized some of the names listed as being names my husband talked about. He exchanged Christmas cards with a number of them until 1982. Sadly, Jean died of cancer in October, 1982, and I have gradually lost track of all of them. If anyone wants to email me, I have a little bit of information I could share.

I have a photo of Platoon 4----If you have the same photo, here is the legend for it.

1. Charles Gruber - Ted Skinner - F. N. Jentner - Warrant Officer Hutchison - C. A. Anderson - J. Y. Sanders - Benny Frost

2. J. P. Mullins - Ivan Rowe - D. L. Smith - James L. Odgers - T. Leeds - Dick Tripp - Percy "Pop" Miles

3. Ray Logan - W. H. Krail - Douglas Gallaher - Herbert Spencer - B. H. Algien - Adamowitz - Karl Kihlstrom - Sam Boring - Charles Atwood - Don Knoll - Adason Jacobus

4. Bruce B. Bosley - Joe F. Keeley - Jean C. Halterman

5. Carl F. Kirar - H. G. Laser - J. J. Kyzour - D. L. Simms - "Rubber" - Lonnie Shelley - K. T. Crowley

6. W, J. "Bill" Blank

Unit 542 left Gulfport, MS, Dec. 27. 1943 aboard the Azalea, arrived New Hebrides Feb. 6, 1944

I am not sure about any locations, except Jean. He lived in Chicago and enlisted there. He graduated high school in June 1943 and was deferred until September to assist with flooding in Southern Illinois, where his grandparents lived and where he moved after the war.

I live in extreme Southern Illinois, a small town called Anna, in the vicinity of Southern Illinois University, (GO SALUKIS during the NCAA Basketball playoffs.) This has been this Halterman family home for generations.

Milly Halterman
203 Court Street
Anna, IL 62906


Added: September 12, 2009
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Kris Joe GeslerUTW-3
MCB-5 1964-66


Added: September 11, 2009
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Hey Chuck,
It's sad to hear about the future of the Seabees. When I first went in 1971 I went through CM A school and had great instructors. Then got out in 1975, then went back in 1981 as a UT went through A school, C1 Advance and then Shore Base Boilers. Again had good instructors, retired in 1997 and worked for a boiler company in Greensboro,NC. but now work for Pender County schools in the Maint. Dept maintaining their boilers, kitchen equipment and help out in the A/C shop. Which I got my basic training while in the Bees. Sad to see that the schooling in the Bees has gone down hill. If they do decommission the Bee's at least I know that I served with the best. Also like you said that the Seabees can't be Marines in that their parents need to be married and also to each other.


Added: September 10, 2009
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ROBERT OBEREMBT I was in NMCB 1 80-83 (gulfport) Diego Garcia days 81-82 I don't know if you'll remeber me, but I was looking to see
if I just might see someone from the good old days. the good times were the BEST and the bad times were the worst.

Admin reply: ROBERT OBEREMBT I was in NMCB 1 80-83 (gulfport) Diego Garcia days 81-82 I don't know if you'll remeber me, but I was looking to see
if I just might see someone from the good old days. the good times were the BEST and the bad times were the worst.


Added: September 9, 2009
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I served at the US Naval Facility, Keflavik Iceland, 1979-1982. We had app a dozen SeaBees assigned. I would like To contact UTC Tom Moore and BUC Bob Dubois. If any one could help me it would be greatly appreciated.

Added: September 6, 2009
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Has anyone heard this? This was posted on Facebook apparently and a friend sent it to me."Re: seabees

this was something that happened back in 1996. i don't think the issue is
on the table anymore with the exception that i have heard from high up
sources that the navy would like to integrate the seabees into the Marine
Corps.

i was in iraq back in 2003. i was a part of the invasion force. during OIF
1 (the invasion) seabees assumed a very offensive role which broke with
their traditional defensive roles. as a result, the combat training for
seabees has changed immensely since the beginning of OPERATION IRAQI
FREEDOM.

worthy of note is that since the early 1990's the seabees changed their
command structure (usually at the regiment to division/brigade level) many
times. i witnessed this personally. by the time the seabee community got
used to one command structure they would change it again. in 1996 they
wanted to do away with the seabees, but the commandant of the marine corps
stepped up and intervened.

the issue in my opinion is such that the marines require the services of the
seabees, but they don't want to be bogged down by the logistics associated
with maintaining the seabees. you'll notice that in the past year the
marines turned down a lot of the big armored equipment offered them by
D.O.D. and the main reason was that they didn't want to be slowed down by
heavy equipment and a bigger offensive fighting force. the modern marine
corps operates more in small units that can move quickly. the current
construction battalion (full combat strength of between 1,000 and 1,200
people) is among the largest command stuctures in the entire military (all
services). a major component in the restructuring of the overall military
after the cold war was to place more emphasis on better (lighter, more
accurate, and more effective) weapons systems and smaller units to employ
such weapons systems. the days of the big army are over.

that said, its important to understand that today's seabee (no different
from the very beginning) offers a service on demand. when there's no demand
there's no service needed. for readiness purposes, the navy has to maintain
a contingency construction force for when the need arrives. the marine
corps can't absorb the seabees without rewriting much of their doctrine,
because the marines are accomodated to doing more with less. when they need
extra support they call the seabees.

i can tell you this much though. the seabees have been sitting on the fence
for a long time now. ADMIRAL KUBIC used the seabees during OIF 1 to make
their own case. i believe this is the reason for the extremely offensive
posture of the seabees during the invasion of IRAQ in 2003.

i made presented the case to replicate the actions of the marine corps in
creating smaller and more specialized units within the seabee community
during the TASK FORCE EXCELL CONFERENCE in 2004. i suggested the government
contract with the building trades construction unions for professional
training to support the mission of the smaller specialized units. i was
shot down. they already contract with the marine corp and army for combat
training (every battalion and support unit has a marine corpse military
adviser) so why not contract with proffessionals in the building trades
(trade specific construction industry means advisors)?

one thing you have to realize is that the seabees today are not the seabees
you remember back in your time. i personally believe the seabees have lost
their ability to get the job done like a proffessional contractor. the
quality of work as well as quantity of work done by today's seabees leaves
much to be desired. the problem as far as i can see is too much red tape
and a lack of professionalism on the training side of the house. most
EQUIPMENT OPERATOR today don't even know what they are doing. a student can
only be as good as their teacher. the evidence is such that very few if any
seabees can actually get a job in the private sector in the construction
trades once they get out of the military.

A school at NCTC for equipment operators was $70k when i attended in 1990.
i was told C school at NCTC was more than that when i attended in 2004. as
a journeyman operating engineer (certified crane operator and journeyman
earthmover) i have to say that the schools are marginal value at best.
personally, i disagree with not only the training fomat itself, but also the
chosen instructors that offer that training. in my opinion those schools
are a waste of time. they do not produce quality hands that can get a job
done to industry standards. i have no doubts that the same is true in the
other seabee ratings.

that said, its no wonder the navy wants to get rid of the seabees. they
just aren't cost effective. the structure is wrong, the training is wrong,
and i personally think those running the show suffer from gross
incompetence.

here's an example of what i'm talking about. on my way to Port Hueneme, Ca
to report for my recall to active duty for deployment to kuwait/IRAQ
(OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM 1) i met a former CM1 (construction mechanic 1st
class). he'd been out of the military for over a year. he was going to
school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. he was in the seabees for
16 years and reached the high rank of E-6. to his disappointment he
confessed that he could not market himself in the private sector as a
construction mechanic. i can tell you right now that good heavy equipment
and truck mechanics are always in need in the construction industry, so what
was this guy's problem? a construction mechanic makes anywhere from 60k on
up to beyond 100k a year. and after 16 years of wrenching on equipment in
the seabees he can't get a job? the question is WHY?

does it surprise me that the U.S. NAVY doesn't find the seabees a cost
effective component of America's premier invasion force? no

whether the marine corps adopts the seabees or the seabees are decomissioned
is up in the air. one thing is certain though. the seabees will become
history with the next round of cutbacks once the global war on terror is
done."
I explained to my friend,that the Seabees will never be allowed to be part of the Marine Corps as it is a requirement that Seabees have married parents.

Admin reply: This is not the overall view of the Naval Construction Force. Our Seabes today still have the CAN DO Spirit of our Brothers Retired And Still Active.
Billy C. Millican CE1 USN Retired


Added: September 5, 2009
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I was in NMCB 7 in 59 to 61 in Roovevet Roads & Cuba. Like to here from some guys.

Added: September 1, 2009
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Just Saying HI to all Seabees If ya Know Me drop me a Line

Added: August 30, 2009
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