43 rd Naval Construction Battalion

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1 43 rd Naval Construction Battalion Historical Information Construimus, Batuimus We Build, We Fight

2 11-17 tine t lroquoia Pt.. ipl0 l'en.. t Loch. of Jr nt e...lgnment is 15 Jan'45. Report r c )

3 Co -1 itl 16 pr'45 d58 n. oved to r 1. in t Iroo~oi8 Pt to load ~1 to be to 'ui. Re rt ro ted via 7th Reg. end 8th Erg Mar' report ot 98 h OB.tat that 90 t~ 98th db are worlr:1.ng at A.BRD wi the 43rd OB IIQ of 1 MarI ~ - 1 Mq'4,5 report of 8th Br1«.,.. t 43rd CB ie 10 ted at M&1i '45 report oft _~rdcb- loclltedato of1 '4~ '45 report of 7th R g - One detachm t of 43rd as.tl11 on an adj ba: should rejoin the Batt. &., earl,. in Ma. -7 h 10 t 1 lth ~th 'Div, 5th P co s. c co Itt' O~787 dtd 01 y' 5 to ro) I Jun 14.,"> report of th 4:3rd CB - 10 ated rt!aui 14'7 en reed. 7 otf. end n ratd B Py from duty et K nat. g Jul l 45 r ort of 43rd OB - loe 7-, c _ of 10 July how gn report of,"i'd Cl3 - leee:tieb Bet 8~at(llQ. iieport vie. 7th Reg. 124 men released ~ur1ng the conth for discharge under the point syrtem. 43rd Cl3 e.rr1~ed at. lpan on 3 ept'45 from iru1. Lett S inan on 16 pt'45 & rr1ved t Nag saki. J pan on 23 Sept' rd CE landed in the Naga ak:l area on 24 Sept '45. s etated 1n 1 Oct '45 r8'dcr t 0 7th Reg. 11-3u-45-1 Nov'45 report of d. rd CB - 1')c t10n not a.t d. art 306 "'n trans! rr d to U.;,). for disc e. 00." At' h moved to I KY't shu with th lot.h rin s. 1 c'45 r rt of 43rd CB - loc ti n not 3enort vi 7th transferred 0 U fn di c rg. d3. en 0 ~lst CB re orted 1 cements Co. It II nn consists of 1 off. &: j;.4 m n still t Ienhe with the 10th arinp:leg _4 rd OB is illl!ctivat d s ot 5 Dec t 45. ser 05'-31 a.td 5 Dec'45 to OinO. 4" rrt nil). (Per t!' 1-lS~6 - On in ctiv tion _49 nil t~e~~~~ t Co t~ (Dine ~rd 03 It er ~.~>5 to 5

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5 1!)' 1 Oot'44 1 ovt 1 J 44 1 J JlI b / t ~,,/t.. P 19 MoB. 1,q,r' ley' Jun l 45 1 Jul' 28 1 ' Sept t Oct' ov'45 26 "'93 1 D o rd Oon truction Battal10n ~3 O.~. rom th Chronologi 1 H '.,to17 l)f t A 1st i.e d _ 1 Jen' 3 - Arrived Krxli :k ~ro U 1 '43 - On., Co. at sand Point. 1 Jul' 3 - Co. D (4 off. n) -and Point. Jul'43 - D~t. retld from S nd Point to Y.odt± 19 ug'43 - Det. of _ oft & 96 en at and Point ( or about 30 a1's) 5 Je.n'44-5 Off. & 237 men departed Kodhk or U.S departed for U.O). 15 Je.n'44 - f. Off. &: 225 men 113 Jan' 44-2 Ot~. 160 III n lett f?r U.s. 1N,,. I. 9 Jeb'44-1Rl en let tor U. S. 9.:3b' men Ip.tt for tt. 1 eb' 44-2 Ott.,1' n 1 1t 'for TJ. (0 17 c. ~-l!l? over er 0096 to BudQC c:ttc. 6 OV'

6 History of ~ Forty-Third U.S. Naval Construction Battalion Some of the men of the newly activated 43rd aval Construction Battalion saw snow for the first tim.: on 12 November 1942, the day they II broke bootll at the Davisville, Rhode Island, Naval Training Center. By the time they returned fran their first tour of duty, they were all seasoned Arctic workers. Kodiak Island The Battalion left Da~~i11e in mid-december, stopping over for two weeks at the Advanced Base Depot Port Hueneme, before boarding the U.S.S. rton with 27 officers and 1004 enlisted men for transportation to Kodiak Island at the base of th Aleutians. The original plans for odiak, ojecte by Congress in 1939, called for a large naval oper ting base, naval air Etation with f cilities for seaplanes as well as landplanes, and a subro ine bas ost of these facilities had already been built by the civilian contractor before the riwl of tb Fourth Construction Re i.m nt, to bicb th 43rd C struction Battalion belon ed, ani any of the projects

7 originally planned for Kodi.!lk were soon to be cancelled as war strategy shifted the scene of action in the Pacific to the southern hemi sphere. Yet a large n'wllber of structures were still to be canpleted on the island, and more importantly, the outlying defense installations whioh protected the main bas needed to be strengthened. These tasks occupied the 43rd Batta1.ion for a little more than a year. It was still the middle of winter When the Battalion moved into its barracks on Vimy Ridge. split up into details and Most of the men were/set to work on miscellaneous jobs in the vicinity, including buildin their own mess hall. A laundtry- and a garage were bu.ilt for the contractor,4epair and storage facilities for Arrrry lamplanes were built\. -thc- Seabees worked on hangars for Naval Air Station, as well as adjoining tf personnel structures (officers I qaarters t aarages, a mess hall). One Tf:te detail soited and stacked lumber and loaded in into boats; another unloaded cargo craft at the wharf. Company II f1 was det.ached shortly after the urival of the Battalion t odiak a d sent to Sand Point on Popof Island to work on the Regimental headquarters at the Naval uxiliar,r Air tation.

8 When the air facility was completed in September 1943 it accomodated 410 officera and men. With the spring thaw, other detachments were BE:Ilt out to work on t outlying positions: a warehouse and other facilities were built at the Radio Range Station on Woody Island, six miles northeast of Kodiak; an entire camp was constructed at Entrance Point, on Kodiak Island, where an anti-aircraft training center waf' locatedj and Army Gun Emplacements, complete with personnel were built at Miller's Point and Cape j"(lj,,,ic.. Chiniak.J CHi the ieiand. Aside from the problans associated with _.~ strenuous work in cold eather, whi d1 took its toll in a high rate of illness, construction was c anp1icated by the unusual terrain on the islar i. -iuch of the land was _ marsh, covered over with a blanket of volcanic ash from the eruption of ount f.atmai in This created constant problem$of unstable faun ations, groundwater seepage, and mud Gnats d mas itos infested the danp areas and added to the sick list. Machinery wore out quickly under these conditions,

9 .. q)"dt and much of the equipmp.ot,.the L3rd. Batt,alion inherited had seen considerabl previous use. Breakdown of equ#apnent proved to be the ~dav, ~.H~ p~"",4. ~If{.a/ major headach~df- 4w ~_~6~ Despite these problems the Battalion completed its assignments before the end of While Camp Parka made ready for their return, the Battalion occupied itself ~1m.~W1i1j) by' fu-t'lliahing sssistance to the L,lst Construction Battalion, building at d-by storage tanks and other uncritical mase improvements, and by holding extra training classes. To add to tte tedious waiting, the battalion went home in dribbles: five echelons, soread out over a month, made fltoe",4/(1.j"', GtLtfrJ'W~, the trip from Kod:ia.k to Camp Parks,;,the last arriving 22 February The Pacific After two months of fest and retraining, the Battalion was ready for gave the Battalion an added onth of rest in Calif'ornia, nd t en it hipped out 5 July 19L1J, bound for P r rbor, Oahu. ed jn th

10 Hawaiian Islands udtil after the surrender of J pan. in Od/tU The first work was to turn a Iai.:ii.~. camp of half-completed t1 quodset huts ana tellts into livable quarters for the battalion, complete with barracks, showers, a mess hall, theater, chapel, recreation hall, officers' quarters, etc. Besides the camp there were three major areas of work for the 43ra Battalion: the Advanced Base Construction Depot, Iroquois Point; the aval Salvage Depot, aipio Point and the Naval Ammunition Depot, est Loch. 43~lkll4u"" '5 where the"... camp was located l t*t!. f~4~$' At Iroquois pointj'h ' 3 d PnU..".. took over frotl the 98th Battalion the building of a supply annex. A huge aircraft parking area, 342 acres, was graded and paved with crushed coral. A prisoner of war camp was bullt Miscellaneous jobs included an equipxnent repcur shop, a uumber of ware cuses, and a 10,000 bbl. bitumals storage tank. The ~lvage Depot at ip 0 Point, Which reclaimed usable parts and metal froitl damaged ships, required improvements in wa~erfront facilities. The 43rd qlsd onatructi n Battali Ibuilt a looo,.foot wharf, a small boat pier and a 60-ton gantry cr e.

11 Personnel buildings were r quired at West Loch, in addition to. m:ine-asse'.mbly buildings, railroads, and various safety structural features required at &mnunitiod depots. The J.:3r Battalion also built a sw:l.mming pool for the enlisted men. ""r ~':~.i. _ Taken together it was a sizable assignmenrand the coild'llanding officer had considerable difficulty stretching his limited manpower to cover so many _tall tasks. "This battalion has been given so many different jobs, II he noted ane report, Ilthat we have ha:l trouble getting enou h men and equipment to keep all of the jobs and eouipment oing at the same tjme." Equipment fa:ilmre was again the conunon complaint. Much of the equipment was om, spare parts were scarce, and use was heavy. On 28.l.'ebruary 1945, with moot of the work canpleted, the Battalion received order to cease work. Most of the men then began jungle training and. other military exercises in preil8.l'atiod for movement to a foi"llard ea. During the me th of April, and "D Comnaniea and part of Headquart rs Comp y, ov to NaYiliwili

12 on the island of auai. The rest of the Battalion joij'led the Lth Harine Di ision on the island of Maui. The Kauai detachment spent a month readying a rine camp r Ir the r6turning marines ane. erecting some temporary etorehouses. They then rejoined the main Battalion, which was engaged in general clearling-up operations at the huge 30,OOO-man center on MauL Structure5 built during June and July, 19115, were mostly recre tional. facilities--handball court«-, a chapels, theaters, library, cl~b houses, etc. TOIiard the end of July Ue Marines prepared to move across the Pacific for the invasion of the Japanese islands, and the 43rd Construction Battalion began loading equipment aboard ship. Leaving lau! on 13 August 19lJ5 aboard the U.S.S. Prince George, th batl:.alion headed first for Honolulu, aitivin~ only a few bours before t e news of peac.i was received. on August 14. Nevertheless, construction workers were still needed in the Pacific, and the eabees proceed /It ~ j1-(4rrtl/f/is on to Span, tl e sch ul at ging area. Ai'ter a st ort st y,lf th~y were sent to NC>.hc,""cU\,04: th d stated J pane port city on the 1sI d of 'yushu.

13 B Du in their two month stay in the abasaki area, th 43rd IIndt?I-tock Battalion wele Cl'Jitit;ed ill glneral repair work on buildings &nd -. ;119 warehou es, grading and maintam:n~ roads,.,.repavthe DejiIri Wharf and unloaciij g supplies at the barbor. Tbe Battalion extended an airfielc, dubbed "Atomic Field," fran 800 feet to 1800 feet. It also bullt 31 Butler huts and a two-storey quonset hut for the 2nd Marine Division. Company "AI moved to Isaha.ya, northe s of Na asaki., to assist tl e loth Marine Division during ovember. its All during _~_ stay in Japan, the 43rd Battalion was oeing depleted by discharges. By November it was D at balf strength, with the most experienced ell absent from the ranks. The commanding officer urged that the entire oattalion be sent home. This deci~ion was reach on 30 November. Most of the men had been detached and sent home for discharge by this date, including Commander Williams and thirteen other officers. Lt. Commander P.R. O'Donnell, the acting Officer-in-Charge, inactivat d the battalion on 5 Dec~ber inco orated in The rer.mant of th b ttali n was then e-=~m~~ the 31 t al Conshruction B tt lion.

14 Chrono1opy 12 Nov 1942 The battalion was activated at the Naval Construction Tra:ining Center J Davisville, R.I. 17 Dec Jan 1943 The battalion departed Davieville for the Advancet Bas Depot, Port Hueneme, California. The battalion left Port Hueneme for Kodiak Island, Alaska, aboard the U.S.S. Wharton. 10 Jan 1943 The battalion arrived at the Naval Operating BaBe, Kodiak. 23 Jan 1943 Company ndn consisting of 4 officers and 236 men departed for Sand POint, Popof Island. Jul Aug 1943 Company lid' returned to Kodiak. 4 officers and 96 men were detached to ~d Point for 30 days duty. 20 Jan 19l.t4 1st ~chelon of 7 officers and 305 men arrived at the Construction Battalion Rep1acemen~ Depot, Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California. (Depart~re dates from Kodiak for all sahelons are not known.) 1 Feb nd helon of 05 men arrived at Camp Parks. 11 Feb 19U4 3rd che10n o~ Parks. 1 officer and 80 men arrived at Camp 20 Feb 19lJh 4th Echelon of 7 officers and 286 men arrived at 22 Feb 19l.tb 5th helo 120 me arriv Parks.

15 7 l"l3.y 194L 'file battalion left Camp Parks, Construct_on Replacement Depot. ttalion 8 May 1944 The battalion arrived at the Advance Port Huememe, Cali.fornia. e Depot, 5 Jul 1944 The battalion departed from Port Hueneme far Oahu Territory of Hawaii. 1l.Jul Feb Apr Apr Apr Apr 19L5 8 lay Aug 19L5 Tbe battali on arrived at Pearl Harbor, Oahu. The battalion was secured from work at Oahu, and prepared for move!'lent. /efr Oahu for Company "A" 3 officers and 197 men, Fourth Marine Division Camp, Maui, Territory of Hawaii. (Arrival dates at Maui and Kauai are not known.) Company "B", 6 officers andm 195 men, rnove4to Malli. col1sisting of 7 officers and 350 men, COIYIpariies nc" and "D" and part of Headquarters Company,/ moved to Nawiliwili, Kaua:i, Territory of Hawaii. Remain er of Headquarters Compa1l1, b officers and 58 left Oahu men, for Maui. ed 7 0.f1 ieers and 350 men fran Kauai arrivf at 'laui. ed Th battalion departi J1aui aboard the U.S. Prince 14 Aug 1945 George. The battalion arrived. at Honolulu, Ha: Saipan. ii, en route to 3 Sep 1945 The battalion arrived at Saipan, Mariana Islands. 16 Sap 1945 T batt ian departed fro Saipan.

16 11 23 Sep 1945 The bat talion "'rrived at Nagasaki, Japan. 24 Oct men left 'agasaki for discharge. 30 Nov 19u5 91 men were detached for discharge at I agasaki, including Commander A. F. Williams. 1 Dec officers and 364 enlisted men (the vast ~ority made bejng seamen) up the 43rd Construction ~ttal1on at Nagaaaki-Isahaya. took 5 Dec 19L5 Inactivation place at Nagasaki at Oct 1960 A reunion of the 43rd Na'\:al Co truction Battalion was held in \ ashington, D.C. Commanding Officers Officer-in-Charge was COlTUllander Hugh A. DunJ.ap, CEC, USNR,/assigned. to the still u.nactivated L3rd Construction Battalion, 26 October 19L2. He is officially deta.ched 11.1ay Comrnal'Iier Alan F. ill1ams, CEC, U.;)lffi, was assigned. to the battalion on 9 I-iay 19u4. He was detached 30 November Commarrler Lteutenant/p.R.. OIDonnell, CEO, USHR, relieved COl11lll1Ulder Lieutenant J. W. Jonea illiams and served 8S Bcting Officer-in-Charge until.5 December Execut 'va Officer..a CEC, USllR,/ass1gneci: to the new battalion along with amrnand r Dunlap, 26 ctobf!r He was d t cll d. 7 pr:i Co, r ill seke.., 0, us, li d Lt. Jones 7 r1l 1943 and aid until.5 De

17 43 rd Naval Construction Battalion Chronology 12 Nov Dec Jan Jan Jan 1943 Jul Aug Jan Feb Feb Feb Feb 1944 Activated at Naval Construction Training Center, Davisville, Rl. Departed Naval Construction Training Center, Davisville for Advance Base Depot, Port Hueneme, California. Departed Advance Base Depot, Port Hueneme, for overseas. Arrived at Kodiak, Alaska. Co. "0" consisting of 4 officers and 236 men departed for Sand Point. Co. "0" returned to Kodiak. 4 officers and 96 men detached to Sand Point for 30 days duty. 1st Echelon of 7 officers and 385 men arrived Construction Battalion Replacement Depot, Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California. (Departure date from Koidak not known). 2 nd Echelon of 65 men arrived Construction Battalion Replacement Depot, Camp Parks. (Departure date from Kodiak not known) 3 rd Echelon of 1 officer and 80 men arrived Construction Battalion Replacement Depot, Camp Parks. (Departure date from Kodiak not known). 4th Echelon of 7 officers and 286 men arrived Construction Battalion Replacement Depot, Camp Parks. (Departure date from Kodiak not known). 5 th Echelon of 1 officer and 120 men arrived Construction Battalion Replacement Depot, Camp Parks. (Departure date from Kodiak not known). Second Tour of Duty 07 May May Jul Jul Feb Apr Apr 1945 Departed Construction Battalion Replacement Depot, Camp Parks. Arrived Advance Base Depot, Port Hueneme. Departed Advance Base Depot, Port Hueneme for Oahu, Territory of Hawaii. The battalion arrived at Pearl Harbor, Oahu. The battalion was secured from work at Oahu, and prepared for movement. Company "A", 3 officers and 197, left Oahu for Fourth Marine Division Camp, Maui, Territory of Hawwaii. (Arrival dates at Maui and Kauai are not known) Company "B", 6 officers and 195 men, moved to Maui.

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19 1 pr 45 till 1 cat 13 u 45 D rt Ha S 1nce Georg 3 S 45, rlana I 1 nd 16 ep 45 D 23 ep 45 rriv, J n. 5 Dec 4' lnacuv ted at ald. J p n. 2