United States Navy – Naval Construction Battalion 26 – Guadalcanal 1942-3

Jed has an excellent video of the creation of the SeaBees – to – Guadalcanal – and ending with the photo album put together by the men themselves.

Foxhole Fashion

Here is my rendition of the US Navy’s “SeaBee’s” working uniform while working on the Henderson Field airstrip on Guadalcanal in December 1942 and on into 1943. It was based off of original home footage shot by the men themselves.

2Background:

The US Navy did not have construction men in its’ ranks at the start of the war. Later on after enlisting a number of veteran construction men, the Navy formed CB’s or Construction Battalions. These men were to military trained to build, and fight. Prior to this, the government was forced to use contractors, or civilians, for their construction needs. After the creation the NCB units, the nickname “SeaBee’s” came from the initials, and thus a legend was born. Made famous by John Wayne in the movie “The Fighting Seabees”, the unit became well known.
DSC_2028Equipment

Here I am wearing the US Army “1st Pattern” coveralls, USN issued white underwear…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on June 19, 2015, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the reblog!

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  2. This is some amazing stuff. Stuff that can never fade from our memories though I think our Muslim in Chief would rather talk about the good Muslims as opposed to the bad..

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  3. Sent a link to him; a friend’s father served extensively as a Seabee in the SWP. Tons of private photos.

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  4. Very interesting blog.Hope one day peace will be all over the world but think it”s like “utopia’

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  5. Excellent reading, finally know where the name SeaBees came from, interesting to read that civilian contractors were actually used at the start of the war.

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  6. I always wondered how they came together since I have heard of them. Very interesting!

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  7. Trouble is these were real warriors John Wayne wasn’t; he never donned a military uniform and served his country, thought he was to important. Wayne cannot compare to these men and they are to fine to be compared to him.

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  8. I remember the film ‘The Fighting Seabees’ very well, and this post was a good tribute to the guys who did an essential job, often in danger at the front.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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    • I’m afraid I do not know what the British construction crews were called, do you have any info on them, Pete? Were any sent to the CBI?

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      • That work was mostly done by The Royal Engineers in the British Army, but the majority of the unskilled labour was provided by The Pioneer Corps. Here is a short history of that unit.
        https://pcolman.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/the-armys-hewers-and-drawers-the-story-of-the-pioneer-corps/
        Regards, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, Pete. You must be very proud of your father, his unit has a long, honorable history. Thank you for the link.

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          • I didn’t write this GP. My Father was a regular in the Royal Artillery, from 1936. He was Regimental Sergeant Major, and served mostly in India through the war, leaving the Army in 1947. We didn’t get on that well, unfortunately.

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            • It is a shame you two didn’t get on well. Did he happen to at some point give you any stories of India? Was his name Pete Johnson as well? Do you know his unit? Sorry so many questions, but we don’t get many people talking about the CBI around here.

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              • He told me lots of stories GP, mostly about animals, snake charmers, playing sports, and having a good life. His name was Arthur. He started the war in AA batteries at Dover in 1939-40. He later went on to become an instructor in India, for both AA and 25-pound field artillery pieces. He worked with Sikh and Punjabi units mostly, and travelled around most of India. They anticipated a Japanese attack from the north-east, but of course it never happened.He was involved in the fighting during the Partition Riots, but he saw no action against the Japanese. His war was a good one, playing cricket, hunting animals, and living in a large house with servants. He gave me a Gurkha Kukri, which I later passed on to another relative.
                On the other hand, his older brother was in a field artillery unit in Burma, using guns carried on mules, and saw a lot of hard fighting at close range. He was captured there, and spent a bad time as a POW of the Japanese.
                Regards, Pete.

                Liked by 1 person

  9. Jed’s article sparked my interest in the “uniforms”. Good video, too.

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  10. amazing post, love these photos! I had a great uncle who was a Seabee, never really understood what that was, thank you!

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