JOHN WAYNE OF THE FIGHTING SEABEES..

Discussion in 'VMBB General Discussion' started by rooter, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*

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    There was some questions about the real event that was portrayed in the 1944 movie, THE FIGHTING SEABEES starring John Wayne:

    I'M PRETTY SURE THE SCENE IN THE FIGHTING SEABEES WAS BASED ON AURELIO TASSONE IN THE TREASURY ISLANDS.

    It was during the landing on Treasury Island in the Solomons, on 28 November 1943, that Fireman 1st Class Aurelio Tassone, USNR, of the 87th Naval Construction Battalion created that legendary figure of the Seabee astride his bulldozer rolling over enemy positions. Tassone was driving his bulldozer ashore during the landing when Lieutenant Charles E. Turnbull, CEC, USNR, told him a Japanese pillbox was holding up the advance from the beach. Tassone drove his dozer toward the pillbox, using the blade as a shield, while Lieutenant Turnbull provided covering fire with his carbine. Under continuous heavy fire, Tassone crushed the pillbox with the dozer blade, killing all 12 of its occupants. For this act Tassone was awarded the Silver Star.


    Another milestone in Seabee history was in the making in 1943 -- but the location was Hollywood rather than the South Pacific. Made in 1943 and released in early 1944, the motion picture The Fighting Seabees, starring John Wayne and Susan Hayward. That movie made "Seabee" a household word during the latter part of the war. This picture also began a relationship between John Wayne and the Seabees which was to last more than three decades. In fact, John Wayne's last motion picture was Home for the Seabees, a Navy documentary filmed in 1977 at the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, California. This was most appropriate, since the exteriors of The Fighting Seabees, had been filmed in and around the same base during World War II.
  2. twobit

    twobit Member

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    Do you have a web address where "Home for the Seabees" can be found? I had no luck with a google search.
  3. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*

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    Greetings TWO BIT from Arizona....I just double checked Google to find out the availability of concerned information...Try this on Google at your end:
    HOME BASES OF NAVY SEABEES...The 2 current operating bases are
    PORT HUENEME, CALIFORNIA
    GULFPORT MISSISSIPPI
    Formerly there was a Seabee base at DAVISVILLE, RHODE ISLAND but it was deactivated in 1974 for cost containment. I operated in and out of there for many years...the years OPERATION DEEP FREEZE ventured down to Antarctic embarked out of Davisville, RI....Though not Seabee bases, the Anphibs out of Little Creek, VA. and Coronado, CA. have a lot to do with Seabee operations...

    I chance to guess that any troop you talk with about the Seabees that they'll have a story to tell you...some are believable!!! Many will smile good naturedly and may even use the term, "those bastards"!!!! Chief
  4. twobit

    twobit Member

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    I was inquiring about the film John Wayne made (where to find it).
  5. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*

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    Hi again TWO-BIT.... here's the address.......www.seabeemuseumstore.org
    PHONE 805 382 2585
    I have a 2012 catalog here and the FIGHTING SEABEES is listed as available
    for $21.95...Good Luck ....Chief
  6. Flynnstone

    Flynnstone New Member

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    The scene in the movie is definitely based on Aurellio Tassone, he was my great uncle (my grandmothers older brother). Uncle Ray passed away before I ever got to know him, but my mother said that he was a very quiet and gentle man and never talked about the war. She said that she never saw his silver star, and I have only seen it on his grave; which is at home in Milford Mass. Growing up, I knew from my grandmother that Uncle Ray was a hero in the war, and that John Wayne played him in a movie. I remember her showing me a text book once when I was little with a story about him in it. The talk about Uncle Ray's time in the war was very quiet growing up; but I am making sure that my kids know that they have hero blood in their viens. I have only recently become very interested in Unlce Ray's service after catching the movie on TCM. If anyone has any first hand recollection of that time and my Uncle, I would love to hear about it. I am pretty sure that the posted account is not entirely accurate because I think Uncle Ray was a Machinist Mate 2nd Class.
    Mike
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  7. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*

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    Welcome Mike and thank you so very much for the information...I have copied it and already posted it on the Seabee site called SMUG MUG.. I'm pretty sure you'll get some positive reactions from historical events that are posted thereon daily...Keep telling all your fellow Americans about the hero relative who John Wayne depicted in that old military movie..Chief
  8. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*

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    Checkin/Update for you Mike...A former Seabee has sent a msg with pictures and if you touch up, I'll fwd them to you...or have the Seabee do it....here is my address: rooterjohnw@msn.com ...Chief
  9. graehaven

    graehaven Active Member

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