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*VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*
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On this day in Seabee History
26 December 1943- The 19th Naval Construction Battalion was the first battalion authorized to wear the Marine Corps uniform, when it was attached to the 3rd Battalion, 17th Marines, in May 1943. As part of the First Marine Division, the 19th NCB participated in the assault on Japanese-held Cape Gloucester, New Britain, which is part of New Guinea. During the battle, Seabees bulldozed paths to the Japanese lines so that American tanks could attack enemy-held positions.
This American flag flew over the 19th NCB, probably in the Headquarters office, during the battle for Cape Gloucester. It is 48” wide x 72” tall and made of dyed cotton. Despite the harsh South Pacific climate, the color remains bright and vivid. Alvin H. Fink Senior brought the flag with him when he returned at the end of the war. He went on to serve at CBC Port Hueneme in the Post-WWII era and was instrumental in establishing the USN Seabee Museum. He kept the flag until his death. His wife donated his collection in 1970.

BULLDOZERS RIP PATH FOR TANKS: SEABEE-LED ATTACK CRUSHES JAPANESE. Seabee News Service Report, 19th Seabees
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 Japanese general 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.


242008
 

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*VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*
Joined
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26,019 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hard to read in red on dark background better in light. Great story, thanks.
Good Morning Sir...I didn't realize about the post color red being difficult to
read...I'm rather vision impaired from the effects of shingles to the face a few
years ago...I'll remember that for others and just leave it this color. Have a
Happy New Year..Chief
 
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