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This is a good compilation, written up by Tom Morris. Tom’s father was the Radio Operator in the 505th Bomb Group, 484th Squadron “BIG MIKE”....and their B-29 (and many others) was “adopted” by the SeaBees and painted with their logo.


crew

There were a total of 11 SEABEE Battalions that produced the excellent results at Tinian. Following is a short summary Invasion of Tinian:

  • Invasion 7-24-44
  • Flag raised 8-2-44
  • 1st B-29 landed at North Field 12-21-44

  • NCB 18 : Arrived 8/1/44.
    These were battle hardened group who had been on Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Saipan. Established Camp Churo and built tank farms for oil and gas for planesas well as fuel lines to airstrips. These men also drilled wells and built streets and roads. Built the Quartermaster Camp from where all supplies would be given out. Also included "heads" , barracks and mess hall. They "developed " a process thru SEABEE ingenuity to use discarded tires to make replacement heels and soles for boots worn away by walking on the coral used for construction
    .
  • 6/20/45 They left Tinian and were decommissioned. Overseas over 30 months !!
  • 8-2-44 NCB 92 Arrived and participated in all projects and stayed on Tinian until the end
  • 8-3-44 NCB 67 Arrived and built B29 CAMPS AND AIRFIELD CONSTRUCTION.
  • 6/21/45 Left for Eniwetok
  • 9-10-44 NCB 107 arrived from Kwajelein. Also stayed on Tinian for duration. They were a security detail and built camps from salvaged lumber from sugar mills and a Japanese tower. Built tanker mooring area in harbor, fuel lines and tank farms
  • ERECTED 58TH WING AND 313TH WING AREAS AND ARMY CAMP, including utilities, roads and hospital. They also built HARBOR CAUSEWAY AND THE 210 FOOT "homing" tower.
  • 9-9-44 NCB 110 arrived. Stayed for duration did all projects, mostly North Field construction.
  • 10-13-44 NCB 13 arrived and left for Okinawa 6/7/45. They maintained and repaired trucks and equipment.
    Vehicles recorded over 900,000 miles by project end and SEABEES excavated , crushed and distributed over 700'000 cubic yards of coral. They built runways and taxiways, tank farms, gasoline pipelines and BUILT THE CONTROL TOWER IN 7 DAYS, WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK !! Built 100 Quonset huts, mess hall, shops and theater.
  • 10-24-44 NCB 135 arrived and went to Okinawa 6 June 45. This was the "lead" construction battalion.
    Found that by spraying crushed coral with salt water , it formed a concrete like substance and sped up construction. They established camp at "96th and Broadway" and did North Field. Took only 36 days to land first B29 at North Field .
  • 11-19-44 NCB50 and stayed for duration. Worked on all projects and supplied men where needed.
  • 12-18-44 NCB38 and did runway construction. COMPLETED WEST FIELD IN APRIL 45 IN VERY SHORT TIME . Quarried and crushed all coral used on TINIAN. STAYED on Tinian for duration.
  • 1-13-45 NCB 9 Arrived 1/13/45 and left 6/7/45 for Okinawa.
    Constructed 2 airstrips on NORTH AND WEST Fields and built, ran and maintained asphalt plant all in 3 months ! Also built Quonset hut camp
  • 1-13-35 NCB 112 arrived and left for Okinawa 28 May 1945.
    Built salt water line used for construction of island projects. It used one half million gallons per DAY ! Worked on North Field and built 200 hard stands for B29. Built service aprons and repair facilities .Another SEABEE CAN DO IDEA THEY HAD WAS UTILIZING PIPING FROM SUGAR MILL AND EMPTY 105 MM shell casings to run electric lines underground.

My father, SSGT William K. Morris , was radio operator on BIG MIKE in the 484TH and his plane carried a tribute to NCB 9, 38, 110 AND 112 on her nose.

The 112th called BIG MIKE THEIR" BEE 29 ". Air Corps personnel and SEABEES were great friend s and hung out together on off days. All during construction, the SEABEES maintained everything they had built on the island , thus providing a morale boost for all the personnel.

The SEABEES had ice machines and other luxuries that just seemed to appear from no where ---showers , running water, good places to eat their meals , etc. IMAGINE THAT !!!!!

Being a former SEABEE for 22 years , I can understand how it all got done and it makes me very proud to have been associated with them. OORAH !!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom Morris