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John R.
Tarawa Seabees
Fri Nov 20, 2009 07:48
69.114.130.89

November 20-23, 1943. In one of the most savage battles in the Pacific. The 2nd Marine Division invades Bloody Tarawa. As part of the Division's Engineers, 290 men from the 18th Seabee battalion land at Tarawa. The landing assignments for the 18th were diversified and required different disembarking times. For example, first priority was to get the runway repaired. On Day 1, waves of Marine assault troops went ashore. They were pinned on the beach throughout some of the next day. The official 2nd Marine Division memoirs of WWII named "Follow Me" wrote, The Seabees had begun streaming ashore during the morning of D-Plus-2, bringing their heavy equipment in and tracking it over the reef. Marines who had fought for hours with exemplary courage stood in opened mouth admiration as the Seabees drove their bulldozers out onto the strip, still swept by rifle fire, and began smoothing out the shell holes. Photographs of this are in the Marine Corps book. The most prized weapon system at Tarawa, on the 2nd and 3rd days was often a Seabee bulldozer. Some Seabees who had other assignments disembarked shortly after, the second and third days. It was only after the third day that the landing area could be cleared for support supplies to get in. Keep in mind the Tarawa battle lasted only 76 hours. Supplies and ammunition did not get on shore until there was room behind the sea wall to land and the direct heavy enemy fire could be contained. For some units in the 18th, it was staying until they could get on the beach after the third day with equipment to build roads, erect piers, observation towers, pipelines and electrical facilities. Before leaving Betio, Admiral Nimitz odered the preparation of engineering drawings of the Japanese defensive fortifications on a priority basis. The most useful drawings came from an 18th Seabee team centered on the former architect student, Larry Klatt, and two others with drafting board experience, Benson Moore and Henry Dumont. These Seabee drawings were used by the CinCPac staff to construct exact replicas of many Betio emplacements to test improved fuses, warheads, and trajectories to benifit future assaults in the Pacific. These drawings now reside in the Marine Corps archives in Quantico Va.

    • Tarawa--18th NCB (Seabee)Ken Bingham, Wed Jul 5 20:09
      the 18th NCB (Seabees) Cruisebook (Yearbook) is available for sale at The Seabee Museum Store (805) 382-2585 http://seabeemuseumstore.org/store . It's a book on CD. Ken, Seabee Volunteer
    • Acorn 17Brian Matter, Sun Apr 30 19:09
      I suggest you read the seabee article on Wikipedia for an explaination for: Lions/Cubs & Oaks/ Acorns - it is naval code
    • ACORN 17Bob Rannals, Tue Jul 21 14:33
      My father was in the Navy, and at Tarawa. He was a GM2, assigned to Acorn 17. What was an ACORN unit? After the battle of Tarawa, I understand the Navy pulled out, leaving my father and 8 other Navy... more
      • ACORN at TarawaGeorge Proulx, Fri Jul 24 14:08
        Bob I did a little more research regarding your question but I don't find a record of an ACORN 17. ACORN 14 however which included the 74th Naval Construction Battalion was transported in the LSTs of ... more
      • ACORNBob H, Tue Jul 21 23:17
        Bob there is a book that talks about the men of the ACORN section. Its listed on Tarawa on the Web and it also has its own web site. Tarawa-The Aftermath by Donald K. Allen Its been awhile since I... more
        • TarawaBob Rannals, Wed Jul 22 11:03
          Bob Hoffman, THANKS so much for you information on ACORN units on Tarawa. Will try to find the books you've recommended. Would love to find out the name of the LST my father sailed on to Tarawa. Any... more
          • LSTGeorge Proulx, Wed Jul 22 17:39
            Just and FYI Bob. Lst's in that time period were only numbered and not named. If you went to any of the LST or Navy websites covering historical logs and actions you might find what you need.
    • ACORN 17Anonymous, Tue Jul 21 14:31
      My father was in the Navy, and at Tarawa. He was a GM2, assigned to Acorn 17. What was an ACORN unit? After the battle of Tarawa, I understand the Navy pulled out, leaving my father and 8 other Navy... more
    • Follow MeKim Righetti, Fri Nov 20 08:28
      Is it possible to get a copy of this?
      • Follow Me History of 2nd Marine DivisionNoel Garland, Sat Nov 21 11:45
        Kim, I knew of an old copy available at a militaria collectible shop on Garland Road in Dallas, was there every time I stopped in over a period of a few years. The owner of the shop was a former See... more
        • Re: Follow Me History of 2nd Marine DivisionFOLLOW ME, Mon Nov 23 08:23
          Noel your speaking of DJ Goodwin at Recon Militaria Antiques and yes he is often times over priced! Try looking on Ebay . . . they turn up from time to time for around $30.00 to $60.00 for the... more
          • recon militariaNoel Garland, Mon Nov 23 19:20
            Brandon, Perhaps you also live in this area,or run into D J at miliatria shows. I have bought a few things from him, but cant find the items i really am looking for, mainly items from my army unit in ... more
            • Iwo Jima Kim Righetti, Tue Nov 24 06:43
              I watched that show also. When the guy laid the veteran's ashes at the mountain top next to his picture and the Marine shirt, I lost it. I cried for 10 minutes. How moving and touching.
        • BookKim Righetti, Sat Nov 21 12:00
          Dear Noel, Thanks for the info!There was also several memoirs published by a photographer mentioned in The History Channel Series.
      • Re: Follow MeKatherine Cummings, Sat Nov 21 01:47
        KIm, There are several copies of _Follow Me! The History of the 2nd Marine Division in WW2_ by R.W. Johnston if you go to ABE Books (www.abebooks.com). I have ordered one but there were at least four ... more
        • abe books.comTrish Schiesser, Wed Nov 25 08:15
          If anybodoy has the book it would be Abe books.com. They are a worthy booksite and I've used them many times. Good prices and great delivery. Just food for thought. Trish
          • THANKSGIVINGTrish Schiesser, Thu Nov 26 09:44
            I wish all of you great warriors a Happy, Healthy and Blessed Thanksgiving. Thinking of you all. God bless, Trish Schiesser Author of: THESE GUYS: Cold War Stories Told by Cold War Warriors.
        • Follow MeKim Righetti, Sat Nov 21 09:55
          Dear Kate, Thank you for that information!
      • Re: Follow MeJohn R., Fri Nov 20 08:47
        The Book? or the Drawings??
        • Book or DrawingsKim Righetti, Fri Nov 20 08:59
          I'd like to have both!
          • FOLLOW MEShirley George, Sat Nov 21 02:14
            KIM; YOU CAN GEGT A COPY OF HE BOOK FROM BATTERY PRESS. I HAVE AN EXTRA ONE, IF YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO SEND IT TO YOU. SHIRLEY
            • Good SoulJohn Rowland, Sun Nov 22 00:39
              Good woman Shirley already got and read you deceased decent hubby's book. Your hubby was so a brave soul on Tarawa and even a better soul to good you. Dear God I know you miss him so and I do too... more
            • Follow MeKim Righetti, Sat Nov 21 09:57
              Dear Shirley, I would love to have a copy. How much do I owe you?
              • FOLLOW MEShirley George, Mon Nov 23 11:03
                KIM; WELL, THE BEST LAID PLANS OF MICE AND MEN. I'LL NOT BE ABLE TO GET TO THE UPS STORE TODAY. A DEAR FRIEND OF OURS PASSED AWAY LAST NIGHT. SHE WAS 99 AND HAD TAKEN A BAD FALL LAST WEEK. ANYWAY,... more
                • bookKim Righetti, Mon Nov 23 18:29
                  I am sorry about your friend. Do not rush on my account!
                  • FOLLOW MEShirley George, Mon Nov 23 19:03
                    BOOK IS ON ITS WAY, KIM. SHOULD BE THERE WEDENSDAY BY UPS. ENJOY!! SHIRLEY
                    • BookKim Righetti, Tue Nov 24 06:35
                      Thank you again!
                      • BOOKShirley George, Mon Nov 30 19:22
                        KIM; RECEIVED YOUR NOTE. THANK YOU AND I KNOW YOU WILL ENJOY READING FOLLOW ME. SHIRLEY GEORGE
                      • BOOKShirley George, Tue Nov 24 06:56
                        YOU ARE MOST WELCOME. MY PLEASURE. (AND BOB'S) SHIRLEY
              • FOLLOW MEShirley George, Sat Nov 21 11:07
                JUST YOUR ADDRESS WILL DO, KIM.THIS IS A REPRINT, YOU UNDERSTAND. OTHER THAN THE COLOR OF THE COVER AND ALL THE PICS ARE IN BLACK AND WHITE, IT IS THE SAME AS THE ORIGINAL. SHIRLEY
                • Follow MeKim Righetti, Sat Nov 21 12:05
                  That is so kind of you. 919 Gina Court Upland, Calif. 91784 Thanks again.
                  • FOLLOW MEShirley George, Sat Nov 21 12:52
                    OK, KIM. WILL TRY TO GET IT OUT MONDAY. I HAVE TO DEPEND ON A RIDE. SHIRLEY
                    • BookKim Righetti, Sat Nov 21 15:24
                      Thank you so much!
                  • Re: Follow MeGeorge Proulx, Sat Nov 21 12:26
                    Is this a GREAT WEBSITE or What !!!!!!!! Generous and informative people everywhere !!!!!!!! GEP
                    • Old Tarawa Vets. John Rowland, Sun Nov 22 10:47
                      It is a true joy for me reading you Tarawa vets memories of that battle.I feel so blessed some of you heros are still around to teach and pass on to me. Fulbert De Chartes wrote " We are small souls... more
                    • Generous PeopleGreat WebsiteKim Righetti, Sat Nov 21 12:27
                      Dear George, I TOTALLY agree!
          • Re. Book or Drawingsmedic1504, Fri Nov 20 10:54
            You can try requesting copies of the drwaings from the archives at Quantico, which can be accessed from the main USMC website. They will charge you for photocopying and postage. The actual book is... more
          • Re: Book or DrawingsAnonymous, Fri Nov 20 09:20
            One of Klatt's drawings can be found in COl. Joe Alexanders book "Utmost Savagery"
            • Follow Me AlsoKurt Barickman, Tue Nov 24 08:38
              If anybody else wants a copy of Follow Me, I have a couple of extra. This is for free, no cost. Just email me at: kabarick@charter.net Kurt Barickman
              • No More Follow MesKurt Barickman, Wed Dec 2 09:00
                I am sorry, but I have no more Follow Me books. Noel, let me know when your copy arrives. Kurt Barickman
                • Follow MeNoel Garland, Thu Dec 3 04:30
                  Will do. Thanks. It will be a welcome addition to my small collection of Marine Corp histories, which will eventually go to a library or military museum to be available for research into WWII battles ... more
                • Follow Me!Katherine Cummings, Thu Dec 3 00:54
                  There are seventy-two copies of _Follow Me!_ on ABE Books (www.abebooks.com), ranging from $25.00 to $450.00 (!). Kate
                  • Follow Me!Cortland D. Joyce, Fri Dec 4 23:10
                    There is a copy on eBay right now for $9.99 w / no bidders and at the time of this posting is 3 days & 14 hrs untill ending. Looks to be in pretty good condition.... more
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