Heroes: the Seabees


"...Something scored a direct hit on a Higgins boat jammed with Marines -- not a pleasant sight -- made you feel as if someone had kicked you in the stomach..."




6th Special Seabees -


     The 6th Special Seabees were a "Combat Stevedore" Battalion that saw action in the Pacific. Loading and unloading ships both in the safety of the rear areas and under the enemy's guns on invasion beachheads. They humped cargo manhandling the materials of war, fuel, ammunition, bombs, rations, vehicles, building materials, etc, to where they were needed The ships they were unloading were "prime targets" for the Japanese bombers and artillery units. The Stevedores hauled under fire, went in with combat troops, came out just as bruised and tired.

     The First Section of the Sixth Special arrived at Port Hueneme on April 10, 1943, and embarked May 1, 1943, arriving at Nandi, Fiji Islands, May 15. On December 29, 1943, the first section left Nandi, arrived at Guadalcanal January 3, 1944, then left there January 16 for Torokina, Bougainville landing there four days later. The outfit worked at this base and also sent a detachment to the Treasury Islands, which rejoined the main body on Bougainville August 18, 1944. The First Section left Torokina on October 1, 1944, and arrived at Ulithi Western Caroline, Islands, ten days later. The Sixth Special was inactivated early in July, 1945, on Oahu and sent back to the States.

     The Second Section of the Sixth Special left Port Hueneme June 11, 1943, for Guadalcanal. On September 29, the first echelon of the Second Section embarked for Vella Lavella, and on October 20, the second echelon left for the Russell Islands. Both units were attached to the Fourth Marines Advanced Depot. The first echelon left Vella Lavella on November 22, 1943, arriving at Bougainville the next day, and the second echelon left the Russells December 19 and joined the first echelon on December 23. Parts of the first and second sections combined and were sent to the Treasury Islands March 1944. After returning to Bougainville the Second Section shipped to the Philippines in late October 1944. The Second Section was inactivated in June 1945.



6th Special Seabees' on Bougainville

6th Special Seabees' on Bougainville

6th Special Seabees' on Bougainville

6th Special Seabees' on Bougainville

6th Special Seabees' on Bougainville



The two Sections accumulated these medals.

Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Navy Good Conduct Ribbon & medal, American Campaign Ribbon and Medal, Asiatic - Pacific Campaign Ribbon & Medal, WWII Victory Ribbon & Medal, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon & Medal, Philippine Independence Ribbon & Medal.

The Sixth Special website is now

Sixth Special Seabee's




6th Special Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees')

Submitted by John J. Ratomski
Source: 1943-1945 Cruisebook for the 6th Special Naval Construction Battalion



Some web sites that are about the Navy SEABEE's and related material:

History of the Seabees'

Navy Seabees' Veterans of America

Naval Construction Force (Seabees')

Sixth Special NCB

Seabee Sites on the Internet


Original Story submitted 7 January 2005.

Story added to website on 10 January 2005