By Cpl. Robert A. Clubb, USMC
The Seabees have landed and the Marines are happy again.
Their old affinity was renewed when a hard-charging crew of nine navy construction battalion men "nailed down" a horrible mountain road for a semi-isolated Marine ground control intercept squadron. The Marines were 21 miles from their source of supplies and were hampered for months by bridge washouts.
The Seabees were directed by Chief Builder Charles Gamble of Fitchburg, Mass. They worked in cooperation with 1st Lt. Roland O. Smith, the Marine squadron transportation officer, and built four bridges capable of supporting a heavy tank in two weeks.
The Seabees worked from dawn to dusk in five-below-zero temperatures. They had to strengthen several bridges before they could get at the real job. Their equipment: spikes, handsaws, hammers and four-by-12-inch timbers. Gamble took measurements and promised the Marines they could rebuild any of the bridges in six hours.
After dark, in their "spare time," the Seabees improved the Marines’ camp site. They built a cement sidewalk around the mess hall, an almost unheard-of luxury in Korea.
The Seabees have been in Korea since last October when they arrived from Guam and Saipan.
These Seabees were from Construction Battalion Detachment 1804, which was attached to Marine Air Group 33 of the 1st Marine Air Wing at airfield K-3 at Pohang, Korea. This article is taken from a Marine Corps press release, circa January 1952.
This story is found in No. 5 (Winter 1999) of the Seabee Log.