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Navy Construction Battalion units, whose main purpose was to unload supplies and build roads and airstrips, fought alongside Marine assault troops storming the black sandy beaches of Iwo-Jima. Only to be left out at awards time:

The Fourth Marine Division was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for the Iwo-Jima battle and the 133rd Naval Construction Battalion- Seabees was not although.

The 133rd NCB was part of the 4th Marine Division from November 1, 1944 until March 1945. Wearing Marine uniforms and subject to Marine rules and regulations. The 133rd was used as a Marine Pioneer Battalion during the battle. The 133rd NCB and the 4th Marine Division Pioneer battalion both became shore-parties for the 23rd and 25th Regimental Combat Teams for the assault phase on Iwo-Jima. Official Battle Plans on record show this! The entire 133rd landed with the first waves and suffered over 40% percent casualties (370 men), higher than any Seabee battalion in history! Their casualties exceeded the casualties of the 4th Marine Pioneer battalion on the adjoining beaches. The 4th Pioneers were awarded the PUC - the 133rd was not! Iwo-Jima was the costliest battle in human lives in the history of the United States Marine Corps. The 133rd NCB Seabees wore their uniform proudly as Navy, and wore their uniform proudly as Marines. They served both with great distinction, They earned and deserve the recognition that is still not theirs!

Welcome Thurmon and thanks for posting the history of the Seabees. Great stuff. I know I enjoy reading about it and I'm sure that my viewers will appreciate hearing news about these units. I look forward to more.

I have signed your petition. Best of luck. I truly hope they get what they've so long deserved. It is NOT too late.



Not mine Marion but I'll take credit anyhow ;)


I was doing some further research on my Uncle and came across it. I actually Googled the unit Thurman mentioned and it was one of the links that came up. I had dinner recently with my Uncle and we were discussing his island hopping and he mentioned the Seabee's that had gone ashore with the Marines but never recieved the recognition for it. I had recalled reading it somewhere and of course, came to the site with all the info.


Thanks to you and to Thurman. I printed up a nice article on the 133rd and gave it to my Uncle this Sunday to read. I also told him that while it may be 60 years too late, they were not forgotten and there were still many people that remembered and fight to get them their just recoginition. We were at a function and couldn't talk but I know it made him happy to hear it.



I just sent another letter to the Navy Awards Branch regarding the Presidential Unit Citation for the 133rd. I researched the other Seabee Battalions Histories, especially their landing times. The problem is, that the Navy Awards Branch says that the 133rd was not an "Assault" unit and only "assault" units received the PUC for Iwo-Jima. Proving that the 133rd was definitely listed as an "assault" unit has been a daunting task. Thanks to both of you for signing my Petition!

Thurman and Ron:


I am only too glad to help out. Thanks for keeping all of us up to date on the situation as it stands. Yes it is frustrating to deal with the old Navy Standards. We (army engineers and their families) are dealing with a similar problem trying to get the CIB awarded to those engineers who fought as infantry during WWII. While some engineers do sport the award, most were not given the honor and we are hoping to rectify the situation. Frustrating is not the word for it! :banghead:

Go To

This is the whole article I have put up about the 133rd written by my friend Peter Marra. Peter is a 133rd Iwo Veteran. Good Luck with the "CIB" Lord knows the Engineers deserve it!

Thanks. I will check that out this week. And yes, our engineers certainly do deserve it. How do you tell a man who is fighting as infantry and under direct fire that he does not deserve the CIB. It's rubbish. :pdt33: