Three tour Vietnam Seabee Veteran Ken Binghams book "BLACK HELL" is just about complete and will become available soon.


This book is a compilation of histories-both personal and general-including all Seabee units that served on Iwo but concentrating primarily on the U.S. Naval 133rd Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees) that was part of the 4th MARDIV at Iwo Jima.

Numerous stories from individuals and news journalists are included to give the reader different perspectives and a thorough overview of the Seabee Iwo Jima experience. The bloody battle on Iwo's beaches and the build-out of the Island are included in detail. Over 200 images are included.

The book begins by describing the island and the importance of it from the perspective of both the American and Japanese sides. It tells of the heroic and painful taking of Iwo Jima (Sulphur Island) by the Marines, and of the little known story of the 133rd Seabees that accompanied them during the fiercest part of the assault. Personal stories from the men of the 133rd Seabees are told and numerous pictures are included.

A well written colorful chapter about the Seabees on Iwo by the famous William Bradford Huie is also included and provides an insight into what the Seabees were, their personalities, their developing lore, and what they sacrificed and accomplished for their country.

Another well written chapter by Commander Edmund L. Castillo, USN from his book; The Seabees of World War II is also included.

Other Iwo Jima Seabee unit histories are also included. Some of these units--or elements of them--were also part of the initial landing, and others came later. In total, over 7000 builder-fighter Seabees served on Iwo.

The story is also about building Iwo's 3 airstrips and the supporting infrastructure built by the Seabees; its runways became some of the longest in the Pacific. A small city was formed on Iwo for thousands of Marine, Navy, Army, Army-Air Force, Seabees and Coast Guard men.

The successful take-over of Iwo Jima meant that our heavy bombers--with their fighter escorts--were now within 650 miles of the Japanese mainland. Japan's "inner defenses" were now crushed thus portending the war's outcome. The cost in human life was grim.

Part IV describes the 133rd's other battle; the on-going battle for the award of the PUC (Presidential Unit Citation). Hopefully this book will serve as a reinforcement in that quest.

This book-with its collection of histories-is designed to serve future generations as a near single-source of information about the critical accomplishments that the men of the Navy Seabees achieved on Iwo Jima--especially the 133rd Seabees.






As always, thanks for sharing.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

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