Thank you Family of the 59th

February 8, 2014

I just wanted to say thank you to all of the family members of the men of the Fifty Ninth Construction Battalion for all of your support. I am a third generation SEABEE; my grandfather was in the 59th during WWII and after the war served for a time as one of the SEABEE instructors for the new men joining. My Father a Korean War veteran last served in Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Seventeen and I last served in Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Two.  My grandfather and father made a huge impact on my life and growing but neither talked about their service during the war; mostly avoided any questions I asked. Later as a young adult serving in the SEABEES I understood. After my grandfather passed I became obsessed with finding out about his war service and started digging, that’s when I ran in to other stories of the men of the fifty ninth and was even able to talk to one of the men who’s a retired teacher in Florida.

The 59th is one of the few battalions that never made a cruse book that documented their contribution and sacrifices during the war.  Since I couldn’t find anything on the battalion I realized if their history wasn’t somehow documented everything they did and accomplished would rapidly be lost in time.

 This became more evident to me when started finding artifacts here and there on eBAY that people were selling that they got from estate sales. Few if any of those artifacts even existed in the Naval archives of this battalion. Whenever I lose a bid on eBAY or simply can afford it, I’m saddened that I was not able to add that archive to the collection. God however has helped in some instances, in that when I send letters to the sellers and explain what I am doing they will sometimes scan the items and send them to me at no charge those who won’t, will forward my request to the buyers, but the buyers are normally not so willing to share or even care.

Those of you who have found this BLOG help keep this fire burning in me going and remind me how important this undertaking is. By now I should have had the full website up but life seems to have a way of getting in the way, I have so much information that needs to be shared and had I already built the website you would have access to it, for this I would like to say I am sorry.
Thank for your continued support.

One last PS: For those of you who are new to this blog I would like you to know that I am also a member of the CEC/SEABEE Historical Foundation one of the project we did was to build a state of the art Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme California. This was/is in part financed by the sales memorial bricks that pave the way to the entrance of the Seabee Museum, referred to as the “Road to Victory” these bricks are personalized and still available for purchase if you want to get one for your family member who served.  Here is the link that has more information on that program:

http://www.seabeehf.org/museum/buy-a-brick/

http://www.history.navy.mil/museums/seabee/bricks.htm

I have been saving up to purchase one for the battalion as a whole.
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59th Naval Construction Battalion Guam 7 July 1945 Master At Arms Force

December 11, 2013

 

 This picture was provided by a gentleman in New Hampshire by the name of Donald Wood. He got this picture and a number of other (GUAM Battle) pictures are an estate sale. This picture has written on the back the names of the men in it, which is great! as that is rare to find.  I hope someones family member can be found in here.  I’ve also uploaded this to the BOX.Net file storage area where I have allot of pictures and documents on the web; for those who don’t have access and would like it just send me a message.

 

Like the other pictures I will be placing this one in the SEABEE museum NCB 59 archives on my next visit there.

 

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Headquarters company photographs

December 10, 2013

 

 

 Though the generosity of an gentleman from Georgia, who wishes to remain anonymous, I have been given photographs most of which are of the NCB 59th Headquarters company that he found at a Goodwill store.  The pictures as shown in this blog are very low resolution versions of the originals, I have loaded some that are a bit higher resolution to the BOX.Net account but if you want copies that are full high resolution about 7MB each, let me know an I can email them or send them on a CD rom in the mail to you.

 

 The picture of the men with their weapons helmets and no shirts is by far one of the most interesting posed photographs that I have run into of the NCB 59th. If any of you happened to find a family member in these pictures please let me know so that I can inform the donor as he is curious to know.

 

  I also have acquired some photographs that were takes during and post battle for GUAM in and around white beach where the men of the NCB 59 landed; I will be posting these tonight as well to the BOX.NET account.

 

 On my next trip to Seabee Museum at Port Hueneme I will be placing these and other pictures I have collected over the years in to the archives there in the files of the Fifty Ninth Battalion.

 

 

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Exciting News!

October 2, 2013

I just found another picture of the men of the 59th and GUAM battle pictures! should be getting them in the mail soon. I’ll let you know when they are posted!

Memorial Day

May 24, 2013

Memorial Day has always been a special day for my family, for untold generations our family has a tradition of visiting a Memorial Cemetery; on this most humble holiday Memorial Day to show our respect to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom and prosperity that we as Americans, as well as those in other countries, enjoy today. In my family, because of our military history it is also to greet our brothers in-arms and say “We Remember.”  In sadness of loss, we my wife and I and our adult children, find great joy in teaching our young children and grandchildren respect, honor, thankfulness, selflessness and the cost of Freedom  by walking the graves, reading the names and relating the history of each war fought.

If you are in the San Diego Area, I would like to invite you and your families to attend the Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day celebration that will be held May 27, 2013 and 10AM. Rear Admiral Dixon R. Smith Commander, Navy Region Southwest will be this year’s guest speaker.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
             – John F. Kennedy

Status Report Sept 2011

September 23, 2011

Greetings to all!

It’s been quite some time since I last posted something to this Blog so I thought I would give you all a status report of the happening’s with the this Blog and the future WEB Site.

Let’s start with the Fifty Ninths battalion’s records. On my last trip to the Port Hueneme Seabee Museum just before they close for their relocation I scanned more than 1248 document pages and a boat load of photographs. I still have about three boxes in the museum archives that I still need to scan however the archives won’t be available until some in the Fall of this year.

I’ve been slowly collating and sorting though the documents and pictures and it taking much longer than anticipated because my new job has been keeping me busy so between it and home life “spare time” has been a challenge. I’m running low on space in the BOX.net account and there is NO WAY that all of the information I have collected will fit on the account because of the size limits of the free account.

This leads me in to the WEBsite I’m building for house all the records I’ve amassed for various sources and donated items from all of you. I’ve been working on the HTML as I’ve had time and have most of the roll over and menu items have been programmed but that is only a minor part of the webpage there is much more to do but again SPARE time to do all of this is the issue; I’ve been thinking I might visit the local high school history teacher and see if I can enlist some high school students to help me build it and I would just make a donation to the school. Whatever the case I need to get this done so all of you will have access to all of the information I have and to document the service and history of those who served, those who live and those who have died, so their sacrifices and achievements will not be lost to time.

For those of you that have an interest my father, a Korean war retired Seabee veteran, was interviewed at the opening of the new Port Hueneme Seabee Museum the interview in located at this link www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK8Llm6j3Ss

Lastly, you can still buy commemorative bricks with your loved name and service data inscribe on it that are used as the paving walkway bricks that lead to the entrance of the Port Hueneme Seabee Museum though the CEC/Seabee Historical Foundation. The funds are used to buy and build the displays for the Museum here is the link to that information;

https://www.seabeehf.org/museum/buy-a-brick/

“Providing the entry walkway to the entrance of the new museum, Victory Plaza will have four broad bands of paving bricks, available for suitable engraving. These decorative bricks will showcase the “Can Do” spirit of the Seabees and the Civil Engineer Corps, still strong and vital after six decades of helping preserve our freedom, protect our interests, and create a safer, better world.”

Other great links;

CEC/Seabee Historical Foundation http://www.seabeehf.org/

Seabee Museum was established in 1947 in Port Hueneme, California http://www.history.navy.mil/museums/seabee_museum.htm

 

SC1c Gene Vernon Kellogg, NCB 59th Cook

February 24, 2011

Gene Vernon Kellogg, Seaman First Class (SC1c); chances are you don’t know him, what his achievements were, or even how he affected how you live today. I’ve never walked with him, never met him in person, or have spoken to him. I doubt that he and I have at anytime occupied the same space at the same time. But yet it still disturbs me when I see this, like many others, lives “For Sale” on EBay.

Let me tell you what I know about this man. His story is like many who served and suffered for what you and I have today; he was a veteran.  He served in the 59th Naval Construction Battalion (59th NCB) with my grandfather in WWII and fought in the Pacific. He was part of the first echelon to land and liberate the island of GUAM, a US territory, which 3 years prior on December 11, 1941, was invaded by the Empire of Japan’s Army and Naval forces. On July 21, 1944 he and the men of the 59th NCB, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade and The US Army 77th Infantry Division landed south of the town Agat on white beach 1 (Dati Beach). To get to the beach was difficult for SC1c Kellogg and the men of 59th NCB, the landing ships could not come closer than the reef which is several hundred yards from the beach. These men waded ashore though the coral and put together the pontoons to build floating piers so equipment and supplies could be brought ashore, while taking fire from mortars, artillery, small arms and snipers. Even after the Japanese were either killed or captured it was no joy ride there camp was in a swamp for months and 56% the men would come down with dengue fever.

But this is not where SC1c Gene Vernon Kellogg’s story starts and although I can’t tell you about his childhood, his family or who his friends were growing up, I can tell you who this man was as a soldier.

Gene Vernon Kellogg was born May 27, 1914 in Hansboro, North Dakota. On December 1, 1931 at the age of 17, he enlisted in the United States Navy as an Apprentice Seaman.  He attended boot camp at United States Naval Training Center (USNTS) Great Lakes, Michigan. After boot camp he qualified as Ship’s Cook Striker and was assigned to the USS RIGEL (AD-13) a destroyer tender that was home ported in San Diego, California during this time Apprentice Seaman Gene Vernon Kellogg was promoted to SC2c (Seaman 2nd Class.) In 1934 he was transferred to and served aboard the USS ALTAIR (AD-11) that was also home ported in San Diego, California. He was discharged on May 25, 1935 in Oakland, California and was given $128.20 allowance (.05 cents per mile) to pay for his trip home to Grand Forks, North Dakota. At his time of discharge SC2c Gene Vernon Kellogg made $36.00 per month. In 1940 Gene Kellogg married Ruth Marie Redding of Marcola, Oregon.

December 7, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, like many American with prior service, he answered the call to serve his country once again. On May 30, 1942 in Mabel, Oregon; Gene Vernon Kellogg reenlisted, this time into a new Navy origination, The United State Naval Construction Battalion, The SEABEES. He was processed at Naval Recruiting Station (NRS) in Portland.  From NRS he was sent to United States Naval Construction Training Center (USNCTC) where he learned construction and combat training.

United States Naval Construction Battalion Fifty-Nine (NCB 59) was commissioned at Camp Bradford, Little Creek, Virginia, with Lieutenant Commander Paul Leg. Andre’s, CEO, USNR, as officer in charge and Lieutenant Earl W. Chidesterz CEC, USNR, as executive officer. On January 1, 1943, SC1c Gene Vernon Kellogg formed up with NCB59 as a cook.  He was as one of the first enlisted men in the battalion and made history as the first generation of SEABEES. These men would create traditions, process and procedures that are still followed to this day.

CHRONOLOGY OF THE U. S. NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION 59

26 Feb 45: NCB 59 departed from the U. S. Naval Construction Training Center, Norfolk, Virginia in three train sections.

4 Mar 43: The battalion arrived at the Advance Base Depot. Port Hueneme of California for advance training and outfitting.

21 Mar 43: The 59th NCB departed Port Hueneme for San Francisco.

22 Mar 43: NCB 59 arrived at San Francisco Port of Embarkation.

24 Mar 43: Seabees of the 59th battalion left. San Francisco for Hawaii.

30 Mar 43: USNCB 59 arrived at Hilo, Hawaii to begin construction of a strips and fiction facilities for the U. S.  Naval Air Station to be jointly operated by the Army and Navy.

1 Jan – 15 Apr 44: A detachment from NCB 59, assisted by NCB 18, built a 2,000-man camp for the 2nd Marine Division at Kamuela, Hawaii.

15 Apr 44: Construction of the Naval Air Station, Hilo, was completed by NCB 59 two months ahead of schedule.

18 Apr 44: NCB 141 relieved the 59th Battalion at Hilo.

20 Apr 44: The NCB 59th Seabees departed Hilo.

21 Apr 44: On landing it Oahu, the battalion reported for duty under the seventh U. S. Naval Construction Regiment at Pearl Harbor.

19 May 44: Commander Andrews was transferred to duty as officer in charge of the 7th Regiment and Lieutenant Commander Chidester, the former executive officer, replaced him as officer in charge of the 59th Battalion.

1 – 18 Jun 44: Contingents of the 59th Battalion departed Pearl Harbor.

2 1 Jul 44: The battalions’ first echelon arrived in waters off Guam, Marianas on D-day.

27 Jul 44: The first echelon of the 59th went ashore at Guam with other garrison forces.

27 – 29 Jul 44: The balance of NCB 59’s Seabees arrived in Guam waters.

30 Jul – 18 Aug 44: The remaining contingents of NCB 59 landed at Guam in six groups.

Aug 44: NCB 59 commenced working on construction assignments, principally reconstruction of the water system and erection of facilities for Naval Supply Depot.

Jul 45: The Naval Supply Depot was turned over to the Navy.

31 Aug 45: A11 field work wag terminated on orders from the fifth Naval Construction Brigade.

15 Sep 45: U. S. Naval Construction Battalion 59 was inactivated at Guam, Marianas Islands.

After the war and deactivation of NCB 59, SC1c Gene Vernon Kellogg returned to the United States his ship sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge he was home in America. Gene Vernon Kellogg then 31 years old, was discharged on September 21, 1945 and was given $183.48 (.05cents per mile) for his trip home from Oakland, California to Mabel, Oregon. Gene Vernon Kellogg died May 6, 1980 at age 65 just 21 day before his 67th birthday and is buried at Rest Lawn Memorial Park  Junction City Lane County Oregon USA, he was a member of the Greatest Generation….. And now his life is “For Sale” on EBay, … a sad way to pay tribute to one of our American Veterans.  If I had enough money I would bid to win all of these items to hang on our wall with our family military memories so that this man would always be remembered by at least my family.

OBTAINING MILITARY RECORDS AND AWARDS

September 7, 2010

Did you know that you can get a replacement of yours or a loved ones Awards and Medals?  I’ve created a a guide to help you obtain yours or a family member’s military records and replacement medals and awards.  If at any time you have any problems, questions to just need help because things are not working please feel free to contact me at any time; your families military history is important not just for your family but for all Americans.

This document will help you in obtaining any or all of the following for a US Navy and Marine Corps. Serviceman:

1. Report of Separation (FREE)
2. Complete Copy of Service Records includes Report of Separation (Priced per page)
3. Awards, Medals and Decorations (FREE)

You can download the document at this link;

https://59thncb.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/obtaining-military-records-and-awards-us-navy-and-marine-corps.pdf

Summary of the travels of the 59th NCB

September 6, 2008

The official information will tell you that the 59th Naval Construction Battalion served on the island of GUAM. But though interviews and research it have found that although not documented, Seabees of the 59th NCB fought and built on the islands of  Saipan, Tinian and Guam.

As taken from the 5th Naval Construction Brigade War Diary 1944 to 1945;

59th Naval Construction Battalion

Commissioned at Norfolk, Va., on Dec. 29, 1942, the 59th Battalion left Norfolk Feb. 28, 1943 and arrived at Port Hueneme, California on March 4. Leaving there March 21, the outfit sailed from San Francisco March 24 and arrived at Hilo, Hawaii, March 30.

The Battalion operated at Kanuela, Hawaii, until April 20, 1944. Returning to Pearl Harbor the next day, the Battalion sailed for Guam in three echelons, leaving June 1, June 6 and June 18. The first echelon landed on Guam on July 27, with the remaining units landing on July 30, Aug. 2, 3, 10, 14 and 18. War’s end found them still stationed on Guam.