62nd Seabees on D-Plus-6 on the Iwo-Jima Beachhead.
Submitted by John Ratomski
….that improved the chow situationand the first loaf of bread from the bakery was fondly re-named “angel food cake.” Our heavy old helmet that we wanted to throwaway many times took on a new importance. It was better than an entrenching tool for digging a foxhole, it was our cooking pot, wash basin, laundry tub and bathtub and it was indespensable in the foxholes at night as a deluxe bedpan when you took your life in your hands if you stuck your head above ground.
Our heavy equipment men began work on Number One Airfield the day we landed, before the full length of the strip had been secured by Marines. Our men fought off banzai attacks, ducked from sniper’s bullets and ran for cover everytime the NIP mortars got a bead on our equipment, but pushed on with their work day and night.
Seven days after the repair and constructionof the airfeild had started, a crippled Super fort on the way home from a bombing mission over Japan made an emergency landing. …Our fellows deserve a lot more credit than they have received for the fine job they did during those danger filled hours. In fact, it was a rough, tough period for all of us, but we came out of the mess better equipped to meet the action packed days ahead.