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970-240-3620

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Index

—THE PACIFIC WAR —
And BATTLE OF IWO JIMA

Recollections & Essays by A Seabee Lieutenant

IVAN D. THUNDER
133rd Naval Construction Battalion

Page numbers in italics indicate illustrations including photographs
and maps.

Numbers

106th Naval Construction Battalion, 35
133rd Naval Construction Battalion
accomplishments on Iwo, 59
casualties, 11, 19, 134
efforts to award Presidential Unit Citation to, 145
Maintenance Unit (CBMU), 58
Pontoon Detachments sent to Palau, 119
training and projects in Hawaii, 5
See also images from the 133rd NCB Cruise Book
31st Naval Construction Battalion, 19
3rd Marine Division, landing, 13
4th Marine Division
133rd NCB attached to, 5
cemetery, 25, 38, 39
4th Pioneer Battalion, mission of 133rd NCB with, 5
5th Marine Division, cemetery, 38, 145
873rd Squadron, US Army Air Force, tribute to Marines and builders at Iwo, 110–11

A

accidents
amphibious plane landing, 56–57
LST broaching and injury to sailor, 18–19
plane crashed into cliff, 45–46
Seabee killed by P-51 veering to side of dirt runway, 48
Aleutian Islands, Attu and Kiska retaken, 103
aluminum paperweight souvenirs, 42–43
ammunition, unexploded, 40
AMTRACK (Amphibious Tracked Vehicle), 20
Army Engineer Battalion, lack of experience in taking over 133rd's operations, 59
Army Garrison Force flushed out nearly 2500 Japanese, 45
atomic bomb and saving of Japanese lives, 98–101

B

B-29s
emergency landings and bailing out, 54
stand-by plane for Enola Gay at Iwo Jima, 55–56
Backus, Jim, 66, 135
Barber-Greene hot mix paving machines, 43, 47, 48
Barker, Arthur W., 80
Barnett, Dennis C., 80
Bart, Edgar H.
American captured by German raider, 122–25
turned over to Japanese, 125–28
Bass, Raymond J., 41, 55, 58, 59–63, 65
Battle of the Philippine Sea. See Marianas, "Marianas Turkey Shoot"
beri-beri, prisoner Bart stricken with, 127–28
Bertholf, Marriner, 49
Birgans, S., 81
Birger, Milton H., 8, 10, 14, 32, 42
building of Officers' Club, 81
cleaning up dump, 37, 39
leaving Iwo, 54
Bismarck Sea, USS, sunk by Japanese off Iwo Jima, 18
Blinks, A.A., 80
Blythe, Edwin E., 10
Brebner, Maureen Thunder, 56
Broadhead, Hal D., 30–31
burlap procurement, 46–47

C

Callaghan, USS, 49
Can Do, The Story of the Seabees, 120
casualties
133rd NCB, 11, 19, 134, 145
caused by incendiary raids in Germany, 99
of Iwo Jima operation, 11, 19
of Pacific war by battle, 98–99
Seabee Air Raid Warden, 37
CBI. See China-Burma-India Theater (CBI)
cemeteries
all on Iwo Jima were closed in 1947, 142
built by Seabees, 25, 38, 39
inscription at 5th Marine Division cemetery, 145
not the only monuments to the dead, 111
chapel, 78
Chi Chi Jima, 49–50
China, Japanese invasion of, 95, 96
China-Burma-India Theater (CBI), 102
Churchill, Winston, on Battle of Midway, 94
cigarettes in Red Cross packages stolen by Japanese, 127
citation petition by LSM 202 men, 33
Concannon, Howard S., 37
Congressional delegation, encounter with, 51
Construction Battalions (CB). See 133rd Naval Construction Battalion; Seabees (Construction Battalions)
Conte Biancamano, SS, Italian liner converted to U.S. troop transport, 2, 3
Cook, Paul, 15
cooks, reaction to Army nurses, 41–42
C.P.O. Club, 80
Creech, Donald, 31

D

D8 bulldozers, 19–20, 23
Dalton, Michael, pseudonym for Ivan Thunder, 135
Davidich, Paul A., 10
Davidson, Lawrence H., erection of water storage tanks, 76
DDT sprayed to kill flies on dead bodies, 25
dead
island sprayed with DDT to kill flies, 25
leg sticking up from sand, 33–34
orders not to move, 17
death
by friendly fire, 27–28
last-minute bailout from B-29, 54
Thunder's narrow escapes from, 8–9, 14–15, 134
Decision at Nagasaki, 56
"The Diary of a Japanese Marine Officer"
annotated text, 113–17
"Naval laborer" a member of 31st NCB, 19, 116
diving compared to stateside training areas, 34–35
dreams. See strange dreams
DUCK (Army DUKW)
Japanese prisoners taken to Command Ship in, 14
used for underwater inspection, 34
used to unload liquor from merchant ship, 36
Dupre, Henri, 31

E

"Earl," Lieutenant, 19, 20, 26, 28
Edwards, "Mo," 37
Edwards, Richard, 48
Enoch, Curtis, 46, 81
equipment
clearing runway but not sure why, 57–58
on LSM 202, 10, 40–41
European Theater, Thunder family members who served in, 43
Evans, Elze J., 10

F

flag
raising on Iwo, 18–19, 144–45
raising on mural in Officer's Mess, 40
Fleming, Leslie, 58
Flying Fortress, succeeded by Superfortress, 110
food
available in Officer's Mess, 31–32
and grenades salvaged from broached LCT, 19–20
in Japanese prison camp, 126
foxholes
outfitting, 21
paying rent for, 30
security system with phone lines, 28
Frier, John M., Jr., 56
Fritch, John J., 13, 37, 42
fu-fu powder, 25

G

geography of Iwo Jima, 7–8
George Washington, USS, 142
German raiders, numbers 23 and 28, 123–25
Germany, casualties in Hamburg and Dresden, 99
Gorman, Charlie, 17
grenades recovered from LCT, 19–20
Guadalcanal, 98, 103
Guam. See also Marianas
Guam, accomplishments of Seabees, 65

H

harbor construction stopped, 35
Harrington, Charles, 46
Haynes, Fred, and Combat Veterans of Iwo Jima, 144
Hearst, William Randolph, support for MacArthur, 110
Her Last Letter written by Thunder under pseudonym Dalton, 135
Hermitage, USS, 2, 3
Hiroshima
casualties, 99–100
dropping of atomic bomb, 56
Hitler, Adolf, 95–96
Honolulu Naval Air Station, construction, 5
Hot Mix Plant, 47
Huie, William Bradford, Can Do, the Story of the Seabees, 120
Humphrey, William F. (ship). See William F. Humphrey (Tidewater Oil Company tanker)

I

images from the 133rd NCB Cruise Book, 69–75, 88–89
chapel, 78
water works on Iwo Jima, 76–77, 82–87
welfare and recreation, 79–81
incendiary bombings, death and destruction, 99–100
Indianapolis, USS, 97
insignia not worn by officers, 23
Iwo Jima
annotated photograph, 52
geography and description, 7–8
history since the war, 142–45
Japanese casualties, 99
map showing its location, 6
as most bombed spot on earth, 40
uses of Central and North Fields during war, 142
why it had to be captured, 109–11
See also Suribachi, Mount
Iwo Jima Memorial (Arlington), 135, 144–45
Iwo To (Iōtō), island's name reverted to pre-war Japanese name, 144

J

Japan
aggression beginning in 1931, 95–96
casualties of battles and bombings, 11, 98–100
"The Diary of a Japanese Marine Officer," 19, 113–17
Garden of Peace in Fredericksburg, Texas, 105
Japan Self-Defense Force, 143
Japanese flushed out by Army Garrison Force, 45
Japanese prionsoners, 14, 29
last two Japanese to surrender (1949), 141
naval power and supply ships eliminated, 104
possible consequences of alternatives to A-bombs, 101
suicidal attempt after island declared secure, 27, 117
Thunder's trip to Tokyo, 59–63, 65
treatment of Bart and other prisoners, 125–27
U.S. return of Iwo to, 142
use of Iwo to intercept American planes, 109–11
Jeep experiences, 26–27, 40, 46
jitters watching a movie, 26
Johnson, R.C. (Commodore), 37, 58
Jones, Jim, Joint Reunion of Honor decreed annual event, 144

K

K-rations, 15, 31

L

LaBrusk, Clarence J., 17, 45
Lange, Wilmar, 31
LCT (Landing Craft Tank), broaching resulted in unexpected food supply, 19–20
LeMay, Curtis E., 109
Lewis, C.S., 81
Leyte Gulf, Battle of, 94, 97
library, 79
liquor shipment commandeered by Island Command, 35–37
LSMs (Landing Ship Medium)
LSM 202, 8–9, 10, 33, 134
skipper court martialed for retracting, 21
LSTs (Landing Ship Tank)
broaching of and injury to sailor, 18
LST hit by next to last shell at the beach, 21

M

MacArthur, Douglas, 60, 101, 102, 104, 105, 110
Magno, Saturnino N., 32, 81
Manchuria, Japanese invasion, 95
Marianas
airfields attacked by Japanese bombers from Iwo, 109–10
"Marianas Turkey Shoot," 97, 104
See also Guam
Marigold, USS, 128
Marine Divisions. See 3rd Marine Division; 4th Marine Division; 5th Marine Division
Marshall, George C., order to take Iwo Jima, 109–10
Marston (Marsden) matting, 21, 22
Mattox, Richard H., record of Bart obtained by, 122
Mayes, J., 80
McCormick, Robert R., support for MacArthur, 110
McKinney, Thomas Y., 8–9, 54–55
Merrill, Frank, 102
Midway, Battle of, 94, 97, 103
Missouri, USS, 65
Mitchell, George, 11
Monett, Harold, 31
Morrissey, John, 135
Morrissey, Luella Hughes, 135
Mountbatten, Louis ["Admiral Lord Mountbatten" in text], 102
Mt. Suribachi. See Suribachi, Mount
Murphy, Raymond P. (Commander)
complaint by Commodore Johnson, 37
and C.P.O. Club, 80
phone in tent, 30
solution to liquor procurement problem, 36–37
Thunder made Company Commander, 54–55
Mussolini, Benito, attack on Ethiopia, 95

N

Nagasaki, casualties, 99–100
National Museum of the Pacific War, 105
naval action dominated war in the Pacific, 96–97
Naval Construction Battalions (NCB). See 133rd Naval Construction Battalion; Seabees (Construction Battalions)
navigation systems on Iwo, 142–43
Nimitz, Chester
accomplishments, 103–4
lack of proper recognition, 102, 104–5
tribute to men on Iwo Jima Memorial, 145
nurses invited to lunch after Cardinal Spellman's Mass, 41–42

O

Officers' Club, 81
Okinawa
battle depended on seaborne supplies, 96–97
Japanese casualties, 99
number of civilians killed equaled A-bomb casualties, 100
Oliphant, [B.P.] G.P., 76, 80
Olivi, Fred (co-pilot on 2nd A-bomb Mission), 56
Operation Detachment, attempts to scuttle, 110
Operation Olympic (planned invasion of Japan), 55
Osaka Prisoner of War Camp Number One, 125–28

P

Pacific islands retaken in 1944, 103–4
Pacific Ocean Areas (POA), 102
Palau, 99, 119
Palmer, Commander
architectural practice, 66
compliment on helping buddies stay together, 58
Panama Canal Zone, reactions to attack on Pearl Harbor, 3, 5
password forgotten, 28–29
Patch, A.M., on Seabees, 120
paving stories, 43–44, 45–48, 57–58
peppermint stick ice cream, 31
Philippines, 99
Battle of the Philippine Sea. See Marianas, "Marianas Turkey Shoot"
pig roast, 42
plants, permission needed to destroy, 42
POA. See Pacific Ocean Areas (POA)
pontoons, uses of, 119–120
population of Iwo Jima, 141, 143
Powers (in charge of mechanical repairs of water works), 76
Presidential Unit Citation, efforts to upgrade Navy Unit Citation to, 145
prisoners
American, 122–28
Japanese, 14, 29

R

radiation. See atomic bomb and saving of Japanese lives
recreation facilities, 41–43, 79–81
Red Cross packages, 127
Renninger, Leroy, 39, 53
research challenges, 93–94
Reunion of Honor, 143–44
Richmond, Herschell, 31
Ritchie, Philip, 76
Robinson, Francis "Clay," 9–10
rock crushing, metal fragments in beach boulders, 40
Rosenthal, Joe, 144–45
Ruckenshell, Helmut, 124
Ruppert, Richard, 48

S

Saipan, 98
Schlesinger, James, on Battle of Midway, 103
Schwarz, Richard, 122–23
Schwoebel, Donald H., 110
Schwoebel, James D., 110
Schwoebel, Matthew J., 64
Schwoebel, Rosemary Thunder, 110
Seabees (Construction Battalions)
106th Naval Construction Battalion, 35
31st Naval Construction Battalion, 19
accomplishments on Guam, 65
Pontoon Detachments, 119–120
ten lost by explosion of weapons debris, 40
took care of Japanese bomber pilot, 37
See also 133rd Naval Construction Battalion
SEAC. See South East Asia Command (SEAC)
Shea, Bill, help offered with citation petition, 33
Shears, William H., Jr. (Bill), 47, 48
Shupp, George, 55
slot machine delivered to dump, 37
South East Asia Command (SEAC), 102
South West Pacific Area (SWPA), 102
Spellman, Francis Joseph (Cardinal), 41
SS Conte Biancamano, 2, 3
Stanbery, Sam, 29
strange dreams, 17, 26, 27
sulfur smells, 25
Superfort Saga, 110–11
surf bathing, 23, 25
surface treatment, 48–49
Suribachi, Mount, 16, 38, 44, 140
description, 7, 8
fired on point-blank by U.S. destroyer, 14
fireworks from exploding ammo dump, 32
flag raising, 18–19, 40, 144–45
held by Japanese, 13
SWPA. See South West Pacific Area (SWPA)
Szentmiklossy, Gene, 20

T

tank pulled out of crater by D8 dozers, 23
Tarawa, 98, 103
taxiway problems, 53
theatre, 79
Thunder, Ann Gerby, 135
Thunder, Christopher, 64
Thunder, Ivan D., biography, 133–36
Thunder, James M., 135
Thunder, Rosemary Hughes, 9–10, 92, 93, 134, 135
Thunder family members who served in Europe, 43
Thunder family on USS Yorktown, 136
Thurlow, David, 41
Tillman, Barrett, on Japanese admiral's "acceptable" losses, 100
Titman, Frank, 32
trays made of native woods, 42

U

United States, casualties of Iwo Jima operation, 11, 111
U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial. See Iwo Jima Memorial (Arlington)
USS Bismarck Sea, 18
USS Callaghan, 49
USS George Washington, 142
USS Hermitage, 2, 3
USS Indianapolis, 97
USS Marigold, 128
USS Missouri, 65
USS Yorktown, 66, 97, 134–35, 136

V

VE Day, 43
Vincent, David, 43, 58
volleyball, 42

W

water supply
building seawater conversion plant, 34–35
digging ditch uncovered huge unexploded bomb, 40
water works on Iwo Jima, 76, 76–77, 82–87
Whirlwind, Tillman on Japanese admiral's "acceptable" losses, 100
Whitehead, Ralph, 32, 104–5
William F. Humphrey (Tidewater Oil Company tanker), intercepted by German raider, 122–23
Woodard, Shirley C., water plant supervision, 76

Y

Yamato, Japanese battleship sunk, 97
Yorktown, USS, 66, 97, 134–35, 136

Z

Zygmunt, Sheila Thunder, 93

About the Author

Ivan D. Thunder proudly served in the 133rd Naval Construction Battalion on Iwo Jima in 1945. Her Last Letter was published in 2006. In this second volume of memoirs, Thunder poignantly describes "Seabee" life during one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific. Little wonder he earned the nickname No Problem Thunder.

Purchase THE PACIFIC WAR And BATTLE OF IWO JIMA by IVAN D. THUNDER

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Noalani Terry, MLS, MIA
Professional Indexer and Taxonomist
Montrose, Colorado
970-240-3620
or LinkedIn 
 


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