America's Greatest Generation

Living Their Finest Hour:
World War II -- 1941 - 1945


Stories of Men and Women who experienced the greatest event in the history of the world -- World War II...As seen through their eyes and told in their words.

The pages that follow in the category of "Navy Heroes" are dedicated to the men and women served with distinction in the forces of the U. S. (Military) Navy.

Following the devastating sneak attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 which hurtled this country headlong into the global conflict -- these men served on the ships of the Pacific as well as served in the Atlantic performing convoy duty to assist in getting much needed supplies, material and men to the every widening war.

Their service provokes powerful names: Midway, Tarawa, Guadalcanal, Iowa Jima, Saipan, the Marianas, Okinawa and Japan in the Pacific. The men serving in the Atlantic went off to war guarding convoys of vital supplies living in constant fear of a German U-boat torpedo attack or an enemy plane diving out of the sun. Let us not forget how they performed to the pinnacle of their service during the invasions of North Africa, the peninsula of Italy and of course: D-Day or to survive the harsh wintry weather conditions of the north Atlantic and the convoys to Murmansk. They served. Many went off to sea in submarines -- many did not return from patrol -- never to be heard from again. Others came back to home port proudly displaying a broom held high signifying a "clean sweep".

Many fought lonely battles of sheer boredom -- highlited by short, panic filled moments of sheer terror which turned mens' hair white almost overnight. They all did their duty returning home at war's end to their own "hero's welcome".

Still others belonged to the SEABEE's...the construction battalions which served in both theaters of war. Besides building critical bases in war zones, they also fought alongsides other service men when the need arose.

This series of pages will be a sounding board, have you, for the generation referred to as "America's Greatest Generation". Their generation, collectively, experienced the most turbulent and terrifying era in the history of this great nation.In their own way they played their small part in doing their part in World War II -- helping to shape the world and stopping the tide of world domination by some of histories greatest tyrants.


Heroes: the Navy
Seabees and the Coast Guard


Our Newest Story!


George J. Parness,
"Attack of Convoy ON-67, Destroyers vs A Wolfpack"

image of NEWStory Added on 27 September 2009

"...The U-Boat was close aboard -- 200 yards and nearly abeam. The destroyer dropped one depth charge on the sub. It couldn't use its guns as the sub was too close and it was impossible to train the guns so close without inflicting damage back on itself..."


Dalka, Stan,
"New Troy Navy Vet Recalls D-Day"

Story Added on 25 May 2007

"..."I was below the bow under the gun loading area. The ship lurched and shook violently, throwing us all to the deck. Water and debris rained down from the explosion for what seemed like an eternity..."



History of the
62nd Naval Construction Battalion

Story added on 25 May 2005.

"...Our gunners were pouring lead into this Nip, and before he could make the last one hundred yards for his dive into the LST 884, he disintegrated into thin air. There was little time for cheering our gunners, for a third Jap plane was coming at our two LST's,..."



History of the
6th Special Naval Construction Battalion

Story added on 10 January 2005.


"...The two Sections accumulated these medals.

Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Navy Good Conduct Ribbon & medal, American Campaign Ribbon and Medal, Asiatic - Pacific Campaign Ribbon & Medal, WWII Victory Ribbon & Medal, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon & Medal, Philippine Independence Ribbon & Medal..."



History of the
121st Naval Construction Battalion

Story added on 8 January 2005.


"...The first blinding explosion seemed to lift the tiny island high from its coral base, hold it for a breathless moment, then sickingly back again, shattered and exhausted..."



History of the
25th Naval Construction Battalion

Story added on 4 January 2005.


"...Something scored a direct hit on a Higgins boat jammed with Marines -- not a pleasant sight -- made you feel as if someone had kicked you in the stomach..."



Truman B. Farmer
27th Special Seabee Battalion

Story added on 20 December 2004.


"...Enroute to the Philippines, his Battalion received orders to proceed on to the Tinian, Saipan, and Emirau Islands..."



Incident Aboard the Hornet
Alvin "Whitey" Grahn
U.S.S. Hornet (CV-8)
U. S. Navy

Story Added on 24 July 2004

"...instead he hit the signal bridge and killed everyone on it, then slammed through the deck into one of the pilots' ready-rooms below. I looked down into the hole and saw the tail of the plane engulfed in fire. His bomb busted loose and rolled around and ended up under my gun mount, but it never went off because it hadn't armed..."


Coons, Homer Duane,
60th & 50th Battalion,
U. S. Navy Seabees

Story Added on 18 August 2003

"...One night Dad was a passenger in a jeep whose lights were spotted by a Japanese machine gun pilot. As they were being chased by rapid bullets from this plane, they turned off their head lights and were racing through the dark. The jeep hit a tree. Dad's back was injured, others were passengers were killed and injured as well..."




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Walter E. Lafferty:
Dad's War,U.S.S. Wakefield (AP-21),
U. S. Coast Guard

Story Added on 18 September 2002

"...That first year we made 13 round trips to Liverpool England. It always rained at some point while we were there. The trip took about 4 1/2 days to cross. Because we were a fast ship we did not travel with a convoy, so we did not do too much signaling until about a day out from England we'd pick up 2 Corvettes to escort us in..."

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George Jones: Division 61,
Naval Amphibious
Assault Force B, D-Day, June 6, 1944

Story Added on 18 August 2001

"...We had guys with no legs on, some men that had touniquets that were improvised, one guy with the top of his skull blown off. These weren't broken arms or foot injuries. These people were about 90 percent dead..."



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William "Bill" Newbauer:
L.C.V.P. Engineer,
U. S. Navy, Iwo Jima, February 20, 1945

Story Updated on 21 July 2002

"...These high swells continued in to shore, although now a little smaller but still very strong with a rip tide effect. We immediately broached, the starboard side was crushed in and we were pulled out about a hundred feet, to be tossed about. We scrambled over the lowered ramp and made it to shore..."



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Waldon T. Rich
31st Naval Construction Battalion
United States Navy

Story Added on 17 March 2003

Do you know what was the 1st Iwo Jima Memorial?
Have you seen this rock carving before?
Do you know the story behind it?

This sculpture can be found on Iwo Jima and was hand carved by a Navy Seabee stationed on the island during the battle for the island. His name was Waldon T. Rich. Mr. Rich's rock carving is the 1st Memorial on Iwo Jima dedicated to the memory of the men who fought on this bloody island. The sculpture was carved following the battle.

A second page containing a number of thus far unseen images of Mr. Rich and his rock carving memorial is in the works and will soon be available on this web site.



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Iwo Jima Seabees Stay Unsung
Naval Construction Battalions
on Iwo Jima

Updated on 26 March 2003

"...Because only a few trucks were able to get ashore early, Seabees and Marines were forced to haul supplies by hand for two days under heavy enemy fire. Even some of the powerful bulldozers were unable to gain traction on the shifting volcanic sand..."




Place YOUR Photo Here!

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Add YOUR Story Here: Combat Duty,
Support Troops, Special Operations,
Traning Personnel, Medics, etc.

Story Added on ----------

"Now you can add your story to the growing list of men and women who have come forth with their stories of World War II. We are collecting stories -- anyone who did their part! No story is too small, nor insignificant. Contact this webmaster to tell YOUR Story"


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    Survey Form

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    World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words.

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    World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words
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    Updated on 25 February 2012...1259:05 CST


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