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In Memoriam

History of the

6th Special NCB

Unit Ribbons

and Medals

Station Log

Archive of Documents

Image Gallery

Website Resources

About This Webpage

 

 

In Memoriam

This web page is dedicated to the memory of Frederick George Siler, John Joseph Ratomski and

the men they served with in the 6th Special Naval Construction  Battalion during World War Two

Frederick George Siler enlisted into the U.S. Navy on January 28, 1943.  Soon after he was sent to Virginia for his basic training.  Upon completion of his military preparation  he was assigned to the Headquarters Company of the 6th Special Naval Construction Battalion then stationed in San Francisco, California awaiting deployment into the South Pacific.  By May, 1943 he had arrived in the Fiji Islands.  During his service in the South Pacific he worked as a coxswain driving landing craft transporting war material between the supply  ships  and  the  beaches  of  the

Frederick George Siler

various islands where the battles against the enemy were raging.   From 1943 to 1945 the 6th NCB Battalion were posted at  Noumea, Vella Lavella, Banika, Vunda Point, Fiji, Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Puruata. After peace with Japan Fred was transferred to the Naval Ship Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he worked as a Master-at-Arms.  By the time of his separation from the U.S. Navy on December 1, 1945 he had attained the rank and rating as a Boatswains Mate , 2nd Class.

John Joseph Ratomski was born in the Bronx, New York on June 5, 1922.  Joe wanted to join the Marine Corps but was told that he could not because of color-blindness.  This was a common reason why many men ended up in the Naval Construction Battalions during World War Two.   Joe Ratomski enlisted into the United States Navy at New York City in December, 1942.

Upon completion of Boot Camp he was assigned to the Section One of the 6th Special Naval Construction Battalion.  By May, 1943 he was deployed to the

John Joseph Ratomski

South Pacific with his unit.  He remained in the 6th Special NCB as a Seaman 1st Class until the end of the War and was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946.  After the War he returned home to New York where he married and had four children.    Joe served his community as an Officer in the New York Police Department and worked out of the 47th precinct in Bronx, New York.  After a distinguished career that spanned over 30 years he retired as a Detective (1st Class).    Joe Ratomski passed away at Westbury, New York in 1988.

Battalion History

The       6th Special Seabees were a "Combat Stevedore" Battalion that saw action in the Pacific. Loading and unloading ships both in the safety of the rear areas and under the enemy's guns on invasion beachheads. They humped cargo manhandling the materials of war, fuel, ammunition, bombs, rations, vehicles, building materials, etc, to where they were needed The ships they were unloading were "prime targets" for the Japanese bombers and artillery units. The Stevedores hauled under fire, went in with combat troops, came out just as bruised and tired.  The 6th Special NCB has the distinction of being the first Seabee "Special" to go into a combat assault at Vella Lavella. Also the distinction of the first unit in Seabee history to serve at sea on a strictly duty status when 108 men were assigned to LST Flotilla 5. 

     The First Section of the Sixth Special arrived at Port Hueneme on April 10, 1943, and embarked May 1, 1943, arriving at Nandi, Fiji Islands, May 15. On December 29, 1943, the first section left Nandi, arrived at Guadalcanal January 3, 1944, then left there January 16 for Torokina, Bougainville landing there four days later. The outfit worked at this base and also sent a detachment to the Treasury Islands, which rejoined the main body on Bougainville August 18,1944. The First Section left Torokina on October 1, 1944, and arrived at Ulithi Western Caroline, Islands, ten days later. The Sixth Special was inactivated early in July, 1945, on Oahu and sent back to the States.       The Second Section of the Sixth Special left Port Hueneme June 11, 1943, for Guadalcanal. On September 29, the first echelon of the Second Section embarked for Vella Lavella, and on October 20, the second echelon left for the Russell Islands.  Both units were attached to the Fourth Marines Advanced Depot. The first echelon left Vella Lavella on November 22, 1943, arriving at Bougainville the next day, and the second echelon left the Russell Islands December 19 and joined the first echelon on December 23. Parts of the first and second sections combined and were sent to the Treasury Islands March 1944. After returning to Bougainville the Second Section shipped to the Philippines in late October 1944. The Second Section was inactivated in June 1945.

Unit Ribbons and Medals

 

 

 

Combat Action Ribbon

 

 
Philippine Presidential
 Unit Citation Ribbon

 

 

 

Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon

 

See our “Image Gallery” for letter of Citation

 given to the 108 men assigned to LST Flotilla

 Five while in the Solomon Islands.

 

American Campaign Ribbon and Medal

 

 

Asiatic - Pacific Campaign Ribbon & Medal

 

 
World War II
Victory Ribbon & Medal

 

 

 
Philippine Independence Ribbon & Medal

 

 

 
Philippine Liberation Ribbon & Medal

 

Station Log

 

 

Nandi & Vunda Point, Fiji;   Banika;    New Caledonia;   Guadalcanal;   Bougainville;   Ulithl Atoll;   Samar;    Philippine Islands;   Vella Lavella;   Puruata;   Green Island;   Russell Island;   Treasure Island;   Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii;  

See our “Image Gallery” for additional information about the 6th Special NCB Log

6TH SPECIAL NCB (First Section) LOG

April 10, 1943

Arrived at the Naval Construction Battalion Center located at Port Hueneme, (pronounced "Why-nee-mee"), California.

May 1, 1943

Left Port Hueneme, California for Nandi in the Fiji Islands.

May 15, 1943

The 6th (Special) Construction Battalion arrived at Fiji on May 15 and assumed responsibility for all stevedoring activities from. the personnel of the 58th and CUB 3 who had handled all unloading up to this time.  All vessels were anchored, and lighters were used between ships and a small pier. To facilitate the unloading, pontoon barges were assembled, two 3-by-7 type with propulsion units and one 4-by-7 tow barge. The harbor at Vunda Point had one T-shaped  pier with a head about 75 feet by 300 feet, a loading capacity of some six tons, and 10 feet of water at low tide.   

December 29, 1943

 Departed Nandi, Fiji Islands for Guadalcanal.

January 3, 1944

Arrived at Guadalcanal.

January 16, 1944

Departed Guadalcanal for Torokina, Bougainville.

January 20, 1944

Arrived at Torokina, Bougainville.  The outfit worked at this base and also sent a detachment to the Treasury Islands, which rejoined the main body on Bougainville August 18, 1944.

March 1944

Parts of the first and second sections combined and were sent to the Treasury Islands

October 1, 1944

Departed Torokina, Bougainville for Ulithi Atoll located in the Western Caroline Islands.

October 10, 1944

Arrived at Ulithi Atoll in the Western Caroline Islands.

July 1945

The First Section of the Sixth Special NCB was inactivated on Oahu, Hawaii and sent back to the States.

 

6TH SPECIAL NCB (Second Section) LOG

April 10, 1943

Arrived at the Naval Construction Battalion Center located at Port Hueneme, (pronounced "Why-nee-mee"), California

June 11, 1943

Left Port Hueneme, California for Guadalcanal.

September 29, 1943

The First Echelon of the Second Section embarked from Guadalcanal for Vella Lavella.  At Vella Lavella both units were attached to the Fourth Marines Advanced Depot.

October 20, 1943

The Second Echelon left Vella Lavella for the Russell Islands.

November 22, 1943

The First Echelon left Vella Lavella for Bougainville.

November 23, 1943

The First Echelon arrived at Bougainville.

December 19, 1943

The Second Echelon left the Russell Islands for Bougainville.

December 23, 1943

The Second Echelon arrives at Bougainville.

March 1944

Parts of the first and second sections combined and were sent to the Treasury Islands

October 1944

After returning to Bougainville from the Treasury Islands the Second Section shipped to the Philippines.

June 1945

The Second Section was inactivated.

 

 

Battalion Records

The following is a sampling of the documentation we’ve collected  regarding

the wartime record of this military unit, and the persons who served therein.

·        Section Rosters

·        Letters of Commendation

·        Newspaper Articles

·        Legacy Tributes to various members

·        Activity Reports

·        Narratives and Descriptions of Duty Stations

·        Articles from the Association Newsletter

·        Unit Citations

·        Wartime Stories by members

Click on this LINK to view our  entire

collection of documents for this military unit.

 

Image Gallery

During our research we have collected and images and photographs that may be of interest to the history of this military unit.  Some of them are presented on this website because we believe they tend to provide the reader with additional information which may aid in the understanding of our ancestors past lives and war experiences.

 

Use theses LINKS to see the 6th Special NCB Archive Galleries

General Images

  Source Documents 

Portraits & Legacies

Use this LINK to see the image

 galleries of all our military units.

The following LINK will take you to a NARA video of the SEABEEs during WW II.

SEABEES. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS

The James McEldrew Memorial Photograph Collection is a compilation of photographic images relating to the 6th Special Naval Construction Battalion.  It was compiled by James J. McEldrew. II.  James was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 14, 1924,  He graduated from West Catholic High School in 1942., and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 12 January 1943.  Whereupon he was assigned to the 6th Special NCB much of his service was spent into South Pacific until the end of the War.  In 1949 he married Helen M. Haberle at Philadelphia.  James held this collection of photographs until his death in Wallingford, Delaware County, Pennsylvania in 2004.  Subsequently his son James J. McEldrew. III, Esq., acquired this memento and graciously donated it to us for inclusion into these chronicles of the 6th Special Naval Construction Battalion of World War Two.

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Enter the topic you are searching in the box and click “Search Images”. At the “Images” display page you will see the image, as well as the website of which it is associated.

Web resources

 

This search engine may

provide you with additional

information to assist with

your research about this topic.

The following are links to websites that will provide you with

specific information to assist with your research this topic.

·         WWII Stories: 6th Special NCB

·         History of the Seabees'

·         Navy Seabees' Veterans of America

·         Naval Construction Force (Seabees')

·         The Seabee Museum and Memorial Park

·         Seabees 2nd Anniversary Newspaper Article

·         Seabees Seagoing Stevedores

·         USN - Seabee Museum

·        6th Special NCB – Historical Information

·        NCB 93-6th Special Seabees- San Pedro Bay & USS Zaurek

·        Navy Seabees on Guadalcanal

·        Seabee Bibliography

·        Seabee Food Service in World War II

·        SeaBees During World War II

·        Seabee Unit Cruise Books in the Navy Dept. Library

Within our Genealogy Reference Library (U.S.A.) page where you will find U.S. military histories from the American Revolution to World War One at the following link.   If you are looking for the history of a specific state or local U.S. military unit take a look in the Genealogy Reference Library U.S.A. Locations pages.   In addition, we have general military reference texts as well as other books that will assist you with your research.

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-- This webpage was last updated on --

26 July 2016