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Triest, Willard G. (1905-1989)

Captain, Civil Engineer Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)


Based on six interviews conducted by John T. Mason, Jr., in July 1982 and August 1982. The volume contains 229 pages of interview transcript plus an index and appendices. The transcript is copyright 1977 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee has placed no restrictions on its use.


Captain Triest joined the Civil Engineer Corps in 1941, and his first assignment was the design and logistics for building a secret base, "Bobcat," as a refueling station in the Christmas Islands. He describes the construction of an airfield, hospital, tank farm, and loading facilities on Ascension Island. In 1942 he headed the work of the Seabees at Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides, and then was sent to Tulagi as a trouble shooter to rebuild the esprit de corps of the 27th battalion that had fallen to pieces. The battalion rejuvenated, they built facilities at Emirau and Guadalcanal-- fighter air strips and a base for the Marines. He completes the work of the Seabees during the war with recounts of roads and a supply depot constructed in Okinawa, working behind the lines while the Marines drove the Japanese off the island.


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