In this rousing sequel to his classic Can Do! The Story of the Seabees, William Bradford Huie continues the saga of the combat trained civilian plumbers, carpenters, heavy equipment operators, wharf builders, and civil engineers who served in the U.S. Navy construction battalions. The story begins in 1944 with the battle for Iwo Jima when the Seabees braved concentrated enemy fire and Iwo's daunting terrain to rig floating causeways, blow up wrecked landing craft, and drive their bulldozers up three terraces that rose from the ocean to secure the beachhead. This book fully chronicles their heroism, including the unforgettable efforts of the men of the 31st Battalion who crawled the length of a landing strip to pick up shrapnel as Japanese snipers fired away.
Huie does equal justice to the historic actions of the Seabees on D-Day at Omaha Beach, where they manned fifteen hundred vehicles during the first wave of landings at Normandy. He provides fascinating accounts of the creation and testing of various pierheads, floating steel bridges, and "Rhino" ferries. His narrative of Seabee accomplishments is heavily laced with colorful stories of moonshining, brawling, and carousing juxtaposed with compassionate stories of the children in the prisoner of war camps. His enthusiasm for the Seabees gained instant acceptance when this book was first published in 1945 and is often cited as inspiring succeeding generations to rise to the same spirit of devotion and loyalty to their task.