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.
Captain Triest completes his description of accomplishments of the Seabees during the war with a recounting of roads and a supply depot constructed in Okinawa—while working behind the lines as the Marines drove the Japanese off the island.
In this excerpt, Captain Triest describes putting Shorty Duddleston, recruited from Standard Oil of New Jersey to supervise a construction job on Christmas Island, into uniform in one day on the orders of Admirals King and Moreell.
For CAPT Triest's Oral History on the U.S. Naval Institute website, click here.
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