4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 14, 2020 9:53 PM by Nick Preston

    Seeking records of SeaBee Battalions on Okinawa

    Nick Preston Newbie

      Hello, I recently found out that my grandfather, Bernard Wrona, served as a Pharmacist's Mate in a "SeaBee" Construction Battalion during the Battle for Okinawa during WWII.  I'm trying to learn more about his service and am curious if any muster rolls exist for the 58th, 71st, 145th, 44th and 130th Construction Battalions in 1945?  Also, is there a way to confirm that these were the Construction Battalions that served on Okinawa? Any information will be greatly appreciated!

        • Re: Seeking records of SeaBee Battalions on Okinawa
          Alice Lane Tracker

          Hi Nick

          Welcome to History

           

          check out.....google books... https://www.google.com/

          On the following web page they list a great selection on the subject, some can be read online

          https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&q=okinawa+ww2+seabees

           

          List of Construction Battallions

          https://www.seabees93.net/GI%20Naval%20Construction%20Battalions.htm

          I don't have a subscription to fold3....it is a pay site but they will give you a free trial...you could find out what units he was in by going to https://www.fold3.com/

          The following is the page with his name.

          https://www.fold3.com/search?full-name~=+Bernard+Wrona&general.title.id=829:WWII+Navy+Muster+Rolls

           

          Alice Lane

          Research Volunteer

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          • Re: Seeking records of SeaBee Battalions on Okinawa
            Jason Atkinson Pioneer

            Dear Mr. Preston,

             

            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

             

            The most complete record of his service and the best way to find all his assignments will be his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). If you have not already done so, we suggest that you request a copy of his OMPF. OMPFs and medical records of enlisted men of the U.S. Navy who were separated from the service after 1885 and prior to 1958 are located at NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  To request these records, please mail a completed GSA Standard Form 180 to NPRC. If there is anything requested by the form that you do not know (such as Social Security Number) you may leave it blank, however the more information you provide, the easier it will be for NPRC staff to locate the correct file. In Section II, Block 1, check “Other” and write that you want the complete file.  Under “Purpose” check “Genealogy.” For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.

             

            The Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 1/1/1939 - 1/1/1949 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that we mentioned our reply to your previous inquiry about LCI(L)-12 includes the muster rolls for construction battalions. However, unlike the LCI(L)-12 muster rolls we shared with you last time, the muster rolls for the various construction battalions are not yet available through the Catalog. We also located World War II Command Files in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) that include records of Naval construction units. For more information about these files, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

             

            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. Also, the National Personnel Records Center is is currently only servicing emergency requests and will soon expand its service to include time-sensitive requests from veterans for records needed to secure VA home loan guarantees and employment opportunities. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

             

            As part of our on-going commitment to preserve our records, the National Archives has entered into partnership with Ancestry.com to digitize some of NARA's holdings. These records are now available in digital form and can be viewed online via U.S., World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949. There may be a fee for this service. You may wish to check with your local public or university library as these institutions often provide access to Ancestry.com.

             

            Using the digital copies of the records available through Ancestry, we located entries for Bernard Wrona (service number 623 14 15) on the USS LCI(L)-12 that match the information you gave about your grandfather in this inquiry and your previous inquiries.  According to the muster rolls we located, he enlisted on 21 July 1942 in Detroit, Michigan and served on the USS LCI(L)-12 from 10 March 1944 to 20 October 1944. He was a Pharmacist Mate 1st Class (PhM1/c) at the time he left the ship. The muster rolls for LCI(L)-12 indicates that prior to that he was assigned to the LCI(L) Flotilla 2 staff.

             

            We were not able to locate any additional information after he left the ship. This does not mean he did not have any assignments. Sometimes gaps in the records, illegible records, misspellings on the original records, or errors in Ancestry’s name indexing may prevent records being located using name searches. It may be possible to locate his name and/or service number by browsing through the muster rolls for the units page by page rather than using name searches. To browse muster rolls of Seabee units on Ancestry, use the “Browse this collection” option on the right hand side and select “Shore.” Under “First Letter of Ship, Station, or Activity” select “C”. Under “Ship, Station, or Activity” select “Construction Battalion.” This will bring up a list of battalions to select from.  Note that the list is not in strict numerical order.

             

            We also located the following entry in the U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 that may be a match for your grandfather. If it is, you can use this information when filling out the SF-180.

             

            Name:  Bernard Wrona

            Gender:  Male

            Birth Date:  14 Apr 1921

            Death Date:  8 Sep 2009

            Branch 1:  NAVY

            Enlistment Date 1:  21 Jul 1942

            Release Date 1:  1 Jan 1946

             

            Histories of the Naval Construction Battalions are available on the website of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum. The museum may have additional material which has not been posted yet to their website. Another museum that may have collections of interest is the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park.

             

            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

             

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