Original U.S. WWII Pacific Theatre Seabees 141st Naval Construction Battalion Photo Album

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a wonderful slice of life for a Seabee stationed on the Marshal islands and Hawaii during the the Summer of 1945. Walter Arnold Lissy serial number 3931626 was the rank of Carpenter's Mate, First Class (CM1c). He sailed on the ship USS San Saba (APA-232) with the 141st Naval Construction Battalion to Hawaii then onto the Marshal islands. Below is an interesting recounting of that time from the following website:

Loaded to the scuppers with ammunition, the San Saba sailed from San Francisco on St. Valentine's Day, 1945, for Pearl Harbor. The seas were unkind to the new ship and her saltless crew . . .two days steady she pitched and rolled taking at one time a 40 degree roll. All hands survived to make liberty in Honolulu and Waikiki.

No one who took part in the ensuing two months of amphibious training off Maui and Kahoolawe, T.H., will ever be able to forget the days of beach operations, anti-aircraft drills and tactical maneuvers. Days of sleepless, tiring hours of small boat operations, circling for hours with the sun beating down, landing, broaching on the Malaea Bay (Maui) beaches. The ship's 26 small landing boats were lowered into the water, beached and hoisted aboard almost daily during the training phase. When one operation was completed another began. The invasion the San Saba was trained for and was skilled for never materialized. But, as a division flag (she carried first CornTransDiv 60 and finally, ComTransDiv71) she trained other APA's and AKA's that left to take part in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, while she remained to continue the training.

On 16 May 1945 the San Saba left the Hawaiian area for Kwajalein, in the Marshall Islands, carrying the 141st Naval Construction Battalion. From Kwajalein she sailed to Guadalcanal. During the trip she crossed the equator into the realm of Neptunis Rex, Ruler of the Deep and Purger of Pollywogs. The San Saba and her almost majority pollywog crew were initiated expertly under the watchful eyes of King Neptune himself. Two days of hell for the lowly pollywogs . . . two days of glory for the salty shell-backs.

The photo album documents Lissy’s time in Hawaii and on Kwajalein, in the Marshall Islands, as a member of the 141st Naval Construction Battalion. The photos feature island scenes, men goofing off dressed in women luau clothing (grass skirts and bikinis), swimming, fishing, the Naval facilities on the island tents, airplanes, jeeps, etc… Approximately 60+ photos in all. There is even a picture of the Headquarters Kwajalein Island in the album, as well as the Richardson Theatre, which is still in existence on Kwajalein. It is named to Lissy. The album itself was a a gift from Lt. Comander L.C. Tschudy of the 141st Naval Construction Battalion to his men for Christmas 1944. Also included is an original letter from the Commander of the Marshalls Gilberts Area instructing his men not to write home complaining about living conditions, as it has a negative effect on morale!

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