Peleliu Shore Party Group
1st Pioneer Battalion (- Companies A-C)
Detachments, 33rd and 77th Naval Construction Battalions
- 33rd Seabees Cruisebook, submitted by John Ratomski
"The shore party of the 33rd, which consisted of about 200 men and two officers, were alerted at 0800 but it was mid afternoon before the Higgins boat moved alongside to take them ashore. The shore-party was to follow assault troops ashore to handle food and ammunition, as it was brought to the beach. A solid three inch orange circle, painted on their green dungarees and helmet, was the shore-party insignia and contrasted to the diamond in a rectangle painted on the dungarees of others in the first echelon. Considered a part of the shore-party were four special groups of eight men each whose job it was to man cranes mounted on pontoon barges. The cranes transferred cargo from Higgins boats and LCT's to amphibious trucks and tractors at the edge of the reef and were under Japanese mortar and artillery fire spasmodically.
Later each crane operator and oiler received personal commendations from general Rupertus, commanding the First Marine Division, while the remainder of the shore-party received a joint commendation. Also highly praised were men of the 17th Special Seabees who landed at H-Hour-plus-2 and worked at the front lines with Marines for several days.
Only a third of the shore-party reached the beach the first day. The remainder of the shore-party landed on Peleliu on the morning of D-Plus-1, and immediately began unloading and distributing food, ammunition and water. In the next four days, however, they assumed additional duties. Casualties were so heavy that several groups of the 33rd shore-party were assigned to act as grave digging and stretcher bearer details. A few days after the airstrip was captured, reconstruction of the runways, and extension of the bomber strip was begun."