133rd Seabees Stay Unsung
Submitted by John Ratomski
The Fourth Marine Division was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for the Iwo Jima battle and the 133rd Seabee Battalion was not, although: 1) the 133rd was part of the 4th Marine Division from Nov. 1, 1944 until March 1945 2) The 133rd was not a support unit, but was used as a Marine Pioneer Battalion during the battle. 3) The 133rd NCB and the 4th Pioneer Battalion both became shore parties for the 23rd and 25th Regimental Combat Teams of the 4th Marine Division for the assault phase on Iwo-Jima. Official Battle Plans on record show this. 4) The Presidential Unit Citation declared that the Pioneer units were assault units and did not state that the133rd were support troops, therefore the 133rd would have to be considered assault troops. 5) The entire 133rd landed with the first waves and suffered 40% casualties. That exceeded the casualties of the 4th Pioneer Battalion. The 4th Pioneers were awarded the Citation the 133rd was not. 6) The 133rd acted in the same capacity as the 4th Pioneer Battalion for the 23RCT, wearing issued Marine uniforms, subject to Marine regulations as part of the Fourth Marine Division. assault team and not as a support group. 7) In addition they were awarded 10 Bronze Stars and 29 Fourth Marine Division Commendations in recognition for their part in the assault phases of operations. 8) The 133rd NCB wore its uniform proudly as Navy and wore its uniform proudly as Marines! They served both with distinction. They earned and deserve the recognition that is still not theirs.