Before I start with Cold Bay I thought you would like to hear this about when we first arrived in the Aleutians at Dutch Harbor in the spring of 1943. We left Port Hueneme on a liberty ship the CBMU 510 / CBMU 511 and the 85th NCB. As soon as we left the harbor the ship turned north and that is when we got our first inkling on where we were going. After a few days we pulled into Seattle and stayed tied up to the dock for a couple days and then one morning we left and headed North West to the Aleutians.
The seas were rough and a lot of the guy’s got sick and it was a miserable ride. When we pulled up to the dock at Dutch Harbor we heard over the loudspeakers Now Hear This, Now Hear This the following men from CBMU 510 prepare to disembark. That’s is when detachment 1 was formed.
About 60 of us left the ship and were put on trucks and taken off to the Marine Corps Barracks and assigned bunks. We were told that we would be with the Marines for a couple of days. That night when it became about time for lights out a Marine Gunny Sergeant came into the barracks and told us that reveille was at 6:00 AM and when the lights came on we had all better be out of our bunks or we would hear it from him.
After the lights went out we all talked about if anyone woke up early make sure that he woke us all up. We were all sound asleep when all of a sudden at 6 AM, there was a Marine blowing reveille in our barracks with a trumpet, we all jumped out of our bunks and looked toward the door and there was the Gunny laughing and saying, well I guess you Seabee boots are going to make it after all. Welcome to the Aleutians.