MAY 21, 1954
NEW YORK, Thursday—I read a story in The New York Times this week about the wonderful work that 40 men from SeaBee Unit 317 did for the Boy Scouts in 17 hours of working time. This job was done in connection with the observance of Armed Forces Week and as part of the men's regular training.
These Seabees from the New York area are veterans of World War II and the Korean War, and they put up 22 buildings and built a three-quarter-mile stretch of road in record time.
The man in charge was Lt. Comdr. George Hayden, who served with the SeaBees in the Aleutian Islands during World War II. He explained that the work the men were doing was much the same as that which they had done during the war.
This project was first planned by Commander Nyal Deems for assignment to the regularly drilling reserve units, but soon many SeaBees not associated with the Reserve offered their services, and one can well imagine what a pleasure they would get out of it.
These Seabees have special skills and they put them to use to achieve good purposes. Here was a whole Boy Scout camp which would ordinarily have cost for labor somewhere around $10,000. In two days the Seabees did the job, without pay, and it is estimated that ordinarily it would have taken six or eight weeks to complete the camp.
No wonder several groups of scouts stood around to watch their new camp at Alpine, N.J., come into being. They prepared and served food for the men and acted as water boys and runners on the job. I am sure their admiration and compliments were unstinted, because it would have been a long time before this camp would have become a reality if it had not been for the Reserve Seabees. These men are carrying out similar work in many different places. So interested did they get on the job at Alpine, N.J., that at one point when a power saw was needed and one was not available, they dug into their own pockets and produced $125 to get one immediately.
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There is at least one area in the world in which the Communists seem to have had a setback in the past few days. Luis Taruc, Communist leader of the Hukbalahap rebels, has surrendered to the government of the Philippines.
This may bring about the surrender of all those who fought the regularly organized Philippine government forces. If it means a split in the Communist forces in the islands, it is a setback for Communist propaganda and control. This could have great influence at the present time when the Communists in Indo-China are riding high.