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Wedge Donovan (John Wayne) is a tough construction boss, building airstrips in the Pacific for the navy during World War II. He clashes with his liaison officer, Lieutenant Commander Robert Yarrow (Dennis O'Keefe), over the fact that his men are not allowed to arm themselves against the Japanese. When the enemy lands in force on the island, he finally takes matters into his own hands, leading his men into the fray. Unfortunately, this prevents Yarrow from springing a carefully-devised trap that would have wiped out the invaders in a murderous crossfire, with minimal American losses. Instead, many of Donovan's men are killed unnecessarily. As a result of this tragedy, Yarrow finally convinces the Navy to form Construction Battalions (CB's, or the more familiar "Seabees") with Donovan's assistance, despite their mutual romantic interest in war correspondent Constance Chesley (Susan Hayward). Donovan and many of his men enlist and receive formal military training. The two men are teamed together on yet another island. The Japanese launch a major attack, which the Seabees barely manage to hold off, sometimes using heavy construction machinery such as bulldozers and a clamshell bucket. When word reaches Donovan of another approaching enemy column, there are no soldiers left to oppose this new threat. In desperation, he rigs a bulldozer with explosives on its blade, intending to ram it into a petroleum storage tank. The plan works, sending a cascade of burning liquid into the path of the Japanese, who retreat in panic, right into the sights of waiting machine guns, but Donovan is killed by a sniper before he can jump off the bulldozer.

Starring ... John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe, William Frawley,
Leonid Kinskey

Director: Edward Ludwig
Producer: Albert J. Cohen

Year Released - March 1944

Length - 100 minutes

Music Composer: Walter Scharf & Roy Webb

Movie Distributed by Republic Pictures

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The Fighting Seabees
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The Fighting Seabees
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