Crusty old Joe's

Kodiak Alaska Military History

The official web site of the Kodiak Military History Museum

Allen C. Tompkins, 79th Construction Battalion

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From: Tompkins, Deborah D.   tompkinsak3 (at)  [updated 1/7/02]
To: Kadiak Curt, Kadiak Joe
Subject: Group #1, Pictures from 79th Battalion - Seabee's
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 12:55:19 -0900

Hello Joe and Curt. Hope all is well in Kodiak. I finally had a chance to
get the rest of grandpa's pictures and a story or two. I am sending a few
email in order to get all of the pictures to you successfully. (Please note
that some of the pictures may be duplicates of those already on the
website.) The first group is attached.
This is the letter he sent with his pictures:

Dear Tom and Debbie:

I am mailing more pictures today, in fact my whole little book. It has a lot
of Kodiak in it because I practically lived there during the day with my
crane, unloading freight from ships, etc. Also did a lot of work picking
rocks off the banks and pouring concrete along the edges down to the water.
Also dragged gravel out to put on roads.

One day we were called out to put in 100' of boom and stand by. There is a
picture of that and a lot of other work.

One of my fondest memories was the arrival of President Franklin D.
Roosevelt to Kodiak. We found out that because of high tide, they could not
get the President off the ship, so we (crane operators) were going to pick
him off via crane. But before the ship arrived, the tide went down and they
were able to bring him and his chair down the stairs.

You asked about the barracks, etc. They were ten or so miles North, I guess,
from Kodiak, and I didn't spend too much time there, except to eat, sleep,
and close order drill. You can't get out of that. Just like being home. . .
eat, sleep, and work wherever they needed me.

From there, I went to the South Pacific. When I got back home in the States,
I tried to get your grandma to go back to Alaska and farm in the Matanuska
Valley, but you know the rest of that story.

Allen C. Tompkins

* (Note: If largest photo version doesn't load, it may be only available on our CD-ROM of the website.)

Main index Updated 2002 January 7