Naval Construction Units

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Peter H
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Naval Construction Units

Postby Peter H » 08 Oct 2005 03:01

Has anyone any details on these navy units?What was their composition,attire?

Did they carry arms?

On Guadalcanal in July 1942 were the 11th,13th CUs.

The 12th,14th,15th,16th also served in the Rabaul,Shortland,Kavieng areas in mid 1942.

Michael Tapner
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Postby Michael Tapner » 08 Oct 2005 07:56

The IJN construction units were roughly 1,200 people on average
From the standard accounts that I have read it would seem that elements of these units were equipped with rifles and no other form of combat equipment.

The 14th and 15th construction units also ventured down to Buna/Gona and were involved in the conflict from July/August 42 onwards.

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Postby Larry D. » 08 Oct 2005 13:46

(Naval) Construction Units

The Japanese name for these is setsueitai and not setsukitai as is often seen. The first of these was not formed until November 1941. Prior to that, IJN airfield and base construction was handled by active fleet and non-fleet units of the IJN using their own resources or what could be obtained locally. There is almost nothing in the surviving Japanese documents and postwar Japanese literature on these and other IJN logistical-type units. Fortunately, the CINCPAC-CINCPOA Joint Intelligence Center at Pearl Harbor kept pretty good tabs on them during the war. For example:

11th Construction Unit

This was the IJN’s first mechanized construction unit, but its equipment was lost when the ship carrying it was torpedoed off Rabaul by a U.S. submarine.
1 May 42: assigned to Combined Fleet effective this date.
May – Jun 42: aboard transports forming the Midway invasion force; when that operation failed in early June, it returned to Truk Atoll and arrived there on 13 June.
6 Jul 42: arrived on Guadalcanal in a strength of 1,350 to begin airfield construction.
14 Jul 42: reassigned to Eighth Fleet (HQ Rabaul).
7 Aug 42: engaged in construction of the airfield when the U.S. Marines landed this date to take and secure Guadalcanal. Unit fled into the jungles and destroyed over the following weeks.
25 Nov 42: officially deactivated, leaving behind a small replacement component that was under Kure Naval District. This was finally deactivated on 1 February 1944.

Commander:
Capt. Kanae MONZEN ( ? - 25 Nov 42)


13th Construction Unit

15 May 42: assigned to Combined Fleet effective this date.
6 Jul 42: arrived on Guadalcanal in a strength of 1,221 to begin airfield construction.
14 Jul 42: reassigned to Eighth Fleet (HQ Rabaul).
7 Aug 42: engaged in construction of the airfield when the U.S. Marines landed this date to take and secure Guadalcanal. Unit fled into the jungles and destroyed over the following weeks.
25 Nov 42: officially deactivated.

Commander:
Cmdr. Tokunaga OKUMA ( ? - 25 Nov 42)

[Sources:
Evans, David C. and Mark R. Peattie. KAIGUN: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1997.
Frank, Richard B. Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle. New York: Penguin Books, 1992.
[United States, U.S. Army, General Staff, G-2 Historical Section, Far East Command], Japanese Studies in World War II (also as Japanese Monographs). 185 published and unpublished studies written by former officers of the Japanese Army and Navy under Allied supervision between 1945 and 1960. Studies used: #93, #116, #120, #121.]

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Peter H
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Postby Peter H » 09 Oct 2005 03:48

Thanks Michael and Larry.

The 16th CU also went to Milne Bay.

Also The Handbook on Japanese Military Forces has this to say:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/Japan/I ... B-5-1.html

b. Pioneers (Setsueitai). The function of this unit is the construction of airfields, fortifications, barracks, etc. It is commanded by a naval officer, usually of the rank of captain or commander, has attached officers and civilians with engineering experience, and is semimilitary in character. There appear to be 2 types of organization, of 800 and 1,300 men respectively, depending on the size of the job. The unit contains from 1/4 to 1/3 Japanese, and the balance or Koreans or Fomosans. The 15th Pioneers was such a unit.

c. Navy civil engineering and construction unit (Kaigun Kenchiku Shisetsu Butai). This unit appears to be used primarily for common labor, and is of little combat value. It is commanded by a Japanese civilian and is composed mainly of Koreans, with about 10 percent armed Japanese to serve as overseers. its size appears to be around 1,000 men. In combat value, it is inferior to the pioneer unit since it contains fewer armed Japanese.

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Kim Sung
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Postby Kim Sung » 09 Oct 2005 05:01

Pioneers (Setsueitai)


Setseitai(設營隊) Is this the same thing with Sturmpioniere of the Wehrmacht?

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Postby Larry D. » 09 Oct 2005 14:09

Killchola -

Kenchiku kimmu chutai = [Army] Construction duty company.
Kohei = [Army] Engineers.
Kohei butai = [Army] Engineer unit.
Rikujo kohei = [Army] Land engineer.
Sagyotai = [Army] Labor unit (infantry pioneers).
Yasen kenchikutai = [Army] Field construction unit.

Hikojo setteitai = [JAAF] Airdrome construction unit.

Your "Setseitai" translates as "construction unit", but appears to have only been used by the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF). I found no Japanese words for "Sturmpioniere" (Assault Engineers).

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Kim Sung
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Postby Kim Sung » 09 Oct 2005 14:52

Larry D. wrote:Kenchiku kimmu chutai(建築 勤務 中隊) = [Army] Construction duty company.
Kohei(工兵) = [Army] Engineers.
Kohei butai(工兵 部隊) = [Army] Engineer unit.
Rikujo kohei(陸上 工兵) = [Army] Land engineer.
Sagyotai(作業隊) = [Army] Labor unit (infantry pioneers).
Yasen kenchikutai(野戰 建築隊) = [Army] Field construction unit.
Hikojo setteitai(飛行場 設營隊) = [JAAF] Airdrome construction unit.

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matthew hainer
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Re: Naval Construction Units

Postby matthew hainer » 20 Mar 2017 20:53

Is there any information on the composition of the 7th Setsueitai that landed at Rabaul on 23 January, 1942? The only information I have on that unit was that it was commanded by a civilian officer Tokunaga Gunji.

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Wellgunde
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Re: Naval Construction Units

Postby Wellgunde » 04 Apr 2017 22:00

matthew hainer wrote:Is there any information on the composition of the 7th Setsueitai that landed at Rabaul on 23 January, 1942? The only information I have on that unit was that it was commanded by a civilian officer Tokunaga Gunji.


Setsueitai were only commanded by commissioned naval officers (either line or technical).
γνώθι σαυτόν

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Re: Naval Construction Units

Postby cstunts » 13 Apr 2017 02:06

Kaigun Setsuei Tai only began with No. 11.

The first ten (10) were Kaigun Setsuei Han (Naval Construction Party).
1st to 6th, and 9th Setsuei Han served in the NEI.

11th Setsuei Tai served in AF construction on Guadalcanal & the 16th was at Bougainville.

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: Naval Construction Units

Postby Akira Takizawa » 13 Apr 2017 02:24

It is true that first ten units were formed as Setsuei Han. But, 6th and 7th were later renamed to Setuei Tai.

Taki

cstunts
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Re: Naval Construction Units

Postby cstunts » 13 Apr 2017 19:04

Arigato, Taki-san!

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wdgysin
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Re: Naval Construction Units

Postby wdgysin » 18 Apr 2017 15:54

Here is a great site I found in Japanese concerning these units:
http://blog.livedoor.jp/katsu1961/
Also, the Navy's Intelligence Documents at Hyperwar contain a list of units:
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/re ... index.html


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