Back to WWII Index
The Tank Farm With the construction of the airstrip underway, the area behind Cross Hill was chosen for the location of the gasoline dump. This terrain was excellent for camouflage, but difficult to work in. After the tank farm had been laid out, bulldozers started levelling off areas for the huge 11,000-barrel tanks. Welding started on 29th of April and finished by June 30th. There were 8 of these tanks to be constructed. Each tank consisted of 6 rings, making a total of 48 rings. Each of these rings was named for a State in alphabetical order; Alabama, Arizona and so on, finishing up with the last ring on the last tank named Wyoming. Progress was always evident by the name of the ring they were working on. On the 3rd of June the sea line was launched by means of co-ordinated manpower. All projects were halted for 24 hours enabling all the manpower on the island to be available at this time. With 1000 men acting as pipe carriers and 200 men in the water as boat crews, it must have been a sight to behold. Instructions were relayed to each section by means of flag signals. Men with rifles were assigned to all the launches which were space out along the sea line as it came out. A few sharks were shot that day. The two tanks on Long Beach were constructed later in the war, when at one point, the island ran dangerously short of fuel. These were then kept as stand-by tanks so a situation like that never occurred again. (Taken from the History of 38th Engr. Combat Regiment by S.W. Putney Jr. 1989.)