Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945
  • Branch of Service: Navy
  • Unit of Service: 97th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB Seabees); 108th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB Seabees)
  • Location of Service: Roseneath, Scotland; Tilbury, England; Plymouth, England; Nettley, England; Normandy, France; Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands)
  • Highest Rank: Shipfitter Second Class

View full service history

“The secret of pre-fabricated ports was the secret of 'miracle' supply.”

One of the most important—and least known—aspects of the Normandy Invasion was the advance construction of giant artificial harbors through which men and materiel could be landed. The Germans never suspected that the Allies would be able to pull off a massive invasion by using the one existing port of Cherbourg, but thanks to men like Ray Dierkes and his unit of Navy Seabees, D-Day was only the beginning of a massive movement of troops and equipment that would spell defeat for the Nazis. In a handwritten note on one of his newspaper clippings, Dierkes proudly notes that he personally drove his unit to an April 1944 meeting in London with Winston Churchill to discuss final plans for the invasion.

[ Photo Album ]

More Resources

[ Letter of Commendation 6/1/44 ]
[ Japanese Surrender announcement ]
[ Liberation of Normandie "Diplome" ]
[ Unit history of the 108th Naval Amphibious Battalion ]
[ Article: 108 Seabees Briefed For D-Day Role, clipping from "The Bulldozer" 10/27/44 ]

About this Item

Title

  • Raymond B. Dierkes Collection

Names

  • Dierkes, Raymond
  • Dierkes, Raymond B.

State of Birth

  • MO

Home State

  • MO

Headings

  • -  Dierkes, Raymond B.
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Navy.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Navy
    • Unit of Service: 97th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB Seabees); 108th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB Seabees)
    • Location of Service: Roseneath, Scotland; Tilbury, England; Plymouth, England; Nettley, England; Normandy, France; Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands)
    • Highest Rank: Shipfitter Second Class
    • Dates of Service: 1943-1945
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Clippings [1 item] -- (collected 1944)
  • Manuscript: Memoirs [1 item] -- (collected unknown)
  • Photograph: Mixed (Multiple types of photographs) [119 items] -- (collected unknown)
  • Manuscript: Military papers (orders, personnel/201 files, etc) [4 items] -- (collected unknown)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/1697

Cite as

  • Raymond B. Dierkes Collection (AFC/2001/001/1697), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Dierkes, Raymond, and Raymond B Dierkes. Raymond B. Dierkes Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.01697/.

APA citation style:

Dierkes, R. & Dierkes, R. B. (1943) Raymond B. Dierkes Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.01697/.

MLA citation style:

Dierkes, Raymond, and Raymond B Dierkes. Raymond B. Dierkes Collection. 1943. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.01697/>.