The Fighting Seabees
1944

  

The Story: Donovan (John Wayne) goes to the deck to meet his work crew, returning from a job in the Pacific, only to learn that many of his men were killed or injured by the Japanese. Commander Yarrow (Dennis O'Keefe) explains that the law prohibits arming civilians; this angers Donovan, who decides to do something about it.

In Washington, his efforts to get his men armed are futile and he goes to the island to lead the crew himself. On the ship, he meets Connie (Susan Hayward), Bob Yarrow's girl, who is on her way to join her fiance. They like each other, but Donovan has more important things on his mind.

Yarrow is in charge of the naval station where he and his crew will be doing the construction, and Connie's presence does not help to ease the situation between the two men. The Japanese attack and Donovan, without Yarrow's permission, arms his crew and fights back. The casualties include Connie, who, thinking she's going to die, confesses
to Donovan that she's in love with him. (She recovers from her wound.) This is too much for Yarrow, who accuses his rival of being personally responsible for the tragedy. 
 
   
 
   
 
John Wayne, Susan, and Dennis O'Keefe   
 
  Back in Washington, Donovan finally gets his point across. He wants his men to be part of construction battalions-equipped to fight as well as build--attached to the navy. Yarrow, putting his personal dislikes aside, recognizes the merit of this idea and joins forces with Donovan to create this new branch of the services. The Seebees are born, and Donovan becomes the officer in charge.

Again, Donovan and Yarrow are together in the Pacific, and Yarrow instructs him to ignore the snipers and concentrate his efforts on building. Donovan follows orders until one of his pals is killed. Then he orders his men to clear out the Japs. A savage battle ensues, and Japanese troops get reinforcements. The Americans are surrounded and a valuable oil depot is threatened. Yarrow is wounded and tells Donovan that the oil must be saved.

Donovan rushes into the thick of the battle, sets fire to one of the oil tanks, and the Japanese are wiped out. Donovan dies a hero.

Commander Yarrow is sent back to the States to recover from his injuries. He is reconciled with Connie. Together, they watch the ceremony in which
Donovan is awarded the medal of honor, posthumously.
Susan Hayward and John Wayne
Susan Hayward and
Dennis O'Keef
e
John Wayne, Susan Hayward,
and Dennis O'Keefe
Susan Hayward, John Wayne,
and William Frawley
William Frawley, J. M. Kerrigan,Susan Hayward, John Wayne,and Grant Withers
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