The Fighting Seabees (1944)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  10 July 1944 (UK)
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Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Aeneas MacKenzie) , 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Eddie Powers
Leonid Kinskey ...
Johnny Novasky
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Sawyer Collins
Whanger Spreckles
Ding Jacobs
Yump Lumkin
William Forrest ...
Lt. Tom Kerrick
Addison Richards ...
Capt. Joyce
Jay Norris ...
Joe Brick
Construction Worker at Party


Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of attacks by the Japanese, something new is tried, Construction Battalions (CBs=Seabees). The new CBs have to both build and be ready to fight. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The thrilling story of America's supermen! (original poster) See more »


Drama | Romance | War


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 July 1944 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Donovan's Army  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


An edition of "The Hollywood Reporter" in July 1943 announced that Republic Pictures was "writing the character of Captain [Henry P.] Needham, commanding officer of the Construction Battalions at Camp Hueneme, into the script . . . and [Associate Producer] Albert J. Cohen has wired for permission to have the captain play himself in the picture". From December 1942-August 1944, as the officer in charge of the Advance Base Receiving Barracks / Advance Base Depot Needham at Port Hueneme. He was also the CBC Commanding OFficer at Port Hueneme from 1947-1951. However, as it turned out, no character named "Needham" appeared in the film, nor did Needham himself. See more »


When the Seabees are first deployed to the island, they embark in Higgins boats (no bow ramps). When they reach the shore, the Higgins boats are now LCVPs. See more »


Eddie Powers: I'm Eddie Powers, Donovan's factotum, meaning, "Man Friday". That's Latin.
Lt. Cmdr. Robert Yarrow: Well, I'm glad to know you Friday even if it's only Thursday.
See more »


Featured in Showbiz Goes to War (1982) See more »


Song of the Seabees
Music by Peter De Rose (as Peter DeRose)
Lyrics by Sam Lewis (as Sam M. Lewis)
See more »

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User Reviews

Another excellent Wayne wartime propaganda piece
26 January 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Saying this film is "propaganda" is not an insult. No, it was deliberately crafted to encourage Americans that we can and will win the war if we stand firm. And what better image of this than the ever-vigilant John Wayne--the embodiment of the Hollywood image of heroism.

This film reminds me a lot of The Flying Tigers, though the plot isn't so melodramatic. It's about a crew of civilian engineers sent overseas to do construction for our troops (such as building runways and other projects). BUT, the evil Japanese in the movie take advantage of the fact that these are unarmed civilians and butcher them at every opportunity. So, what is The Duke and his trusted pals to do? Take up arms and use their own equipment when necessary to beat the stuffing out of the Japs! Yes, guys with bulldozers and clubs NEVER could have inflicted the casualties you witness in the movie, but man if it isn't entertaining to watch--particularly the explosive ending.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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