Gregg L. Layman

I had the opportunity to meet one of the original Seabees who served in Solomon Islands during World War II.
Gregg L. Layman of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was on Utah Beach to commemorate the 66th anniversary of D-Day. Layman served in the Solomon Islands port in Tulagi, which is where many of the major invasion efforts in Pacific theatre were staged. Layman was assigned as a metal smith to Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 521 for 20 months. CBMU 521 was tasked with the maintenance of the port and camp on Tulagi.

"Very few people will ever have a chance to meet a Seabee from WWII, it was ever more special to meet him here on Utah Beach. That’s rather exceptional."

After the ceremony, it was time for sea stories.
Layman told about the work in Solomons and about how he was on his way to Japan as part of the invasion force when the war ended. After serving for three years, Layman was honourably discharged in March 1946.


I met him in Normandy during the D-Day commemorations on Utah Beach, June 6, 2010.