Bulkley, Walter P.

Walter P. Bulkley U.S. Navy WWII
Walter P. Bulkley U.S. Navy WWII

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Date of Birth: 7/16/1920
Died On: 2/27/1978
Street Address: 49 Tyler Cir
Service Number: unknown
Branch of Service: U.S. Navy-WWII

Veteran Code: USN-33

Walter P. Bulkley

Walter P. Bulkley was born July 16,1920 in Port Chester, New York son of Matilda and Walter Pell Bulkley. In Rye his family lived at 49 Tyler Circle. His father was a World War I veteran and worked as a carpenter and his mother was a homemaker. The family were members of Christ's Church.

Walter graduated from Rye High School in 1939, he would be a member of the Radio Club, Senior Camera Club, and Drivers Club. His Senior Quote was: “Hear ye not the hum of the mighty workings?” After Graduating he attended the Stewart Technical School of Aeronautics in New york City.

Walter enlisted on July 1, 1943 in the U.S Navy serving with the Seabees as a Seaman, First Class in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre. United States Naval Construction Battalions, better known as the Navy Seabees, form the U.S. Naval Construction Force (NCF). The Seabee nickname is a heterograph of the first letters "C B" from the words Construction Battalion. Naval Construction Battalions were conceived of as replacements to civilian construction companies in combat zones after the attack on Pearl Harbor. At the time civilian contractors had roughly 70,000 men working U.S.N. contracts overseas. International law made it illegal for civilian workers to resist an attack. Doing so would classify them as guerrillas and could lead to summary execution.

The concept model CB was a USMC trained military equivalent of those civilian companies: able to work anywhere, under any conditions or circumstances. It was realized that CBs were flexible, adaptable and could be utilized in every theater of operations. The use of USMC organization allowed for smooth co-ordination, integration or interface between NCF and Marine Corps elements. Additionally, CBs could be deployed individually or in multiples as the project scope and scale dictated. Walter served in both the 23rd Naval Construction Battalion and the 138th Naval Construction Battalion.

Adm. Ernest King wrote to the Seabees on their second anniversary, "Your ingenuity and fortitude have become a legend in the naval service." Seabees believe that anything they are tasked with, they "Can Do". Walter was honorably discharged from the Seabees in February 1946. See Discharge Record for his service record and awards.

Walter lived in Levittown after the war working as a maintenance man with Country Federal Bank and became a member of the Wantagh Lodge of Masons. He would marry Ethel Anderson and they would have two daughters. Walter moved back to Rye in 1975 and was a parishonerof the Holy Trinity Church in New Rochelle.

Walter P. Bulkley would pass away on February 27, 1978 at United Hospital. He was 57. At the time of his death, Walter was survived by his wife and his two daughters, Joseph S. Gude and Sherri Bulkley.

Matthew Franco
RHS 2021

S 1C, US NAVY WORLD WAR II, Rye High School Graduate, class of 1939

Walter P Bulkley Obituary
Links to this Veterans History

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