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Bellantoni (Natale) papers
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  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content

  • Title: Natale Bellantoni papers next hit
    Date (inclusive): 1942-2006
    Collection Number: 2019C21
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 6 manuscript boxes, 6 oversize boxes, 1 card file box, 1 oversize folder (11.0 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Writings, correspondence, printed matter, sketches, paintings, photographs, other audiovisual material, and memorabilia, relating to American military construction activities in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
    Creator: Bellantoni, Nat, 1920-2012
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    Boxes 10-12 may not be used without permission of the Archivist. The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2018.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], previous hit Natale Bellantoni papers next hit , [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives

    Biographical Note

    Natale Bellantoni was born December 21, 1920. He was raised in Boston's South End and attended Boston English High School. From 1939-1942, he attended the Massachusetts School of Art, receiving formal artistic training, and meeting his fiancée, Irene Sztucinski. Bellantoni enlisted in the Navy in October of 1942 and was assigned to the 78th Construction Battalion as a Carpenter's Mate. The construction battalions, or "Seabees," worked their way across the Pacific Ocean, building the airfields and bases that supported the United States' efforts against Japan. As a member of the 78th battalion, Bellantoni served in New Caledonia, New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, and Okinawa.
    After the end of World War II, Bellantoni returned to Boston and married his fiancée, with whom he corresponded through the course of the war. After his discharge from the Navy, Bellantoni worked as a professional artist and graphic designer, primarily for Gunn Studios of Boston. Bellantoni died on June 23, 2012.

    Scope and Content

    The previous hit Natale Bellantoni papers consists of six series: Biographical Material, Correspondence, Artwork, Photographs, Audiovisual Material, and Memorabilia. The collection focuses on Bellantoni's service in the U.S. Navy's 78th Construction Battalion as they fought and built their way across the Pacific Ocean during World War II. The construction battalions, otherwise known as "Seabees," built the airfields, bases, and other infrastructure necessary for the United States' offensive push towards Japan.
    The Biographical Material series contains clippings, pamphlets, posters, maps, notes, and other documents that Bellantoni collected regarding his service. The Correspondence series primarily consists of Bellantoni's letters to his fiancee Irene Sztucinski. Despite the need to pass the censors, the letters present a lively and detailed description of Bellantoni's life as a Seabee. The Artwork series includes original sketches, watercolors and drawings created by Nat Bellantoni, creating a visual journal of his life on board ship and on the islands his battalion visited, especially New Caledonia, New Guinea, and Okinawa. The Photographs series further provides a visual record of the 78th Battalion's activities, including scenes of work, life in camp, and informal recreation for the Seabees. The photographs also extensively depict the landscapes of New Caledonia, New Guinea, and Okinawa, as well as local inhabitants and their daily life. The Audiovisual Materials series includes audio and video recordings of interviews regarding Seabee history, and the 78th Battalion's reunion.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Pacific Ocean
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Engineering and construction
    United States. Navy. Construction Battalion, 78th