North High School Wall of Honor
Robert Charles Van Cleave
Class of June, 1946
Bob Van Cleave
Research done by Claradell Shedd, Class of 1953.
Robert Charles Van Cleave

Bob graduated from North High School in June, 1946. His service number was 3233205. Bob's next of kin was listed as Mr. Ralph L. Van Cleave, 1521 4th Street, Des Moines, IA.

Robert Charles Van Cleave
Year   Rank   Status
June, 1946   Graduated   Graduated from North High School, Des Moines, IA.
June, 1946-August 3, 1946 x US Navy x Boot training at San Diego Naval Training Station, San Diego, CA
August, 1946-
December, 1946
x Training x Training for Seabees at Port Hueneme, CA to become a water tender. US Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 121. Graduated from Naval Construction Training Center, Port Hueneme, CA
December 17, 1946 x Enroute x (1) USS General A.E. Anderson (AP-111) departed Treasure Island, CA headed for Guam, Mariana Islands. 18 months
January 3, 1947 x Enroute x (2) On USS Princeton (CV-37), left Guam, Mariana Islands for one-day trip to Saipan, Mariana Islands
April 9, 1948   Enroute x Arrived in Guam, Mariana Islands. One-hour flight
April 16, 1948 x Enroute x Guam, Mariana Islands to Pearl Harbor, HI (12-hour flight via NATS Douglas DC-6)
April 22, 1948;
x Enroute x Pearl Harbor, HI to San Francisco, CA via Hawaii Mars II (Martin)- JRM-1 Bu. 76823, delivered to the USN on 23 April 1946 and assigned to VR-2 (NAS Alameda). Converted and redesignated JRM-3, it was withdrawn from service on 22 August 1956 and sold in 1959. Converted to forest fire fighting aircraft and registered CF-LYL (later C-FLYL), it is still flying with Coulson Group at Sproat Lake, British Columbia, Canada.
May, 1948 x Discharged x Discharged in San Francisco, CA
July 28, 1950 x Family x Married to Patricia.
1959-1995 x Employment x Restaurant business in Atlantic, IA
1995-2011 x Employment x Realtor, Meyer & Bross Real Estate, Atlantic, IA. 16 years.
August 6, 2011 x Retired x Retired, but still working and living in Atlantic, IA
April 30, 2020 Deceased At Jenny Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, IA
US Seabees
The Seabees, or SeaBees, are the Construction Battalions (CBs) of the United States Navy. The Seabees have a history of building bases, bulldozing and paving thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips, and accomplishing myriad other construction projects in a wide variety of military theatres dating back to World War II.

The original Naval Construction Battalion 121, commissioned during World War II, served closely with the U. S. Marine Corps. It even received a designation as the Third Battalion, 20th Marines, Fourth Marine Division.

While waiting for the Fourth Marine Division to be formed, these Seabees constructed facilities at Camp Pendleton, California.
When deployed to the South Pacific in early 1944, the battalion served in the Marshall Islands in support of the Marines, and then island-hopped, eventually arriving at Saipan and its neighbor, Tinian. At Saipan, captured enemy airfields were repaired, while heavy fighting was still underway. After landing in Tinian, the battalion installed landing ramps, helped build 8500-foot runways for B-29 bombers, built control towers, taxiways, hard stands, fuel pipelines, and a tank farm. The Presidential Unit Citation was awarded for its part in the assaults on the two islands. At the end of World War II the battalion was decommissioned. 121st Naval Construction Battalion
(1) USS General A.E. Anderson (AP-111)
USS General A.E. Anderson (AP-111) Anderson Radio Call Sign
Flat Hoist/Radio Call Sign:
N - J- L- E
(1) USS General E. A. Anderson (AP-111)
USS General A. E. Anderson (AP-111) was a troop transport that served with the United States Navy in World War II and the Korean War.

The ship stood out of Norfolk 9 July 1946 for San Francisco, arriving 24 July, and commenced a pattern of troop carrying and supply runs from West Coast ports to China, Japan, the Philippines, and Guam.

USS General E.A. Anderson; AP-111 Awards, Citations, and Campaign Ribbons
USS General E.A. Anderson Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal - Europe, Africa, Middle East Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Second Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia and Europe clasps) National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Korean Service Medal (2) - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)
(2) USS Princeton (CV-37)
USS Princeton Patch USS Princeton (CV-37) Princeton Radio Call  Sign
Flat Hoist/Radio Call Sign:
N - H- R- N
(2) USS Princeton (CV-37)
USS Princeton (CV/CVA/CVS-37, LPH-5) was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during and shortly after World War II for the United States Navy. The ship was the fifth US Navy ship to bear the name, and was named for the Revolutionary War Battle of Princeton. Princeton was commissioned in November 1945, too late to serve in World War II, but saw extensive service in the Korean War, in which she earned eight battle stars, and the Vietnam War. She was reclassified in the early 1950s as an attack carrier (CVA), then as an Antisubmarine Aircraft Carrier (CVS), and finally as an amphibious assault ship (LPH), carrying helicopters and marines. One of her last missions was to serve as the prime recovery ship for the Apollo 10 space mission.

Map of Guam Douglas DC-6
above: DC-6; below: Hawaii II Martin Mars
Hawaii II Martin Mars
Quonset as Memorial Chapel, USNB, Saipan 121st Construction Battalion Base Area
Quonset as Memorial Chapel, USNB, Saipan 121st Construction Battalion Base Area
Robert Charles Van Cleave
Watertender 3rd Class/WT3C
US Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 121
United States Navy
US Navy Seal

Naval Construction Center; Port Hueneme, CA

Navy Seabees
Robert Charles Van Cleave
US Navy Insignia

Navy Watertender 3rd Class
Seaman Sleeve Stripes

WWII Victory Medal

Victory Medal
(1) Information was obtained from the Records on Military Personnel Who Died, were Missing in Action, or Prisoners of War as a result of the Vietnam War. This document can be found online at the National Archives and Records Administration at

(2) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2020 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of North High School graduates can be found online at: Robert Charles Van Cleave's 1946 class page is:
Robert Charles Van Cleave
08/06/11. Living in IA. Died 04/30/20.
Music: "Anchors Aweigh"
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