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This Week in Seabee History (Week of November 26 – December 2)

Consolidated by Dr. Frank A. Blazich Jr., Historian, Naval History and Heritage Command

111 NCB Normandy, France on Thanksgiving. (Courtesy of U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

November 26

1942: On this date, Camp Parks was established near Shoemaker, California. Although originally established as a replacement and recuperation center for Seabee battalions returning from overseas, in practice the major service rendered at Camp Parks was the tactical training of Seabee units transferred from the east coast for embarkation to the war zone. Incidentally, Camp Parks was called upon from time to time to provide all phases of primary military and technical training for Seabee units.

1944: Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 629 played an instrumental role in breaking Germany’s formidable Rhine River barrier. The U.S. Army, concerned about the river’s swift and tricky currents, called upon the Seabees to construct, operate and train their personnel in the operation of landing barges that would be used to carry assault forces into the enemy’s homeland. Thus it was that CBMU 629 became the first Seabee unit to enter Germany on Nov. 26. 41st Special NCB formed at Hollandia.

1945: 17th NCR inactivated. 127th NCB inactivated at Leyte – Samar, Philippines. 136th NCB inactivated on Guam. 145th NCB inactivated on Okinawa. 28th Special NCB inactivated at Yokosuka, Japan.

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November 27

1943: 141st Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) commissioned at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

Nov. 27-Dec. 7, 1967: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 main body arrived Dong Ha, Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

1970: Seabee Teams 0108 and 0109 departed Davisville, Rhode Island, for reassignment to officer in charge (OIC), Construction Battalion U.S. Pacific Fleet Detachment (CBPACDET), Guam and deployment to Palau and Kusaie, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI), respectively.

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November 28

1945: 24th, 40th, and 68th NCBs inactivated on Okinawa. Section I of 106th NCB inactivated at Ie Shima.

2001: First members of NMCB 133 arrived a Camp Rhino, Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom.

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November 29

1945: 46th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) inactivated.

1967: NMCB 11 main body begins deployment from Dong Ha, RVN to Construction Battalion Center (CBC) Port Hueneme, California. The movement was accomplished by 14 Military Airlift Command (MAC) C-130 flights.

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November 30

1942: The first echelon of the 29th NCB arrived at Rosneath, Scotland. These men were the first Seabees to land in Europe; 41st NCB commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

1945: 12th Naval Construction Brigade inactivated. 54th NCR inactivated. 25th NCB inactivated on Guam. 79th and 82nd NCBs inactivated on Okinawa. 27th Special NCB inactivated on Okinawa.

1967: NMCB 5 relieved NMCB 11 at Camp Barnes, Dong Ha, RVN.

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December 1

1944: 108th NCB inactivated in Davisville, Rhode Island.

1945: 11th NCB inactivated at Subic Bay, Philippines. 37th NCB inactivated at Okinawa. 104th NCB inactivated at Samar, Philippines. 18th Special NCB inactivated on Peleliu. 23rd Special NCB inactivated at Okinawa.

1966: NMCB 8 main body of 19 officers and 707 enlisted personnel begin deployment by air from CBC, Port Hueneme, California to Rosemary Point, Chu Lai, RVN.

1967: Main body of NMCB 1 arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island from Da Nang, RVN. The commanding officer of NMCB 5 relieved the commanding officer of NMCB 11 as commanding officer of Camp Barnes, RVN.

1968: Seabee Team 0913 completed training at the 31st NCR and deployed to RVN, on a C-118 aircraft from Naval Air Station (NAS) Point Mugu, California.

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December 2

1942: 44th NCB commissioned at Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia. 51st NCB commissioned at Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1945: 32nd NCR inactivated.

1966: A change of command ceremony was held on board Camp Haskins, Da Nang, RVN at which Cmdr. Daniel N. Shockey relieved Cmdr. Richard E. Anderson as commanding officer of NMCB 9.

1966: Seabee Team 0509 deployed to Vietnam.

1968: NMCB 9 main body, consisting of 14 officer and 499 men, deployed to Camp Kinser, Okinawa, on two 707s and one Super DC-8 from NAS Point Mugu, California.

Dec. 2 & Dec. 5, 1946: The USS Yancey and USS Merrick, respectively, departed Port Hueneme, California to take part in Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s Antarctic expedition, Operation Highjump. Aboard these ships were 166 Seabee members of the expedition. The mission of Operation Highjump was to map the frozen continent, train personnel, and test gear under cold weather conditions. Seabee tasks at Little American Four included unloading equipment and supplies, setting up a temporary naval base, and building housing, a mess hall and storage facilities. In addition, they built a temporary airstrip, an emergency base further inland, and a communications system. These men were the first Seabees to serve in Antarctica.

1969: The main body of NMCB 4 moved from Vietnam to CBC, Port Hueneme, California.


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