Home / COVER FEATURE / This Week in Seabee History (June 17 – June 23)

This Week in Seabee History (June 17 – June 23)

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

19 June 1968 – NMCB 58’s main body redeployed from Hoi An to Camp Haskins North, RVN. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

June 17

1833: USS Delaware was the first ship to enter the first completed U.S. Navy drydock at the Norfolk Navy Yard. William P.S. Sanger, then a civil engineer apprentice, served as resident engineer during construction of the drydock.

1881: In response to a letter of April 12, 1881 from Civil Engineer Benjamin F. Chandler, CEC, U.S. Attorney General Wayne MacVeagh established that the Navy civil engineers were, in fact, officers belonging to the Navy’s staff corps, thereby entitled to be retired from active duty and placed on the retired list.

1942: The 7th NCB was commissioned at NCTC Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

1943: ACORN 3 was dissolved.

1968: The Moreell Wing of the CEC-Seabee Museum was dedicated at Port Hueneme, California. The u-shaped structure, composed of steel Butler buildings, houses the thousands of artifacts and memorabilia collected by Admiral Ben Moreell during his 29-year career in the United States Navy. Most of the souvenirs housed in the wing were collected during World War II when Admiral Moreell became the Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and founded and commanded the Seabees.

1970: NMCB 7’s main body, consisting of 20 officers and 633 enlisted men, departed Chu Lai, RVN for Davisville, Rhode Island.

 

2009: Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 offloaded CONEX boxes from the Liberty Maritime Corp. owned M/V Alliance New York. The equipment was being staged for transport to Camp Mitchell, Spain. NMCB-11 off-loaded the new Table of Allowance for the Naval Construction Force (NCF) in Rota, Spain. The new equipment helped re-establish Camp Mitchell as a main body site for forward-deployed Seabee units to better outfit NCF units for deployment. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

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June 18

1943: The 97th NCB formed at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1946: The 143rd NCB was inactivated at Samar Island, Philippines.

1968: In support of the U.S. Navy’s Civic Action Programs, Seabee Team 0911 returned to CONUS via C-118 aircraft, upon the completion of a six-month deployment to northern Thailand.

 

2014: A member of the Afghan National Engineer Brigade (NEB) proudly displayed his certificate of training to fellow brigade members at a graduation ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan. The brigade received training in carpentry, masonry, plumbing, and other engineering skills taught by members of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Two Five (NMCB 25). Members of NMCB 25 were in Afghanistan performing partnering operations to develop and sustain the specialty and general engineering capabilities of the NEB in order to provide critical engineer skill sets to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

 

2015: Lt. Cmdr. Justin Spinks, CEC, relieved Lt. Cmdr. Jason Fahy, CEC, as commanding officer of UCT 2 aboard Naval Base Ventura County, California.

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June 19

1943: The 96th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) was commissioned at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island; the 12th Special NCB was formed at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1968: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 58’s main body redeployed from Hoi An to Camp Haskins North, Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

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June 20

1967: NMCB 11’s temporary Enlisted Men (EM) Club placed a “Dairy Queen” machine in operation, and commenced serving chocolate and vanilla ice cream to eager Seabees and Marines.

1967: Seabee Team 0307 arrived in the continental U.S. (CONUS) from Vietnam; Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 301 main body leaves Construction Battalion Center (CBC), Port Hueneme, California for Da Nang, RVN, with the primary mission of maintaining the advance airfields in the I Corps area.

1968: Dong Ha Combat Base in Vietnam came under enemy artillery fire resulting in the destruction of the Dong Ha (Ammunition Supply Point (ASP). Three NMCB 5 personnel, Builder (Heavy) 2nd Class R.D. Eastman, Construction Mechanic (Automotive) 3rd Class B.E. Hall, and Builder (Concrete) 3rd Class F.J. Rupert were injured as a result of the action. Camp Barnes received major structural damages to all shop areas and damages varying from slight to major in the berthing and administrative areas.

2007: Capt. Robert McLean III, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Capt. Eric Odderstol, CEC, as commander, 22nd Naval Construction Regiment (NCR), CBC Gulfport, Mississippi.

2008: Capt. Kelly Schmader, CEC, assumed command of the 30th NCR from Capt. Katherine (Kate) Gregory, CEC, at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, California.

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June 21

1968: NMCB 58 deployed from Hoi An to Da Nang, RVN and established battalion command at Camp Haskins, North, RVN.

1969: NMCB 58’s Detail Quebec at Cam Lo, RVN crusher site credited with at least one enemy killed when they discovered a body during sweep of the area prior to starting work. The enemy soldier had apparently been setting a booby trap when he detonated another booby trap set by the Seabees the evening before. Local Vietnamese said other Viet Cong had been killed but were carried off during the night.

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June 22

1944: The 22nd NCB was inactivated at Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California.

1945: The 69th NCB was the first full Seabee battalion to move by air from one location to another. It was flown in echelons from Bremen, Germany, to London, England, a distance of about 600 miles.

1968: NMCB 3’s advance party departed CBC, Port Hueneme, California in three flights on C-130 aircraft from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California to RVN.

1970: Seabee Team 0707 arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island  from Vietnam for reassignment to NMCB 7.

 

June 2008: Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 conducted a live fire demonstration with their M2 machine guns during the battalion’s unit field exercise onboard Camp Shelby, Mississippi. NMCB-7 was out in the field on its FEX to test its deployment readiness. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

 

2009:  Cmdr. Stephen Revelas, CEC, was relieved by Cmdr. Michael Monreal, CEC, as commander, NMCB 11 at ceremony held at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

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June 23

1942:  The 7th NCB arrived at the Naval Advance Base Depot Receiving Barracks at Port Hueneme, California. This was the first Seabee battalion to occupy and stage through the Port Hueneme Depot. While at the receiving barracks, it underwent advanced military and construction training, and was outfitted for overseas duty.

1944: The 1st NCB was inactivated.

1945: The 47th NCB was inactivated at Noumea, New Caledonia.

1969: Seabee Team 0603 returned to Davisville, Rhode Island.

1970: NMCB 7 turned Camp Shields, Chu Lai, RVN over to the U.S. Army, thus closing the oldest Seabee camp in Vietnam. Cmdr. P. Oliver, Jr., CEC, commanding officer of NMCB 7, and the last of the battalion’s main body, departed Vietnam and arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island on this date.

1971: In a ceremony at the 21st NCR, Lt. Cmdr. D.L. McCorvey, CEC, relieved Cmdr. P. Oliver, Jr., CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 71. Oliver then relieved Cmdr. C.V.W. Popowich, CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 1. It was the first time in Naval Construction Force (NCF) history that a double battalion change of command ceremony was conducted.

2005: An improvised explosive device killed NMCB 18’s Navy Culinary Specialist 1st Class Regina Renee Clark of Centralia, Washington, when it detonated near her convoy vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq. Clark became the first female Seabee ever killed in action, and arguably the first female enlisted woman in the Navy ever killed in action. Two other women were killed in the vehicle with Clark from the explosion.

 

We forgot to post this photo last week of Seabee VBSS.

12 June 2015: Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 and British Royal Marines prepared to board the British Indian Ocean Territory patrol ship Pacific Marlin near Diego Garcia in a joint visit, board, search and seizure training exercise. NMCB 5 and the British Royal Marines conduct joint training in order to strengthen interoperability. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

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