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This Week in Seabee History (July 15 – July 21)

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

On 15 July 1958, Amphibious Construction Battalion TWO (PHIBTWO) assist Marines with landing at Beirut, Lebanon. The U.S. government was asked by the Lebanese government for military aid, and to assist in the establishment and maintenance of order in the wake of dissidents attempt to overthrow the government. In July 1958, the U.S. government sent amphibious units of the 6th Fleet to assist over 1800 Marines disembark in Beirut, Lebanon. Seabees with PHIBTWO supplied causeway teams to provide pontoons for troops, vehicles and supplies to pass to and from LCUs. They also provided beach salvage teams which assisted with foundering landing craft, clearing vehicles stalled in the sand, and also improving overall beach traffic handling. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

July 15

1942: The 7th NCB left Advance Base Depot, Port Hueneme, California, for San Francisco, California. This was the first battalion to stage through Port Hueneme.

1944: Construction Battalion Military Unit (CBMU) 613 was established in the Azores from the men of the 96th NCB. Also, the 33rd Special NCB was commissioned at NCTC Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1945: 26th NCB inactivated in Alaska, and remaining personnel re-designated CBMU 634; the 2nd Special NCB inactivated on Guam.

1950: NMCB 3 activated.

1966: NMCB 40 advance party arrived in Chu Lai to relieve NMCB 4.

1970: Construction Battalion Unit (CBU) 402 established at Pensacola, Florida.

1971: CBU 414 established at Naval Submarine Base (NAVSUBBASE), New London, Connecticut.

2010: Cmdr. Mike Saum, CEC, relieved Cmdr Stan Wiles, CEC, as commanding officer, NMCB 1 at NCBC Gulfport, Mississippi.


July 16

1943: 104th NCB activated at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia

1968:  The dedication ceremony for Camp Haines was held with Rear Adm. J.V. Bartlett, commander, 3rd NCB, as guest speaker. The camp was dedicated in honor of Chief Equipment Operator John C. Haines who was killed during NMCB 4’s 1967 deployment to Da Nang, RVN.

1968:  Cmdr. R.J. Westberg, CEC, relieved Cmdr. J.F. O’Leary, CEC, as commanding officer, NMCB 8.

July 16-22, 1969: NMCB 1 main body of 635 men arrived in Camp Campbell, Phu Bai, RVN.


July 17

1968: The first increment of the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 58 advance party, consisting of one officer and 13 enlisted personnel, departed Camp Haskins North, Republic of Vietnam (RVN) bound for Construction Battalion Center (CBC), Davisville, Rhode Island.

1968: First increment of NMCB 22’s advance party, consisting of five officers and 75 enlisted men, arrived at Camp Haskins North from CBC, Gulfport, Mississippi.

2009: Capt. Scott Lister, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Capt. Jim Wink, CEC, as commander, Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1 at Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Coronado, California.


July 18

1970: Seabee Team 0708 arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island, from RVN for reassignment to NMCB 7.

Jul. 19-24, 1968: NMCB 7 main body, consisting of 11 officers and 491 enlisted men, was airlifted from Davisville, Rhode Island, to Da Nang, RVN, aboard eight C-141 aircraft provided by the Military Airlift Command and shuttled to Dong Ha Combat Base, RVN, on C-130 aircraft provided by the 7th Air Force.

2006: Navy approved establishment of 25th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) and NMCB 11, effective October 1, to be headquartered at CBC, Gulfport, Mississippi.


July 20

1943: Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Richard Maurer, Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) 63, was cited for the Navy Silver Star following an attack near Bairoko Harbor, New Georgia, in the Solomon Islands by the 1st Marine Raider Regiment. A resident of Seattle, Washington before becoming a member of the 63rd Battalion, Maurer had made many friendships among the Marine Raiders when they were encamped close to the Seabees on Guadalcanal. When the Raiders embarked for their historic attack, Maurer slipped aboard without permission of his superior officers. The gravity of his offense, for which he was ultimately brought to trial, was extenuated, however, by his gallant actions during the attack. From Marine Corps sources, it was learned that Maurer, after attaching himself to a machine gun crew, had serviced and manned the gun with devastating effect upon the enemy when all other crew members had been killed or disabled by mortar fire. He continued by his gun until reinforcements arrived. The Marine officer in charge praised Maurer’s performance and instituted citation proceedings.

1945: 63rd NCB inactivated at Manila, Philippines.

1968: Cmdr. L.D. Lawson, CEC, relieved Cmdr. R.B. Wilson, CEC, as NMCB 7 relieved NMCB 5 at Camp Barnes, Dong Ha Combat Base, RVN.

Jul. 20-22, 1968: Main body of NMCB 7 departed Davisville, Rhode Island, for duty at Dong Ha, RVN.


July 21

1969: Camp Campbell, Phu Bai was officially turned over by NMCB 40 to NMCB 1; main body of NMCB 40 arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island, from Phu Bai, RVN.


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