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This Week in Seabee History (July 29 – August 4)

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

Constructionman Camella J. Jones learns how to operate a large crane from a Chief Petty Officer. She was the first woman of the Navy to qualify as a Heavy Equipment Operator and to be assigned to a U.S. Navy Construction Battalion, November 1972. (Photograph by PH3 Paul Mansfield, USN)

July 29

1943: The 12th NCB was commissioned at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1944: The 12th NCB was inactivated at Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California.

1966: Cmdr. Anson Perkins, CEC, relieved Cmdr. David Feinman, CEC, as commander of the 21st NCR.

1968: Second increment of NMCB 22’s advance party, consisting of three officers and 25 enlisted personnel, departed Camp Haskins North, RVN for CBC, Davisville, Rhode Island.


July 30

1946: 61st NCB inactivated at Guiuan, Samar, Philippines.

1968: Cmdr. John Jones, Jr., CEC, relieved Cmdr. William Richeson, CEC, as commanding officer of NCMB 62.

1971: Construction Battalion Unit (CBU) 416 established at Naval Station Long Beach, California.


July 31

1943: 107th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) commissioned at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1972: Equipment Operator Constructionman Camella Jones formally has her designation changed from Seaman to Constructionman, thereby becoming the first female Seabee at Naval Air Station, Kingsville, Texas.


August 1

1944: 7th Naval Construction Brigade commissioned; the 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th Naval Construction Regiments (NCR) were commissioned.

1945: ACORN 13 was decommissioned and incorporated into Naval Air Base Samar, Philippines. ACORN 30 was decommissioned and Naval Air Base, Jinamoc Tacloban, Leyte was established. ACORN 45 was decommissioned and Naval Air Base Sangley Point, Cavite, Philippines. established. ACORN 47 was decommissioned and Naval Air Base Puerto Princesa, Philippines established. (Used during World War II, an ACORN was a tailored unit designed to carry out the rapid construction and subsequent operation of a landplane and seaplane advance base. Each ACORN had a construction battalion attached to it, as well as trained personnel to operate the control tower, field lighting, aerological unit, transportation, medical, berthing and messing facilities. A Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) also accompanied each ACORN to maintain the base after the initial construction was completed and the construction battalion had been withdrawn. During the war, ACORNs were sent to such places at Guadalcanal, Espiritu Santo, Green Island, Rendova, Treasury Island and Majuro.)

1957: The 10th NCB was redesignated as Naval Construction Forces Pacific. This was later to become Naval Construction Battalions, Pacific.

1966: NMCB 9 main body of 646 personnel deployed to Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam (RVN) on seven C-141 aircraft.

1967: The 32nd NCR was established at Gia Le – Phu Bai, RVN. Cmdr. R.L. Foley, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), commanding officer of NMCB 3, assumed command of the 32nd NCR at commissioning ceremonies of the regiment.

1967: Lt. Cmdr. R.S. Stedman, Jr., CEC, was relieved as NMCB 1 executive officer by Lt. Cmdr. W.F. Glover, CEC.

1967: NMCB 121 arrived at Phu Bai, RVN.

1985: NMCB 7 re-commissioned at Construction Battalion center (CBC) Gulfport, Mississippi.

2002: Capt. Gary Engle was selected as the first Chief of Staff of the newly established First Naval Construction Division (1NCD), which was commissioned to lead the Naval Construction Force (NCF) globally.

2007: Lt. Cmdr. Vic Velasco, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Cmdr. Tim Liberatore, CEC, as commanding officer, Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2 at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Port Hueneme, California.

2014: Capt. Marc Delao, CEC, relieved Capt. Joseph Campbell, CEC, as commanding officer of Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia.


August 2

1942: 16th NCB commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

1965: On this day the Chief of Naval Material transferred the material support responsibility for the Navy’s floating drydocks to the Bureau of Ships from the Bureau of Yards and Docks. The transfer was made in order to provide more effective support to the Navy’s Operating Forces. Material support included research, development, test, procurement, production, supply, and maintenance and modification, as well as the planning, budgeting, and provision of feasibility advice for the floating drydocks.

1971: Cmdr. D.G. Wilson, CEC, relieved CDR H. E. Keppell, Jr., CEC, as commanding officer of Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 302.


August 3

1946: 53rd NCB inactivated on Bikini Atoll.

1967: NMCB 8 main body of 20 officers and 664 enlisted personnel deployed by eight C-141s from Chu Lai, RVN to CBC, Port Hueneme, California.

1967: NMCB 6 main body of 19 officers and 533 enlisted men arrived in Camp Miller, Chu Lai, RVN.

1970: Capt. Walter E. Marquardt, Jr., CEC, relieved Capt.Charles C. Heid, CEC, as commander, 21st NCR.

2012: Capt. Joe Campbell, CEC, relieved Capt. Joe Grealish, CEC, as commanding officer, Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 at Joint Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia.


August 4

1971: Cmdr. E.J. Peltier, Jr., CEC, assumed command of ACB 2. He relieved Cmdr. Russell Myers, Jr., CEC, who had command since July 1969.

 


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