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This Week in Seabee History (September 2 – 8)

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

5 September 2005 – A U.S. Navy equipment operator assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Seven (NMCB-7), cleared debris at Jones Park in Gulfport, Mississippi. The Seabees were supporting the U.S. Coast Guard, Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Sheriff’s Department to get the city of Gulfport and its waterways back on their feet after Hurricane Katrina. The Navy’s involvement in the Hurricane Katrina humanitarian assistance operations was led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Department of Defense. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

September 2

1942: The 22nd NCB was commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

1943: The 128th NCB was activated at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia; the 131st NCB was commissioned at NCTC Camp Peary.

1968: Lt. Cmdr. H.W. Filbry, CEC, relieved Lt. Cmdr. M.H. Harper, CEC, as commanding officer of CBMU 302. CBMU 302 was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation during the change of command ceremony for the period ending Jan. 1, 1968.

1969: Typhoon Doris severely damaged the Quang Tri Camp of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 and various other camps and civilian communities in the Republic of Vietnam. A quirk of fate some might say, because half of the battalion’s main body was still at home port in Gulfport, Mississippi when the Gulf coast was hit by Hurricane Camille on August 19, 1969. After Camille, this half joined the other half already in Vietnam just in time to encounter Typhoon Doris. Thus, nearly half of the Seabees of the battalion suffered through two severe tropical storms within two weeks, each storm on a different side of the world.


September 3

1967: At Dong Ha, RVN, five miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), a combined Viet Cong–North Vietnamese Army rocket attack detonated 20,000 tons of ammunition and 40,000 gallons of aviation fuel near NMCB 11’s camp. The explosions rocked the base for eight hours, and this represented the largest ammunition disaster in recorded history. Miraculously, no Americans or South Vietnamese were killed.


September 4

1942: 23rd Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia. 24th NCB commissioned at Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia.

1943: Camp Lee-Stephenson established at Eastport (Quoddy Village), Maine.

2009: Capt. Allen M. Stratman, CEC, relieved Capt. Jeffrey T. Borowy, CEC, as commander, 25th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR), at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), Gulfport, Mississippi.


September 5

1943: 126th NCB formed at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1969: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 advance party deployed to Camp Kinser, Okinawa, via government aircraft.


September 6

1945: 52nd NCR commissioned. 97th NCB inactivated at NCTC Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1968: NMCB 5 presented with the “Best of Type” Battle ‘E’ from Rear Adm. A.C. Husband, CEC, during regimental pass-in-review at Construction Battalion Center (CBC), Port Hueneme, California.

2012: Capt. Darius Banaji, CEC, relieved Capt. Kathryn Donovan, CEC, as commander, 22nd NCR, at NCBC Gulfport, Mississippi.


September 7

1942: NCTC Davisville, Rhode Island, is designated Camp Endicott (concurrent with redesignation of Camp Hollyday at Gulfport, Mississippi and Camp Rousseau, at Port Hueneme, California).

1944: 39th NCR activated.

2011: Capt. Darius Banaji, CEC, relieved Capt. Allan Stratman, CEC, as commander of the 25th NCR at NCBC Gulfport, Mississippi.


September 8

1945: Section II of 106th NCB inactivated at Iwo Jima.


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