THIS WEEK IN SEABEE HISTORY

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

Seabee Team

Members of a Seabee Team in 1963 show off their rates. These teams could be tailored to fit any size task, but normally consisted of one junior Civil Engineer Corps officer, eleven construction men and a hospital corpsman. The crew and equipment utilized by these highly mobile, air transportable construction units provided disaster relief and technical assistance around the world. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

Sept. 20

1943: 17th Special Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) formed at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1945: 95th NCB inactivated on Iwo Jima; 26th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) inactivated.

1965: Construction of Camp Hansen U.S. Marine Facility Okinawa was finished after 29 months by Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCB) 3, 9, and 11 ; NMCB 5 main body departs Port Hueneme, California for Camp Hoover, Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

1968: Main body of NMCB 53 arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island from Da Nang, RVN.

1970: Main body of NMCB 40 arrived at Davisville, RI from Camp Moscrip, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.

Sept. 21

1943: 123rd NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1950: During the Inchon offensive in Korea, a detachment of Seabee volunteers from Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1 carried off an exploit typical of the legends that have sprung up about Seabees. Air observation reported eight locomotives trapped by broken rail lines in a switch yard at Yong Dong Po, eight miles above Inchon. A group of Seabees under a chief petty officer volunteered to go behind enemy lines and attempt to capture the engines. The Seabees sneaked down the line past enemy troops and seized the locomotives. However, when they reached the switch yard, they found the Kirin Brewery alongside the track. After thoughtful consideration, the Seabees decided to liberate not only the locomotives, but some of the beer stacked in the brewery. In quick time, the men had 15 cases of beer loaded aboard the locomotives. They then fired up the engine boilers and began the dangerous trek back to their lines. Along the way they had to repair broken track while under enemy fire. Even the United States Marines began shooting at the trains until they realized they were manned by Seabees. However, in true Seabee fashion, the men of ACB 1 brought back the liberated locomotives intact, as well as the liberated beer, not so intact.

1969: NMCB 3 main body deployed to Camp Kinser, Okinawa, via government aircraft.

Sept. 22

1965: NMCB 3 was relieved by NMCB 5 in RVN.

2007: Cmdr. Frederick A. Mucke, CEC, USN relieved by Cmdr. Ronald D. Gruzesky, CEC, USN as commanding officer, NMCB 24, Readiness Support Site Drill Center, Huntsville, Alabama.

Sept. 23

1943: 116th NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1965: Main body of NMCB 3, after being relieved by NMCB 5, returned to homeport via six Military Air Transport Service (MATS) aircraft.

2011: Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Mullen presented Brooke Toner, widow of Lt. J.G. Francis L. Toner IV, CEC, USN with her late husband’s Silver Star, awarded for action against the enemy as Garrison Engineer, Camp Mike Spann Embedded Training Team, Afghanistan. Toner was also posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor.

Sept. 24

1943: Aviation, Construction, Ordnance, Repair, Navy (ACORN) 13 arrived at Espiritu Santo. During WW II, in an island’s development stage, a Navy ACORN unit, comprised of a Naval Construction Battalion and other components, construct airfields and maintenance facilities.

1945: 69th NCB inactivated at Davisville, Rhode Island; 14th Special NCB inactivated at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

1967: The first flight of NMCB 128’s advance party arrived in Da Nang, RVN.

Sept. 25

1951: NMCB 8 activated.

1965: Cmdr. W.F. Russell, commanding officer of NMCB 5, assumed command of Camp Hoover, RVN.

1967: Advance Party of NMCB 133 departed Da Nang, RVN for CBC, Gulfport, Mississippi.

1969: Seabee Team 0314 deployed from Agana, Guam, to Rota Island, Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands.

Sept. 26

1967: NMCB 10 headquarters unit arrived at Gia Le, RVN.

 

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