THIS WEEK IN SEABEE HISTORY

Consolidated by Dr. Frank A. Blazich Jr., Historian, U.S. Navy Seabee Museum 

Seabees lay down AM-2 matting at Chu Lai airfield

Seabees installing AM-2 matting at the Chu Lai airfield, Republic of Vietnam, in 1966. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

October 4

1942: 29th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

1966: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 71 was recommissioned at Davisville, Rhode Island and assigned to the 21st Naval Construction Regiment (NCR).

1969: At 2330 (11:30 p.m.), GMG2 P.W. Larremore was killed in action about five miles southeast of Da Nang, in Binh Ky Hamlet, Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

October 5

1971: NMCB 71 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for deployment to Antarctica.

October 6

1945: Seabees are ready to build anything, anytime, anywhere. Thus, it came as no surprise to Seabees stationed on Attu in the Aleutian Islands in 1945 when they were ordered to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula to build a Fleet Weather Central to be operated by the U.S. Navy. Work on preliminary plans began immediately and, within seven days, 20 Seabees were aboard ship with supplies and equipment bound for the southern end of Kamchatka Peninsula. The site chosen for the weather station was near the city of Petropavlovsk. It was in rolling, wooded country within view of the active volcano, Keryakchaya. The weather central itself consisted of six standard-size Quonset huts attached to a central wood structure. The arrangement permitted centralization of utilities and complete access to all facilities without the necessity of going outdoors. It included quarters for the nine U.S. Navy officers and the 24 U.S. Navy enlisted men who were to operate the station. The project was completed in 18 working days. The Seabees were assisted by the weather station personnel and Russian Army laborers. In addition to the housing, the Seabees cleared the site and leveled it, erected radio masts, and installed utility and weather equipment. It was on October 6, 1945 that the project was completed and the Seabees returned to Attu.

1945: 52nd NCB inactivated on Guam.

1966: A 113-man advance party of NMCB 58 arrived at Red Beach, Da Nang, RVN.

1968: First Engineer Battalion (1st MARDIV) relieved NMCB 3 at Camp Faulkner.

1969: Seabee Team 4004 was assigned to 21st NCR for 18 weeks of specialized training.

October 7

1970: Construction Battalion Unit (CBU) 201 departed Davisville, RI for assignment to Antarctica.

October 8

1969: Main body of NMCB 7 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for assignment at Chu Lai, RVN.

1969: NMCB 7 main body consisting of 14 officers and 538 Seabees arrived on board Camp Shields, Chu Lai, RVN.

October 9

1942: 31st NCB commissioned at Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1969: Main body of NMCB 58 arrived in Davisville, Rhode Island from Chu Lai, RVN.

October 10

1942: 30th NCB commissioned at Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia.

1943: 125th NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1945: 81st NCB inactivated on Guam. 9th Special NCB inactivated at Russells.

1971: Seabee Team 0518 returned to Continental U.S. (CONUS) after completing its deployment to Soc Trang, RVN.

1968: NMCB 8 main body returned to CONUS via commercial and government aircraft from Camp Wilkinson, Phu Bai, RVN.

1969: Cmdr. J.C. Rickels, CEC, USN, commanding officer of NMCB 7, relieved Cmdr. D.J. Mathews, CEC, USN, commanding officer of NMCB 58, at Camp Shields, Chu Lai, RVN.

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