This Week in Seabee History (Week of Feb. 26)

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

 

This Week in Seabee History for week of February 26

U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps insignia, circa 1905. On March 2, 1867, an act of Congress provided that civil engineers should be appointed by the President, by and with the consent of the Senate.  Previously, all civil engineers in the Navy were civilian employees. This is considered the date of establishment for the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps.  (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

February 26

1966: The first element of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3’s advance party arrived at Rosemary Point, Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam (RVN), to construct a Seabee cantonment.

1970: NMCB 1’s advance party of two officers and 21 enlisted men departed Camp Haskins North for CBC, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1970: NMCB 5’s advance party arrived in Camp Haskins North from Port Hueneme, California.

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February 27

1942: Advance Base Depot (ABD) Davisville, Rhode Island, is established as a unit of the Naval Operating Base, Rhode Island. This was the first of a total of four advance base depots established during World War II.  Camp Thomas, also at Davisville, was established on this day as well.

Feb. 27 – Mar. 2, 1971: The main body of Construction Battalion Unit (CBU) 201 arrived at Davisville, RI from Antarctica for reassignment to the 21st NCR.

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February 28

1968: Cmdr. R.M. Fluss, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), United States Navy (USN), commanding officer of NMCB 4, relieved Cmdr. W.W. Degroot, III, CEC, USN, commanding officer of NMCB 58, as commanding officer of Camp Haskins.

1969: Cmdr. H.A. Crisp relieved Cmdr. R.D. Keegan as commanding officer of NMCB 6.

1972: CBU 201 arrived at Davisville, RI from Antarctica for reassignment to the 21st Naval Construction Regiment (NCR).

1972: The Seabee camp on the tiny atoll of Diego Garcia in the middle of the Indian Ocean was dedicated in memory of a young Seabee who lost his life while assisting in the construction of a communications facility. The Seabee site was named Camp Cummins in honor of Navy Utilities Third Class Charles Stuart Cummins, who died on December 30, 1971, of burns suffered while working on a desalinization barge boiler on the atoll.

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March 1

1943: 63rd Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) commissioned at Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1945: 2nd NCR inactivated.

1946: 64th NCB inactivated on Samar, Philippines.

1956: Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 101 inactivated.

1968: Seabee Team 7101 graduated from Seabee Team Training and was assigned to Officer in Charge (OIC), Construction Battalions, Pacific Detachment, RVN, deploying to My Tho, RVN.

1968: NMCB 58 deployed to Hoi An and established a tent camp within the 2nd Republic of Korea (ROK) Marine Brigade Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR). Cmdr. W.W. DeGroot, III, CEC, USN, NMCB 58’s commander, established headquarters in the tent camp.

1968:  Cmdr. R.E. Fluss, CEC, USN, relieved Cmdr. W.W. DeGroot III, CEC, USN, as commanding officer of NMCB 58 at Camp Haskins North, RVN.

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March 2

1867: By an act of Congress, it was provided that civil engineers should be appointed by the President, by and with the consent of the Senate.  Previously, all civil engineers in the Navy were civilian employees. This is considered the birthday for the establishment of the Civil Engineer Corps.

1943: 6th Special NCB formed at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1969: NMCB 8 advance party arrived at Camp Haskins South, RVN.

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March 3

1867: William P.S. Sanger is commissioned as an officer and Chief Civil Engineer of the Navy.-

1871: An act of Congress gave the Navy’s civil engineers, at the President’s discretion, eligibility for relative officer rank and equal precedence with officers of the line.

1899: In an amendment to the act passed on this date, Congress abolished relative rank for the members of the Navy’s staff corps granting them regular rank without changing their titles.

1962: The Seabee-installed and serviced PM-3A nuclear power plant at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica went critical. In July the plant began delivering electric power to the McMurdo station thus relieving that station of the dependence on fuel oil shipments and at the same time alleviating the fire hazard caused by the use of oil-burning devices.

1969: The main body of NMCB 53 departed Davisville for Da Nang, RVN.

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March 4

1911: All Navy public works construction was placed under the Bureau of Yards and Docks by an act of Congress.

1967: NMCB 71’s advance party consisting of 7 officers and 102 enlisted men was airlifted on two C-141 aircraft from Davisville, Rhode Island, to Chu Lai, RVN.

1970: Rear Adm. J. G. Dillon, CEC, USN, was relieved by Rear Adm. A.R. Marschall, CEC, USN, as commander of the 3rd Brigade.

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