This Week in Seabee History: March 24 – 30

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

This Week in Seabee History – March 26, 2017
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presents the Silver Star to Brooke Toner, widow of Navy Lt.j.g. Francis L. Toner, IV, at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2011. Halfway through a year-long Individual Augmentee (IA) assignment with the Afghan Regional Security Integration Command North, Lt.j.g. Toner didn’t hesitate when a terrorist attacked his shipmates on Forward Operating Base Shaheen near Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. Unarmed, he charged the lone gunman, saving innocent lives that day, March 27, 2009. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley)

Throughout March

1993: By the end of March, the Seabees had successfully completed their support of Operation “Restore Hope” and returned to their previous deployment sites or their home ports.

1995: In support of Joint Task Force “Provide Promise,” a 35-person team from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 successfully brought to a close the Navy’s turn at providing public works maintenance and operations functions at the Joint Fleet Hospital in Zagreb, Croatia.

A Seabee operates an earthmover as another Seabee uses a pick axe at one of several sites being worked on at Camp Pleso. (Exact date unknown/National Archives)

 

1996: NH96 – ES consisted of deploying 46 active-duty personnel from NMCB 7 and 18 reserve personnel from NMCB 14 to El Salvador from January 1996 through March 1996. The detail drilled two water wells, constructed a base camp at La Montana, and constructed a two-room school.


March 25

1967: Seabee Team 0911 departed the main body at Da Nang, RVN, via C-118 aircraft, for the 31st Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) to commence military and technical training.

1969: Seabee Team 5301 deployed from Davisville, Rhode Island to RVN for assignment to the 30th NCR for duty at Da Nang, RVN.


March 26

1969: Seabee Teams 0703 and 0704 arrived in Davisville, Rhode Island, from Vietnam for reassignment to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7.

1970: Seabee Team 0516 was disestablished.

1970: 21st Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) Detail Yankee (Underwater Construction Team 1) returned to Davisville, Rhode Island from the Navy’s Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC).


March 27

1964: On Good Friday, a disastrous earthquake and tidal wave leveled much of the city of Kodiak, Alaska. One day later, Seabee volunteers from Port Hueneme, California, were on the scene working at disaster relief. Over a period of several weeks they restored utilities, provided a dry dock for the heavily damaged fishing fleet and participated in the rehabilitation of the city.

2009: Lt. j.g. Francis L. Toner IV, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii, of Panorama City, California, was killed when an Afghan National Army soldier opened fire on U.S. Navy personnel assigned to Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan at Camp Shaheen, Mazar-E-Sharif, Afghanistan.


March 28

1969: NMCB 22 was disestablished as an active duty unit.


March 29

Mar. 29-Apr. 1, 1966: NMCB 3 arrived at Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam (RVN).


March 30

1942: In California, the Oxnard Harbor District formally turned over the Hueneme Harbor to Lt. Gustave G. Werner Jr., CEC. Werner accepted the harbor and adjoining land on behalf of the U.S. Navy. On this site a Seabee support base was built under the name of the U.S. Naval Advance Base Depot. It was the predecessor of the Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), Port Hueneme, California.

1968: NMCB 53 constructed the first Ammi Pontoon Bridge in Vietnam, and became operational on this date.

1970: Seabee Teams 0315 and 0316 returned to the continental United States (CONUS) via government aircraft.