Consolidated by Dr. Frank A. Blazich Jr., Historian, Naval History and Heritage Command
1942: The 7th NCB arrived at the Naval Advance Base Depot Receiving Barracks at Port Hueneme, California. This was the first Seabee battalion to occupy and stage through the Port Hueneme Depot. While at the receiving barracks, it underwent advanced military and construction training, and was outfitted for overseas duty.
1944: The 1st NCB was inactivated.
1945: The 47th NCB was inactivated at Noumea, New Caledonia.
1969: Seabee Team 0603 returned to Davisville, Rhode Island.
1970: NMCB 7 turned Camp Shields, Chu Lai, RVN over to the U.S. Army, thus closing the oldest Seabee camp in Vietnam. Cmdr. P. Oliver, Jr., CEC, commanding officer of NMCB 7, and the last of the battalion’s main body, departed Vietnam and arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island on this date.
1971: In a ceremony at the 21st NCR, Lt. Cmdr. D.L. McCorvey, CEC, relieved Cmdr. P. Oliver, Jr., CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 71. Oliver then relieved Cmdr. C.V.W. Popowich, CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 1. It was the first time in Naval Construction Force (NCF) history that a double battalion change of command ceremony was conducted.
2005: An improvised explosive device killed NMCB 18’s Navy Culinary Specialist 1st Class Regina Renee Clark of Centralia, Washington, when it detonated near her convoy vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq. Clark became the first female Seabee ever killed in action, and arguably the first female enlisted woman in the Navy ever killed in action. Two other women were killed in the vehicle with Clark from the explosion.
1942: The 6th NCB was commissioned at Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia.
1943: The 99th NCB was activated at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.
1969: Seabee Team 0603 arrived in Davisville, Rhode Island from Vietnam for reassignment to NMCB 6.
2016: Cmdr. James Brown, CEC, relieved Cmdr. Jorge Cuadros, CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 11 during the battalion’s change of command ceremony at Gulfport, Mississippi.
1944: ACORN 18 was dissolved. (Used during World War II, an ACORN was a tailored unit designed to carry out the rapid construction and subsequent operation of a landplane and seaplane advance base. Each ACORN had a construction battalion attached to it, as well as trained personnel to operate the control tower, field lighting, aero logical unit, transportation, medical, berthing, and messing facilities. A Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) also accompanied each ACORN to maintain the base after the initial construction was completed and the construction battalion had been withdrawn. During the war, ACORNs were sent to such places at Guadalcanal, Espiritu Santo, Green Island, Rendova, Treasury Island, and Majuro.)
1969: Seabee Team 13304 landed at Moen Island in the Truk District of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI). This was the first Seabee Team to be deployed to the TTPI. While on Moen, Seabee Team 13304 improved roads and water storage facilities. Members of the team also supervised the construction of two dispensaries on Tol Island and provided medical services to the residents of other islands in the TTPI.
2009: Cmdr. Chris Kurgan, CEC, relieved Cmdr. Paul Odenthal, CEC, as NMCB 133 commander at a ceremony at NCBC Gulfport, Mississippi.
1945: ACORN 55 commissioned at Argus Assembly and Training Detachment (AATD) Port Hueneme, California. (Used during World War II, an ACORN was a tailored unit designed to carry out the rapid construction and subsequent operation of a landplane and seaplane advance base. Each ACORN had a construction battalion attached to it, as well as trained personnel to operate the control tower, field lighting, aerological unit, transportation, medical, berthing, and messing facilities. A Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) also accompanied each ACORN to maintain the base after the initial construction was completed and the construction battalion had been withdrawn. During the war, ACORNs were sent to such places at Guadalcanal, Espiritu Santo, Green Island, Rendova, Treasury Island, and Majuro.)
1963: A 280-foot hill at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (GTMO), Cuba was dedicated and named Denich Hill in honor of George J. Denich, Jr., a 21-year old Seabee who was fatally injured in an accident while constructing fortified defensive positions on the hill, April 10, 1963. Denich, an Equipment Operator (Construction Equipment) 3rd Class in the U.S. Naval Reserve, served at GTMO with Mobile Construction Battalion (MCB) 7 during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. He died in an accident while operating a mobile crane on the hill which now bears his name. During the dedication ceremony, his father, George J. Denich, Sr., unveiled a memorial plaque, which reads: “Denich Hill . . . Dedicated to the memory of George J. Denich, Jr., who gave his life in the service of his country on 10 April 1963 while engaged in the construction of fortifications to protect his fellow Americans.”
1967: Seabee Team 0809 departed for Port Hueneme, California for training and eventual deployment to the Republic of Vietnam (RVN).
1968: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 71 relieved NMCB 40 at Camp Shields, Chu Lai, RVN.
1942: The Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Endicott was established at Davisville, Rhode Island. It was named in honor of Rear Adm. Mordecai T. Endicott, the first Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) officer to be appointed Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks. It was necessary to transfer personnel from the Naval Construction Training Center at Norfolk, Virginia to operate the station. Therefore, it wasn’t until August 12, 1942 before the first battalion started training at the camp. The capacity of the camp provided for ten battalions in training, totaling approximately 350 officers and 15,000 men. This capacity was reached early in November 1942. Both primary and advanced training were given at Camp Endicott.
1958: Two members of NMCB 1, Teleman Albert H. Matthews, and Builder 2nd Class Robert A. Wurst, were returning to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay from Guantanamo City, Cuba, when the report of a gun brought to a halt the civilian bus in which they were riding. Stopped by a jeep full of Fidel Castro’s soldiers, the bus driver, with his passengers including the two Seabees, was ordered to head up into the hills. When the bus could no longer make the steep mountain grades, its occupants were ordered to abandon it and proceed on foot. After walking most of the night they reached a small encampment. There they were given fruit and coffee. They were then loaded aboard a truck and carried deeper into the hills to another camp. Here the prisoners were not harmed, although living conditions were far from comfortable and consisted of eating mainly beans and rice. The release of the prisoners was subsequently obtained through negotiations with the rebel soldiers, and the two Seabees were picked up by a Navy helicopter and flown out of the hills.
1965: NMCB 9 on the USNS Blatchford, arrived Da Nang Harbor, RVN. The battalion departed Port Hueneme June 3, 1965.
1968: Two officers and 24 enlisted men from Seabee Teams 0101 and 0102 deployed via one C-130 aircraft from Davisville, Rhode Island to Saigon, RVN.
1969: NMCB 1 advance party arrived in Camp Campbell, Phu Bai, RVN.
1970: Seabee Teams 7104 and 7105 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for reassignment to Officer in Charge (OIC) Naval Construction Battalions, U.S. Pacific Fleet Detachment (CBPACDET), RVN and deployment to Soc Trang and Go Cong, RVN, respectively.
2006: Cmdr. Steve Hamer, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Cmdr. John Korka, CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 4 at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, California.
2008: Cmdr. Stanley Wiles, CEC, assumed command of NMCB 1 from Cmdr. Dean Tufts as commander at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), Gulfport, Mississippi.
1968: NMCB 7’s advance party, consisting of eight officers and 108 enlisted men, arrived at the Dong Ha Combat Base, RVN, to perform the Battalion Equipment Evaluation Program (BEEP) and effect a smooth turnover of Camp Barnes from NMCB 5.
1968: Main body of NMCB 40 begins arriving at Davisville, Rhode Island from Chu Lai, RVN.
1969: Seabee Teams 0103 and 0104 arrived in RVN.
1969: NMCB 9’s main body, consisting of 19 officers and 657 enlisted men, begins return to Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California, on two 707s, two Super DC-8s, and one C-141 cargo flight from Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan.
2003: Joint Army, Navy and Marine engineers finished construction of a 762-foot floating steel bridge in Zubaydiyah, Iraq. Seabees from NMCB 7, NMCB 133, Naval Construction Support Team 2 from Port Hueneme, ACB 1, and ACB 2 worked with their Army and Marine partners to construct and emplace the bridge.
2006: Capt. Darius Banaji, CEC, relieved Capt. Bill Finn, CEC as commanding officer, NCTC, at NCBC Gulfport, Mississippi.
2011: Cmdr. Pete Maculan, CEC, relieved Cmdr. Scot Sanders, CEC, as commanding officer, NMCB 5 at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, California.
2013: The Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 marked a transition in the battalion’s history with a change of command ceremony aboard Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, June 28, 2013. During the ceremony, Cmdr. Nick Yamodis, CEC, relinquished command to Cmdr. Jeff Powell, CEC.
2016: Cmdr. Lance Flood, CEC, relieved Cmdr. Kemit Spears, CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 1 during a change of command ceremony aboard NCBC, Gulfport, Mississippi, June 28.
1906: Congress passed a law restricting the office of Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks to officers of the CEC.
1942: The 9th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) was established at NCTC Norfolk, Virginia.
2007: Rear Adm. Richard Cellon, CEC, relieved Rear Adm. Robert Phillips, CEC, as commander, 1st Naval Construction Division, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Norfolk, Virginia.