This Week in Seabee History (September 29 – October 5)

Consolidated by U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, Naval History and Heritage Command

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)
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)

 

September 29

1943: 136th NCB established at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1945: 66th NCB inactivated on Okinawa.


September 30

1942: Aviation, Construction, Ordnance, Repair, Navy (ACORN) 1 arrived at Noumea, New Caledonia. (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each ACORN to maintain the base after the initial construction was completed and the construction battalion had been withdrawn.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: Commander Naval Construction Battalions, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CBPAC) Seabee Technical Assistance Team (STAT) Detachment, RVN established under commander of LCDR J.A. Wright, CEC, with its headquarters in Saigon, RVN.

1965: The last echelon of NMCB 8’s main body arrived at Da Nang, RVN, to establish a new Seabee camp. NMCB 8 was the first battalion to send a construction detail out from a battalion.

1967: NMCB 4 main body moved from Da Nang, RVN to Port Hueneme, California.

1969: NMCB 5’s Lt. Cmdr. W.S. Smyth, CEC, acting commanding officer, changed Operation Control (OPCON) from 30th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR), Da Nang, RVN to 31st NCR, Port Hueneme, California.


October 1

1944: ACORN 38 was decommissioned and Naval Air Base Saipan commissioned.

1945: ACORN 24 was decommissioned; the 29th, 30th, 49th NCRs were inactivated.

1951: Commander Naval Construction Battalions, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CBLANT) was established. This activity was placed under the command of the Commander of the Service Force of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet so he could effectively fulfill his responsibility as construction battalion type commander.

1952: 103rd NCB was disestablished on Guam, and NMCB 10 commissioned the same day on Guam.

1965: Two Atlantic Fleet Seabee Teams were assigned to Project Demo, a project in support of the Department of State at embassies behind the Iron Curtain.

1967: NMCB 9 relieved NMCB 4 and commenced its third consecutive deployment to the RVN near Da Nang.

1967: Seabee Teams 0601 and 4001 graduated from Seabee Team Training and were assigned to Officer in Charge (OIC), Construction Battalions, Pacific Detachment, RVN, deploying to Tu Duc and Lei Thieu, respectively.

1970: NMCB 5 Detail Yankee transferred from Camp Haskins North to Camp Haskins South, Da Nang, RVN. Detail Yankee was relieved at Camp Haskins North by elements of the Third Marine Amphibious Force.

1970: Seabee Team 0317 deployed to Yap, TTPI via government aircraft.

1985: Command status of UCT’s upgraded to commanding officer.


October 2

1799: The United States’ first navy yard was established at Washington, D.C.

1952: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 10 activated on Guam.

1967: Seabee Team 0601 arrived in Thu Duc, Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

1967: NMCB 71 advance party of two officers and 19 Seabees departed from Chu Lai for Davisville, Rhode Island, on two C-141 aircraft. NMCB 40 advance party arrived at Camp Shields, Okinawa.

1968: Cmdr. J.A. D’Emidio relieved Cmdr. G.W. Schley as commanding officer, NMCB 74.

1986: Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 became the first Seabee unit ever awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Service Award. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. The award recognized ACB 2’s unsurpassed operational tempo, including support of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon, and Operation “Urgent Fury” in Grenada, Teamwork 84 in Northern Europe, Ocean Venture 84 in the Caribbean, and Joint Logistics Over the Shore Test II. Over 100 members of Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 were also eligible for the award, since they were assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 on temporary duty during Joint Logistics Over the Shore Test II.

2010: Capt. Paula C. Brown promoted to rear admiral, becoming the second female CEC flag officer and first female deputy commander of the First Naval Construction Division (1NCD).


October 3

1942: The first decorated Seabee hero was Seaman 2nd Class Lawrence C. “Bucky” Meyer of the 6th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB). While working as a truck driver on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Meyer took cover in a Marine machine gun pit during an enemy strafing attack on the airstrip. Manning the machine gun, he fired at the lead Japanese Zero and shot it down. For his exploit, Meyer was awarded the Silver Star Medal. Unfortunately, the medal had to be awarded posthumously, because 13 days later Meyer was killed in action when Japanese dive bombers attacked and destroyed the gasoline barge on which he was working.

1945: 48th NCB inactivated at Guam.

1964: NMCB 7 inaugurated the first fully computerized programming of a Seabee construction project when that battalion’s workload at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was planned and programmed by computer. This method of planning became a useful tool in preparing for subsequent construction projects.

1968: NMCB 3 relieved NMCB 62 at Camp Haskins South, RVN.

October 3-21, 1971: NMCB 71 detachment CHAGOS departed Davisville, Rhode Island, for deployment to Diego Garcia (Reindeer Station).

2007: Utilitiesman 2nd Class Craig Gardner and Builder 2nd Class William Lathan, Seabees attached to Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), built a gazebo at the Zanderij Clinic Zanderij, Suriname. Comfort is on a four-month humanitarian deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical treatment to patients in a dozen countries. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

October 4

1942: 29th NCB commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

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

1969: At 2330 (11:30 p.m.), Gunner’s Mate (Guns) 2nd Class P.W. Larremore was killed in action approximately 5 miles southeast of Da Nang in Binh Ky Hamlet, RVN.


October 5

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

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This Week in Seabee History (October 13 – 19)

Consolidated by U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, Naval History and Heritage Command