This Week in Seabee History: April 26 – May 2

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

TWiSH (4-30-17)
Seabees attend a memorial service in Fallujah, Iraq, on May 15, 2004, honoring seven Seabees from NMCB-14 who died as a result of hostile fire in the Al Anbar Province on April 30 and May 2. (Photo by PH2 Eric Powell)


April 26

1943: 9th Special NCB commissioned at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1967: NMCB 11 main body consisting of 16 officers and 637 enlisted personnel deployed from CBC, Port Hueneme, California to the Dong Ha Forward Combat Base, RVN, via 11 Military Airlift Command C-130 aircraft.

1970: Seabee Team 0412 with Lt. j.g. J.A. Werner, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) as Officer in Charge (OIC) departed CBC, Port Hueneme, California for training and indoctrination on Guam, before proceeding to their final deployment site on Koror Island, Palau District, TTPI.

1971: Seabee Team 4006 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for reassignment to OIC, Naval Construction Battalion, Pacific Fleet (CBPAC) Detachment (DET) RVN and deployment to Tan An, RVN.


April 27

1969: Disaster strikes area in and around ammunition supply point (ASP) 1, Da Nang when it erupted, as if it was a volcano. This was the largest ASP in I Corps area. NMCB 4 provided firefighting detail to assist NMCB 5. NMCB 5’s Camp Hoover was adjacent to the huge ASP. NMCB 5’s Camp Hoover was 90 percent destroyed; however, only two Seabees were wounded due to the immediate action taken during the initial explosions.


April 28

1943: 71st and 74th NCBs commissioned at Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1961: NMCB 9 was chosen to receive the first Peltier Award. Named in honor of Rear Admiral Eugene J. Peltier, a former Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, the award is given annually to the most outstanding Seabee battalion. The Society of American Military Engineers presented the award, in association with the United States Navy.

1967: NMCB 11, the first battalion to be deployed to the Northern I Corps, commenced arriving at the Dong Ha Forward Combat Base, RVN.

1968: Lt. Cmdr. W.A. Simmons, CEC, relieved Cmdr. G.H. Brown, CEC, as executive officer, NMCB 71.

1971: NMCB 62 advance party, first and second flights, arrived at Camp Moscrip, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico with 2 officers and 102 enlisted men.

1971: Seabee Team 0519 departed the continental United States (CONUS) enroute to the TTPI.

TWISH(4-23-17)
Rear Adm. Eugene J. Peltier, who served as Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and Chief of the Civil Engineer Corps from December 1957 to February 1962, and led the complete reorganization of the Bureau to meet the demands of the space age. On April 28, 1961, NMCB 9 was chosen to receive the first Peltier Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding Seabee battalion. The Society of American Military Engineers presents the award, in association with the Navy. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

April 29

1965: NMCB 10 departed Okinawa via Navy ships (2 LSTs, 1 LSD, and 1 AKA) for Chu Lai, RVN.

1968: Seabee Team 1012 departed CBC Port Hueneme, California with 13 men for Thailand.

1971: NMCB 1 advance party departed Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico for Davisville, Rhode Island. Seabee Team 4005 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for reassignment to OIC CBPAC DET, Guam and deployment to Truk, TTPI.


April 30

1945: 44th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) inactivated at Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California; 56th NCB inactivated on Guam.

1946: 134th NCB inactivated on Guam.

1968: Lt. Cmdr. W.A. Simmons, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Cmdr. G.H. Brown, CEC, as executive officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 71.

2004: In Anbar Province, Iraq, an improvised explosive device detonated and hit the vehicle carrying Equipment Operator 3rd Class Christopher M. Dickerson of Eastman, Georgia, and Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Jason B. Dwelley of Apopka, Florida. Both men from NMCB 14 became the first Seabees killed in action since the Vietnam War.


May 1

1942: 3rd NCB commissioned.

1945: 33rd Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) inactivated; 33rd NCB inactivated at Peleliu; 57th NCB inactivated at Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California.

1946: 32nd Special NCB inactivated at Tsingtao, China.

1966: NMCB 4 at Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam (RVN), began hiring and training of local Vietnamese laborers in the trades of carpenter, riggers, welder, mason, and automotive mechanics.

1970: Seabee Team 0314 returned to the continental U.S. (CONUS) via government aircraft.

1971: Headquarters of the 32nd NCB was moved from Vietnam to Roosevelt Road, Puerto Rico.


May 2

1944: 31st Special NCB commissioned at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCTC) Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1945: 16th NCB inactivated at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

1968: Cmdr. W.K. Hartell, CEC, took command of the Seabee camp at Quang Tri Combat Base, RVN.

2004: A mortar attack at Camp Ramadi, Al-Ramadi, Al Anbar Province, Iraq killed five members of NMCB 14, one U.S. Army soldier, and wounded 28 other personnel. This represented the deadliest day for the Seabees since the Vietnam War.

Check Also

This Week in Seabee History: June 14 – 20

Consolidated by U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, Naval History and Heritage Command 19 June 1968 – …