This Week in Seabee History: May 17 – 23

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

On Memorial Day 1974, the Seabee Memorial Monument was dedicated. The monument is located on Memorial Drive leading to the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. It depicts the Seabee as builder, fighter and ambassador of good will. The larger-than-life-size figure of a Seabee on the monument stands in front of a semicircular bronze bas-relief on which is portrayed a panorama of Seabees in their various construction trades. (Photo by NAVFAC Public Affairs)


May 18

1942: Advance Base Depot Port Hueneme, California, was established and went into operation.

1943: 67th NCB commissioned at Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1965: An NMCB 3 advance party of one officer and 99 enlisted men arrived at Da Nang, RVN, from Guam. They traveled by U.S. Air Force (USAF) aircraft.

1966: Construction Battalion Base Unit (CBBU) homeported at Construction Battalion Center (CBC), Port Hueneme, California, was redesignated as the 31st Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) under command of Capt. Robert D. Thorson, CEC, with Capt. Harold F. Liberty, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of CBBU as the deputy of the regiment.

1969: Team 1013 compound and Xuan Loc City, RVN, came under heavy enemy rocket, mortar, and small arms fire. Construction Electrician 2nd Class (CE2) Phillip Lee Grieser was killed by shrapnel.

1970: Seabee Team 0313 returned to the continental United States (CONUS) via government aircraft.


May 19

1968: A rocket attack began at 1930 (7:30 p.m.) on NMCB 4’s almost completed camp site at Camp Evans, RVN. One rocket hit the ammunition supply point (ASP). Fires and explosions spread destruction to the major ASP area and fuel farm. Debris from the exploding shells and rockets caused moderate damage to five berthing huts, and Alpha Company shops and repair parts buildings. Explosions continued into the morning of the 20th, but with no Seabee casualties.

1971: Ceremony held turning Camp Moscrip, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico over from NMCB 1 to NMCB 62.
May 19-20, 1971: NMCB 1 main body flights departed Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico for Davisville, Rhode Island.

2007: Capt. Katherine (Kate) Gregory assumed command of the 30th NCR, the first female active duty regimental commander in the history of the Naval Construction Force.

Sept. 2012, Real Admiral Katherine L. Gregory, Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Chief of Civil Engineers, United States Navy. (Photo by NAVFAC PAO)

May 20

1946: 29th NCB inactivated at Truk, Caroline Islands. 85th NCB inactivated on Wake Island. 96th NCB inactivation at Tsingtao, China began, completed by August 1, 1946.

1965: Part of NMCB 3 main body departed Guam on the USS Point Defiance for Vietnam. On Guam, the battalion was the backup battalion.

1969: Main body of NMCB 71 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for assignment to Roosevelt Roads Naval Base, Puerto Rico.


May 21

1946: 58th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) inactivated on Okinawa, Japan.

1966: The first five flights of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 8 departed Vietnam for the continental United State (CONUS). Seabees on the first three flights had to be transported to Da Nang airfield by helicopter because of road blocks caused by civil strife in the city of Da Nang.


May 22

1943: 93rd NCB commissioned at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1964: A team of 33 Navy Seabees and 271 tons of heavy equipment was airlifted to Costa Rica to carry out emergency flood control measures in the Mount Irazu Volcano area and along the Reventado River. The assistance was requested by the government of Costa Rica. While there, the Seabees placed more than 700,000 cubic yards of material along the dikes, and strengthened and rebuilt portions of a dike weakened by floods. Furthermore, the Seabees trained Costa Ricans to use modern flood control equipment and techniques. For their work, the Seabees received special recognition from the President of Costa Rica, as well as from several high-ranking United States officials.

1966: NMCB 8 camp dedicated Camp Faulkner in memory of Equipment Operator (Heavy) 3rd Class Arnold J. Faulkner. Faulkner, attached to NMCB 4, was killed in a construction accident while rehabilitating the Special Forces air strip at Kham Duc, Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

2008: A joint U.S. Army-Navy-Marine Corps and Iraqi engineer group completed construction of a 301-meter bridge at Baghdadi, Iraq, over the Euphrates River. Seabee steelworkers from NMCB 17 worked with their counterparts in the Army 814th Engineer Company to weld the components together.

1970: NMCB 4 main body departed Construction Battalion Center (CBC), Port Hueneme, California, and arrived at Okinawa, Japan.

1967: NMCB 3 main body to Phu Bai, RVN.


May 23

1942: 8th NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

1965: Part of NMCB 3 main body departed Guam on the USS Belle Grove for Vietnam.

1968: NMCB 10 Detail Juliet was authorized to wear the Presidential Unit Citation by Commandant of the Marine Corps for service performed at Khe Sanh, RVN, during the period of Jan. 10 to April 1, 1968 in support of the 26th Regiment, U.S. Marines.

2012: Camp Moreell, Kuwait, formally closed during a ceremony held on Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. The camp served as the main Seabee ground base and assembly point for all Seabees and Sailors deployed across Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

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