This Week in Seabee History: July 26 – August 1

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

Constructionman Camella J. Jones learns how to operate a large crane from a Chief Petty Officer. She was the first woman of the Navy to qualify as a Heavy Equipment Operator and to be assigned to a U.S. Navy Construction Battalion, November 1972. Photograph by PH3 Paul Mansfield, USN. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 106746.

July 26

1965: NMCB 4 was relieved by NMCB 7 in Rota, Spain.

1967: Lt. Cmdr. W.R. Glover, CEC, arrived at NMCB 1 Camp Haskins to relieve LCDR R.S. Stedman, Jr., CEC as NMCB 1’s executive officer

1971: Seabee Team 0109 arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island from Kusaie, TTPI for reassignment.


July 27

1942: 15th NCB was commissioned at Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia.

1967: NMCB 11 was holding a change of command ceremony at the Dong Ha Forward Combat Base in Vietnam, which had been dedicated to the memory of Senior Chief Equipment Operator Donald J. Barnes, who had been killed in action at Khe Sanh. During the ceremony, attended by many senior naval officers and distinguished guests, a reception for the new commanding officer usually followed a change of command ceremony, but in this case, the custom had to be set aside. Barely half an hour after the ceremony began, enemy forces dropped about five mortar rounds onto the base. After the first round exploded, members of the battalion and visitors ran for the nearest hole. This is significant because it undoubtedly was the first time that a Seabee brigade commander, Captain Albert Marschall, CEC, and six of his battalion commanders shared the same mortar hole during an enemy artillery attack. Thankfully, there were no casualties.

1967: Cmdr. W.K. Hartell, CEC, relieved Cmdr. W.L. Wilson, CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 11.

1970: Seabee Team 0105 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for reassignment to Officer in Charge (OIC), Construction Battalions, U.S. Pacific Fleet Detachment (CBPACDET) RVN and deployment to Bac Lieu, RVN.

2002: Members of Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1 rushed to Somerset, Pennsylvania to assist in the rescue of nine coal miners trapped 240 feet underground. The Seabee divers provided transportable recompression chambers and emergency evacuation hyperbaric stretcher to safeguard the miners once recovered.


July 28

1943: ACORN 10 arrives 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.)

1971: UCT 1 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for deployment to Naval Ammunition Deport, Earle, Colts Neck, New Jersey.

1989: NMCB 62 was decommissioned at CBC, Gulfport, Mississippi.


July 29

1943: The 12th NCB was commissioned at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1944: The 12th NCB was inactivated at Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California.

1966: Cmdr. Anson Perkins, CEC, relieved Cmdr. David Feinman, CEC, as commander of the 21st NCR.

1968: Second increment of NMCB 22’s advance party, consisting of three officers and 25 enlisted personnel, departed Camp Haskins North, RVN for CBC, Davisville, Rhode Island.


July 30

1946: 61st NCB inactivated at Guiuan, Samar, Philippines.

1968: Cmdr. John Jones, Jr., CEC, relieved Cmdr. William Richeson, CEC, as commanding officer of NCMB 62.

1971: Construction Battalion Unit (CBU) 416 established at Naval Station Long Beach, California.


July 31

1943: 107th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) commissioned at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1972: Equipment Operator Constructionman Camella Jones formally has her designation changed from Seaman to Constructionman, thereby becoming the first female Seabee at Naval Air Station, Kingsville, Texas.


August 1

1944: 7th Naval Construction Brigade commissioned; the 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th Naval Construction Regiments (NCR) were commissioned.

1945: ACORN 13 was decommissioned and incorporated into Naval Air Base Samar, Philippines. ACORN 30 was decommissioned and Naval Air Base, Jinamoc Tacloban, Leyte was established. ACORN 45 was decommissioned and Naval Air Base Sangley Point, Cavite, Philippines. established. ACORN 47 was decommissioned and Naval Air Base Puerto Princesa, Philippines established. (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.)

1957: The 10th NCB was redesignated as Naval Construction Forces Pacific. This was later to become Naval Construction Battalions, Pacific.

1966: NMCB 9 main body of 646 personnel deployed to Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam (RVN) on seven C-141 aircraft.

1967: The 32nd NCR was established at Gia Le – Phu Bai, RVN. Cmdr. R.L. Foley, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), commanding officer of NMCB 3, assumed command of the 32nd NCR at commissioning ceremonies of the regiment.

1967: Lt. Cmdr. R.S. Stedman, Jr., CEC, was relieved as NMCB 1 executive officer by Lt. Cmdr. W.F. Glover, CEC.

1967: NMCB 121 arrived at Phu Bai, RVN.

1985: NMCB 7 re-commissioned at Construction Battalion center (CBC) Gulfport, Mississippi.

2002: Capt. Gary Engle was selected as the first Chief of Staff of the newly established First Naval Construction Division (1NCD), which was commissioned to lead the Naval Construction Force (NCF) globally.

2007: Lt. Cmdr. Vic Velasco, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Cmdr. Tim Liberatore, CEC, as commanding officer, Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2 at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Port Hueneme, California.

2014: Capt. Marc Delao, CEC, relieved Capt. Joseph Campbell, CEC, as commanding officer of Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia.

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