This Week in Seabee History: August 2 – 8

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

Seabee Team 0406 setting the grade on footing forms for Chieu Hoi housing project, Bao Trai, RVN, 1967. (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)


August 2

1942: 16th NCB commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

1965: On this day the Chief of Naval Material transferred the material support responsibility for the Navy’s floating drydocks to the Bureau of Ships from the Bureau of Yards and Docks. The transfer was made in order to provide more effective support to the Navy’s Operating Forces. Material support included research, development, test, procurement, production, supply, and maintenance and modification, as well as the planning, budgeting, and provision of feasibility advice for the floating drydocks.

1971: Cmdr. D.G. Wilson, CEC, relieved CDR H. E. Keppell, Jr., CEC, as commanding officer of Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 302.


August 3

1946: 53rd NCB inactivated on Bikini Atoll.

1967: NMCB 8 main body of 20 officers and 664 enlisted personnel deployed by eight C-141s from Chu Lai, RVN to CBC, Port Hueneme, California.

1967: NMCB 6 main body of 19 officers and 533 enlisted men arrived in Camp Miller, Chu Lai, RVN.

1970: Capt. Walter E. Marquardt, Jr., CEC, relieved Capt.Charles C. Heid, CEC, as commander, 21st NCR.

2012: Capt. Joe Campbell, CEC, relieved Capt. Joe Grealish, CEC, as commanding officer, Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 at Joint Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia.


August 4

1971: Cmdr. E.J. Peltier, Jr., CEC, assumed command of ACB 2. He relieved Cmdr. Russell Myers, Jr., CEC, who had command since July 1969.


August 5

1943: 113th NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1968: Seabee Team 0310 deployed to Long Xuyen, RVN, and Seabee Team 0311 deployed to Can Tho, RVN, via government aircraft.

1968: Special battalion quarters held to announce that NMCB 74 had been selected as best of type among the Atlantic Fleet Construction Forces for the period of July 1967 to July 1968.

1969: Seabee Team 0312 deployed to Ben Tre, RVN via government aircraft.

1970: Main body of NMCB 71 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for deployment at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


August 6

1945: A U.S. Army Air Force B-29 bomber, called the Enola Gay, took off from North Field on the island of Tinian Island and later in the day dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Honshu, Japan. This was the first time that the weapon, until then held secret, was used for a military purpose. The bomb destroyed over four square miles of the city and brought death or injury to over 160,000 people. Seabees of the 6th Naval Construction Brigade participated in many phases of the operation. When the USS Indianapolis arrived at Tinian from the Naval Weapons Center, Port Chicago, California, Seabees helped with the unloading of the components of the atomic bomb. The Seabees then stored the elements in a shed built by themselves, and they then organized a detachment to guard the shed and its mysterious contents. Scientists assembled the atomic bombs in the shed with several Seabees assisting as handymen. Later, when she started on her mission to Japan, the Enola Gay with her atomic bomb took off from Tinian’s North field which the Seabees had built.


August 7

2015: Capt. Greg Vinci, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Capt. Eric Aaby, CEC, as commanding officer of Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1 at Naval Amphibious Base (NAB), Coronado, California.


August 8

1942: 17th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

1945: 7th Special NCB inactivated at Advance Base Depot (ABD), Port Hueneme, California.

1949: The 1st Naval Mobile Construction Battalion — NMCB 1 – was activated for use in advance base construction and participation in special task force projects.

1951: The U.S. Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks (BuDocks) Supply Depot, Davisville, Rhode Island, was disestablished. In its place, BuDocks established U.S. Navy Advance Base Depot, U.S. Navy Construction Battalion Center (CBC), U.S. Navy Advanced Base Tactical Training Center, U.S. Navy Advanced Base Supply Depot, and U.S. Navy Construction Equipment Depot, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1952: Establishment ceremony held for NMCB 9 at CBC, Port Hueneme, California.

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