This Week in Seabee History: August 9 – 15

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

Seabees of CBMU 301 repair a track in Khe Sahn, RVN, 1968. (Photo courtesy ofU.S. Navy Seabee Museum)


August 9

1946: 20th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) inactivated.

1967: NMCB 1 vehicle hit by claymore-type mine on Route 1. One man was killed in action, and five men were wounded.

1968: Cmdr. Warren H. Anderson, CEC, relieved Cmdr. Richard D. Coughlin, CEC, as commanding officer, NMCB 71, at Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

2002: First Naval Construction Division (1NCD) commissioned at Naval Air Base (NAB), Little Creek, Virginia, under command of Rear Adm. Charles Kubic. The Division made the Atlantic and Pacific Naval Construction Forces a unified Seabee command for worldwide operations.

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


August 10

1943: ACORN 11 arrived at Noumea. (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each ACORN to maintain the base after the initial construction was completed and the construction battalion had been withdrawn.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.)


August 11

1942: Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC), Davisville, Rhode Island, is commissioned. 18th NCB commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

1944: 8th NCB commissioned.

1953: A devastating earthquake on the Greek Island of Cephalonia led to a display of Seabee-Marine teamwork. The commander of the 6th U.S. Fleet ordered 11 Marines and two Seabees from ACB 2 to form a landing party to assist the Greeks in emergency relief operations. The two Seabees were George F. Dyer and Robert J. Gillie. With equipment brought ashore from their ships, the Seabees and Marines first cleared a road from the beach to the village so that Jeeps could bring out the injured. A heavy landslide which blocked the road completely had to be blasted before the Seabees’ bulldozers could start clearing a passage.

1967: Seabee Team 0407 moved from Saigon to Can Tho, RVN.

1968: Seabee Team 0310 with 12 men arrived at Long Kuyen, RVN, while Seabee Team 0311 with 12 men arrived at Can Tho, RVN.

1970: Capt. J.F. Washurn, CEC, was relieved by Capt. K.P. Sears, CEC, as commander, 32nd NCR.


August 12

1942: The 11th NCB was the first battalion to leave the Advance Base Depot, Port Hueneme, California, by ship. The battalion sailed on the SS Japara for Tutuila, Samoa.

1942: The 18th NCB arrived at NCTC Davisville, Rhode Island, for advanced training. It was the first battalion to do so.

1943: 110th NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1944: 38th NCR commissioned.

1966: NMCB 133 commissioned, CBC, Gulfport, Mississippi.


August 13

1943: 101st NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia. 115th NCB formed at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1968: Main body of NMCB 58 arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island, from Da Nang, RVN.

1968: Seabee Teams 0703 and 0704 arrived at Da Nang, RVN, and proceeded directly to Soc Trang City and Go Cong City, respectively.

1968: Cmdr. J.C. Rickels, CEC, relieved Cmdr. L.D. Lawson, CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 7.

1968: Cmdr. R.L. Dunlap, CEC, commanding officer, NMCB 22, relieved Cmdr. C.J. Mathews, CEC, commanding officer, NMCB 58, as commanding officer, Camp Haskins, North Da Nang, RVN.

1968: Capt. A.W. Walton Jr., CEC, relieved Capt. J.M. Hill Jr., CEC, as commander, 32nd NCR.

1968: First two flights of the main body of NMCB 58 departed Camp Haskins North, RVN, for return to CBC, Davisville, Rhode Island.


August 14

1970: Cmdr. H.E. Keppel Jr., Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Lt. Cmdr. H.H. Harrell, CEC, as commanding officer, Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 302, at Naval Support Facility (NSF), Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

2009: A Seabee, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 40, said farewell to his counterpart from the Indonesian Marine Corps after the dedication of an engineering civic action program at Pusaka Rakyat primary school as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2009. The Seabees and Indonesian Marines worked closely together for nearly a month on the project. CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and enhance the operational readiness of the participating forces. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

August 15

1942: 19th Naval Construction Brigade (NCB) established at Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia.

1944:  Invasion forces landed on Guam in the Marianas Islands, July 21. The initial objective was to take possession of Apra Harbor, together with the surrounding development area and airfield on Orote Peninsula. Landing forces struck north and south of the harbor. Seabees participated in the assaults: the 25th and 2nd Special NCBs on the beaches north of the harbor, and the 53rd and 13th Special NCBs, and CBMU 515 on the southern beaches. For three weeks, combat and construction continued until finally, on Aug. 10, Japanese resistance ended. Since considerable development had been planned for Guam, the 5th Naval Construction Brigade was established. The brigade assumed control of the construction and development of base facilities for both the Army and Navy. Guam became a great Army air base, as well as the principal naval base in the Western Pacific.

1944: 120th NCB inactivated at Davisville, Rhode Island.

1945: 38th Special NCB inactivated at Advance Base Depot (ABD), Port Hueneme, California.

1951: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 established at Construction Battalion Center (CBC) Davisville, Rhode Island.

1971: Construction Battalion Unit (CBU) 417 established at Naval Air Station (NAS), Whidbey Island, Washington.

2009:  Seabees assigned to the 30th Naval Construction Regiment conducted marksmanship training in Kuwait before deploying to Afghanistan. The regiment was headed to Southern Afghanistan where it commanded the work of more than 3,000 Navy, Army and Air Force military engineers. The regiment, homeported in Port Hueneme, Calif., was deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

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