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This Week in Seabee History: April 2-8

April 20, 2023 | By MC1 Adam Brock
Consolidated by U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, Naval History and Heritage Command
April 2

1946: 90th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) inactivated at Yokosuka, Japan.

1967: Cmdr. J.F. O Leary, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Cmdr. P.A. Phelps, CEC as commanding officer, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 8, during change of command ceremonies at the battalion s campsite in Vietnam.

1969: Seabee Team 0811 deployed from Construction Battalion Center (CBC), Port Hueneme, California, to Bac Lieu, Republic of Vietnam (RVN), via government aircraft. Seabee Team 0810 deployed from CBC, Port Hueneme, California, to Can Tho, RVN, via government aircraft.

1971: The Chief of Naval Operations announced the award of the Meritorious Unit Commendation to Team 1015 for the period of January to September 1970.

Apr. 2-3, 1967: The second increment of the NMCB 11 Advance Party consisting of one officer and 99 enlisted men departed for Dong Ha Forward Combat Base, RVN.

Apr. 2-6, 1969: NMCB 7 main body consisting of 642 enlisted men and 22 officers departed Camp Barnes, RVN, for the continental U.S. (CONUS).

April 3
1944: 30th Special NCB organized at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1967: NMCB 4 began construction of the Liberty Bridge at Da Nang, RVN with a 22-man crew.

During the 1980s
The Seabees provided support for the Fleet Hospital program. These Fleet Hospitals were rapidly deployable systems of expandable shelters, pre- positioned worldwide, and assembled/erected by Seabees. Of the 23 hospitals required, 8 would be built and supported by active-duty Seabees, eight by Reserve Seabees, and the remainder programmed for future years. The Reserve Naval Construction Force participated in a field test of a partial hospital in Operation "Golden Shield" during 1986. Active-duty Seabees supported a follow-on test and evaluation of a complete 200-bed hospital in April and May 1987.

April 4
1943: Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island is formally dedicated with Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox in attendance. The 84th NCB lead the review of battalions for the SecNav.

1968: Main body of NMCB 71 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for Chu Lai, RVN.

April 5
1968: NMCB 6 main body of 21 officers and 585 enlisted men arrived in Davisville, Rhode Island.

1968: Seabee Team 0408 arrived in Ca Dau Ha, RVN and Seabee Team 0409 arrived in Vinh Long, RVN to begin engineering construction support.

April 6
1943: 8th Special NCB formed at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1966: Main body of NMCB 7 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for assignment to the 30th NCR for duty at Phu Bai, RVN.

1966: NMCB 7 main body moved from Construction Battalion Center Davisville, RI to Hue Phu Bai, RVN.

1968: In the Republic of Vietnam, the Hill 494 Quarry Cantonment and Rock Production was dedicated as Camp DeShurley by Rear Adm. J.V. Bartlett, CEC, commander, 3rd Naval Construction Brigade, and Cmdr. J.A. Wright, CEC, commanding officer of NMCB 9, in honor of mortar crew leader Builder (Light) 3rd Class George R. DeShurley and the five other Seabees of Detail Echo, killed in action in the defense of the facility on the morning of March 31 at Phu Loc.

1968: Construction Mechanic (Heavy) 2nd Class Teddy J Baker and Construction Mechanic Constructionman Michael D. Chascsa, of NMCB 4, were wounded while riding a truck which struck a land mine in Mai Lang, RVN.

April 7
1942: Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox announced that the Navy would enlist African-Americans for general service, with open enlistment for messmen and the Seabees. Over 12,500 African-Americans would serve in the Seabees during World War II.

1967: Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 201 commissioned at CBC, Port Hueneme, California.

1967: NMCB 40 departed Chu Lai, RVN.

1968: Main body of NMCB 6 arrived in Davisville, Rhode Island from Chu Lai, RVN.

April 8
1942: 2nd NCB commissioned.

1946: 28th NCB inactivated on Okinawa.

1967: Main body of NMCB 71, consisting of 16 officers and 684 enlisted men, departed Davisville, Rhode Island on C-141 aircraft for duty at Chu Lai, RVN.