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This Week in Seabee History: January 29 - February 4

Feb. 8, 2024 | By MC1 Adam Brock

Consolidated by U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, Naval History and Heritage Command
January 29

1944: 146th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) established in Iceland from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 583.

1946: 67th NCB inactivated on Eniwetok.

Jan. 29-Feb. 6, 1968: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 8 main body deployed to Camp Wilkinson, Gia Le Combat Base, Phu Bai, Republic of Vietnam (RVN) by C-141 and C-124 aircraft.

1972: Seabee Team 6207 departed Guam for Construction Battalion Center (CBC), Gulfport, Mississippi.

January 30

1943: 5th Special NCB commissioned at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

Jan. 30-Feb. 6, 1967: NMCB 4 main body arrived at Da Nang, RVN.

1972: Seabee Team 6207 returned to CBC, Gulfport, Mississippi.

January 31

1944: 131st NCB inactivated at Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California.

Jan. 31 Feb. 28, 1946: 75th NCB inactivated at Samar, Philippines.

Jan. 31 Mar. 1, 1946: 129th NCB inactivated at Samar, Philippines.

1964: Capt. Robert D. Larson, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), U.S. Navy (USN), relieved Capt. Earl R. Bennett, CEC, USN, as Commanding Officer, CBC, Port Hueneme, California.

1967: Lt. Commander W.G. Landes relieved Commander L.D. Lawson as Executive Officer of NMCB 58.

1968: Gia Le combat base received 20 to 30 rounds of 122mm rockets during the early morning hours. Four rounds received in the NMCB 3 camp. Equipment Operator Constructionman (EOCN) Lawrence N. Stangel was killed in action, EON3 Gary W. Bert and CN Delbert T. Byes were wounded.

1969: Seabee Team 0514 arrived in Vietnam and arrived in Phu Vinh on February 4, 1969.

2007: Rear Adm. Michael K. Loose promoted to Vice Admiral by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Mullen and assumed billet of Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Fleet Readiness and Logistics). Vice Adm. Loose thus became only the second CEC officer ever, after Adm. Ben Moreell, to be promoted to vice admiral.

Early February

1991: By early February 1991, 2,800 Seabees and 1,375 pieces of equipment had been deployed to the region in support of Operation "Desert Shield." Upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia, the Seabees built critically needed facilities at the four airfields where the Marine Air Combat Element had deployed. This entailed construction of parking aprons, as well as base camps to house the Marines pouring into the area. Next, the Seabees built ammunition supply points for the large amounts of ordnance being transported to the region. Once these needs were met, the Seabees shifted emphasis to improving living conditions in the Marine camps.

February 1

1943: 79th NCB commissioned at NCTC Norfolk, Virginia.

1944: Seabees of Naval Construction Battalion 121 joined the Fourth Marine Division and landed on Roi and Namur, the northernmost islands of the Kwajalein atoll, while Army forces landed on its southern islands. A savage bombing and shelling all but destroyed both the enemy base and the defending force at Roi and Namur. Trees were uprooted and buildings destroyed. Clearing the debris and the dead was the first order of business, and the Seabees set to work. Members of NCB 109 arrived a few days after the initial landings. The battalions ripped up and resurfaced Rois triangle of three airstrips. Less than two weeks after the assault, a fighter squadron arrived to operate out of the base. On adjoining Namur, the Seabees built fuel tanks for an aviation supply depot and a pier.

1944: 138th NCB formed on Attu from Construction Battalion Maintenance Units (CBMUs) 547, 556, 576 and Construction Battalion Detachment (CBD) 1018.

1945: 23rd and 38th Naval Construction Regiments (NCRs) inactivated.

1955: United States Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (Special) was formed as part of the Construction Battalion U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Its mission was to build and support scientific bases in the Antarctic as part of Task Force Forty-three during Operation Deep Freeze I. Before the unit left the United States there were 166 men and 15 officers assigned to it. The commanding officer of the battalion was Cdr. Herbert W. Whitney, CEC, United States Navy Reserve (USNR).

1966: NMCB 40 was re-commissioned at Davisville, Rhode Island. Under the command of CDR Benjamin L. Saravia, CEC, USN, NMCB 40 was the first battalion reestablished in order to augment the Naval Construction Force for the Vietnam War.

1966: NMCB 9 main body moved from Da Nang, RVN to CBC, Port Hueneme, California.

1968: Commander J.F. OLeary, commanding officer, NMCB 8, officially took command of Camp Wilkinson, Phu Bai, RVN.

1968: NMCB 3 was relieved at Camp Wilkinson by NMCB 8.

1968: The NMCB 3 camp area received two rocket rounds during the lunch period. Seaman (SN) Richard L. Blevins was killed in action. One member of NMCB 8 was wounded in action. At the same time, NMCB 3s fourth flight to the continental United States (CONUS) was mortared while emplaning at the Phu Bai Airport.

1968: Seabee Teams 4002 and 5802 graduated from Seabee Team Training and were assigned to Officer in Charge, Construction Battalions, Pacific Detachment, RVN, deploying to Go Cong and Soc Trang, respectively.

February 2

1943: 73rd NCB commissioned at Camp Peary, Magruder, VA. African-American 80th NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Allen, Norfolk, VA. 83rd NCB commissioned in Norfolk, Virginia (exact camp unknown).

1945: 139th NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

1946: 31st Special NCB inactivated at Yokosuka, Japan.

1966: NMCB 9 turned over Camp Adenir, Da Nang, RVN to NMCB 11.

1969: Seabee Team 5803 deployed to Vietnam for assignment to Officer in Charge, Construction Battalions, Pacific Detachment, for duty at Chau Phu, RVN.

February 3

1945: ACORN 36 decommissioned and Naval Air Base Orote commissioned. (In World War II, Navy ACORN units, composed of Seabees and other components such as aircraft maintenance units, etc., were put together to design, construct, operate and maintain forward landplane and seaplane bases and operational facilities.)

1967: Seabee Team 0908 returned to the main body at Da Nang, RVN via C-118 aircraft from leave in the U.S. after completing a six-month deployment in Vietnam.

1967: NMCB 121 commissioned at CBC, Gulfport, Mississippi.

February 4

1967: NMCB 121 commissioned at CBC, Gulfport, Mississippi.