This Week in Seabee History (Week of February 21)

Feb. 21, 2016 | By Seabee Magazine
Consolidated by Dr. Frank A. Blazich Jr., Historian, U.S. Navy Seabee Museum
VIRIN: 160221-N-ZY182-1519
Seabee Team CBMU 301 working at Khe Sanh, Qu ng Tr Province, Republic of Vietnam, 1968. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

February 21

1801: The Philadelphia Navy Yard was established after the second of three land purchases, which established the yard. 1944: 28th Special Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) formed at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, VA. 1972: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 main body of 219 men under CDR J.A. Ruscyk departed Rota, Spain for Construction Battalion Center (CBC), Port Hueneme, CA.

February 22

1943: 86th NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, VA. 1968: EON2 H.H. Aguayo was injured when the tractor in which he was riding hit a mine on Route No. 1, south of Phu Bai, RVN.

February 23

1801: The land for the Brooklyn (New York) Navy Yard was purchased and the yard established on this date. 1943: 87th NCB formed at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, VA. 1968: CDR Paul R. Gates, CEC, USN, was relieved as Commanding Officer of NMCB 1 by CDR Thomas J. Mitchell, CEC, USN at CBC Davisville, RI.

February 24

1881: The President of the U.S. conferred relative rank on civil engineers and equal precedence to officers of the line in the Navy for the first time. For the fixed number of 10 CEC officers, one had the relative rank of captain, two with relative rank of commander, three with relative rank of lieutenant commander, and four with the relative rank of lieutenant. 1970: Seabee Team 4004 departed Davisville, RI for reassignment to OIC CBPACDET, Republic of Vietnam (RVN) and deployment to Xuan Loc, RVN.

February 25

1944: 137th NCB broken up at Advance Base Depot (ABD) Gulfport, MS to form CBMU 595, 596, 597, and 598. 25th Special NCB commissioned at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, VA. 1970: CDR J.J. Godsey, CEC, USN, relieved CAPT C.R. Whipple, CEC, USN, as Commanding Officer, NMCB 3 and Commander, 30th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR), at a change of command ceremony at Camp Kinser, Okinawa. 1972: Seabee Team 1022 departed CBC, Port Hueneme, CA for duties in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI). 1972: Seabee Team 1021 departed CBC, Port Hueneme, CA to Guam for duties in the TTPI.

February 26

1966: First element of NMCB 3 advance party arrived at Rosemary Point, Chu Lai, RVN to construct a Seabee cantonment. 1970: NMCB 1 advance party of two officers and 21 enlisted men departed Camp Haskins North for CBC, Davisville, RI. 1970: NMCB 5 s advance party arrived in Camp Haskins North from Port Hueneme, CA.

February 27

1942: ABD Davisville, Rhode Island is established as a unit of the Naval Operating Base, Rhode Island. This was the first of a total of four advance base depots established during World War II. Camp Thomas, also at Davisville, was concurrently established this day. Feb. 27 Mar. 2, 1971: Main body of CBU 201 arrived at Davisville, RI from Antarctica for reassignment to the 21st NCR.