This Week in Seabee History: June 21 - 27

June 21, 2020 | By ggranger

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

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VIRIN: 180625-N-ZY182-6779


June 21

1968: NMCB 58 deployed from Hoi An to Da Nang, RVN and established battalion command at Camp Haskins, North, RVN.

1969: NMCB 58s Detail Quebec at Cam Lo, RVN crusher site credited with at least one enemy killed when they discovered a body during sweep of the area prior to starting work. The enemy soldier had apparently been setting a booby trap when he detonated another booby trap set by the Seabees the evening before. Local Vietnamese said other Viet Cong had been killed but were carried off during the night.


June 22

1944: The 22nd NCB was inactivated at Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California.

1945: The 69th NCB was the first full Seabee battalion to move by air from one location to another. It was flown in echelons from Bremen, Germany, to London, England, a distance of about 600 miles.

1968: NMCB 3s advance party departed CBC, Port Hueneme, California in three flights on C-130 aircraft from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California to RVN.

1970: Seabee Team 0707 arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island  from Vietnam for reassignment to NMCB 7.

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Photo By: MC2 Michael B. Lavender
VIRIN: 180615-N-ZY182-6728

2009:Cmdr. Stephen Revelas, CEC, was relieved by Cmdr. Michael Monreal, CEC, as commander, NMCB 11 at ceremony held at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.


June 23

1942:  The 7th NCB arrived at the Naval Advance Base Depot Receiving Barracks at Port Hueneme, California. This was the first Seabee battalion to occupy and stage through the Port Hueneme Depot. While at the receiving barracks, it underwent advanced military and construction training, and was outfitted for overseas duty.

1944: The 1st NCB was inactivated.

1945: The 47th NCB was inactivated at Noumea, New Caledonia.

1969: Seabee Team 0603 returned to Davisville, Rhode Island.

1970: NMCB 7 turned Camp Shields, Chu Lai, RVN over to the U.S. Army, thus closing the oldest Seabee camp in Vietnam. Cmdr. P. Oliver, Jr., CEC, commanding officer of NMCB 7, and the last of the battalion's main body, departed Vietnam and arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island on this date.

1971: In a ceremony at the 21st NCR, Lt. Cmdr. D.L. McCorvey, CEC, relieved Cmdr. P. Oliver, Jr., CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 71. Oliver then relieved Cmdr. C.V.W. Popowich, CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 1. It was the first time in Naval Construction Force (NCF) history that a double battalion change of command ceremony was conducted.

2005: An improvised explosive device killed NMCB 18's Navy Culinary Specialist 1st Class Regina Renee Clark of Centralia, Washington, when it detonated near her convoy vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq. Clark became the first female Seabee ever killed in action, and arguably the first female enlisted woman in the Navy ever killed in action. Two other women were killed in the vehicle with Clark from the explosion.


June 24

1942: The 6th NCB was commissioned at Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia.

1943: The 99th NCB was activated at NCTC Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1969: Seabee Team 0603 arrived in Davisville, Rhode Island from Vietnam for reassignment to NMCB 6.

2016: Cmdr. James Brown, CEC, relieved Cmdr. Jorge Cuadros, CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 11 during the battalions change of command ceremony at Gulfport, Mississippi.


June 25

1944: ACORN 18 was dissolved. (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, aero logical 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.)

1969: Seabee Team 13304 landed at Moen Island in the Truk District of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI). This was the first Seabee Team to be deployed to the TTPI. While on Moen, Seabee Team 13304 improved roads and water storage facilities. Members of the team also supervised the construction of two dispensaries on Tol Island and provided medical services to the residents of other islands in the TTPI.

2009: Cmdr. Chris Kurgan, CEC, relieved Cmdr. Paul Odenthal, CEC, as NMCB 133 commander at a ceremony at NCBC Gulfport, Mississippi.


June 26

1945: ACORN 55 commissioned at Argus Assembly and Training Detachment (AATD) Port Hueneme, California. (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.)

1963: A 280-foot hill at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (GTMO), Cuba was dedicated and named Denich Hill in honor of George J. Denich, Jr., a 21-year old Seabee who was fatally injured in an accident while constructing fortified defensive positions on the hill, April 10, 1963. Denich, an Equipment Operator (Construction Equipment) 3rd Class in the U.S. Naval Reserve, served at GTMO with Mobile Construction Battalion (MCB) 7 during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. He died in an accident while operating a mobile crane on the hill which now bears his name. During the dedication ceremony, his father, George J. Denich, Sr., unveiled a memorial plaque, which reads: Denich Hill . . . Dedicated to the memory of George J. Denich, Jr., who gave his life in the service of his country on 10 April 1963 while engaged in the construction of fortifications to protect his fellow Americans.

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VIRIN: 170626-N-ZY182-4153

1967: Seabee Team 0809 departed for Port Hueneme, California for training and eventual deployment to the Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

1968: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 71 relieved NMCB 40 at Camp Shields, Chu Lai, RVN.

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Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist Se
VIRIN: 180625-N-ZY182-6778

June 27

1942: The Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Endicott was established at Davisville, Rhode Island. It was named in honor of Rear Adm. Mordecai T. Endicott, the first Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) officer to be appointed Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks. It was necessary to transfer personnel from the Naval Construction Training Center at Norfolk, Virginia to operate the station. Therefore, it wasn't until August 12, 1942 before the first battalion started training at the camp. The capacity of the camp provided for ten battalions in training, totaling approximately 350 officers and 15,000 men. This capacity was reached early in November 1942. Both primary and advanced training were given at Camp Endicott.

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VIRIN: 180625-N-ZY182-6781

1958: Two members of NMCB 1, Teleman Albert H. Matthews, and Builder 2nd Class Robert A. Wurst, were returning to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay from Guantanamo City, Cuba, when the report of a gun brought to a halt the civilian bus in which they were riding. Stopped by a jeep full of Fidel Castros soldiers, the bus driver, with his passengers including the two Seabees, was ordered to head up into the hills. When the bus could no longer make the steep mountain grades, its occupants were ordered to abandon it and proceed on foot. After walking most of the night they reached a small encampment. There they were given fruit and coffee. They were then loaded aboard a truck and carried deeper into the hills to another camp. Here the prisoners were not harmed, although living conditions were far from comfortable and consisted of eating mainly beans and rice. The release of the prisoners was subsequently obtained through negotiations with the rebel soldiers, and the two Seabees were picked up by a Navy helicopter and flown out of the hills.

1965: NMCB 9 on the USNS Blatchford, arrived Da Nang Harbor, RVN. The battalion departed Port Hueneme June 3, 1965.

1968: Two officers and 24 enlisted men from Seabee Teams 0101 and 0102 deployed via one C-130 aircraft from Davisville, Rhode Island to Saigon, RVN.

1969: NMCB 1 advance party arrived in Camp Campbell, Phu Bai, RVN.

1970: Seabee Teams 7104 and 7105 departed Davisville, Rhode Island for reassignment to Officer in Charge (OIC) Naval Construction Battalions, U.S. Pacific Fleet Detachment (CBPACDET), RVN and deployment to Soc Trang and Go Cong, RVN, respectively.

2006: Cmdr. Steve Hamer, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), relieved Cmdr. John Korka, CEC, as commanding officer of NMCB 4 at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, California.

2008: Cmdr. Stanley Wiles, CEC, assumed command of NMCB 1 from Cmdr. Dean Tufts as commander at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), Gulfport, Mississippi.

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Photo By: 1st Lt. John Quin
VIRIN: 180625-N-ZY182-6777
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