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This Week in Seabee History: September 27 - October 3

Sept. 29, 2020 | By ggranger

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

VIRIN: 170921-N-ZY182-4949

September 28

1945: 39th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) inactivated on Saipan.

1967: NMCB 9 main body, consisting of 18 officers and 652 Seabees, deployed to Da Nang, RVN, on seven C-141 aircraft.

1968: NMCB 3 main body convoyed from Camp Faulkner to Camp Haskins South, Da Nang, RVN.

September 29

1943: 136th NCB established at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1945: 66th NCB inactivated on Okinawa.

September 30

1942: Aviation, Construction, Ordnance, Repair, Navy (ACORN) 1 arrived at Noumea, New Caledonia. (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each ACORN to maintain the base after the initial construction was completed and the construction battalion had been withdrawn.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: Commander Naval Construction Battalions, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CBPAC) Seabee Technical Assistance Team (STAT) Detachment, RVN established under commander of LCDR J.A. Wright, CEC, with its headquarters in Saigon, RVN.

1965: The last echelon of NMCB 8 s main body arrived at Da Nang, RVN, to establish a new Seabee camp. NMCB 8 was the first battalion to send a construction detail out from a battalion.

1967: NMCB 4 main body moved from Da Nang, RVN to Port Hueneme, California.

1969: NMCB 5's Lt. Cmdr. W.S. Smyth, CEC, acting commanding officer, changed Operation Control (OPCON) from 30th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR), Da Nang, RVN to 31st NCR, Port Hueneme, California.

October 1

1944: ACORN 38 was decommissioned and Naval Air Base Saipan commissioned.

1945: ACORN 24 was decommissioned; the 29th, 30th, 49th NCRs were inactivated.

1951: Commander Naval Construction Battalions, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CBLANT) was established. This activity was placed under the command of the Commander of the Service Force of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet so he could effectively fulfill his responsibility as construction battalion type commander.

1952: 103rd NCB was disestablished on Guam, and NMCB 10 commissioned the same day on Guam.

1965: Two Atlantic Fleet Seabee Teams were assigned to Project Demo, a project in support of the Department of State at embassies behind the Iron Curtain.

1967: NMCB 9 relieved NMCB 4 and commenced its third consecutive deployment to the RVN near Da Nang.

1967: Seabee Teams 0601 and 4001 graduated from Seabee Team Training and were assigned to Officer in Charge (OIC), Construction Battalions, Pacific Detachment, RVN, deploying to Tu Duc and Lei Thieu, respectively.

1970: NMCB 5 Detail Yankee transferred from Camp Haskins North to Camp Haskins South, Da Nang, RVN. Detail Yankee was relieved at Camp Haskins North by elements of the Third Marine Amphibious Force.

1970: Seabee Team 0317 deployed to Yap, TTPI via government aircraft.

1985: Command status of UCT s upgraded to commanding officer.

October 2

1799: The United States first navy yard was established at Washington, D.C.

1952: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 10 activated on Guam.

1967: Seabee Team 0601 arrived in Thu Duc, Republic of Vietnam (RVN).

1967: NMCB 71 advance party of two officers and 19 Seabees departed from Chu Lai for Davisville, Rhode Island, on two C-141 aircraft. NMCB 40 advance party arrived at Camp Shields, Okinawa.

1968: Cmdr. J.A. D Emidio relieved Cmdr. G.W. Schley as commanding officer, NMCB 74.

1986: Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 became the first Seabee unit ever awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Service Award. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. The award recognized ACB 2's unsurpassed operational tempo, including support of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon, and Operation "Urgent Fury" in Grenada, Teamwork 84 in Northern Europe, Ocean Venture 84 in the Caribbean, and Joint Logistics Over the Shore Test II. Over 100 members of Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 were also eligible for the award, since they were assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 on temporary duty during Joint Logistics Over the Shore Test II.

2010: Capt. Paula C. Brown promoted to rear admiral, becoming the second female CEC flag officer and first female deputy commander of the First Naval Construction Division (1NCD).

October 3

1942: The first decorated Seabee hero was Seaman 2nd Class Lawrence C. Bucky Meyer of the 6th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB). While working as a truck driver on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Meyer took cover in a Marine machine gun pit during an enemy strafing attack on the airstrip. Manning the machine gun, he fired at the lead Japanese Zero and shot it down. For his exploit, Meyer was awarded the Silver Star Medal. Unfortunately, the medal had to be awarded posthumously, because 13 days later Meyer was killed in action when Japanese dive bombers attacked and destroyed the gasoline barge on which he was working.

1945: 48th NCB inactivated at Guam.

1964: NMCB 7 inaugurated the first fully computerized programming of a Seabee construction project when that battalion s workload at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was planned and programmed by computer. This method of planning became a useful tool in preparing for subsequent construction projects.

1968: NMCB 3 relieved NMCB 62 at Camp Haskins South, RVN.

October 3-21, 1971: NMCB 71 detachment CHAGOS departed Davisville, Rhode Island, for deployment to Diego Garcia (Reindeer Station).

Photo By: MC2 Brandon Shelander
VIRIN: 181001-N-ZY182-7252