This Week in Seabee History: December 16-22

Consolidated by Dr. Frank A. Blazich Jr., Historian, Naval History and Heritage Command

The first B-29 Superfortress bombers land Dec. 21, 1944, at North Field on Tinian, the massive airbase being constructed by the 29th, 30th and 49th NCRs under the 6th NCB, commanded by Commodore Paul J. Halloran, CEC. Since July, the Seabees worked around the clock to construct North and West Fields on the island into the main B-29 bomber bases for the ensuing air campaigns against the Japanese home islands. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

The first B-29 Superfortress bombers land Dec. 21, 1944, at North Field on Tinian, the massive airbase being constructed by the 29th, 30th and 49th NCRs under the 6th NCB, commanded by Commodore Paul J. Halloran, CEC. Since July, the Seabees worked around the clock to construct North and West Fields on the island into the main B-29 bomber bases for the ensuing air campaigns against the Japanese home islands. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Seabee Museum)

December 16

1942: 1st Special NCB commissioned at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Virginia.

1943: ACORN 11 dissolved.

1967: Seabee Team 0407 arrived in the continental U.S. (CONUS) following successful deployment to Can Tho, RVN.

1970: Cmdr. Roy D. Gaulden was relieved as commanding officer of NCMB 4 by Cmdr. J.A. Ruscyk.

1970: Camp Kinser, Okinawa was officially rededicated as Camp Marvin G. Shields, in honor of Seabee Medal of Honor winner Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Marvin G. Shields. Rear Admiral S.R. Smith presided over the ceremony. Honored guests included Mrs. Virginia Castellery, petty officer Shields’ mother, and Brig. Gen. R.H. Barrow, commanding general of USMC Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa.

2004: Builder 1st Class Neil Reno, front, and Construction Electrician 3rd Class Scott Tyner of Navy Reserve Seabees assigned to the Tactical Movement Team (TMT) of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Two Three (NMCB-23), clear a building prior to an assessment team mission in Fallujah, Iraq. Teams attached to the I Marine Expeditionary Force Engineer Group (I MEG) began conducting assessments on the heels of some of the fiercest fighting since the war’s onset. TMT is a mobile engineering and security force, designed to offer Seabee expertise with Marine tactical capabilities. TMT provide security escort formerly only offered by Marine forces. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Journalist Suzanne Speight.

2004:    Builder 1st Class Neil Reno, front, and Construction Electrician 3rd Class Scott Tyner of Navy Reserve Seabees assigned to the Tactical Movement Team (TMT) of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Two Three (NMCB-23), clear a building prior to an assessment team mission in Fallujah, Iraq. Teams attached to the I Marine Expeditionary Force Engineer Group (I MEG) began conducting assessments on the heels of some of the fiercest fighting since the war’s onset. TMT is a mobile engineering and security force, designed to offer Seabee expertise with Marine tactical capabilities. TMT provide security escort formerly only offered by Marine forces. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Journalist Suzanne Speight.

2004: Builder 1st Class Neil Reno, front, and Construction Electrician 3rd Class Scott Tyner of Navy Reserve Seabees assigned to the Tactical Movement Team (TMT) of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Two Three (NMCB-23), clear a building prior to an assessment team mission in Fallujah, Iraq. Teams attached to the I Marine Expeditionary Force Engineer Group (I MEG) began conducting assessments on the heels of some of the fiercest fighting since the war’s onset. TMT is a mobile engineering and security force, designed to offer Seabee expertise with Marine tactical capabilities. TMT provide security escort formerly only offered by Marine forces. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Journalist Suzanne Speight.

December 18

1942: 49th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia; 57th NCB commissioned at Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island.

December 19

1944: 42nd, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th Naval Construction Regiments (NCR) commissioned.

1945: 126th NCB inactivated on Okinawa.

1971: Seabee Team 4005 arrived at Davisville, Rhode Island from the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) for reassignment to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1; Seabee Team 4005 returned to NMCB 40 from the Island of Truk, TTPI.

December 20

1943: 18th and 19th NCRs commissioned. 138th NCB decommissioned at Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Camp Peary, Magruder, Virginia.

1945: 3rd and 51st NCRs inactivated. 5th NCB inactivated. 87th NCB inactivated on Okinawa. 99th NCB inactivated at Samar, Philippines. 115th and 118th NCBs inactivated at Subic Bay, Philippines. 119th NCB inactivated at Manila, Philippines. 5th Special NCB inactivated at Samar, Philippines. 21st and 24th Special NCBs inactivated at Subic Bay, Philippines. 22nd Special NCB inactivated at Los Negros and Manus.

1967: NMCB 3’s advance party of one officer and 24 enlisted men departed Camp Wilkinson for Port Hueneme, California.

1949: NMCB 8 officially disestablished at Construction Battalion Center (CBC), Port Hueneme, California. The disestablishment ceremony was held on 15 December.

December 21

1944: The first B-29 Superfortress bombers land at North Field on Tinian, the massive airbase being constructed by the 29th, 30th and 49th NCRs under the 6th NCB, commanded by Commodore Paul J. Halloran, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC). Since July, the Seabees worked around the clock to construct North and West Fields on the island into the main B-29 bomber bases for the ensuing air campaigns against the Japanese home islands.

1945: 147th NCB inactivated on Okinawa.

December 22

1942: 53rd NCB commissioned at Camp Allen, Norfolk, Virginia.

Dec. 22-23, 1968: On the evening of the 22nd-23rd, Naval Support Activity Saigon Detachment Qui Nhon was attacked by a small group of Viet Cong. An explosion heavily damaged the barracks where the Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 302 detail was quartered. The explosion was followed by small arms fire from Viet Cong infiltrators on the base. Three CBMU 302 personnel were wounded. Chief Equipment Operator Sears was critically injured, while Construction Electrician (Telephone) 3rd Class Snyder and Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Turnage suffered light to moderate injuries.

1968: NMCB 1’s advance party of two officers and 18 men deployed via one C-141 from Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam (RVN), to Davisville, Rhode Island.