17 September IP: 22.214.171.124 Posted on September 17, 2016 at 10:18:53 AM by Terry
1943…133rd NCB is commissioned at Camp Perry, Virginia.
1966… BGEN Stiles, Assistant Commander, 1st MARDIV visited NMCB-40 at Camp Shields.
…NMCB-62’s predeployment party consisting of CDR W.J. Richeson, CEC, USN, Commanding Officer and staff, arrived at NMCB-7’s Hue/Phu Bai camp.
…Traffic over the Da Nang River Bridge was stopped so NMCB-11 could make repairs. The repair crew began the installion of three 30-meter 75-ton pony truss spans and heavy timber decking to replace the temporary Eiffel spans across the Da Nang River.
1967…A ####tail party was held at Camp Kinser Commissioned Officer’s mess to welcome COMCBPAP CSO, CAPT C.G. Miller, CEC, USN, and party to camp Kinser and to acquaint Commanding Officers of the various Island commands with the Officers of NMCB-10. In attendance were RADM D.W. Coooper, USN, Commander, Patrol Forces, 7th Fleet; CAPT C.A. Pendelton, USN, COMFLTACTS Ryukyus; COL F.E. Marek, USAF, Base Commander, Kadena AF Base: and COL laing, USMC, Commanding Officer, MCAF Futema, as well as other officers from nearby commands. (MCB-10 DCR ’67-’68)
…CAPT C.W. Turner, COM30NCR and Dr Amirikian of NAVFACENGCOM visited NMCB-6 at Camp Miller.
1968…NMCB-1 completed the 478th Army Aviation Company Helicopter Facilities and Land Pad. This project consisted oa a 106,000 square foot parking apron and 10,000 sqaure foot landing pad of M8A1 matting on a base of 12 inch crushed base rock complete with 1495 linear feet of 12 foot high earth filled revetment. The site was at the base of a hill and was designed for heavy drainage requirements and for a balance of cut and fill to minimize the earth hauling required. Rount-the-clock construction was used to obtain maximum utilization of the two MRS-110 scrapers and five ton dump trucks available for use. The remainder of the augment scrapers and dump trucks were assigned to Northern I Corps battalions as part of the summer 1968 road augment program.
A major problem encountered was the installation of the M8A1 matting. The installation difficulties stemmed from minor differences in the size of the matting from several manufacturers which required making a cold joint and starting the laying of matting again after about a hundred pieces were placed. The cold joint was formed by welding a 8 inch square ½ inch thick plate on 2 foot centers ocer the interlocked matting joint. Drainage under the revetments was provided by installing a second layer of matting 6 feet wide around the perimeter utilizing the excess half sheets of matting and setting the revetments on this. This insured that the slots in the main pad matting were not filled with the dirt fill of the revetments and provided 4 square inches of drain area under every linear foot of revetment. This drainage consideration was extremely important to insure there was no standing water in the matting area which could lead to subgrade failure.
Drainage of runoff from the hill around the helicopter pad was also extremely critical since this could potentially cause serious damage to the facility. Rainfall data for the area was sketchy although several observers reported that during provious storms the runoff was so great as to flow across the road and directly across the area where the helicopter parking area was to be located. Based upon this information, two large drainage ditches were designed with a 100 percent factor of safety. One concrete lined ditch was to act as an intercept drain for any water that overflowed the road as well as to carry off water from approxiomately half the helicopter parking area. The other concrete lined ditch was placed so as to carry off the main drainage flow from the hill side which passed under the road in a 36” diameter culvert. During construction an exceptionally heavy rainfall was experienced with water flowing across the road as predicted. Even though not completed, the drainage ditches functioned well with no damage sustained to the work underway.
Slope stabilization was also a critical factor. Because of the size of the area to work in,which was bounded on the south by the road on the hillside and rice paddies to the north, it was necessary to have a 1 to 3 slope between the road and the helicopter drainage ditch. This was stabilized by scraping the surface to hard pan with a dozer and then spraying the area with a medium coat of asphalt emulsion. THi design sccefully withstood rainfalls in October 1968 of 11 to 13 inches on two successive days for a weekly total of 34 inches.
One sidelight matter concerned the saving of a 100 foot high tree which was located on the edge of the area. Such high trees were extremely rare in that part of Vietnam, so every effort was made to save it. The helicopter personnel were quite cooperative, and, therefore, it was possible to leave the tree standing.
Another constraint on the design of the helicopter facility was the necessity to site the pad so that none of the many gravesites in the area were disturbed. This aused quite a bit of design effort, but it was finally accomplished by providing a curved taxiway from the landing pad to the parking area. Another first!
Construction was completed within the 30 days allotted despite six days and nights lost because of rain and six night shifts cancelled because of the tactical situation. In order to complete the job on time, 50 percent alert was maintained on the Camp Hoover perimeter at night and a full day work schedule was maintained during the day. An interesting point here was the fact that since the facility was still under construction it was necessary for NMCB-1 to provide day and night security. Several nights during the increased condition of tactical readiness, rockets impacted near the facility leading many to believe that the enemy was trying to hit the CH-54 “Flying Cranes” which had move in a week before the facility was completed. No rockets impacted within the facility area. Also several times during this period of manning the lines at the helicopter facility, small arms fire was directed near this area.
This project was the first large Battalion effort of the deployment and all the companies worked very well together to complete the job in a timely maner. The designation of the Alpha Company Commander as Project Officer responsible for overall project coordination was found to be an excellent management innovation. Upon completion of the project, the Battalion had achieved a sense of accomplishment, prode, and an attitude of “give me more”.
…When NMCB-62 relieved NMCB-74, the Civic Action Program in the area of responsibility assigned by the G-5, Force Logistics Command, had been Seabee territory for several years. The coordination of Civic Action efforts in this area, the Hoa Vang District, was well coordinated so that the duplication of efforts by neighboring military units was kept to a very minimum. Here there was no problem of falling into the trap of working only with institutions instead of the equally important, if not more important, hamlets and villages of Vietnam.
The villages and hamlets of Hoa Vang District were spread out along National Route 1, from Da Nang City to the foothills and mountains of Hai Van Pass. NMCB-62 worked in 4 of these hamlets. The hamlet, Trung Nghia, on the shore of the Bay of Da Nang and the northern boundary of the city, was a Buddhist stronghold which was first inhabited during the 13th century by the Chams, a tribe of people from India which migrated north into what is now South Vietnam. Traveling north out of Da Nang two Catholic hamlets, Phuoc Quang (AT 965 776) and Phuoc Thanh (AT 960 782) , were next on the list. They were refugee hamlets inhabited by Vietnamese from south of Da Nang, in existence for approximately3 years. They were built on the sands of grave yards, an unclaimed windblown area surrounded by the rice paddies of the farmers of Hoa Vang. The hamlet’s houses were constructed of plywood from packing crates, opened “C” ration boxes and USAID corrugated tin roofing. Further on toward Red Beach and Camp Haskins was a new hamlet, (AT 980 775) but this one was different. The residents were “Hoi Chan”, former Viet Cong families who fled from the Communists and turned to the South Vietnamese Government for protection under the Chieu Hoi (Open Arms) Program. The people here were energetic and appeared to sincerely appreciate what was done to help them rebuild their lives.
A primary factor which governed the progress and success of the Civic Action Program was the development of rapport between the Battalion personnel engaged in the program and the people in the hamlets. In order to develop that rapport there was regular and frequent contact, something that was not normally possible between the U.S. Military and the Vietnamese civilian population. Rapport with the people of the hamlets was primarily obtained through the two teams of Corpsmen who held sickcall 6 days a week These teams of Corpsmen, with their genuine interest in helping the people, paved the way for the other efforts of the Battalion. A second factor, which goverened the progress and success of the Civic Action Program, was the availability and coordination of manpower, equipment and materials. Materials were available through G-5, Force Logistics Command and came from USAID sources via Vietnamese government officials. The increased materials demand created by the TET Offensive, and the supply labyrinth, made planning, scheduling and execution of projects tedious and difficult. The availability of equipment for transportation of materials was no problem during the deployment due to the increased understanding of, interest and cooperative spirit toward the Civic Action Program by Battalion personnel.
1969… NMCB-11 Detail Zulu departed Camp Haines for secondary bridge (at) SB #1 to construct a 234 ft class 30 timber bridge
1970… MCB-10 Detail Juliett returned to Camp Wilkinson from Quang Tri after completing the Quang Tri Highway Bridge.
…First flight on NMCB-10 Main Body flights with 6 officers, 185 enlisted men, and 1 Marine departed Da Nang by air and arrived at Port Hueneme. Seabee Teams 1015 and 1018 were returned to Port Hueneme of this flight.
1971…NMCB-5’s Detail Colt, consisting of nine men, completed the An Khanh Footbridge near Saigon. This footbridge, built for the convenience of VNN dependant children, saves them a trip of 3.5 miles which was the distance they traveled to school the previous year