25 September

1966…A 63-man detachment from NMCB-10 arrives at Khe Sanh to re-lay the runway with AM-2 matting, extend the runway to 3,900 feet, and construct a parking apron. The project was completed on 11 October…ahead of schedule
…NMCB-1 Delta Company deployed to Chu Lai from 6 September to 25 September to construct three (3) reinforced conrete double box culverts at Chu Lai in support of the new Crosswind Runway. The culvert lengths were 226 feet, 278 feet, and 243 feet. Two of the culverts utilized pre-cast tops positioned on cast-in-place concrete walls. The third culvert’s top walls werer placed monolithically. A total of 1200 yards of concrete and 300 tons of steel reinforcing were placed during construction.
…NMCB-1 completed construction of an open storage/salvage yard #104 for FLSG-A (L701 6659 III 946-796). The project required laying and compacting an eight (8) inch lift of laterite over an area of 426,000 square feet. A 6” lift of compacted rock was laid over 240,000 square feet of the laterite area. All rock was supplied by Vietnamese contractors.
…NMCB-1 completed site preparation for construction of the 30th NCR Headquarters which consisted of bringing the existing sand surface to grade for fourteen (14) 20’x100’ barracks and preparing the sand grade and laying a compacted laterite base for concrete decks in the Officer’s Mess, Dudley Building and Pasco Building. In addition an area of 42,500 square yards designated as the Suipply Yard required a 12” lift of laterite and a 6” lift of 4” minus compacted rock. The road system was also constructed as well as defensive positions, bunkers, triple concertina and double barbed wire fences around the entire perimeter of the 100 acre site.

1967...NMCB-133 Advance Party departed Camp Faulkner coe CBC Gulfport via military aircraft.
…NMCB-128 Advance Party, consisting of 1 officer and 116 enlisted men, deployed to Camp Faulkner, Da Nang East.
…Capt C.G. Miller, CEC, USN, CDR B.J. Hackenson, SC, USN, and LCDR V. Young, CEC, USN, conducted a Logistics and Military Rediness Inspection of NMCB-1
…Upgrading the 660 foot bridge #30 required NMCB-1 moving a detail of 1 officer and 52 men to the previous camp site at Thon An Cu Dong. Materials were moved to the site and work began on 14 August 1967. The work consisted of 8 WF I-beams welded in place beneath the bridge to provide the additional stringers required to bring the bridge to a 53 ton capacity. The width of the bridge did not allow space for a welding machine on the bridge. Again, the 7th Engineers loaned four of their critically required pontoon sections to use as two work platforms beneath the bridge. By using two crews, each on a separate section, the bridge was completed on 25 September 1967. A third crew was concurrently employed to place eight rows of new 2x10 treadway on top of the bridge. While not repairing destroyed bridges and culverts a continuous upgrading of bridges and patching and sealing the road was accomplished. Nineteen bridges required upgrading. A majority of those were brought to a Class 60 status by placing 12 inch x 12 inch knees or posts at the midspan. Many required reinforced concrete pads for manchoring the braces and several required extensive abutment repair to insure stability. Totally separate from the work on the pass, the road from Camp Haskins entrance to the check point at Kim Lien was upgraded. The section from Camp Haskins to the CAP Unit and from Nam-O to the Nam-O Bridge was paved with two inches os asphalt placed on an improved 18 inch road rock base. Since no asphalt mix was available immediately after the completion of this section, the road from the Nam-O bridge to the check point was delayed. Afterwards the pontoon bridge was washed out preventing paving until RMK replaced the old Nam-O bridge spans. When the bridge was re-opened asphalt was again not available. The remaining section was ready to be paved; the elevation had been raised approximately one foot with road rock and required only finish grading and resealing just prior to paving operations.
Bridge #26 (originally replaced with steel I-beams) was blown a second time and replaced by four 24” culverts which subsequently washed out during a severe monsoon rain. After washing out, two 36” culverts were added on top of the 24” culverts still in place and reinforced concrete headwalls were placed on each side.
...NMCB-1 Security on the Hai Van Pass
The rough, steep and overgrown terrain on Hai Van Mountain was especially conducive to ambushes, mining, and sniper activity. The activity, while extremely difficult to control, was reduced by methods developed by NMCB-1 as work on the road progressed.
Efforts to establish patterns of the Viet Cong’s activity only proved that nothing could be assumed. The Viet Cong utilized land mines, snipers, claymore mines, as well as ambushes with rockets, small arms and grenades. The most frequent action occurred between Bridges #10 and 12 on the South side of the pass and at Bridges #18 and 26 on the North side. Crews working in these locations were subject to immediate attacks and could not overlook the same result at other locations.
The most common attack was from a sniper located in rocks 200 to 300 yards above the road. However, the probability of sniping from below the road was also high. CN Blair Starkey was killed by a sniper shot through his flak jacket from below the road while another sniper was firing from above the road on 28 August 1967. The most effective weapon available to combat snipers was the M-79 grenade launcher.
Since snipers were seldom seen, the M-79 was used at suspected locations. The 60mm mortar, when available, worked better because the killing radius was larger and the higher shell arc was more effective against snipers hidden behind large boulders. Once crews were working at a site it was necessary to station a security guard consistently away from the crew to return sniper fire from selected cover. The guard was cautioned to expect booby traps set out by the ARVN, as well as, the Viet Cong. It was common practice for the ARVN troops to rig a complex of traps in any area except the road; the Marines were prohibited from leaving traps in any location that could not be observed.
The second most common attack and the most dangerous was the claymore mines and rocket rounds rigged to act as claymores. The mines were command detonated from 25 to 75 yards away. Frequently, the mines were followed by rockets, automatic weapons, grenades and small arms. The most common target was a vehicle with six or more men in the rear and traveling slowly. Ambushes occurred on several occasions after Vietnamese civilians flagged the truck down just before the “kill zone”. This was done to obtain the slow rate of truck speed which would improve the chances of damage by a command detonated mine. It was necessary to instruct drivers not to stop as the result of any action initiated by Vietnamese or what appeared to be ARVN forces. All men in moving vehicles were required to wear flak jackets and helmets. The trucks used frequently on the hill were armored to stop claymore fragments. The armor was ˝” steel plate backed up by two layers of 2x12 planking. Removable ˝” steel plates were placed to cover all but about 6” of the door openings.
Secondary mines and booby traps were used against work crews at the sites of recently blown bridges, and the work sites were frequently mined. To offset the effectiveness of these tactics, a site was never approached directly. Although often requiring the personal supervision of the Company Commander, the approach to all jobs was varied. Trucks were stopped well back from the site and a systematic sweeping above and below the site was conducted to spot communication wire for command detonated mines; then the site was searched for mines and bobby traps before work was started. As often as possible a mine sweep team from the 1st or 7th Engineer Battalion was borrowed to check the work sites with mine detectors.
In general, any information tending to allow relaxation on Route 1 was not dependable. Occasionally, the Viet Cong departed from their tendency to hit vehicles loaded with personnel. Three separate vehicles with only a driver aboard were attacked. On one occasion a Chieu Hoi had defected and stated that the Viet Cong in the Hai Van area had made a 16 day march back into the mountains to re-supply. A review of past actions indicated a 14 to 18 day interval between major attacks. This information seemed to suggest the likelihood of an attack every 18 days a likely senerio.

1968…From 25 August to 25 September 1968, two jobs were completed by NMCB-133. Both were at the 8Th RRFS and consisted of three banks of reefers (15 units) with 18,000 cubic feet of storage capacity and a transformer bank containing 3 100KVA transformers with primary and secondary wiring to serve the cold storage facility. During the reporting period, 639 strongbacks, 137 SEA huts at Camp Eagle and 108 SEA huts at Quang Tri were completed. NMCB-133’s well drilling team began drilling wells north of Dong Ha to assist NMCB-7.
…At 0700 and again at 0830 on 25 September the ARVN outpost at site A-1 northeast of Dong Ha came under mortar attack. For wounds received while assisting wounded ARVN troops, EO2 W.T. Campbell, a member of NMCB-133’s well drilling team, was awarded the Purple Heart.
…CBMU-302’s BU3 Pashby (Detail Bravo-Nha Trang) was wounded by a bomb thrown into a crowed area
…NMCB-22 provided construction and technical assistance in the construction of the Hoa Khanh Vocational School. This was a hoint effort in which NMCB-22 did the site preparation and joined with the Vietnamese in placing concrete building slabs. The remainder of the work was done by the Vietnamese including the making of the masonry blocks for the building

1969…RADM J.G. Dillon, COM3NCB and CAPT J.E. Washburn, COM32NCR, visited NMCB-74 at Camp Rhodes and toured job sites.
…NMCB-74 In-Country Main Body, consisting of 420 personnel, deployed to Camp Hoover, Da Nang from Camp Rhodes, Quang Tri. Detail Apha was concurrently established with 1 officer and 220 enlisted men which remained at Camp Rhodes.
…RADM J.G. Dillon, CEC, USN, COM3NCB and CAPT J.E. Washburn. CEC, USN, COM32NCR, came aboard Camp barnes to tour NMCB-62 construction sites and brief the Commanding Officer on NMCB-62’s role in the President’s recently announced troop withdrawls from the Republic of Vietnam.
…NMCB-62 Detail Snapper rejoined the Battalion at Camp Barnes
…The Main Body of NMCB-74 consisting of 420 men redeployed to Camp Hoover, Da Nang, leaving Detail Alpha at Camp Rhodes, Quang Tri. Detail Alpha was concurrently established with 1 officer and 220 enlisted men.

1971…The ACTOVRAD Facilities at Mui Dinh, completed by NMCB-5’s Detail Maverick, were accepted by the Commander, Second Coastal Zone, Vietnamese Navy
…The Bien Hoa Army/Air Force complex received six rounds of 122mm rocket fire. NMCB-5’s Detail Stallion remained at Red Alert for two hours from 0430 to 0630.
…Seabee Team 0417 working in support of USAID, at Long Khanh Province near Xuan Loc, northeast of Saigon, was attacked with two B-40 rockets at 2345H on 25 September. One round hit a revetment and sickbay while the other impacted outside the camp. EO3 Ritchie Grethey received minor shrapnel wounds and one three quarter ton truck received minor damage

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