09 December IP: 126.96.36.199 Posted on December 9, 2016 at 12:27:53 PM by Terry
1965…The first full Navy Seabee battalion in Vietnam, NMCB-10 is relieved at Chu Lai by NMCB-4. By making the amphibious landing in May, NMCB-10 became the first Seabee battalion to make an amphibious landing under combat conditions since World War II.
During the landing nearly nine million pounds of heavy equipment and supplies were moved ashore. During its deployment, NMCB-10 listed such construction jobs as an 8000-foot all-weather landing strip, two helo pads, 12 miles of roads and a large share of the Chu Lai base. In earth hauling alone, the “Men of Ten” moved over one and a quarter million tons of dirt, clay and rock. The deployment began on Okinawa when NMCB-10 was designated as the Pacific Fleet Alert Battalion. When the call came to mount out for Vietnam, over two million pounds of landing strip matting was moved in 30 hours. The Seabees, assisted by Marine engineers staged and loaded a complete line of heavy equipment and supplies capable of covering all phases of construction to be faced at Chu Lai.
When the Battalion landed, work commenced immediately. By nightfall of the next day, surveyors were laying out the Chu Lai landing strip, roads and campsites. On the third morning heavy equipment began leveling the terrain for the runway. During the first five days, the men slept under trees until shelters were set up. It was 14 days before they had their first hot meal. In less than 24 days after landing, the air strip was operational and was being used to mount air strikes against the Viet Cong.
During the first days at Chu Lai the ‘bees encountered sporadic sniper fire. Heavy equipment operators carried a “shotgun” rider with an M-14.
Weather played an important part at Chu Lai, but no matter how miserable conditions became, The Seabees carried on. Temperatures varied from 110 to 120 degrees during one spell. During another four-day period continuous rains dumped over 20 inches of water over the area.
Initially, due to the heat, work was scheduled in increments of four hours on and eight off. During the last several months of the deployment the Battalion worked a 10 to 12 hour day, seven days a week. Only on that special day in December, as planes circled Chu Lai before taking the Seabees home, did they realize their job was finished.
1966… Work was completed at Phu Bai by NMCB-9’s detachment which supported NMCB-7 in building 113 huts in a 15-day period and remained to do other work for MAG-16 and “A” Medical Battalion.
…Rear Admiral Paul E. Seufer, CEC, USN, relieved Rear Admiral Robert Wooding, CEC, USN, as commander, Third Naval Construction Brigade. During the change of command ceremony, held at Camp Haskins in DaNang, Admiral Wooding was presented with the Legion of Merit by Rear Admiral Norvall G. Ward, Commander U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam
1967…An NMCB-121 working party and Marine security group were fired on by enemy forces. No casualties.
…NMCB-5’s Detail Foxtrot, composed of 1 officer and 35 enlisted men departed Dong Ha for site A-3 to construct living and security bunkers for the U.S. Marines. The detail returned on 24 December 1968 sfter constructing (17) 18-ft x 24-ft and (2) 8-ft x 12-ft timber bunkers. Detail Foxtrot came under daily NVA artillery and rocket fire while at A-3.
…NMCB-58’s Main Body began arriving at Camp Haskins to relieve NMCB-1
…An MCB-9 12-man detachment, led by BU1 C.T. Ledger, USN, returned to Camp Hoover after completing a 500-man galley and other messing facilities for the 1/7 Marines at Hill 10, 8 miles southwest of Da Nang.
1969…NMCB-121 received a welcome briefing by RADM J.G. Dillon, COM3NCB and CAPT J.E. Washburn, COM32NCR.