History of MCB 11 1950's
|On Monday, 14, September 1953 at 1605,
MCB Eleven was officially commissioned and became known as the "The Newest
Battalion In Existence." LCDR Castanes had the honor of being the
first Commanding Officer. LCDR A. D. Froman was his Executive Officer.
The Battalion headed out for it's first Pacific Deployment a month later, and arrived on the last day of October at the U.S. Naval Air Facility, Cubi Point, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Work for the new Battalion included the construction of temporary facilities used for barracks, shops and warehouses, the largest single buildings of the project; earth moving for the construction of seaplane parking areas, roads and building sites; and the maintenance and operation of camp facilities. Living was none too pleasant since the men were billeted in tents most of the deployment and waded through approximately 100 inches of rain. Over a year later they returned to Port Hueneme, CA for leave and reorganization.
On March 6, 1955, the Battalion was off for the U.S. Naval Station, Kodiak, Alaska, to carry out assigned tasks consisting of maintenance, repairs and rehabilitation. After a short deployment (due to the Alaska winter) MCB 11 returned to Port Hueneme.
October 26, 1955, the Battalion went to the island of Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. Hot, humid, salty weather on the atoll was with the men as they worked on the construction of 175 concrete block houses. The Battalion stayed on Kwajalein for a year and then returned to Port Hueneme for technical training, leave and preparation for a new job.
March 29, 1957, MCB 11 embarked again for approximately seven months of duty at Naval Station Adak, Alaska. Their work consisted of runway seal coating, paving, and repairs and rehabilitation.
January 1958 saw the Battalion back to the Philippine Islands once more, this time for construction of a dam, fuel farm, and roads and after the six month deployment the job was over and the Seabees Spirit of "Can DO" still lived.
September 1958 the USNS Sultan took the battalion aboard and carried them to Duva Duva, better known as Guam. The battalion was split into two groups, with the main group living at the Naval Operation Base and the other at the Naval Air Station. Their main jobs were construction Naval Housing, operation of a batch plant at Fadian Point and construction magazines and the support facilities at the Naval Magazine.
June 1959, the Battalion returned to Port Hueneme, and for the first time Military Training was administered as a whole for a Mobile Construction Battalion. All received three weeks of military training and many received six weeks. The bulk of military training consisted of range firing, weapons familiarization, hand signals, march maneuvers, physical conditioning, and overnight bivouac for each training company and a day and night exercise ins which the entire battalion participated.
MCB Eleven made first entry into the planning of the space age construction work by Seabees in 1959, when the battalion was temporarily assigned to construction work on the tracking stations on Canton and Guadalcanal Islands. Two officers and two men were sent on a preliminary survey but the project was deferred.
In October 1959, the main body of the battalion left aboard the USS General J.C. Breckenridge for Okinawa. MCB 11 relieved MCB 9 at Camp Kue, the battalion's new home. This was the start of a productive deployment that extended to July 1960. The Okinawa project consisted of building permanent Staging Out Facilities for the U.S. Marine Corps. This included 5 large warehouses each 100 x 400 feet, 2 Engineer Shop Buildings, 1 Motor Transport Shop, 1 Ordnance Shop, a Supply and Administrative Building, a Central Head, wash and grease racks, and retaining walls along with necessary water, sewer and electrical services and roads and parking areas.
|The above information is from Cruise Books|