History of MCB 11 1953-54

 On Monday, 14 September 1953 MCB 11 was formally commissioned and was known as "the newest battalion in existence." LCDR James C. Castanes, CEC, USN assumed command. The officers and men of MCB 11 were taking on the gigantic task of getting the battalion equipped and ready for their movement to a forward area. On Wednesday, 14 October 1953, the men of the battalion boarded the USNS Barrett for parts unknown. After four days of rocking and rolling and a few upset stomachs we arrived in Pearl Harbor for a short one day stay, then on across the the International Date Line, where we gained a day in time. We were practically "Old Salts" belonging to the "Knights of the Golden Dragon." We arrived October 31st in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines. MCB 9 was awaiting our debarkation so that they could embark for their long awaited voyage the other way.
   As is the custom in the P.I. in October, it started to rain as the unloading of supplies was about to begin. After settling in and finishing the unloading, the battalion was ready to undertake the tasks that lay before it. Some of these assignments included construction work on permanent facilities such as the new concrete barracks for enlisted men, subsistence building, and steam plant: the construction of temporary facilities, which included four new shops and warehouse; and the new heavy equipment repair shop, the largest single building of the project; earth moving for the construction of seaplane parking areas, roads and building sites; and the maintenance and operation of camp facilities, consisting of central building shops, boiler shop, and roads, together with paver, refrigeration and water supply systems. The last project assigned to the battalion was the construction of the steel sheet pile bulkhead in the seaplane parking area, in which the men of this battalion, working under most difficult conditions, set new records for waterfront construction at Cubi Point.
   Although there were shifts working around the clock most of the construction season, all was not work, we had our recreation trips to Hong Kong, Manila, Baguio and Clark Air Force Base. It seemed good to all hands to get away from the "Hill" for awhile, we also picked up some great bargains in Hong Kong in the form of cashmere sport coats, silks and satins for the folks back home as well as for ourselves.
   The battalion was fortunate in spending a rainy season on Cubi Point with one of the mildest rainy seasons in quite some time. Approximately 100 inches, for the most of us this was more rain than was necessary anyway.

1953-54 Cruise Book contributed by David Mullis Jr.

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