History 1960/61 Guam Tour Book.
On 15 October 1959, the main body of the battalion left aboard the USS General J. C. Breckenridge for Okinawa. Already in the Far East was the advance party which left Port Hueneme on 7 September. The men of Eleven arrived on the little island on 31 October after an overnight stop at Yokohama, Japan. MCB Eleven relieved MCB Nine at Camp Kue, the battalion's new home, and MCB Nine boarded the USS General J.C. Breckenridge for their return trip home. This in turn started the beginning of a productive deployment that was to extend until 20 July 1960.
The Okinawa project consisted of building permanent Staging Out Facilities for the U.S. Marine Corps. This project, which had been started by MCB Nine in February of 1959, included 5 large warehouses, each 100 by 400 feet, 2 Engineer Shop Buildings, 1 Motor Transportation Shop, 1 Ordnance Shop, a Supply and Administrative Building, a Central Head, was and grease racks, and retaining walls along with necessary water, sewer and electrical services and roads and parking areas. MCB Eleven worked on all of these items except the central head, gasoline dispensing station and wash and grease racks. The construction involved consisted primarily of precast, heavily reinforced, concrete units, some of which weighed 20 tons.
The battalion poured 10,215 yards of concrete during its deployment and fabricated and placed over 63,000 pounds of reinforcing steel. Over four acres of concrete floor slabs were poured. A total of 106,438 man days were put into the project and the supporting camp facilities while the battalion completed about 40% of the project.
The battalion had a People to People program with the Okinawans. The Seabees built and installed playground equipment and moved buildings for classrooms at a public school in the town of Jagaru. 350 first grade children were entertained at a battalion sponsored Christmas party. This work was all voluntary.
On 16 February 1960, CDR H. R. Liberty was relieved by CDR John P. Williams. There were also eight other officers detached during the deployment.
In November 1959, CWO Munson, officer in charge, and 35 enlisted men were detached to Midway. Their job consisted of building a stabilized area adjacent to the runways that birds might favor rather than the Air Station runways where they ad long caused heavy damage to aircraft. Detachment Bravo returned to Okinawa on 24 March 1960.
The USS MANN brought MCB Five to Okinawa on 19 July 1960 to relieve MCB Eleven. The battalion boarded the ship on this day and the next day, 20 July, departed for Port Hueneme, via, Yokohama, arriving on 3 August 1960.
U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Eleven departed the Continental United States on 16 November 1960 and arrived on the island of Guam on 30 November 1960. the Battalion was billeted at the U.S. Naval Station, Guam, Marianas Islands.
The deployment was originally scheduled to last approximately ten months with work on the Fourth Increment Replacement Housing, the major job on Guam. Smaller jobs consisted of the U.S. Naval Magazine cleanup, dismantling of Fadian Point Facilities (block and pipe plant), movement of over 600,000 stored block, dismantling, movement and re-erection of a concrete batch plant.
In addition, a smaller but important project was scheduled for Saipan where a 500,000 gallon reinforced concreted water tank was to be started and completed by MCB Eleven. A second job on Saipan was also undertaken, that of preparing a site for construction of a Civil Hospital. Our job was to prepare the coral pads where the concrete decks and subsequently the buildings themselves were to be placed, and furnish water, power and sanitary facilities to the site. The water facilities included the drilling of a well.
Early housing work on Guam was confined to the U.S. Naval Air Station where many inexperienced young Seabees gained valuable experience towards becoming a proficient journeyman in their rates. In the eight months on Guam, MCB Eleven poured as many roofs, laid as many blocks and turned over more houses than the three previous Battalions combined in the two years since the job began. Not all of this was due to our being a better Battalion, since the Housing work had taken a back seat to other more critical projects, but a lot of it was. Comments from one end of the island to the other were about "MCB Eleven" and their ability to do a job -- and do it good.
Along about March or April our progress had pushed us to the point of running out of work for some of our now proficient crews. Becoming accustomed to meeting a rigid schedule crews ticked off house after house until there was no place at the Naval Air Station to go. By June 10th, the last roof at the Air Station had been poured making a total of 24 to date. Work at Finegayan, the Naval Communications Station on the North-west end of the island had begun. Some time before June, Housing sites were being readied for deck slabs and the block walls soon to follow. After striking tough coral surfaces early in that game, the heavy equipment boys rolled out pad after pad until the site started taking shape. MCB Eleven again took up where the old MCB Eleven had previously left off by forming and placing slab after slab.
Underground utility work, often neglected or put in out phase because of the rush to start the above groundwork, got a little better start and storm drainage, sewer work and water were in an "underway" status when we left.
Looking back, the Guam deployment has produced a string of houses that anyone would be proud to claim, long lasting and important facilities to the Military and Civilian populace on Saipan and a knowledge by Military and Civilian alike on Guam that the "Can Do" Spirit of the Seabees is not a thing of the distant past.
Provided by USN MCB Eleven Charlie Anderson
After the Guam deployment, MCB Eleven returned to Port Hueneme, with leave and then on to Pendelton for combat training and then some further training at Hueneme which lasted three months. Then on to Midway, where we did mostly repair work. Charlie recalls that he laid a lot of floor tile because there was not block or brick to lay. He was also involved in resurrecting an old firing range for training our crews, which he found interesting because of the Gooney birds.