1964-65 Cruise Book

When MCB Eleven deployed to Okinawa in January of 1965, the Battalion made history by being the first Pacific Seabee Battalion to deploy entirely by air. They were commanded by CDR W. W. Barron, CEC, USN, and the Executive Officer was LCDR w. D. Middleton, CEC, USN. They landed by MATS jets at Kadena AFB, Okinawa. Their main construction training mission on Okinawa was the completion of a Seabee project for construction of permanent headquarters and barracks for the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Hansen. This project was started almost 2 yrs before by MCB Three and was continued by MCB Nine, with a cost of over a million dollars.

Although hampered by exceptionally heavy rains during the rainy season and interruptions from two typhoons, the men of MCB Eleven made steady progress on the project. The Battalion worked a six-day-a-week, split shift schedule, popularly known as "Jarshaw-Miller Swing."

MCB Eleven shared the facilities at Camp Kinser with the Pacific "Alert Battalion." When MCB Ten, then the Alert Battalion, mounted out to Vietnam in April, MCB Eleven assumed the tasks of Camp Kinser maintenance and operation in addition to its Camp Hansen mission. During this time Alpha Company worked around-the-clock schedule to assist Ten in the huge task of embarking battalion equipment and aluminum matting for the 8,000 foot runway that MCB Ten was to construct at Chu Lai. A group of MCB Eleven equipment operators also accompanied MCB Ten to assist in debarkation at Chu Lai.

While the main body of Eleven was on Okinawa, other men were deployed at widely scattered locations elsewhere as members of special teams and detachments. There was one EO/Cm team working in Thailand, a well drilling team in Vietnam, and another special team engaged in special work at U.S. embassies in eastern Europe.

Seabee Team 1104, led by LTJG Frank A. Peterlin, CEC, USNR, wrote a new chapter in Seabee history in June l965 when, together with a small group of Special Forces men, they successfully battled against an overwhelming assault by the Viet Cong against their camp at Dong Xoai, Vietnam. Two members of the team, William C. Hoover, SWF2, and Marvin G. Shields, CMA3, gave their lives in the defense of the camp. All members of the team have received decorations and awards for their bravery during the attack.

MCB Eleven sent two other Seabee Teams, 1103 and 1105, on projects in Southeast Asia. Seabee Team 1103, headed by LTJG P. J. Brady, CEC, USNR, completed an eight-month road construction and training project in Nam Pat, Thailand, in June 1965. Seabee Team 1105, headed by LTJG D. E. Luce, CEC, USNR, deployed in July 1965 to Vietnam, where it was engaged in support of the U.S. Army Special Forces.

The men of MCB Eleven found time to participate in several people-to-people projects, including assistance to the people of several Okinawan villages and islands.

MCB Eleven was honored in August 1965 when they were given the "Contractor of the Month" award by the Resident Officer in Charge of Construction, Camp Smedly D. Butler, Okinawa. This was the first time it had ever been given to a Mobile construction Battalion.

Late in August, the Battalion learned that its overall performance during the Fiscal Year 1965 had earned it the annual "Best of Type" award for the Pacific Naval construction Forces.

MCB Eleven returned to Port Hueneme, CA in September 1965 for intensive military training, school, and leave.