Naval Mobile Construction Battalion SEVENTY-FOUR
U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 was activated April 28, 1943 at the Naval Construction Training Center in Camp Perry, Williamsburg, Virginia. LCDR Fremont G. Elliot assumed command and led the Battalion throughout World War II.
"Fearless 74" served its country in the dangerous island-hopping campaign to reclaim Japanese held territory in the South Pacific. Often landing with the Marine Corps, the Battalion constructed support facilities on Tarawa, Kwajalein and Berlin Islands. For its outstanding achievement, NMCB-74 received the Navy Unit Commendation Citation before being inactivated Oct. 31, 1945, while in Okinawa.
Two decades later, the U.S. Navy called upon NMCB 74. The Battalion was recommissioned Dec. 6, 1966, at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi, and adopted the motto "Does More." During the years from 1967 through 1970, the Battalion made four deployments to Vietnam. NMCB 74 served in various locations: DaNang, Cam Lo, Dong Hoa, Quang Tri, Quang Nagi, Chau Doc, and Bien Hoa.
On Aug. 17, 1969, Hurricane Camille struck the Gulf Coast. NMCB 74 received its third Navy Unit Commendation Citation for recovery actions following the storm.
During homeport in 1985, the Battalion provided assistance in cleaning up the Gulfport area from the effects of Hurricane Elena. For this effort, the Battalion was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal.
In April 1986, the Battalion earned the Coast Guard Unit Commendation Citation for supporting the construction of a new Loran C station in Guam during a nine month deployment. The following year, NMCB 74 received the Golden Anchor award for retention excellence. The Battalion won the Golden Anchor again in 1993, 1998, 1999 and the Silver Anchor in 1994.
In December 1990, the Battalion was deployed to Ra's Al Mish'ab in northeastern Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. The Battalion initially deployed Dec. 3, 1990, to Suman Air Base, Bahrain, redeployed to Ra's Al Mish'ab in mid-December, and later retrograded to Camp Rorhbach in Al Jubail in mid-April 1991. Detail sites included Bahrain, Al Kibirt, Al Khafji, Saudi Arabia, and Suman Air Base, Bahrain.
Following an outstanding homeport, NMCB 74 deployed to Okinawa and the Pacific rim in March of 1993. The Battalion participated in Operation Cobra Gold in rural Thailand and provided outstanding project support for Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force commands throughout the Pacific. As a direct result, NMCB 74 was selected the Atlantic Fleet "Best of Type" for fiscal year 1993.
In May 1994, NMCB 74 deployed to the Caribbean. With detachments in Panama, Andros Island, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Vieques Island, Key West, Florida, Little Creek, Virginia, and Deployments for Training in Honduras and the Dominican Republic, the Battalion was tasked with a large challenge. In early June, the Battalion sent an Air Detachment of 89 personnel to Grand Turk Island in support of the 2,500 man migrant processing facility. Then in late June, they were tasked with sending another 89 personnel Air Detachment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, putting just over 200 of NMCB 74's finest, in support of Joint Task Force 160. The Battalion bore the brunt of constructing facilities to house 70,000 migrants.
In 1995, after returning to homeport, the Battalion was awarded the Peltier Award for its hard work and effort. This is a highly prestigious award given to the best battalion among the eight active-duty battalions.
In March 1998, the Battalion re-adopted its original "Fearless" motto. In September 1998, the Battalion provided cleanup assistance throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast due to damage caused by Hurricane Georges. Secretary of Defense William Cohen presented more than 200 members of the Battalion with the Humanitarian Service Medal.
In 1999, NMCB 74 was again awarded the Peltier Award, following a highly successful Caribbean deployment.
NMCB 74 has been selected "Best of Type" among the Atlantic Fleet battalions seven times during its history. It was awarded this honor under CDR Gordon W. Schley for fiscal year 1968, CDR James E. Bodamer in 1973, CDR Daniel B. Leonard in 1976, CDR Arthur W. Fort in 1978, CDR B. Daniel Neal in 1993, CDR Ronald W. Hertwig Jr. in 1994, CDR William M. Peacock III in 1999, and CDR Fran P. Castaldo in 2000.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|