Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Thirteen
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion THIRTEEN was commissioned on July 13, 1942. The Battalion soon became known as the "Lucky 13" and adopted the "BLACK CAT" logo seen above. No one is sure of how the logo was chosen, however we can speculate that the typical SEABEE humor caused the adoption of the logo. The date 7/13 probably led to the "Lucky 13" motto.
The initial deployment as a Battalion was to the Aleutian Islands as part of a larger expeditionary force. The next "mount out" took it to Tinian where early cruise books show the construction of an air field and assorted support facilities. One picture shows the Black Cat logo on the nose of a B-29 Bomber at the airfield. The Battalion remained on Tinian until being decommissioned in 1944.
It was re-esatblished as Reserve Naval Mobile Construction Battalion THIRTEEN in 1963 with it first deployment in February 1963 to Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island, for organizational and operational training. The Battalion's second ACDUTRA was performed at the U,. S. Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, Camp Geiger, North Carolina for advanced infantry training. In 1965 it returned to CBC Davisville for practical factor qualifications.
A detachment was sent to the Canal Zone and a 29 man group deployed to Rota, Spain during the 1973 ACDUTRA. A Permanent Drill Site (PDS) was constructed at the former Naval Air Station, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, New York. The first equipment for a Reserve Battalion was received.
In July 1974, RNMCB-19 was decommissioned and personnel were merged with RNMCB-13. Operational control shifted from the dis-established Fourth RNCR to the Twenty First RNCR. The Battalion PDS was relocated to Camp Smith, Peekskill, New York. Over the next 20 years the Battalion"s PDS remained at Camp Smith, occupying various quarters. In 1979, construction was begun on our "own compound". This was created by filling in an abandoned swimming pool that had been created for the Olympics in the early part of the century. Work continued with buildings being added and renovated through 1993.
The Battalion became host to various other Naval Units providing support for military training for many Surface Units and Cargo Handling Battalions. Extensive use was made of the excellent range facilities and mountainous areas for field exercises. AIRDET exercises were conducted utilizing nearby Stewart Air National Guard Base. Helicopter units were also
included in some of these exercises.
Some of the more notable accomplishments include:
Disaster Relief efforts in 1978 on Long Island, N.Y. following a severe ice storm.
Construction of a dam and spillway capable of supporting tactical vehicles at Camp Smith.
Major improvements to the U.S. Navy Recreational Area at Solomons Island, Maryland.
Construction of firing ranges for Federal Law Enforcement training.
Construction of a driving course to train Federal Agents for Executive Protection.
Erection of repelling towers for U.S. Military Academy Cadets at West Point.
Renovations to various military buildings throughout the tri-state area.
Completed dozens of public service projects for scouting and volunteer organizations.
In February 1991. a 45 man detachment was placed on Active Duty and sent to CBC Gulfport, Mississippi to do the preliminary planning for a full activation of the Battalion for Operation Desert Storm. As a result of the swift conclusion of that operation most were released from active duty. A small group remained on active duty for six months and were sent to Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico where they remained until August 1991.
Jun 18 2000 01:14:27:000PM