History of CBMU 301


CBMU 301 History-Compiled by Art Moore
(Any additions or corrections? Please email them to:

Cruise Books are available see details later on this page for more information.

Hueneme Base entrance signIn late December 1966 the detailing of personal to the 31st Naval Construction Regiment in Port Hueneme, California, began. By March 31, 1967, the men were established as the United States Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 301.

On 7 April 1967 the unit was commissioned at Port Hueneme with LCDR Henry Holmes receiving the colors as the unit's first commanding officer. On 17 May 1967 the advanced party deployed by air to the combat zone in Vietnam. The battalion's rolling stock went by sea and arrived soon at the NSA DaNang's deep-water piers. The main body flew out from California shortly thereafter and arrived to establish it's base camp at Dong Ha, Republic of South Vietnam. By 24 June 1967, CBMU-301 was up and running.

Dong Ha BaseDong Ha Forward Combat Base, RVN, was located approximately eight miles south of the Demilitarized Zone which was in Quang Tri Province in the I Corps Tactical Zone. The Dong Ha base was a major source of ammunition, fuel, and food for U.S. Marine outposts such as Con Thien, Khe Sanh, Camp Carroll and Gio Linh.

On February 28, 1968, CBMU 301's base camp at Dong Ha was named Camp Spillman in honor of BU1 Charles O. Spillman who died in the crash of a Marine CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter  while inbound to Khe Sanh. The mission of the main body in Dong Ha was the maintenance and operation of the 3,700 foot AM-2 aluminum runway. CBMU 301 also tasked with maintenance and support U. S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy cantonments, maintenance of over 17 miles of Combat Base roads, maintenance of the new and old LCU ramps, maintenance of base electrical distribution and support and maintenance of the Dong Ha Combat Base Hospital.

Quang Tri Pagoda On 3 June 1968, CDR W.E. Burdick relieved LCDR Holmes as C.O. of  CBMU 301. During CDR Burdick’s command the base camp was moved  8 miles south to the Combat Base in Quang Tri. This camp was named in honor of SW2 Edward C. Adams who died from NVA artillery fire into his jobsite at the Khe Sanh Combat Base on April 16, 1968.

Then on 22 May 1969 CDR Groff relieved CDR Burdick as Commanding Officer. On February 4, 1970 CBMU 301 again relocated it's base camp. Under CDR Groff  the main operation was moved south to Chu Lai to fit the needs of the U.S. Marines and other units they were supporting. This camp was named Camp Wall in honor of CBMU 301's former Executive Officer who died in the U.S. after completion of his tour.

CDR George E. Krauter  relieved CDR Groff on April 24, 1970 in Chu Lai and was last Commanding Officer of CBMU 301.  An advanced party from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 301 departed the Republic of South Vietnam  for Port Hueneme, CA on July 1, 1970. The remaining duties of CBMU 301 were assumed by the sister battalion, CBMU-302 which was based at an unnamed base camp in Cam Ranh Bay, RVN. Some of the CBMU 301 crew elected to stay and were merged into CBMU 302. These men continued work in turning over facilities to the Vietnamese Navy so they could continue the fight.

CDR George Krauter brought the unit back to Port Hueneme, CA for decommissioning and by Oct. 1970 all CBMU-301 operations ceased.

Detail Alpha was located at An Hoa, approximately 22 miles south of Da Nang.The primary mission of Detail Alpha was the maintenance of the 3,500 foot M8-A-1 matting airstrip. Secondary to this is the maintenance support of Marine Corps and Navel shore units based there. This support encompassed maintenance of base electrical distribution system and generators and maintenance of base roads. Detail Alpha also performed selected new construction projects.

Detail Bravo was located at Khe Sanh, approximately 30 miles southwest of Dong Ha.The primary mission of Detail Bravo was the maintenance of the 3,895 foot airstrip. The secondary mission was the maintainance support for the U. S. Marine Corps and Naval Shore Units on the Khe Sanh combat base.On the morning of January 21, 1968, NVA forces launched an all out attack, and the siege of Khe Sanh began. Detail Bravo endured the 77 day siege while carrying out their Seebee mission to this remote, now famous, battle area .Detail Bravo was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for their support of the 26th Marine Regiment during the 2 month siege of Khe Sanh by the North Vietnamese.

Detail Charlie was located at Cua Viet, approximately 9 miles northeast of Dong Ha and 4 miles south of the DMZ.Cua Viet was at the mouth of the Song Giang River (Dong Ha River) and the South China Sea and was an intermediate supply station for Dong Ha.The primary mission of Detail Charlie was to maintain the landing craft ramp with construction and maintenance for Naval Units there.

Detail Delta was located at Quang Tri, approximately 8 miles southwest of Dong Ha and 4 miles north of Quang Tri City.The primary mission of Detail Delta was the maintenance of the 3,700 foot airstrip. The mission also included the maintainance support for the U. S. Marine Corps and Naval Shore Units based there. Numerous new construction projects were assigned and completed.The main body of CBMU301 was moved from Dong Ha to the Quang Tri Combat Base in December of 1968 (I need this date verified).

Commanding Officers CBMU 301
LCDR H. A. Holmes
April 1967 - May 1968

CDR William E. Burdick
May 1968 - May 1969

CDR Jim Groff
June 1969 - April 1970

CDR George E. Krauter
April 1970 - October 1970

Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 301
Commissioned April 7, 1967
31st Naval Construction Regiment
Port Huneme, CA

De-commissioned October 1970
31st Naval Construction Regiment
Port Hueneme, CA

Cruise Books CD's

CBMU 301 Cruise Book (Samples)

1967-1968 (1 meg)

1968-1969 (4 meg)

1969-1970 (2 meg)





Requires Adobe PDF Reader available free here

The above links are courtesy of the Seabee Museum. These contain only a very small sample of the cruise book (please note the quality of the sample has been reduced and is not representative of the actual cruise book) and not the additional material found on the CD's which are for sale. After viewing the PDF file we are sure you will want your own copy. For orders go to and click on the order page. Order CBMU301 by year 67-68, 68-69, 69-70, the cost is $30.00 plus shipping, for phone orders call 1-805-982-5168, they are also available at the Seabee Museum at Port Hueneme.

The Beginning: World War I

Conceived by Admiral Ben Moreell, the Seabees were established in 1942 at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. By the summer of that year the first Seabee units were engaged in construction and combat. From the construction and defense of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal to the Normandy Invasion, the "CAN DO" Seabees participated in every major amphibious assault in World War II. More than 325,000 men served with the Seabees in World War II, fighting and building in more than 400 locations before the war's end. With the general demobilization following World War II, the "Bees" were all but disbanded with only 3,300 men on active duty in June 1950. Newly established Mobile Construction Battalions (MCB's) had duty in Cuba and throughout the Pacific.

Korea and Vietnam

Seabees at work

In Korea, as in World War II, the "CAN DO" spirit shone again. Landing at Inchon, Seabees provided pontoon causeways within hours of the initial assault. Following Korea the Seabees embarked on the largest earth moving project in Seabee history by building the Naval Air Station at Cubi Point, Philippines.

The Seabees numbered 10,000 men in May of 1965 when the first battalions went across the beach at Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam. During the peak of the conflict, Seabee strength reached 25,000 men in 22 battalions, two regiments, two maintenance units, and scores of Civic Action Teams. Nearly $100 million worth of construction was placed by over 3 million man-days of effort. The types of jobs ranged from the construction of logistical complexes in DaNang and Chu Lai to Special Forces camps in remote regions. It was at Dong Xoai that Petty Officer Marvin Shields was awarded the Seabees' first and only Medal of Honor.

From the island-hopping of World War II, the cold of Korea, and the steaming jungles of Vietnam, to today, Seabees have built cities, paved thousands of roads, and constructed numerous airstrips in the four corners of the world. Seabees have served side by side with the Marine Corps and the Army, building and defending what they built.

Today's Seabees

Today the Seabees perform peacetime construction and train to be ready when called upon again. Seabees deploy throughout the world in Europe, the Caribbean, Japan, and Guam. Major Seabee training, logistic, and home port facilities are located at Port Hueneme, California, and Gulfport, Mississippi. Eight active MCB's are home-ported at these facilities. In addition, two Amphibious Construction Battalions (ACB's) and two Underwater Construction Teams (UCT's) are located on each coast. Two thirds of the Naval Construction Force are reservists. The Seabee reserves are organized into 12 battalions, two support units, and four regiments located throughout the United States.

Hurricane recovery in Charleston, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico and earthquake recovery in San Francisco in 1989, and Hurricane Andrew recovery in 1992 demonstrated the disaster recovery skills in the Seabee repertoire.

During the Gulf War, more than 5,000 Seabees (4,000 active and 1,000 reservists) served in the Middlle East. In Saudi Arabia, Seabees built 10 camps for more than 42,000 personnel; 14 galleys capable of feeding 75,000 people; and 6 million square feet of aircraft parking apron. Over the past 50 years the Seabees have repeatedly demonstrated their skills as fighters and builders.

From the islands of the Pacific to the jungles of Vietnam to the sands of Saudi Arabia and to the mountains of Bosnia, they have built and fought for freedom. In peacetime, we have strived to be America's goodwill ambassadors. In peace and in war, we have lived our motto: "Can Do!"

Song of the Seabees