In August 1942 the future members of Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) 26 arrived at Camp Allen, Virginia. In October they shipped out and on 20 December 1942, the twenty-seven officers and 968 men o
... Moref NCB 26 arrived in the South Pacific participating in the Guadalcanal Campaign, relieving NCB 6 and moved into their camp at Henderson Field. The commanding officer was LCDR C. A. Frye and executive officer was LT H.H. Allen. Their mission was to complete projects necessary for driving the Japanese from the island of Guadalcanal. The Seabees on Guadalcanal built gun mounts and emplacements, tunnels, 6,000 feet of railroad, multiple docks, over 35 miles of primary roadway, 10 bridges and two radio stations with 150-foot transmitter towers. The tradesmen also completed salvage work on ships damaged by enemy attacks. While there the battalion had 187 air alerts and came under attack 68 times.
Shortly after arriving at Guadalcanal, Delta Company was sent to Tulagi, a naval base across the bay. Here they operated four electric generators, installed over 158,000 feet of power line, installed nearly 500,000 feet of telephone and communications wire and twelve miles of overhead wire. They operated the islands water system and fire system, maintained Aviation Gas service areas and completed seventy-three construction projects and repairs PT boats. Maintaining the critical flow of fuel to the war effort, NCB 26 received and dispensed over 34 million gallons of gasoline.
After a particularly harrowing night attack by the Japanese on 4 and 5 February 1943, Admiral William Halsey, Jr., Commander of the South Pacific Force of the Pacific Fleet commended two Chief Petty Officers of NMCB 26 for meritorious devotion to duty. During the attack a Japanese bomb landed in the center of NCB26's galley that had just been completed, destroying it completely. Chief Carpenters mates James D. Eaton and Howard W. Swan "..left their foxhole while the attack was still in progress to help organize and direct a fire fighting party which extinguished the flames which were illuminating the camp and thereby increasing the probability of a second attack with greater damage to life and property."
After the Japanese were driven from Guadalcanal, many of the Seabees were diverted to the New Georgia Islands, base construction in the Russell Islands, maintaining Petroleum reserves in California with a sizable detachment deployed further north to Kodiak, Alaska. Late in the war the Japanese made a last ditch thrust towards Alaska, threatening critical American Bases at Sitka. The NCB 26 detachment was sent to assist in repelling the Japanese incursion into the Aleutian Islands. This was a sizable effort, with over 20,000 Seabees were working in Alaska in 1944.
NCB 26 finished World War II fulfilling their duties in these locations and quietly dispersed back to civilian life at the close of war. However, their contribution to the war was recognized by multiple commendations for valor and service by two Army XIV Corps commanders Major General A.M. Patch and Major General O.W. Griswold, as well as the legendary Admiral William 'Bull' Halsey. The battalion was decommissioned. Hide
The Southwest Asia Service Medal is awarded for service in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, that portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees North latitude and west
... Moreof 68 degrees East longitude, as well as the total land areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Individuals serving between January 17, 1991, and November 30, 1995, in Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan (including their air space and territorial waters) are also eligible; however, they must have directly supported combat operations (e.g., embassy guards are not eligible). Hide
The Presidential Unit Citation may be awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and cobelligerent nations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy occurring on or aft
... Moreer December 7, 1941. Hide
The Valorous Unit Award may be awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy of the United States; while engaged in military oper
... Moreations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or, while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. Hide
The Meritorious Unit Commendation is awarded to units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services for at least six continuous months during a period of military operat
... Moreions against an armed enemy on or after January 1, 1944. Hide
To be eligible for the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, a Service member must be assigned or attached to a unit participating in Operation Enduring Freedom for 30 consecutive days or for 60 nonconsecutive
... Moredays in Afghanistan or meet one of the following criteria: Be engaged in actual combat against the enemy and under circumstances involving grave danger of death or serious bodily injury from enemy action, regardless of the time in Afghanistan. While participating in Operation Enduring Freedom or on official duties, regardless of time, is killed, wounded, or injured requiring medical evacuation from Afghanistan. While participating as a regularly assigned aircrew member flying sorties into, out of, within, or over Afghanistan in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom; each day that one or more sorties are flown in accordance with these criteria shall count as one day towards the 30 consecutive or 60 nonconsecutive day requirement. Service members who qualified for the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal by reason of service in Afghanistan between October 24, 2001 and April 30, 2005 shall remain qualified for that medal. However, any Service member who wishes to do so may be awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal in lieu of the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for that service. Additionally, any Army soldier authorized the arrowhead device may be awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with arrowhead device in lieu of the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with arrowhead device. Hide
The area of eligibility encompasses all land area of the country of Iraq and the contiguous water area out to 12 nautical miles, and all air spaces above the land area of Iraq and above the contiguous
... More water area out to 12 nautical miles. To be eligible for the Iraq Campaign Medal, a Service member must be assigned or attahced to a unit participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq for 30 consecutive days or for 60 nonconsecutive days or meet one of the following criteria: Be engaged in actual combat against the enemy under circumstances involving grave danger of death or serious bodily injury from enemy action, regardless of the amount of time the individual has served in Iraq; While participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom or on official duties (regardless of the time spent in Iraq) is killed, wounded or injured to the extent that he or she requires medical evacuation from Iraq; or, While participating as a regularly assigned aircrew member flying sorties into, out of, within, or over Iraq in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; each day that one or more sorties are flown in accordance with these criteria shall count as one day towards the 30 consecutive or 60 nonconsecutive day requirement. Service members who qualified for the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal by reason of service between March 19, 2003 and April 30, 2005 shall remain qualified for that medal. However, any such person may be awarded the Iraq Campaign Medal in lieu of the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for that service, at his or her request. In addition, any Army soldier who was authorized the arrowhead device may be awarded the Iraq Campaign Medal with arrowhead device in lieu of the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with arrowhead device. No service member shall be entitled to both the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal for the same act, achievement, or period of service. Only one award of the Iraq Campaign Medal may be authorized for any individual. The Iraq Campaign Medal may be awarded posthumously to any Service members who loses his or her life while, as a direct result of participating in qualifying operations, without regard to the length of time in the area of eligibility, if otherwise applicable. Hide
Individuals authorized the award of this medal must have been deployed abroad for service in the Global War on Terrorism operations on or after September 11, 2001, and to a future date to be determine
... Mored Hide
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded for for qualifying service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946, under any of the following condi
... Moretions: On permanent assignment within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater; or, For service in a passenger status or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days; or, For service in active combat in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations against the enemy and awarded a combat decoration or furnished a certificate by the commanding general of a corps, higher unit, or independent force that the individual actually participated in combat. Hide