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Naval Mobile Construction ONE is one of eight active battalions tasked with providing advance base construction and battle damage repair, contingency engineering, humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery support to our fleet and unified commanders.
The Battalion was commissioned on March 15, 1942, 98 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
A week later the Battalion was divided into two detachments, destined for islands in the Pacific.
The Second Construction Detachment constructed a tank farm fueling station in the Tonga Islands, consisting of twenty-two 10,000-barrel tanks for fuel and oil and twenty-six 500-barrel gasoline tanks.
In addition to their primary tasking, the Seabees of the Second Detachment built a seaplane base with a coral ramp, an Army hospital, gun emplacements, warehouses and camp facilities.
A special task was construction of a special concrete bulkhead for the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga.
Despite shortages of equipment most of the projects were completed within nine months of the initial landing.
With the advent of World War II, the United States Navy had a crucial need for advance bases along the South Pacific supply line connecting the Panama Canal with Australia and New Zealand.Later, as the tank farms were needed further west the Second Detachment dismantled the tank farm on Tongatabu for shipment to Wallis Island on the western end of the Solomon Islands.The two detachments operated independently until April 1943, when they rejoined at the Hebrides Islands.The main project there was the construction of Base Hospital Number Two.To build these bases, the Navy began recruiting skilled construction men, the men who later became the famed Seabees of World War II under Admiral Ben Moreell.About a thousand of these men were assembled at the Naval Construction Training Center, Camp Allen, Norfolk, VA., and were formed into United States Naval Construction Battalion ONE.