Commissioned: NCB-103 15 October 1943
Renamed: NMCB-10 02 October 1952
Decommissioned: NMCB-10 30 June 1976
Nicknames: "Men of Ten", "M & M Battalion"
(Source: Battalion 1973, 1975-1976 Cruise Books)
U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Ten was commissioned on 15 October 1943 as the 103rd Naval Construction Battalion at what was then Camp Perry, Virginia. The 103rd deployed to war-torn Guam during World War II, and thereafter remained on Guam to repair and build facilities there. On 2 October 1952, the name of the 103rd was changed to NMCB TEN. TEN remained on Guam until 1959, and then became mobile, home ported at the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, California.
During the period from 1960 to 1965, the battalion deployed to various construction sites in the Pacific Ocean area from Alaska to Guam, Okinawa, and the Republic of the Philippines.
Spring of 1965 and the heating up of the Vietnam War found NMCB TEN deployed to Okinawa as the Pacific Fleet Alert Battalion. On May 7, NMCB TEN and the III Marine Amphibious Force went over the beach at Chu Lai, Vietnam, in the first amphibious landing subsequent to the Second World War. The battalion deployed to the Vietnam theater four additional times, earning thirteen campaign stars and being awarded two Meritorious Unit Commendations and two Navy Unit Commendations for exemplary performance at Danang, Quang Tri, Phong Dien Gia Le, and Chu Lai. The battalion's detail at Khe Sanh was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its part in the historic defense of that northern outpost of South Vietnam.
Recent history has seen the "Men of Ten" deployed again to Okinawa as the Pacific Fleet Alert Battalion, with details in Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines; to Rota, Spain with details in Italy, Sicily, Scotland, Greece, Crete, Morocco, Germany and a large contingent on the British Indian Ocean Territory island of Diego Garcia. This record number of widely dispersed construction details brought to the forefront the innovative, modern construction and personnel management system which has become the trademark of NMCB TEN.
It was on this deployment that NMCB TEN picked up the nickname of the "M & M Battalion". This appellation was first heard from a person observing the brightly colored hard hats of the various details and noting a similarity between the many colors and a certain candy by that name.
Because of its many widely dispersed details throughout the past several deployments, the battalion has created a new interpretation for the "M & M" nickname: Mobility and Management. Not unlike well-known advertisement for Sherman-Williams paint, NMCB TEN has spread itself thin--but it covers the world.
On 7 January 1974, the Men of TEN returned from their deployment to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, with details further deployed to New London, Connecticut, Argentina, British West Indies; Grand Turk, Bahamas; and Andros, Bahamas. This deployment also included a 180-main detail on the island of Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory.
The 1974-75 deployment found the entire force of NMCB TEN on Diego Garcia. It was here that TEN experienced its most concerted deployment since Vietnam for a full battalion effort without any details.
September of 1975 once again found NMCB TEN deployed to Guam, U.S. Trust Territory as the Pacific Fleet Alert Battalion. There were also details deployed to the Naval Communications Station, Finegayan, Guam; Midway Island; Adak, Alaska; and a SEABEE Team on the island of Palau.
In May, 1976, U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion TEN returned to Port Hueneme, California for the last time. On 30 June 1976, NMCB TEN ceased to exist. As the last of the active World War II SEABEE battalions, NMCB TEN was decommissioned, concluding an era of over three decades of faithful service.
It was a fitting conclusion to NMCB TEN that she began her construction life in the war-torn jungles of Guam rebuilding for the future, and she returned to that same island, that had grown to a modern and rapidly developing part of the United States, for her twilight cruise.
Remember Bee's as you march by,
As you are now so once was I.
Retiring now after a long career,
I think of things that I hold dear.
Keep the traditions and "Can Do" spirit,
so all will remember whenever they hear it,
Remember the people and places we've been,
Remember the families that lost their brave men.
In jungles and swamps we built what we had to,
All over the world from Diego to Attu,
On Guam and on Wake and other small islands,
On Kwaj and on Iwo and Vietnam highlands.
We fought and we died and we also had fun,
For I started out the 'ol One O Three'
Later in life I'm not too sure when,
My name was changed to MCB TEN.
We've had a few details, some good and some bad,
Leaving things now makes me feel kinda sad,
As people all leave to go other places,
Now and again you'll run into faces,
Faces of people you knew way back when,
You'll both stop and say "I Knew you in TEN".
So don't worry too much about this old star,
We might be gone, but memories aren't far,
Fret for me not in the midst of your dream,
Remember we built and fought as a team.
Builder Second Class (BU2)
United States Navy
14 November 1975