During this time of year we gather with family to celebrate and remember. Nowhere is that more important than with the families of those who have lost someone. As we celebrate this holiday season let us gather as a Navy family and remember that we are all active in keeping each other safe and secure.
Seabees protect the Marines who protect the Seals who protect the Sailor. We all look out for each other and help one another. This is especially felt when one gives up their life for another.
The Seabees of NMCB-58 did just that, protecting the sailors of the River Patrol Force. During their 1968-69 deployment, the 35-man unit of Detail Hotel was deployed to the Mekong Delta Region of RVN near Moc Hoa to clear river banks of foliage. The heavy jungle growth provided ideal hiding places for Viet Cong snipers who would often ambush the River Patrol Forces sailors. Operating along the Van Co Tay river, NMCB-58 utilized bulldozers, chain saws and machetes to clear over 1 million square meters of land. They also located and destroyed over 200 booby-traps.
The efforts were halted though when the monsoon rains came, turning the dry land into a sea of mud. Due to this, booby traps were spread out and harder to locate. The unit worked tirelessly in order to clear the area and make it safe for the sailors to pass through. The day before the detail was to come home an unusually heavy concentration of booby traps was encountered. One was detonated, killing SW3 John S. Staff and seriously injuring SW3 Gary L. Thompson. These men gave their all to make sure the sailors could pass safely. They did this not to be hero’s but to keep safe and secure their Navy family.
While we hope that we, and those we love, will never have to give the ultimate sacrifice, simply being apart during this season can be a hardship. Keep in mind those that can’t be with their families during this time and take comfort in the family that surrounds you.
Wishing you and yours a happy holiday wither you are together or apart this season.
Meet the Archivist: Ingi House
Ingi House is originally from Kansas where she got her B.A. in history from the University of Kansas and M.L.S. from Emporia State University. After working for the Dole Institute of Politics she moved to the East Coast. In D.C. she worked at the National Archives and Records Administration and then at the Defense Acquisition University where she became a Certified Archivist. Her continued enjoyment of military history lead her to switching coasts and coming to work for the Seabee Museum where she is collection manager for the archives and records manager liaison.