VOLUME I, NO. 14 January 2019
This newsletter is dedicated to those who have served Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4.
Happy New Years
I hope all of you had a joyous Holiday Season and wish all the best in the coming year.
2019 Reunion – Branson, MO
Reunion Reminder: Dennis Theriot and Dean Jaeger are finalizing plans for the 2019 MCB 4 Reunion. We are returning to Branson, Missouri for 2019. Mark your calendar for April 25-28, 2019 and plan to join us in Branson for renewing old friendships and making new friends. The Reunion will be headquartered at the Welk Resorts Hotel located in the stunning Ozark Mountains in southwest Missouri. The hotel rooms reflect the unique charm of the Ozarks — vibrant colors and textures that suit the casual, warm and friendly culture. . The Reunion is open to all who have served NMCB 4, spouses, and guests. Details and Registration Form for the Reunion are attached.
A website has been established for the 2019 Reunion for information only. Reservation will not be accepted on the website and will need to be mailed as setforth on the Reunion Invitation. The website address is: www.nmcb4reunion.com.
2020 Reunion – Las Vegas, NV
Jim Wilson is planning a Las Vegas Reunion in 2020. Watch Facebook for additional information as it becomes available.
Time for Moving On
I have been maintaining a MCB 4 Rooster, writing the Newsletter, and acting as Reunion Coordinator and Treasure since 2007. This will be the last Reunion I will organize and host. It is time to pass the torch to someone younger who can keep this loosely organized group functioning. If no one is interested in hosting Reunions or maintaining the Group are we to the point of disbanding and attending Reunions organized by others. Since I do not know the future of the Group I have not sent out Membership renewal notices or Membership Applications this year. I would like input from members.
Where Are They Now
I grew up in a small western NY village. My Dad was a construction contractor where I learned to use a hammer. When WWII drafted three brothers and a brother-in-law; I dropped out of High School, and entered the Navy Reserve in December 1944 as a Hospital Corpsman. I received Boot training at Sampson, NTC in New York and Corpsman training at San Diego, CA. After graduating my next duty station Sampson Navy Hospital. One day while walking back to the barracks I saw a sign “Drivers Needed”. The Chief put me in an ambulance and said “follow me to the train station we have patients to pick up. The next day I was assigned duty at the Maintenance Dept. I drove ambulances, trucks, and buses. Other times I worked in the carpenter and painting shops. One painting job was for the CO. We took extra precaution to protect furniture and floors. One noon as we were sitting on the steps eating lunch, the CO drove up in a 1939 Pontiac. I mentioned to the CO that I had one just like it and asked how he liked it. His answer was very good except the lens cover on the clock was missing. It was identical to mine; so I acquired a small piece of clear plastic, removed the lens from my car, made a wood pattern and shaped the plastic to fit and fixed the problem for the Captain. Sometime later while painting outdoors in cold weather I wore a leather jacket rather than my good P-Coat. I was spotted by a SP who ordered me to Captain’s Mast. We went before the Captain and the SP explained I was out of uniform. The CO turned to me and said “Howard, what do you have to say”. The embarrassed SP was astonished I was addressed by first name rather than rate. I explained to the Captain my reason for being out of uniform. The Captain said, OK continue your work.
I studied and passed all requirements for 2nd and 1st Class, but there never was any openings to advance, so I continued working in the Maintenance Dept., until July of 1946 when I was released to reserve status.
December 1950 I was ordered to return to active duty at St Albans Naval Hospital, New York City. One winter’s night as I was leaving base a car stalled in front of me. I asked if I could push his car to a nearby garage. When I left the sailor he handed me his card, with a note “Stop by in my office tomorrow” He was second in command of the Personnel Office, since I could type I was assigned to study and implement the Navy’s new regulations concerning reimbursement for reserve personnel reporting for active duty. I kept wondering if I should change my rate to Yoeman, but decided to request change to BUL 3/C. After several months I received a letter to report to MCB 4 at Davisville, RI, but call ahead as 4 was still out to sea. On my first call I was told not to report as 4 should arrive within a week. One week later I called for an update, 4 had arrived two days earlier. As I drove in the gate the SP noticed I was AWOL. I was sent to the Captain, during a conversation he informed me he was recently reactivated. He was curious why I changed my rate and asked what I was doing at my last duty station. As soon as I mentioned Personnel Office handling “Com-Rats”, he remarked you will be in the Personnel Office doing the same thing as we know nothing about them.
A short time later the Battalion was loaded on ships and headed to Guantanomo Bay, Cuba. I continued working in the Personnel Office, however, I managed to help place concrete a few times. There was an Ensign working in the field who wanted me helping. He even requested that from the CO and XO, but always got the same answer “NO”. So I remained working in the office until discharge in April 1952.
Since the last Newsletter we have been notified of the passing of the following veterans of MCB 4. We appreciate their service to Seabees and extend condolences to family and friends.
Howard Rutherford 8/27/16 Letter from Ken Waters
Wayne Crisler Mail returned marked Deceased