History of the MCB 7 Reunion Association
The Island MCB 7 at Large chapter of Navy Seabee Veterans of America meets each year during the MCB 7 Reunion Association Annual Reunion.
In 1990, a retired EO Chief, Kenneth J. Burnette and a trucking historian, H. E. “Ole” Olson decided to attempt to hold a reunion with their former comrades from the Seabees, namely, Mobile Construction Battalion SEVEN (initially the 1951 – 1970 battalion commission period). These men put notices in the military magazines, newsletters and newspapers announcing the attempt to hold a reunion. The responses were sufficient enough that in August of 1991, Mobile Construction Battalion Seven held its first reunion in Washington, D.C.. A highlight of that reunion was a tour of our Nation’s capital and the renewing of old acquaintances.
Today’s reunions host Seabee veterans from all of the MCB 7 – NMCB 7 eras. The reunion locations rotate to the East, the Midwest and the West to make them accessible to as many people as possible. All of the activities are conducted by volunteers, including its leadership.
The 2nd reunion was held in 1992 in New Orleans, LA, which included a trip to CBC Gulfport, MS. This was followed in 1993 by a reunion in Las Vegas, NV. Those in atttendance enjoyed a visit to the Hoover Dam and attended a nightclub act.
We gathered in Windsor Locks, CT in 1994 where we made a bus trip to Davisville, RI to see the then closed Atlantic CBC before it was dismantled. We also visited the Mystic, CT seaport and took a riverboat ride on the Connecticut River.
Bloomington, Minnesota was the site of the 1995 reunion and included trips to the Mall of America and a riverboat ride on the Mississippi.
In 1996 we went to Los Angeles, CA. We took a bus tour of the Los Angeles area and went to the CBC Port Hueneme where we toured the base and had lunch at the officer’s club. Attendees also took in Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and Hollywood.
We gathered in 1997 at Cherry Hill, NJ and visited historic Philadelphia. We also took a bus trip to Atlantic City.
St. Louis, MO was the site of the reunion in 1998. We toured the city and visited the Gateway Arch and the Budweiser Brewery.
We went back to California to Oakland in 1999, where we took a trip up into Napa Valley and toured San Francisco.
Year 2000 brought us to Manchester, NH and included a tour of Boston and “the dig” and visited the White Mountains.
The reunion in 2001 was held in New Orleans, LA. We visited the D-Day Museum and toured the city with its unique above ground cemeteries. Some of us even ventured down to Bourbon Street to take in the excitement.
Seattle, WA was our 2002 location. We toured the harbor, visited the Space Needle and enjoyed the view of Mount Rainier.
In 2003 we all gathered in Naples, FL where we traveled by boat to visit the Everglades and the offshore 10,000 islands. Our city tour included famous “Tin City” on the waterfront and the Naples pier.
For 2004 we met in Toledo, OH. Our tour took us to the famous Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. On Saturday we took the Jet Express on Lake Erie to Put-In-Bay on Middle Bass Island.
Phoenix, AZ was the site of our reunion in 2005. We toured the city and the Capital, where we saw relics from the USS Arizona and a tribute to the Navajo Windtalkers of WW II. The next day we had a boat ride on Apache Lake.
In 2006 we returned to Rhode Island. Our tour took us to the Davisville Museum, Newport and the city of Boston, where many of us toured Old Ironsides.
2007 brought us to Branson, MO, known for Heart of the Ozarks entertainment in countless theatres and show rooms. The city was very kind to veterans.
In 2008 we traveled to Portland, OR. The Monarch Hotel in Clackamus was our base. From there we toured the beautiful Portland area. We traveled east along the Columbia River, stopping at Multnomah Falls, Crown Vista House, Bonneville Dam and up to the timberline of Mt. Hood.
2009 took us to the Windy City of Chicago, IL. We toured the city, rode skyscraper elevators into the sky and had a corned beef lunch at Manny’s. Saturday was spent cruising the Chicago River and viewed a history of the city’s architecture, with lunch at the Navy Pier.
Our 20th anniversary reunion in 2010 was held in Charleston, SC. Three busloads of attendees enjoyed a visit to Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum (the USS Yorktown CV-10 and a built-to-scale South Vietnam Support Base) followed by a stop at Boone Hall Plantation. Saturday’s harbor cruise took us along historic downtown Charleston and out past the Civil War’s Fort Sumter. Lunch was at the Old City Market.
Our mid-America reunion rotation in 2011 took us to downtown San Antonio, TX. near the historic Alamo and famous Riverwalk attractions & restaurants. On Friday we traveled up to Fredericksburg to tour the National Museum of the Pacific War and the Nimitz Museum.
The 2012 reunion was held in sunny San Diego, CA. We toured the greater San Diego area, LaJolla and the Pacific coastline. Also included was a San Diego Bay cruise that provided great views of the downtown waterfront, Coronado Island and the many Navy ships at the Naval Base and shipyard. Our banquet guest speaker was a U.S. Navy Seal instructor.
The location for our 2013 reunion was “Music City”, Nashville, TN. The hotel provided courtesy van service to the Broadway and Music Row shops, restaurants and honky-tonks. We toured Nashville with stops at historic RCA Studio B and the Country Music Hall of Fame. On Friday night we filled two tour buses for a night at the Grand Ole Opry where we were entertained by Mel Tillis, Darius Rucker and other headliners.
For our 24th annual reunion we returned to the Washington D.C. area (Reston, VA). Our Friday all day tour took us past all of the landmarks of our nation’s capital with stops at the Seabee Memorial, the U.S. Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) Memorial, Vietnam Wall & Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, World War II Memorial and the U.S. Navy Memorial. Special banquet guests were NAVFAC HQ staff officers RADM Katherine Gregory and CAPT Kathryn Donovan.
Our 25th Anniversary Reunion (2015) gathered in Los Angeles, CA with a Friday bus trip up to Port Hueneme, CA. The group toured the United States Navy Seabee Museum. Tour company's operating out of the hotel concierge desk provided getaway opportunities to Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Banquet guests included RADM Benjamin Montoya and retired Navy Chief Petty Officer David Roberts.
The 2016 Annual Reunion was a third visit to the city of New Orleans. Our Friday all day bus tour took in the sites, history and attractions of "The Big Easy", starting with a morning stop at the National World War ll Museum. The hotel had shuttle service for guests wanting to visit the French Quarter. On Saturday morning, two tour buses took a group of Seabees to CBC Gulfport, Gulfport, MS. On Saturday night, 140 attendees & guests enjoyed a Cajun theme dinner at the hotel. Guest Speaker was Master Chief Cassell, the last Command Master Chief of the battalion when it was decommissioned in September, 2012.