Seabee Museum to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Fallen Seabee

Marvin G. Shields

Marvin G. Shields

viagra 40mg arial, cheap sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>U.S. Navy Seabee Museum patrons and their families are invited to a special presentation honoring the life of Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Marvin G. Shields June 10 at 6 p.m. erectile arial,sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>Shields was the first and only Seabee to earn the Medal of Honor, awarded for his valiant efforts during the Vietnam Conflict in the Battle of Dong Xoai. He died from wounds he sustained during the battle on June 10, 1965.

Dr. Lara Godbille, museum director, will host an evening presentation recounting Shields’ final days and the events in Dong Xoai surrounding his death.

“As the first Navy personnel to be killed in Vietnam, and the only Seabee to be awarded the Medal of Honor, Marvin Shields is the most well-known Seabee in the community,” she said. “This presentation will examine what actions he took to earn the award and solidify his legacy. It should be interesting to both members of the Seabee family, and the general public that want to learn more about American involvement in Vietnam.”

Godbille noted the presentation will coincide with the reopening of the museum’s memorial room which will be called the Hall of Fallen Heroes.

Dr. Lara Godbille

Dr. Lara Godbille

“Patrons can learn more about Shields and other Seabees and CEC officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” she said. “The space, which was revamped to honor fallen Seabees from WWII to current operations, will feature an entirely new presentation on Marvin Shields that we feel reflects who he was and the reverence the Seabee community has for him.”

Shields hailed from Port Townsend, Wash. and joined the Navy in January 1962. He completed training as a construction mechanic in Sept. 1963 upon which he was assigned to A Company, Mobile construction Battalion 11. He deployed with Seabee Team 1104 in January 1965 out of Port Hueneme, traveling to Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base in Saigon. The Battle of Dong Xoai commenced on June 9, 1965 between Viet Cong insurgents and the Army Special Force unit with which ST 1104 had been assigned.

Shields assisted 1st Lt. Charles Williams, who also received a Medal of Honor for actions taken in Dong Xoai, with taking out enemy machine gun emplacements when he was mortally wounded in the early hours of June 10, dying during a medical evacuation. Shields and Steelworker (Fabricator) 2nd Class William C. Hoover were the two Seabees killed of the 13-man ST 1104.
Starting today, the Seabee Museum will present a live timeline of events on social media that will recount the events leading up to the Battle of Dong Xoai. Follow us on Facebook ( ), WordPress (, and Twitter (@seabeehistory) as we commemorate this historic event.


? Jan. 22, 1965: Seabee Team training completed at Port Hueneme.
? Feb. 1, 1965: ST 1104 arrived in Vietnam to relieve ST 1004 at Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base in Saigon.
? March 28, 1965: arrived in Ben Soi in Tay Ninh Province to construct a camp for the U.S. Army Special Forces.
? April 11, 1965: Additional equipment, including a TD-15 crawler tractor, AW road grader, and two 5-ton dump trucks arrived at Camp Ben Soi. The team carried the equipment across the river via ferry.
? **Nothing significant in May**
? June 3, 1965: All construction projects completed at Ben Soi. Seabee Team 1104 departs for Dong Xoai, 55 miles north of Saigon.
? June 4, 1965: Nine members of ST 1104 arrive at Dong Xoai to begin work on repairing existing and building new facilities for U.S. Army Special Forces as well as the Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defense Group
? June 5, 1965: The first of two minor small arms exchanges took place between CIDG personnel and Viet Cong militants.
? June 7, 1965: The second of the two minor exchanges took place which resulted in a 60mm mortar round landing near the CIDG headquarters building.
? June 9, 1965: The Battle of Dong Xoai began in the late hours between all members of the special forces, the CIDG, Seabee team and Viet Cong.
? June 10, 1965: Battle continued. After pushing through two previous injuries during the battle, Shields assisted 1st Lt. Charles Williams with taking out a Viet Cong machine gun emplacement outside the security perimeter. During the return of the successful action, Shields sustained a mortal wound in his leg and died later in the day during a medical evacuation.
Additional Dates
? Dec. 30, 1939: Date of birth, Port Townsend, Wash.
? Jan. 9, 1962: Enlisted in the U.S. Navy
? May 1962-May 1963: Apprenticeship training at Naval Air Station Glynco, Ga.
? Sept. 1963: Rated a Construction Mechanic upon ‘A’ school graduation at Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme.
? Sept. 1963: Assigned to A Company, Mobile Construction Battalion 11.
? Nov. 18, 1963-Sept. 1964: First deployment to Okinawa
? Nov. 1, 1964: Assigned to Seabee Team 1104
? Sept. 13, 1966: President Lyndon B. Johnson posthumously presented Shields with the Medal of Honor. Shields’ widow, Joan, and his daughter, Barbara, accepted the award at a White House presentation.

The U.S. Navy Seabee Museum works to select, collect, preserve and display historic material relating to the history of the Naval Construction Force, better known as the Seabees, and the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps. The second oldest of the official Navy museums, the Seabee Museum was established in 1947 in Port Hueneme, California, which today is part of Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC).

Hi-resolution images of some of the museum’s archived imagery can be seen on our Flickr page:

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