Mobile Construction Battalion #1 (MCB #1)

Port Lyautey, Kenitra, Morocco, 1952

MCB #1 Morning Muster, respectively left to right, A Company, B Company, C Company, D Company and Headquarters Company.

Jim Lee served in MCB #1 and was at Port Lyautey in the middle of 1952. He enlisted in the Navy during June of 1948. And as he relates, graduated from High School on Thursday, was at Boot camp in San Diego on Saturday, and beginning on his first day in the Navy, sat on a bench all weekend. After Boot Camp, he went to the US Naval Construction Battalion Center in Port Huneme,CA for Surveyor’s school. As most of the surveying was math oriented, he aced the course having just graduating from High School. He was given his choice of duty and chose Bermuda. It was supposed to be a 2 year assignment but they kept extending him until he finally asked to leave after 3 years. His Naval enlistment was extended with the Truman year Korean War extension.

After he left Bermuda, he was assigned to MCB #1 then home ported at the US Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville RI. MCB #1 then shipped out to Argentia, Newfoundland for 3 months where they tore down a water reservoir. When MCB #1 returned to Davisville, Jim was assigned to Shore Patrol Duty. MCB #1's next assignment was at Port Lyautey. He traveled to Port Lyautey on a LST and relates he suffered from sea sickness and had to put up with the constant blowing of the ship's fog horn. While at Port Lyautey, he received his discharge orders three months early, boarded a troop ship, and that went to Italy to pick up Army personnel. He arrived back in the USA after a two week voyage.

After discharge, he worked for 38 years in the land developing industry in Southern California retiring in 1990. He started hiking and hiked all over the world including Nepal, New Zealand, Switzerland, Spain and Peru and did a coast to coast hike in England as well as many places in the USA

Jim presently lives in Costa Mesa, CA and can be contacted at

The following photographs were taken during his tour at Port Lyautey and he apologizes in that many of the names of personnel have been forgotten over the passage of time (60 years).

The vehicle is a trailer that was used on weekends to go to different parts of Morocco for R&R.

MCB #1 Barracks located on Confusion Hill

Down Town Kenitra

Survey Crew

Cork Forest Beer Party, Mike Blovish on the right


Cork Forest Beer Party