CCB-18 Work Parties


Chief Jones was Boat Captain of CCB-151-4 & CCB-152-5 from April 1969 to April 1970

Chief Jones was Boat Captain of CCB-151-4 & CCB-152-5 from April 1969 to April 1970

 Here is BMCS Everett Jones' Plaque mounted on CCB-18

Here is BMCS Everett Jones’ Plaque mounted on CCB-18


Table of Honor in Memory of Chuck Campbell who put so much into the Work Parties through the years. There is a brass plaque in the center honoring our Brother.

Table of Honor in Memory of Chuck Campbell who put so much into the Work Parties
through the years. There is a brass plaque in the center honoring our Brother.

July 2015
“Hull sides, bow and stern are done. Will start working on rusted areas topside next.” – Tom Matyn

May 2015
She’s looking “Battle Ready”. Thanks guys…!

March 2015
“The Prep Work has begun. Oh what a job! Gotta love it!” – Tom Matyn

CCB18.March2015a  CCB18.March2015e

 December 2014
“We had a good work party last Saturday with great weather.” – Tom Matyn

October 18, 2008

Just in case you didn’t hear from Everett or Chuck (who wasn’t able to make it), we had a work party last Saturday and finished painting the aft skids. Those things are about as bad as painting the engine room with all its angle iron. Everett, and his son, Ray and grandson Chris were there. Also attending were regulars Bob Coombs, Doug Meeks, Dutch Hearn, and Ben Cueva. There were three new guys. One guy from Carlsbad whose name I can’t recall now, who was on the Sphinx and I think will become a regular, and two guys from Riverside county: Jim Newsome and Stan Boorda (sp?). Jim is an MRFA member. and Stan just went back to Vietnam and was on some documentary about it.

Everett took us to lunch at McDonald’s courtesy of Chuck’s lunch money fund (thanks Albert).
There was also a senior chief reservist who was there for training. The group of reservists have arranged, through Ken McGee, a boat ride for a bunch of us old guys this coming Friday. I’m looking forward to that.

Don Blankenship

A note from Captain Ken McGhee who heads up the VUMMF Committee

Albert: You may already be aware of Chuck Campbell’s health situation, but I would like to add some update. I saw Chuck and his wife Irene at the San Diego Naval Hospital this morning where he was going for another consult with a pulmonary physician. He recently had a time or two in the hospital, one to remove a significant amount of fluid from his lungs. I don’t know the cause of his ailments or his overall prognosis.

Chuck, assisted by his wife Irene, has long been a mainstay in the refurbishment and maintenance of CCB-18. Along with Everett Jones, he has led the volunteer teams in regular work sessions on the boat since its arrival in San Diego.

He regularly attends, when able, the VUMMF monthly meetings. I thought you might like to know his current situation and would want to think about providing recognition to his outstanding service to the CCB-18 and thereby to the MRFA.

I do not know the organizational structure under which Chuck and Everett work on CCB-18, but in my estimation, Everett Jones is also one of the most dedicated individuals, along with Chuck, you could want in the MRFA.


Pavers installed at the Memorial
Photos Taken on January 4, 2007

Memorial.Pavers4   Memorial.Pavers1  Memorial.Pavers2

Your help is needed! If you live in the Southern California area and you’d like to be a part of our CCB-18 restoration team, please join us at our work parties at 0900 on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays and/or the 3rd Saturday of every month at the Vietnam Unit Memorial and Small Boat Display on CISM Field at the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, CA. It is suggested that you bring a lunch and a lawn chair along with your war stories.

Folks we need your help you do not have to have served on the boats, to be a working party member. The CCB represents all who served in country with the MRF or supporting units. Army or Navy our working party is becoming smaller due to some illnesses, age and burn out some have been working on the CCB since she arrived at Coronado and have given countless hours of hard labor and love to keeping the CCB the show boat she is.

But this can-not be done or continued with-out your support. A few have given so much to the CCB and have put in countless hours working on the boat. It’s time for more members to step forward and get involved. If you live in the area and would like to assist please contact one of the below folks. Your support and assistance would be greatly appreciated. You do-not have to make every working party once a month or what ever your schedule allows would be greatly appreciated.

If you are unable to assist as a working party member but would like to support the continuing up-keep on the boat you can make a donation to the CCB fund and send a check or money order made out to the MRFA CCB Fund. Send to MRFA 1857 County Rd- A-14 Decorah, IA. 52101. We really need the bodies and your support

If you would like to assist or need directions to the base and the Memorial site please contact the following individuals:
Tom Matyn (USS Sphinx (ARL-24) – March 1969 to March 1970 – 3795 Trieste Dr., Carlsbad, CA 92010-2644 – 760-458-0439 –
Al Breininger (COS RivDiv 91/1966-67) – 4 Raven Glass Ln., Bluffton, SC. 29909 –

October 2006:

Carl “Hank” Hanker went into the hospital this week from a massive seizure and never regained consciousness. He passed on this morning (11/2) at 3:20 am. For those of you who may have not known Hank, he was a real gentleman. He had a great sense of humor and was always joking or poking fun at something. Hank was a part of the original work party here in San Diego that was responsible for the building of the Vietnam Unit Memorial and the restoration of PCF-104. He truly had more hours of sweat equity in on the memorial than anyone else involved. He loved to keep up the landscaping around the memorial as well since the Navy’s contractor always fell short in doing its job. He was extremely proud of his role in taking care of the memorial and it really showed.

Hank served from 12/66 to 12/67 in Subic Bay, Philippines outfitting Swift boats and then at Cat Lo with Boat Division 103 on PCF-68. I believe Hank was a GMG3 when in Vietnam.

Hank will be really missed by all of us who got the chance to work with him over the last 7 or 8 years. As soon as we know anything about the funeral arrangements from his wife Delores it will be posted. May fair winds and following seas be with Hank on his journey to Heaven.

Don Blankenship

Our 2/17/01 work party: Standing L to R: Ben Cueva, Charles Campbell, Don Blankenship, Dutch Hearne and Bill Hunsinger. Kneeling L to R: Everett Jones and David Hearne and work party member Neil Geis behind the camera. Thanks Neil for the photo.

Our 2/17/01 work party: Standing L to R: Ben Cueva, Charles Campbell, Don Blankenship, Dutch Hearne and Bill Hunsinger. Kneeling L to R: Everett Jones and David Hearne and work party member Neil Geis behind the camera. Thanks Neil for the photo.


October 2004

This is of the Oct. 2004 work party. From left to right in front is Carl Hanker, Everett Jones, and Ben Cueva. From left to right standing in the back are: Bob Coombs, Roy Heilpern, Don Blankenship, Dutch Hearne, Ray Jones and Chuck Campbell.

Carl is a Swift boat vet and is not really a member of the CCB working party, but is a great guy who works on the Swift at the site and also takes care of the grounds around the memorial when he comes each month. Everett is a co-coordinator or the CCB along with Chuck Campbell. Everett, Chuck and Ben show up to work on the boats on two Tuesdays per month as well as the monthly Saturday work party. Both Everett and Chuck are former Boatswain Mates on the boats. Ben is a former Swift boat guy who just likes to work on our work party and we sure appreciate him. Roy Heilpern is a former Navy Intelligence officer in Vietnam. For those of you that may not know I was a former gunner on an Alpha boat. Dutch Hearne is a former Army guy whose twin brother served on a Tango boat and who died recently. Dutch has a deep feeling about his brother’s memory linked to the boat as they both worked on restoring the boat long before it ever came down to San Diego. Dutch drives all the way from the Los Angeles area once each month to help us. Bob Coombs is a gator Navy sailor off the Washtenaw County and drives a long distance from Riverside County. That puts my 80 mile round trip to shame. Ray Jones is Everett’s son and has done a super job of installing all of the electric system on the boat. Ray’s son Chris was at the work party too but had to leave early and didn’t get in the picture this month. That makes three generations of the Jones family working on the boat. We all have fun and usually end up every work party with a barbecue or some type of pot luck hosted at the site by Delores Hanker and Irene Campbell, two great gals that fix us up with great food. We old folks don’t get around on the boat like we used to and it’s always nice to crawl out of some of the holes we work in to a picnic for lunch. Hope this gives you a little picture of our monthly events. I’ll try to put some pictures on my web site. It’s been down the last couple of days as a result of too much traffic related to politics, but should be back up today so hopefully I can add some other pictures of the work party and the boat soon.

Take care,
Don Blankenship

Front Row left to right - Everett Jones / Chris Carrera / Don Salmi - Standing left to right - Robert Coombs /Charles Campbell / Don Blankenship /Bernard Howlett / Roy Heilpern / Ray Jones / Ben Cueva "As most know we lost crew member Roy Heilpern July 31st due to a car accident. Roy was very active with the CCB-18 working party and the association may he rest in peace. Life is short, so enjoy each day." Everett Jones BMCS USN-Ret

Front Row left to right – Everett Jones / Chris Carrera / Don Salmi – Standing left to right – Robert Coombs /Charles Campbell / Don Blankenship /Bernard Howlett / Roy Heilpern / Ray Jones / Ben Cueva
“As most know we lost crew member Roy Heilpern July 31st due to a car accident. Roy was very active with the CCB-18 working party and the association may he rest in peace. Life is short, so enjoy each day.” Everett Jones BMCS USN-Ret

Work Party Updates

August 21, 2004:

CCB-18 Up-Date – Charles Campbell & Everett Jones

At O:900 Saturday August the 21st the following people met at the CCB-18 for the monthly working party: Everett Jones, His son Ray Jones and grandson Chris Carrera. These three make up three generations of the Jones family to be part of the CCB-18 working party . Roy nor Chris are Vietnam Veterans, but have put in many hours working on CCB-18. Charles Campbell, Bob Coombs and Dutch Hearne were also present. Irene Campbell and Deloris Hanker assisted too.

The CCB-18 Work Parties are an all volunteer effort from a group of highly dedicated people. This is not all of the working party. There are a few more, but on this day the above participants were all that were able to attend. WE COULD ALWAYS USE A FEW MORE HANDS…!!!

Other past Work Party members are Don Blankenship, Roy Heilpern, Ben Cueva and Bernard Howlett.

This is an outstanding contribution from the Jones family and they should be commended for their hard work and dedication. Ray Jones has completely rewired the CCB so that we can now hook up to shore power and run the lights from an outlet that Ray installed inside the CCB.

1. Two bunks have been added in the crews quarters as well as some lockers. The port side of the boat had to painted because the sun, but it’s now looking military sharp.
2. More storage space has been added below the forward gun mount where we can store most of our supplies.
3. A new wooden ladder had to be built from topside down into the radio room because the metal ladder was unstable and unsafe.
4. Tape has been installed on the boat topside like the tape use on aircraft to try and keep the birds off. It seems to be working well so far.
5. The two anchors in front of the boat and memorial display have been painted.

Usually after a hard days work on the CCB the Working Party has a cook-out. This months menu was Hot Dogs, Potato Salad , Baked Beans, Chips, Cookies and soft drinks.

If anyone is interested in helping out by being a part of the Working Party it’s always on the 3rd Saturday of each month. A good time is had by all hands. The Working Party receives lots of good compliments and comments from folks who come to see the CCB. We take great pride in having the best looking boat in the display. If you would like to assist in any way please contact:
Everett Jones, 1947 Gotham St., Chula Vista, CA. 91913 – (619) 421-3721
Charles (Chuck) Campbell, 667 G Street SP#-1, Chula Vista, CA – (619) 427-6835

August 16, 2003:

Good Evening Gentlemen,
Tuesday August 12, 2003 – CCB-18 Working Party Members Charles Campbell and Everett Jones assembled at 0900 today.
1. Wash, scrub, and wiped down all the topside areas clean of dust and bird droppings.
2. Resumed painting the engine room bulkheads with white paint.

Saturday August 16, 2003 – CCB-18 Working Party Members Ray Jones, Everett Jones, Don Blankenship, Dutch Hearne, Ben Cueva, Ralph Fries, Charles and Irene Campbell with guests Carl and Delores Hanker assembled this morning for a day of restoration. Charles Campbell provided donuts for our coffee break.

1. Washed and wiped down all the topside areas clean of dust and bird droppings.
2. Resumed painting the engine room bulkheads with white paint.
3. Drilled and assembled one bunk frame for the crews quarters completely.
4. Patched holes in the bottom of the boat with silicone caulking to prevent the cement base of becoming discolored by the dipping of the water from the voids when it rains.

Today was a marvelous camaraderie lunch time break. Charles and Irene Campbell with their barbecue grill in hand, provided all the wonderful barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs for our lunch with cold drinks, home made potato salad, baked beans, chips, and all the condiments. The weather was picture perfect for our picnic lunch break. After lunch, took group working party pictures along the port bow side, under the CCB-18 hull number.

During the day, we had 6 visitors who visited us. One visitor who actually served with the 9th Infantry Division Signal Battalion in country as an Army radio operator onboard in the CCB’s Radio Room during combat operations of the MRF ’68-’69.

Submitted by: Ralph J. Fries

August 3, 2003:
Good Afternoon Gentlemen,
Tuesday July 29, 2003 – Charles Campbell and Ralph Fries of the CCB-18 Restoration working party assembled at 0900 this morning onboard the CCB.

Painted the 2 repaired rebar bar armor sections with green paint and installed them. After installation, we placed padlocks on the bar armor stowage areas doors around the gun mounts and coxswain flat area to prevent entrance again to the interior of the boat by intruders pushing in the AC fan opening out to the crews quarters.

Submitted by Ralph J. Fries

August 1, 2003:

Good Evening Gentlemen,
Tuesday July 8, 2003 – CCB-18 Restoration working party was held with members Charles Campbell and Everett Jones in attendance.

Washed, scrubbed, swabbed, and wiped down all the topside areas clean of bird droppings and dust. Scrapped and vacuumed the engine room clean of debris. Commence painting the engine room bulkheads with primer paint.

Saturday July 19, 2003 – CCB-18 Restoration working party was held with Charles Campbell, Robert Coombs, Roy Heilpern, Dutch Hearne, Ben Cueva, Don Blankenship, and Ralph Fries in attendance. Charles Campbell provided donuts for the coffee break.

Commenced painting the engine room bulkheads with white paint. Topside – had to remove the 2 rebar bar armor sections from in front of the coxswain’s flat because intruders had gained access through this area to gain access to the interior of the boat (crew quarters) by pushing out the port AC fan opening by the coxswain’s flat outside storage area for repair. Ralph Fries will procure the necessary 1/2 inch rebar (40′) and weld the new sections of rebar in place at home onto the 2 rebar bar armor sections in order to curtail the intruders from entering the interior of the boat again once in place.

MRFA member Dewey Pollack’s son who is on active duty at North Island and his granddaughter came onboard the CCB today for a very warm visit.

Submitted by Ralph J. Fries

June 22, 2003:

Good Morning Gentlemen,
Tuesday June 10, 2003 – CCB-18 Restoration working party members in attendance today were Charles Campbell and Everett Jones. They washed down, wiped down the topside area’s of the boat and had a general field day in preparation for the History Channel Photographing and Taping of the Historical events of CTF-117 during the Viet Nam War.
Tuesday June 17, 2003 – CCB-18 Restoration working party members in attendance for the Photographing and Taping of the History Channels program called “Mail Call” were Don Blankenship, Charles Campbell, and Everett Jones. They were asked by the moderator to talk about their actual experiences they endured during their tour of duty while serving with the Mobile Riverine Forces of CTF-117.
Saturday June 21, 2003 – CCB-18 Restoration working party members assembled for a wonderful day, even though it was cloudy and drizzling a damp mist most of the day. This didn’t dampen our spirits and Camaraderie. Those in attendance were Everett Jones, Ray Jones, Don Blankenship, Ben Cueva, Bernard Howlett, Robert Coombs, Don “Dutch” Hearne, Ralph Fries, Charles and Irene Campbell with guests Carl and Delores Hanker.

We accomplished several tasks today:
1. Laid out, cut, and assembled another bunk frame for the crews quarters.
2. Drilled holes in the stern of the boat to mount the metal Visiting Hours Sign. Will procure stainless steel bolts for mounting the sign during the next working party day.
3. Using a cutting torch, cut and removed the excess metal material from the engine room space and grinding all those surfaces smooth after cutting. This was accomplished for manufacturing the new necessary mounting brackets to make the Memorial Display boards for the 9th Infantry Division Memorial Display Quarterdeck.

Just a note, it is our goal to have both the Army’s 9th Infantry Division and Navy’s CTF-117 Quarterdeck Memorial Display area’s assembled and completed by this time next year.

Ralph Fries provided all the necessary cutting, grinding and hand tools required to accomplish those tasks in the engine room. He is hopeful to have finished the new manufactured ladder assembly completed in his back yard, ready for painting and assembling the new permanent Radio Room’s entrance ladder for making it easier to enter or depart from topside by all by the next Saturday working party day.

Everett Jones, Charles and Irene Campbell provided and assembled an outstanding barbecue with hamburgers and hotdogs along with a ton of condiments for lunch for all the working party members and guests which was thoroughly enjoyed. BRAVO ZULU!!!!

Submitted by Ralph J. Fries

May 27, 2003:

Good Evening Gentlemen,
Tuesday, May 27, 2003 – CCB-18 restoration working party assembled early this morning in order to make preparations to receive a very special guest visitor onboard by Roy Heilpern, Charles Campbell, Everett Jones, and Ralph Fries in attendance.

We scrubbed down, washed, and wipe down all the topside areas to remove all the bird droppings and dust throughout. We hauled up all flags up in order for them to be flying from the yard arm and pig stick in the breeze this morning in fine Naval tradition for our special guest arrival.

As our special guest waved from the parking lot to us know on deck his arrival, being in his uniform, walking briskly towards the boat. We greeted our special guest upon his arrival on deck by climbing our ladder to the main deck with a very hearty welcome aboard salute. It was a special Honor for the restoration working party members to have onboard, Captain Ed Caviness USN, Commanding Officer, Fleet Training Center, San Diego, CA., for a personal visit as he was one of us in country Viet Nam 37 years or so ago as an enlisted man, serving onboard the USS Vernon County LST-1161, homeported (out), Yokosuka, Japan as a crewmember from 1965 to 1969 in providing the various services of the Vernon County for both the Army and Navy needs of support for CTF-117 combat operations. It was also a rare glimpse, but a very pleasing note to us to see someone in uniform on active duty nowadays wearing ribbons of our era of our service time.

Captain started his Naval career out, first as a Deck (BM/E-3) Seaman onboard the Vernon County, advancing later on to Quartermaster 3rd Class (QM3/E-4). Upon advancing up the enlisted promotional ladder chain of advancement during his career to Chief Quartermaster (QMC/E-7). He applied and was selected to LDO Deck officer (Ensign/O-1) status. On 1 November 2003, Captain Caviness (O-6) will be retiring with 38 straight years of active duty Naval service.

Captain was awed with all the restoration that has been accomplished onboard the CCB over the last 2 1/2 years that we have been working on in order to restore her to her original presentable topside appearance for viewing. Captain was briefed by retired BMCS Everett Jones (’69-’70) and BM1 Charles Campbell (’67-’68) as to the CCB/Monitor operations that occurred in country as they both were Boat Captain’s along with information on how the success of the CCB was being restored. Upon his entering the Radio Room Quarterdeck area, we told him of our plans of displaying all the Navy’s CTF-117 RAG units there and 9th Infantry Division units in the engine room area with display panels of the casualties, artifacts, and memorabilia. During the Captain’s visit, Ralph showed him a rough assemble Memorial Display copies of the units which will eventually be mounted in the radio room and engine room to enshrine a Tribute of Honor for our departed Comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Upon Captain’s departure from the CCB, Ralph showed him and explained the original concept of how the Memorial/Boat Display was envisioned and approached by Admiral Zumwalt along with Ralph’s forethought and vision of constructing the Memorial/Boat Display scenario setting of illustrating our approach of our daily patrols in country. Captain’s visit was extremely invigorating and appreciative by all of us working party members in attendance.

After the departure of our special guest, we assembled in the engine room to discuss the approach of how we will design, layout, manufacture, and assemble the mounting backing plates necessary for properly mounting our Memorial Display panels of the 9th Infantry Division (2,624) unit casualties and memorabilia in order to provide an appreciative viewing look of the display inside the confined engine room space. Ralph will bring template cardboard next working party day to make a template in order to correctly design, layout, and construct the display mounting backing plates in his backyard shop at home. With in the next 2 to 3 months, the engine room restoration preservation should be about completed in order for us to make the necessary changes for mounting the backing plates for the 9th Infantry Division Unit Casualty Display panels.

With the exceeding amount of interest shown by both active duty and retired personnel that pass by during the day while we are there who would enjoy a personal visit of the CCB. We have decided to make a metal plaque to be posted between the present Army and Navy plaques on the stern. Visiting hours of the CCB to coincide with the days and hours when the working party personnel is onboard in order to entertain them with first hand knowledge about the boat’s interesting historical characteristics and operations in country during their visit.

Submitted By Ralph J. Fries

May 17, 2003

Good Morning Gentlemen,
Saturday May 17, 2003 – The CCB-18 restoration working party was held this day with Everett Jones, Ray Jones, Dutch Hearne, and Charles Campbell in attendance.

Upon completion of scrubbing, washing, and wiping down the exposed topside areas of the CCB in order to clean the bird droppings and dust off for a good clean presentable appearance. Dutch and Roy commence manufacturing and assembling display aluminum bunk frames for the crews compartment. Everett and Chuck started to assemble all the work tools on the tool display board in the crews quarters. Gathering all the tools from about the inside of the CCB to be located in one place for the ease to find the tools/supplies you need without looking all over to do the job that you intend to use them for in accomplishing the part of the restoration phase a person sets out to do with less loss of time of just looking.

The crew voted and agreed upon to have a barbecue cook out at noon on June 21st, our next scheduled Saturday working party day. Chuck will bring all the necessary condiments needed for the barbecue. Hope to see all who can attend our MRFA’s CCB working party gathering of fun.

Ralph was away in Kansas City, MO, meeting with their Chamber of Commerce’s Convention and Visitors Bureau representative on Friday May 16th. Showing them 3 complete display panels of the extremely impressive MRFA’s US Navy / 9th Infantry Division Viet Nam Unit Memorial Display which could be easily incorporated as a permanent Memorial Display within their present Veterans Memorial Buildings display of memorabilia. The Memorial Display was very favorable received by all in order to pursue their enhancement of entertaining more Veterans groups every year to come and visit by holding there unit reunions in Kansas City vice going some place else.

Tuesday May 27th is our next schedule CCB working party day. Hope to see all of you who can attend. Great Camaraderie!!!!!!!

Submitted By Ralph J. Fries

May 13, 2003:

Good Evening Gentlemen,
Tuesday May 13, 2003 – CCB-18 restoration working party was held today with Everett Jones and Ralph Fries in attendance. Charles Campbell was under the weather and couldn’t attend. Ralph provide the donuts for today.

Finished painting the tool display board in the Crews Quarters. Commence assembling the tools that will be displayed on the tool board once the paint had dried. Ralph brought 3 Unit Memorial Display panels of the MRFA’s US Navy / US Army 9th Infantry Division Viet Nam Unit Memorial Display to show. Measured the Radio Room and Engine Room for manufacturing the Memorial Display boards for attaching the panels of the MRF casualties too. Before the the Memorial Displays can be mounted in the Engine Room, The bilge and bulkhead areas have to be preserved first, then install the decking so a person can walk around without falling into the bilge. Drew a working design blueprint for manufacturing a permanent ladder accommodation with hand rails to make it easier to enter or depart the Radio Room Memorial Display area in the future from topside for us old folks. Safety first as we haven’t made it to be on the Olympic Tumbling Team for agility yet!!

We discuss locating the CTF-117 Chain of Command (Army and Navy) Rosters with each River Assault Squadrons Chain of Command Rosters which would include their River Assault Division rosters with their boat crews for displaying in the Radio Room/Engine Room Memorial Display Areas along with all the MRF Casualties.

Ralph brought a bag of FixAll patching with trowels for filling in the low spots on the deck topside areas in order so the rain water with not collect that don’t drain properly. The regular CCB restoration working party on Saturday May 17th will probably do the filling in of the low spots.

Submitted By Ralph J. Fries

April 19, 2003:

Good Evening Gentlemen,
Saturday, April 19, 2003 – the CCB-18 restoration working party assembled today with Chris Carrera, Everett Jones, Dutch Hearne, Ben Cueva, and Ralph Fries in attendance. Ralph provide the donuts for the working party’s coffee break. It was a beautiful clear sunny day for the days festive activities.

1st, we cleaned, washed, and wiped down the topside area to remove all the dust and grime from the last rain storm passing thorough last week along with removing all the bird droppings. Visitors are awe at the cleanliness of the CCB appearance when visiting the display.

2nd and most important part of the day was to mount and display David Hearne”s Memorial plaque of dedication to the CCB’s restoration above the hatch in the radio room going into the crews quarters. Pictures were taken for the MRFA’s web page and River Current Newsletter.

3rd, we painted green and installed all topside engine room air vent covers to prevent the wind from blowing rain water into the engine room.

A significant development of interest was discussed during lunch time after the mounting of David’s plaque. A light was turn on in our vision for the future. The internal body of the CCB becoming an Entomb Memorial in recognizing all who served with the Mobile Riverine Forces who paid the ultimate sacrifice, identifying each with the patch of their unit. The display would be through out, including the history of each unit and pictures of each type of equipment that the personnel who served on or with the MRF with the Radio Room being the Quarterdeck of the overall display. That will be our next goal after we complete the preservation of the internal body presently being accomplished within the CCB.

Submitted by Ralph J. Fries

March 11 & 15, 2003:

Good Evening Gentlemen,
Tuesday, March 11, 2003 – CCB-18 restoration working party was held with Charles Campbell, Everett Jones, and Ralph Fries in attendance. We removed the excess debris from the the engine room area in preparation for the Saturday working party to paint the overhead white. Swabbed down the topside areas to remove the excess water and clean the bird droppings off the deck and railing areas. Measured the air intake ducts to the engine room to make covers in order to keep the rain water from entering the engine room spaces.

Saturday, March 15, 2003 – CCB-18 restoration working party was provided with some wet inclement weather outside today. The dampness did not deter the work ethics of Charles Campbell, Everett Jones, Chris Carrera, Dutch Hearne, and Ralph Fries to continue working inside the boat. Chuck provide donuts and coffee.

We accomplished painting the engine room overhead with white paint. Partially assemble the stowage cabinet in the forward magazine area. Laid out an area in the crews quarters forward bulkhead to assemble a central tool board stowage location for hanging tools on in order to better utilize the space inside the boat to provide a ship shape appearance once manufactured and assembled.

Today, we assembled scripture information in Honoring David Hearne’s dedicated service in the restoration of CCB-18 for the manufacture of a plaque to include his picture for the display. The following scripture and lay out was agreed upon by the members present as follows:

EN3 David L. Hearne USN
March 20,1946 – August 5, 2002
Commander Task Force – 117

River Assault Squadron – 9
River Assault Division – 92
ATC-92-6 Boat Engineer 12/67-12/68
In Memory of David’s devotion, determination, dedication, and desire to restore CCB-18 to the boat’s original characteristics was his personal heartfelt commitment.

The plaque with his picture will be displayed above the hatch going from the radio room to the crew quarters.

Submitted by Ralph J. Fries

February 15, 2003:

Good Evening Gentlemen,
February 15, 2003 – The Southern California weather today, provided Dutch Hearne, Robert Coombs, Bernie Howlett, and Chuck Campbell a very pleasant, sunny day for conducting a good field day and clean up on the CCB after all the massive rain storms we have been having this past week. Chuck provided coffee and donuts.

With all the dirt blown in by the wind and the torrential rain this past week, along with the bird dropping all over the the topside areas, the CCB was a dirty mess (Boatswains Nightmare). They scrub, washed down and wiped down the exposed weather surface areas clean. There was some rain water that entered the forward gun mount and engine room bilge areas. They really couldn’t determine where the rain water leaked into those spaces. Hopefully by installing some plastic sheeting over the gun mount slots along with some sealant in and around the gun mounts and coxswain flat areas, they think it will prevent rain water from entering those interior spaces. We will find out next week when the next rain storms arrives if the plastic sheeting and sealant did the job to keep the interior spaces dry.

It appears that the 38 foot of 3/4″ PVC drain line that we installed on Tuesday, January 28th from the overhead of the crews quarters and out thru the engine room and lazerat to the stern in order to drain the amidships gun mounts and coxswain flat areas. The drain line did the job with no visible leaks which eliminated the prior use of 2 30 gallon trash barrels, located in the crews quarters to catch the rain water from the topside areas.

The next working party day will be Tuesday February 25th.

Submitted by Ralph J. Fries

January 18, 2003:

Good Evening Gentlemen,
January 18, 2003 – Today was an extremely cordial pleasant working party day for Roy Heilpern, Don Blankenship, Chris Carrera, Ray Jones, Everett Jones, Chuck Campbell, Ben Cueva, Bernard Howlett, and Ralph Fries on CCB-18. Chuck provided donuts for the working party coffee break in the morning.

Chuck Campbell and Everett Jones always put a good plan of accomplishments in the fore front for every Saturday working party day as usual. Today, because of the extreme wind conditions we had a couple of weeks ago, besides all the bird dropping topside. The cleanliness of the CCB was in an extreme need of a good field day and wash down. We washed, scrub, and wiped all the topside surfaces with hand wash clothes. Chuck provided a high pressure washer to wash down the boat’s cement pad to remove all the debris and trash. When completed, the good Boatswain Mates field day made the old gal’s appearance shine again to view by us old deck plate seaman.

Patched the finger poked holes in the styrofoam with caulking around the outside by the lower section of rebar mesh. Laid out and cut the necessary size plywood pieces for assembling a stowage cabinet in the forward ammo locker for installation on another working party day.

Discuss, designed, and mentally laid out a drainage system for removing the rain water gravity flow from the gun mounts, coxswain flat, and area just forward of the coxswain flat area amidships through the crew quarters, engine room space and out through the lazaretto bottom to the outside of the boat with 3/4″ PVC pipe as a drain line. This work will be accomplished during one of the CCB’s working party days in the very near future. Other wise, the crew quarters remains extremely wet with rain water and has to be pumped out with a submersible pump placed in the barrels we have provided at this time to catch most of the rain water. The drain line will alleviate this problem totally.

Submitted by Ralph J. Fries