U.S. Navy Seabees: Building and Fighting Since 1942

U.S. Navy Seabees: Building and Fighting Since 1942


WHEN THE ENEMY STRUCK AT PEARL HARBOR
THE WHOLE OF AMERICA’S MIGHTY PRODUCTIVE MACHINERY WAS THROWN
IN TO HIGH GEAR TO PLACE THE COUNTRY ON A FULL WAR FOOTING
RECOGNIZING THE NEED FOR AN ORGANIZATION OF SKILLED WORKERS, TO BUILD
ADVANCED BASES IN ACTIVE THEATERS OF WAR THE BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS OBTAINED AUTHORITY
FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FIRST NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION. WELL THE PRIMARY DIFFERENCE IS THE SEABEES
ARE ON LAND AND THE SAILORS ARE ON THE SEA. THAT’S THE DISTINGUISHABLE DIFFERENCE. DURING WORLD WAR II THE SEABEES WERE ESTABLISHED
AND WE WERE GOING ALL OVER THE WORLD BUILDING AIRFIELDS. BUILDING COMPLEXES. I WENT INTO THE SEABEES RIGHT OUT OF BOOT
CAMP IN 1946. I WENT TO CARPENTER SCHOOL AND THEN SHIPPED
OFF TO THE PHILIPPINES. I ASKED FOR A BATTLE SHIP AND I GOT THE SEABEES
INSTEAD OF A BB. ALL IN ALL I DON’T REGRET IT. I ENJOYED THE SEABEES. WHEN AN EARTHQUAKE WENT INTO KODAK, ALASKA,
IT SHUT DOWN THE BASE. EVERYTHING SHUT DOWN. A LITTLE TSUNAMI CAME IN AT THAT PARTICULAR
TIME. WITHIN 24 HOURS FROM THE TIME WE WERE NOTIFIED,
WE WERE ON THAT STATION. MY BOSS SAID “YOU’RE A RESERVIST?” I SAID “YEA”. HE SAYS “IN WHAT?” I SAID “THE NAVY!” HE SAYS “HOW COME YOU’RE NOT A SEABEE?” I SAID WHAT’S A SEABEE? I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT A SEABEE WAS. “YOU’RE A CONSTRUCTION ELECTRICIAN, YOU SHOULD
BE A SEABEE!” AND I SAID, “THIS BEATS ROWING A BOAT AROUND BOSTON HARBOR.” SO I SAID “HOW DO I GET INTO THIS OUTFIT?” IN THE SEABEES, YOU GET TO KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE
IN THE BEES, A LOT OF SHIPMATES AND YOU MIGHT GO FROM ONE BATTALION TO ANOTHER,
BUT EVENTUALLY YOU MEET UP AGAIN. IT’S A LOT CLOSER KNIT FAMILY IN THE SEABEES. I ENJOYED IT. EVERY BIT OF IT. I DID NOT WANT TO GET OUT OF THE NAVY. I WAS IN THE BEES, THEY HAD TO CARRY ME OUT. THE SEABEES IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG
MEN AND WOMEN TODAY TO ADVANCE THEIR LIFE. THE BEES TODAY ARE JUST AS HARD WORKING AS
THE BEES IN THE OLD DAYS. STAY WITH IT AND WORK HARD AT IT AND ADVANCE
IN IT AND YOU’D BE SURPRISED AT THE DIVIDENDS IN YOUR LATER LIFE.

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