I saw the notice on Facebook, but it showed March 4th as the date. According to this link: http://seabeemagazine.navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/02/26/birthday-message-from-the-chief-of-civil-engineers/, it’s March 5th. In my research, I came across this blog post, https://seabeemuseum.wordpress.com/2018/10/13/the-seabees-and-their-other-birthday/ with an original birth date of December 28, 1942; it remained the official birthday for twelve (12) years.
The date, though, proved to be troublesome. Taking place over the busy holiday season, the financial strain of having to pay for multiple parties, family commitments, and the fact that many service members and their families would be on leave made the date impractical. This led to a search for a new date to commemorate the founding of the Seabees.
In December, 1954, RADM J.R. Perry, Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and the Civil Engineer Corps sent out an official notice that the Seabee Birthday would be moved to a different date. Several dates were considered, including October 31, 1941 the date that Admiral Moreell was asked to form a Construction Company of ninety-nine men to Iceland for duty. These men later formed the core of the 1st Naval Construction Battalion, the “Bobcats”. Perry settled on March 5, a day that held special significance for the Seabees and the Civil Engineer Corps. Firstly, this was the day that the naval construction force was official given the name “SEABEE” a name developed from the letters “C” and “B” from construction battalion, the basic unit in which Seabees would serve. Secondly, this was the day that the logo of the “Fighting Bee” drawn by Frank Iafrate was authorized for wear on their uniform. Thirdly, this day marked the founding of the Civil Engineer Corps in 1867.
Official Website: https://www.public.navy.mil/seabee/Pages/default.aspx/
Notable SeaBees: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seabee#Notable_Seabees
YouTube SeaBees search: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=SeaBees
YouTube SeaBee Song: Judy Garland – The Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqtF686DEdM
My hometown is home to one of the few SeaBee https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Construction_Battalion_Center_(Gulfport,_Mississippi) bases in the country. I posted about it in SeaBee Heritage Center, Gulfport, Mississippi – Mississippi Mondays. During Mardi Gras parades, the SeaBees usually had a float and the floats tended to use this as part of the float https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FightingSeabee_NavalConstructionBattalionCenter_Gulfport,MS.jpg. A picture of the float can be seen https://books.google.com/books?id=TlCpPsNBamsC&pg=PT126&lpg=PT126&dq=seabee+float+gulfport+ms&source=bl&ots=Ouu8M0jXqp&sig=ACfU3U1uvsnORdIo1NAhMgxFOgNfB6Rr8Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj3qZTq6-TgAhULd6wKHR9DAEcQ6AEwFXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=seabee%20float%20gulfport%20ms&f=false (you may have to scroll up or down a little bit to see the float).
Here’s the local newspaper celebrating the 75th birthday of the SeaBees in 2017: https://www.sunherald.com/news/local/military/article153933134.html.
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