I have a list of service birthdays and I knew the SeaBees birthday was coming up in early March. I meant to schedule a post for March 5th, but hadn’t scheduled it. When I checked my list a few minutes ago, I saw where I was late with their birthday post.
Happy Belated 78th Birthday SeaBees. From Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/notes/chief-of-naval-operations-adm-mike-gilday/seabee-birthday-message/1554194201395634/
Today, we proudly commemorate the 78th anniversary of our Fighting Seabees. The Seabees were established in the dark days following the attack on Pearl Harbor and have served in every conflict since. They prove daily that they are the best combat construction fighting team.In addition, congratulations to the men and women of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command and the Civil Engineer Corps as we celebrate the 178th Birthday of NAVFAC and the 153rd Birthday of our CEC.The unique skills and capabilities you bring to bear in support of our Navy and the nation have never been more important. Through your achievements and sacrifices, you continue to build on your proud history, meeting today’s demanding missions around the world.To our CAN DO deployed Seabees, we keep you and your families in our thoughts and prayers and look forward to your safe return home. Your country and your shipmates are grateful for your service. OORAH SEABEES!
According to this link (for some reason, attempts today to get an update from the magazine keep giving me Access Denied and I am at a location with good Wi-Fi access): http://seabeemagazine.navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/02/26/birthday-message-from-the-chief-of-civil-engineers/ from the 2019 77th birthday message. 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: Seabee 78 Birthday YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdj65S55iPA (about 3:33 minutes long)
YouTube SeaBee Song: Judy Garland – The Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqtF686DEdM
From last year’s post – SeaBees 77th Birthday March 5, 2019
My hometown is home to one of the few SeaBee bases – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Construction_Battalion_Center_(Gulfport,_Mississippi) 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).
Tried for an update from my home county newspaper today, but they didn’t include an article this year. The last article they have was celebrating the 75th birthday of the SeaBees in 2017: https://www.sunherald.com/news/local/military/article153933134.html.