Bill and I just returned from the 74th Annual Seabee Ball held on Saturday, February 20, 2016, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Bill has written extensively about the Seabees in his four WWII military histories and is a Life Member of the Navy Seabee Veterans of America. We were honored to be invited to the VIP Reception and then seated among VIPs at dinner. I’m always moved by these military events … the younger generation thanking Bill for his service in WWII, and Bill and I thanking the younger generation for their service and sacrifices. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is – in a word – awesome, and we encourage everyone to pay it a visit.
A Brief History of the Seabees. The U.S. Navy Seabees were formed in World War II with the prime objective: to build major military construction. A Seabee is a member of the U. S. Naval Construction Forces (NCF). The name “Seabee” comes from initials “CB”, which in turn comes from the term “Construction Battalion”. Their motto: We Build, We Fight. Their symbol: A flying bee with a hammer, a wrench, a machine gun in its hands, and the words “Can Do!” During WWII, the Seabees constructed more than 400 advanced bases, bulldozing and paving thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips. Admiral W. F. Halsey, USN, Guam, 1945, said of the Seabees: “Every time I pass a bulldozer, I want to stop and kiss it.”