Adm. Ben Moreell. in 1946,
official Navy photograph.

 

 

State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

HOUSE RESOLUTION H-5890

DECLARING MARCH 5TH ANNUALLY TO BE "RHODE ISLAND SEABEES DAY"

WHEREAS, As the Second World War dawned on the horizon, the United States Navy realized that fighting in a variety of theaters across the globe would require a vast infrastructure and the assembling of a unique and highly trained organization that would support the United States Navy and Marines in remote locations and also have the ability to defend themselves if attacked. Thus the Seabees, men who were highly skilled craftsmen such as electricians, plumbers, equipment operators, and construction tradesmen and also fighting men, were formed and deployed around the globe; and

WHEREAS, Rear Admiral Ben Moreell, Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, requested specific authority to organize and man this special organization on December 28, 1941. On January 5, 1942, he was given that authority and the original battalions were formed at a new naval base in Davisville, Rhode Island. The first naval construction unit to actually deploy oversea left Davisville, Rhode Island on January 17, 1942 and arrived at Bora Bora in the Pacific on February 17, 1942; and

WHEREAS, On March 5, 1942 all construction battalion personnel were officially named Seabees by the United States Navy Department and a logo, the Fighting Bee, was created by Rhode Island native Frank Iafrate, a civilian worker on base; and

WHEREAS, The Davisville Advanced Base became operational in June of 1942 and Camp Thomas, a receiving station for personnel, was established in October of that year. The Base eventually contained 500 Quonset huts for personnel. Finally, on August 11, 1942, the Naval Construction Training Center, known as Camp Endicott, was commissioned at Davisville. The camp trained over 100,000 Seabees during World War II; and

WHEREAS, From the construction of and heroic defense of Henderson Air Field on Guadalcanal to the Normandy invasion, the Seabees participated in every major amphibious assault in World War II. They quickly earned a reputation for exceptional creativity and bravery. More than 325,000 men served with the Seabees in World War II, fighting and building in more than 400 locations around the globe. They knew more than sixty skilled trades. Many fighting Seabees perished in the service of our nation; and

WHEREAS, Since the end of World War II, the Seabees have served our nation in every conflict America has been involved in, from Korea and Vietnam to the Deserts of the Middle East and the Global War on Terrorism, as well as serving in numerous humanitarian missions around the world. The Seabees have always answered the call of duty when our nation was in peril; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby declares March 5th annually to be "Rhode Island Seabees Day".

Introduced By: Representatives Carter, Slater, Gallison, Watson, and Fox

Enacted February 26, 2009

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