April 18, 2024

RI Delegation Marks Anniversary of the Seabees’ Establishment in Davisville, RI

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, along with Congressmen Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo, today introduced a bipartisan resolution marking the 82nd anniversary of the establishment of the United States Naval Construction Force, known as the Seabees.  The resolution recognizes the tremendous sacrifices and contributions by the Seabees who have fought and served on behalf of the nation.

“Seabees are renowned for their ingenuity, construction and engineering work throughout the world.  The Seabees will forever be linked to the Naval Construction Force’s original home here in Rhode Island,” said Reed, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in recognizing the rich history of this elite construction unit.  For 82 years, at home and abroad, in times of war and peace, they have contributed to America’s national defense by building military bases, airfields, roads, bridges, and more.”

“The remarkable history of the Seabees began right here in Rhode Island,” said Whitehouse.  “This resolution highlights the many contributions of the industrious Seabees in service to our country, and recognizes the role the Ocean State has played along the way.”

“Since World War II, the Seabees have served our nation by building critical infrastructure that is essential for our troops to succeed in their missions,” said Magaziner. “I’m proud to represent Davisville — home to the first U.S. Navy Construction units and the Seabee Museum & Memorial Park — and I’m partnering with my colleagues in the federal delegation to honor this highly skilled unit and the vital support they provide to the U.S. Armed Forces.”

“For 82 years, US Navy Seabees have exemplified unwavering courage, resilience, and ingenuity as an essential part of our nation’s military readiness,” said Amo.  “Known for their ability to work anywhere — under any circumstances and in any conditions — Seabees embody the ‘Can Do’ spirit us Rhode Islanders know well. This resolution demonstrates our state’s steadfast support for active and retired Seabees and I am proud to join my delegation colleagues in honoring the rich history and legacy of Seabees who call the Ocean State their original home.”

Davisville served as home to the first U.S. Navy Construction units, which were established on January 5, 1942.  For more than eight decades since, the Seabees have been building critical infrastructure in support of the Navy and Marine Corps overseas.

“Since 1942, the Seabees have answered the call to service,” said former U.S. Navy Construction Mechanic Petty Officer 3rd Class Tom Santos, Vice President of Fundraising and Marketing for the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park in Davisville, RI, and a member of the Navy Seabee Foundation Board of Directors. “This resolution recognizes the rich and lasting history of the Seabees and honors their many contributions to our country.”

The resolution acknowledges Frank J. Iafrate, a native of North Providence, who designed “The Fighting Bee” logo in 1942 before joining the Naval Construction Force as a Chief Carpenter’s Mate.  The logo is still used by the U.S. Navy Seabees today.

The resolution is also led by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) in the Senate.  The House companion resolution was led by Representatives Mike Ezell (R-MS) and Julia Brownley (D-CA).

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

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