Saturday, February 25, 2012

He found a way to serve

Mr. G. is an 89 year old who, like so many others, desperately wanted to join the Navy as a young man after Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7th 1941.

He was turned down initially due to being colorblind.

Finally, a friend told him about a new division of the Navy, the Naval Construction Battalions, that had become operational in June 1942.

He was accepted as a Construction Mechanic and after training at Camp Endicott in Rhode Island, spent close to the next 4 years building bridges, roads and Quonset huts (used for warehouses, hospitals and housing) throughout Europe.

He was a Seabee (came from the initials of Construction Battalion (CB)).

"The earliest Seabees were recruited from the civilian construction trades. Because of the emphasis on experience and skill, rather than physical standards, the average age of Seabees during the early days of the war was 37 ("

The Seabee logo, designed in 1942, by Frank J. Iafrate, has remained in use unchanged ("Fighting Bee").

It was an honor to meet him; another American hero.

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