Seabees Training Camps

Camps: Peary, Williamsburg, Virginia
Camp Endicott, (Sun Valley), Davisville RI
Atlantic Fleet Headquarters, Gulfport, MS
Camp Parks, Shoemaker, CA
Camp Rousseau, Port Hueneme, CA

For a very thorough history and description of the Seabees training camps, the following link is excellent.  The later chapters in this series also detail the specific contributions of individual Seabee Battalions at each base.
HyperWar: Building the Navy's Bases in World War II (Chapter 6)
http://152.46.7.80/hyperwar/USN/Building_Bases/bases-6.html

Throughout his service, the Bluejackert' Manual was the Seabee's handbook of Naval customs, ediquette, skills, ships, gunnery, first aid, and more . . .

And when he returned to civilian life, the Navy supplied a description of his skills to civilian employers

 

USN Seabeeing News

For news, entertainment, and edification, the Bees had newspapers galore: from custom produced locals to the venerable Overseas Edition of the New York TIMES.  Thanks to Penny Hoffman for this valuable collection!

Recruitment of Seabees

From the beginning, the Seabees were seeking a different kind of men. .The early ideal was the older, experienced, and often more individualistic veterans of the WPA projects. WWI vets, grandfathers, itinerate laborors, these grizzled, inventive geniuses would be vital to the effort of building airfields rapidly amidst combat and under impossible conditions, using materials at hand, and dealing with the variety and unexpectedness of terrains and circumstances. 
As Seabees became widely known, Madison Avenue called on them to boost sales of items from Jeeps to Coca-Cola.  Some remarkable artistic renditions of Bees building under fire and introducing natives of the Admiralties to Coke were more authentic than the tidy recruitment posters. 

But the Seabees weren't finicky.  If the other services didn't want you, in the Seabees you still "can do."  Bob Conner wasn't color-blind like many of his comrades, but his flat feet failed the Army aesthetic.

Camp Peary, Williamsburg, VA

                             The induction process is detailed in this booklet, provided by Penny Hoffman, Huntington Beach, CA

Postcards illustrated many camp activitie 
Beelines was the official Newspaper
Poem in Honor of Camp Peary
More Postcards and history of Camp Peary
http://williamsburgpostcards.com/mil/mil.htm
Today, Camp Peary is a secretive CIA training facility known as "The farm."
http://www.fas.org/irp/overhead/peary.htm

The 93rd spent as much time building Camp Peary as being boot-trained.  CBTB was endemic.  By the time Hugh Aarons and the rest of his 113th arrived, it was just short of paradise. 

Camp Peary, Williamsburg, VA, named for the renowned Navy explorer, followed Camp Endicott and Camp Allen as the Seabee boot camp 

 Endicott, (Sun Valley) Davisville, RI

Camp Endicott in Davisville, RI, provided boot camp for early battalions, but by the time the 93rd Battalion was formed, it was the place to go for advanced training - weaponry, and other combat.  There was also an interlude at Sun Valley where the Bees learned weaponry from the Marines.  Endicott, like Camp Peary, featured "virtual" ships and other simulated practice areas for survival, combat, and warfare construction

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An Introductory Booklet extolled Endicott's facilities and training, which included such survival needs as distinguishing "Safe" edible plants.

                            The Bulldozer.provided local news

Postcards were welcomed by the folks back home

 

Camp Parks Construction Battalion Replacement Depot, Livermore, CA

Camp Parks was originally envisioned as a "rest camp" for Seabee Battalions between assignments.  But few battalions ever got home (or anywhere else) to rest during their 2 or more years overseas.  Camp Parks most commonly provided advanced training for outfits like the 93rd which were awaiting space at Port Hueneme. 

 

 

"We build - we fight".  History of Camp Park:.  Army and Navy Publishing Company of Louisiana.  58 pages with text and black and white photographs. 

Camp Rousseau, Port Hueneme, CA

. Hueneme refined construction and military skills.  Some fortunates got to home their skills helping movie stars construct entertainment venues.  All were welcomed at special Hollywood performances. Splinter City was the last stop before shipping out.  Here, the Bees met the equipment that would accompany them and form working units, prepared to respond rapidly to whatever conditions lay ahead when they disembarked.
 

Next Chapter would be Island X