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Navy Seabees Foundation launches fundraising campaign for Seabees Museum that honors their legacy

Members of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum Advisory Council (MAC), stand for a picture in front of the Seabee logo in the grand hall of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum. ((U.S. Navy photo by Aramis X. Ramirez, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Navy Seabee Museum/Released).
November 26, 2018

The Seabee Historical Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to preserve the proud legacy and honor the history of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps and the Navy’s military construction force founded in Sept. 1991.

As part of the Seabee mission, they provide for the Seabee Museum which is owned and operated by the Navy, and also the Seabee Heritage Center in Gulfport, Mississippi, according to the Seabee Historical Foundation’s website.

Through their special Can Do Campaign efforts, the organization is raising money from Veteran’s Day through Nov. 27, 2018.

William C. Hilderbrand, President of the Seabee Historical Foundation, told American Military News, “We are excited about the progress of the Can Do Campaign, an $80,000 crowdfunding initiative, which will conclude on #GivingTuesday. To date, nearly $50,000 has been raised by hundreds of Seabees, past and present, as well as Seabee friends and families nationwide.”

Seabee Museum is located at the Seabee base in Port Hueneme, California. Visitors to the museum have the privilege of seeing the rich history of the Seabees and the Civil Engineer Corps.

The museum is only one of nine official U.S. Navy museums in the country.

However, the museum was created from an old Quonset hut, so it was small and lacked the ability to stabilize the temperature and humidity necessary to house the exhibits displayed in the museum.

Some big changes had to be made if the Navy was going to be able to continue with their mission. This was when Seabee stepped up, raising millions of dollars for the U.S. Navy to create a new building.

“Earlier support by the Foundation included a $12 million gift to the Navy, which enabled the Seabee Museum to move from a WWII Quonset hut complex into a stunning new 38,000 square foot state-of-the-art building,” Hilderbrand explained.

The Seabee Historical Foundation took out a loan to make the mission a reality. That loan is still being paid back, and support through donations has become necessary.

Seabee is asking for support with their efforts. The proceeds from the 15-day campaign will be used to pay off or pay down the loan.

“Funds from the campaign will enable the Foundation to further its support of the US Navy Seabee Museum,” Hilderbrand noted. “This museum will continue to tell the story of the Navy’s legendary Seabees for generations to come.”

The Seabees have spent decades gathering contributions to make sizeable donations for both civilians and the military during war time and peace with the support of more than 13,000 donors and members of the Seabee Historical Foundation.

The Seabees motto is, “We build. We fight”; “CAN DO”; “The difficult we do now, the impossible takes a little longer.”

The U.S. Navy recruited the first Seabees during World War II to help build naval bases. During the war, 325,000 men served as Seabees.