The CEC/Seabee Historical Foundation

The CEC/ Seabee Historical Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose purpose is to ensure that the proud heritage and rich history of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps and the Navy’s military construction force, the Seabees, are properly documented, preserved and maintained. Public awareness of the contributions and accomplishments of the Seabees and the Civil Engineer Corps is a primary goal.

The Foundation is the private support arm of the CEC/Seabee Museum, providing funds for the improvement, expansion, and upgrade of the Museum. The development, restoration, and construction of major exhibits, displays, and artifacts are also funded.

Governed by a Board of Trustees and managed on a day-to-day basis by a President, the Foundation has it’s headquarters in Gulfport, Mississippi. Founded in September, 1991, the Foundation has a worldwide membership. Income from dues paid by members supports the Foundation’s operating expenses, maximizing the availability of other funds to support the Museum.

CAPT William C. Hilderbrand, President

CEC/Seabee Historical Foundation
P.O. Box 657
Gulfport, MS 39502-0657

To learn more about Seabee history, click here or visit our links page.

The Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps and the Seabees

Created in 1867, the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) is responsible for designing, constructing and maintaining the shore facilities needed to support the U.S. Navy around the world. Ports, piers, warehouses, shipyards, airfields, and other facilities required have been provided through their leadership and personal efforts.

With the onset of WWII, there was an immediate need for overseas bases, and civilian workers could not be sent to work in a war zone. In January of 1942, Rear Admiral Ben Moreell, CEC, USN, Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, received authority to create what became known as the Seabees. More than 325,000 Seabees served during WWII, participating in virtually every theater of operations and working under fire as they constructed piers, airfields, hospitals, housing and every imaginable facility.

Since beginning their partnership during WWII, the Seabees and the officers of the Civil Engineer Corps have worked together in peace time and war. They built the huge base at Cubi Point in the Philippines and the extensive facilities at remote Diego Garcia, while also working around the world from Antarctica to the plains of Greece. They also worked underwater around the world as Seabee divers accomplished critically needed underwater construction. Seabees and CEC officers fought

In an even larger effort, the CEC officers have continued in the tradition begun over 130 years ago of working with Navy base employees and civilian contractors to provide the Navy the shore facilities it needs. Over $100 billion in construction has provided the Navy’s sailors much needed facilities at hundreds of bases around the world.

Today, the Seabees and CEC officers work around the globe, living up to their motto… “WE BUILD, WE FIGHT.”