SBP Seabees


The Navy Seabees were officially named so on March 5th 1942.  The Seabees referred to all Navy Construction Battalion personnel.  This group originated as a unique, very special organization that would support the Navy and the Marines in remote locations.   The original Battalions were formed at a new Naval base Right in Davisville, RI at Quonset Point in North Kingstown.  For many decades, the U.S. Navy Seabees earned a reputation for exceptional creativity in the infrastructure during times of war.

From paving roads to building bridges in such far-flung locations as Bora Bora, Midway, Guadalcanal, Normandy, Vietnam, the Gulf and even Antarctica, the Seabees used whatever they could to get the job done.  There wasn’t a building project a Navy Seabee couldn’t tackle! Including their latest project, a new Museum building in Davisville, R.I.  A modern evolution of the Quonset Hut-style building, the newly created treasure is a 102’ wide, 65’ deep and 24’ center height steel building was purchased and construction commenced in Fall 2012.  One critical item needed to be obtained locally, namely a 14-foot wide garage door.  Unlike during wartime, this was no time to get creative with materials!  In the true “Can Do” spirit of the Seabees, member Jim Rugh approached the Boston office of Specified Building Products Corporation – a commercial architectural solutions company headquartered in New York City with offices throughout New England – to ask for professional help in sourcing the door based on the original manufacturer’s specifications.

Specified Building Products suggested a McKeon Door Company insulated rolling steel door that would ideally serve the Museum’s needs.  “The door we suggested has additional insulation for energy conservation and protection against elements of nature, is more reliable for high use applications by the public, provides significant safety for fire and security needs, and will last longer than the door originally specified in the building plans,” states Scott Grace, president of Specified Building Products Corporation.  “Since it is part of a modern Quonset Hut building which most everyone knows was originally designed and manufactured at the Davisville base, we recognized the importance of this Museum project to the history of our state and of the world.  Once we let McKeon Door know this, they immediately stepped up without hesitation to donate the door.  We are honored to help make this historic building complete.”

The new Museum building will soon house military and civic memorabilia honoring the memory of thousands of men and women who served at the former Navy base in North Kingstown.  “Specified Building Products and McKeon Door Company are, in my opinion, among the heroes of this project,” comments Dick Caito, president of the SeabeeMuseum who, along with Board Member Jack Sprengel, oversees the Museum development.  “Speaking for the many Seabee veterans and volunteers involved in the Museum and Memorial Park project here at Davisville, we personally thank Specified Building Products Corporation President Scott Grace and McKeon Door President Joseph McKeon and their teams – especially since we were approaching winter in Rhode Island and needed to source a door quickly.  Their professionalism and expertise are unmatched and we sincerely appreciate their commitment to our work in recognizing and preserving the past, present and future contributions of all Seabees.”

Florida resident Russell Parry, a native Rhode Islander and veteran construction project executive who worked with Specified Building Products Corporation for many years, served as a U.S. Navy Seabee from 1968-1971 for two tours in Vietnam.  “I’m not surprised that Specified Building Products has come through so generously for this project,” states Mr. Parry.  “I’ve known and worked with this company for a long time and giving back to the community is in their genes.  Now the museum documents can be displayed with the dignity they deserve.”

The SeabeeMuseum and Memorial Park’s mission is to document the history of the U.S. Navy Seabees and provide an educational learning site for students from the region.  The well-known Gate Seabee, a large ‘Fighting Bee’ which once stood at the entrance to the Naval Base, was saved from demolition and moved onto the park property which also houses various monuments to fallen Seabees, a chapel, construction equipment, and several restored Quonset huts.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: