navy seabees

Called Mum tonight because we haven’t chatted a lot recently, and she told me that my cousin heard something in the attic of my grandfather’s old house in Fayetteville, so they went up to check it out. All they found that caught their eye was this old pack of cigarettes and a book of matches - looks like they found Grandpa’s hiding spot. He used to sneak away to smoke because he wasn’t allowed to, we all knew, but never thought to look there. It’s been almost 5 years, we sure do miss him. When I left for work tonight, I could smell wood and cigarettes, just like I remember from his basement. Next time I am in Georgia, I’ll have to leave a pack on his headstone, maybe a bag of circus peanuts too. Ironically enough, I just found out that the Navy Seebees, the battalion my grandfather served in, turns 75 this year. Godspeed Richard Kenneth Brannon Sr. (1940 - 2012).

An Amazing Resue - Another Power at Work

On January 14, a semi-truck rear ended a BMW on a Santa Barbara highway.  Inside the vehicle was a mother and her two daughters, ages 10 and 6 months.  The mangled vehicle, partially over a guard rail, teetered between safety on the bridge or death by falling 100 feet below.  The Navy Seabees “happened” to be driving on the highway with an unusual fork-lift type of equipment that could support the BMW while firefighters could use the jaws of life to rescue the trapped family.  Coincidence? Luck? Synchronicity?  Or another power at work?  You decide.

Please click the video to watch the story of this amazing rescue.

Please keep the semi-truck driver (may he rest in peace) and his family in your prayers.  May God always bless the Navy Seabees, firefighters, police and the other unsung heroes of our armed and protective services.    

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Caption: Dramatic rescue Firefighters rescue a family from a car dangling over a bridge after a fiery crash, Jan. 12, on Highway 101 near Buellton, Calif. The accident claimed the life of a truck driver.

A team of Navy Seabees happened to be passing by the scene, and the fire crew used a Seabees heavy forklift to stabilize the dangling car. A mother and her two daughters were taken to the hospital.

Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara News

They used this

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Somewhere in England one of the hottest bands in the European Theater of Operations belongs to a Special United States Naval Construction Battalion…

The band leader and trumpeter is Coxswain Thomas J. Lindsey (left), and the drummer is S1c. Edward A. Grant, 12/14/1944

From the Series: Negro Activities in Industry, Government, and the Armed Forces, 1941 - 1945


Yesterday we participated in the White House’s #BHMEditathon as part of their celebration of Black History Month. Our panel of experts (Tina Ligon, Netisha Currie, and Alexis Hill) was part of the group at the White House–along with online participants–who expanded the stories of African Americans in  science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) using Wikipedia.

We shared some online documents from our holdings to inspire participants.

The National Archives holds records related to the Federal Government, so our STEM-related records featured patents (Michael Jackson’s anti-gravity shoe, Sarah Goode’s patent for a “cabinet-bed”) or space-related images (astronauts!) or war-related records  (Dr. Charles Drew’s letter about collecting blood).

Many of our records are already in Wikipedia Commons, but we hope the Wikipedia will dig further into the stories they are part of–but that have not been told, like this photograph of African American Seabees.

Check out the page and add the stories that inspire you!

Around the World Wednesday: Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 40 conduct a patrol during a week-long jungle warfare training course in Okinawa, Japan. The center occupies 17,500 acres of jungle in northern Okinawa and provides instruction to prepare joint forces for jungle combat.

“PATROL ACTION – Three Marines take cover during a patrol activity in the vicinity of Hoi-Dong-Xa beach, Viet Nam. The Marine in the foreground is armed with the M-79 grenade launcher. Marines made a landing at Chu Lai, 53 miles Southeast of Da Nang, on 6-7 May to secure the area and provide security for Navy Seabees building a SATS airfield at Chu Lai.” [1965]