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Does anyone remember what they were doing 47 years ago . . . our Past Post Commander was busy!

Udorn Air Force Base, Thailand, Southeast Asia







Officer Brendan Gheen and Fireman Ryan Lenegan were among those honored with a proclamation for their participation in the life saving effort of an accident victim who was involved in an incident that occurred in our town back in July. The recognition took place during the regular City Council meeting on Thursday evening, August 27, 2015.Both men are Veterans of the Gulf Wars and members of our Post. To each of you, a big ‘thank you!’ for your service to your country and to the community!

SONS member Doug Otto and his wife, Nadine made a visit to the SeabeeMuseum and the birthplace of the Quonset Hut in Davisville, Rhode Island (near Quonset Point, Rhode Island) over the Memorial Day weekend.

United States Naval Construction Battalion Training Center at Camp Endicott, Davisville, RI, Home of the Navy Seabees (CB = Construction Battalion) and the Quonset Hut.

   In 1941 the U.S. Military realized they would need a way to quickly house people and protect material at far-flung bases around the world. They needed a building that was inexpensive, lightweight (so it could be shipped anywhere), and designed be put up quickly using hand tools. The Military called on engineer Peter Dejongh and architect Otto Brandenberger of the Georgia A. Fuller Company, one of the contractors building the new Davisville, Rhode Island  base, to produce a hut built to US specifications...and do it in two months.

The British had developed and patented a prefab structure known as a Nissen Hut during WWI.  Dejongh and Brandenberger adapted the British design using corrugated steel and semi-circular steel arched ribs.

The Anderson Sheet Metal company of nearby Providence, RI solved the technical problem of bending the corrugated sheets into a usable form. These sheets were originally attached by nuts and bolts. The two ends were covered with plywood, which had doors and windows. Other innovations were an interior Madonite lining, insulation, and a one-inch thick tongue-in-groove floor on a raised metal frame.

What would the Navy call these structures? They were named after the area where they were built: Quonset Point, RI. The word Quonset means "boundary" in the language of the Native American Narragansett people who once lived on that land. A production facility was quickly set-up and the first Quonset Hut was built in just 60-days. An estimated 153,000 Quonset Huts were built in support of American troops during WWII.

The flexible open interior space allowed the huts to be used as barracks, offices, medical and dental offices, bakeries, chapels, theaters and latrines. In all 86 interior designs were approved. Larger 40 x 100 foot units were developed for use as warehouse facilities.  After the war, a number of Navy-surplus Quonset Huts found their way into civilian life, but they really never caught on. Modified Quonset Huts are still being manufactureD today, mainly for industrial and agricultural uses.

The name of the Seabees itself was created by Frank J. Lafrate, who was working as a file clerk at the Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Navy and civilian engineers would come into his office and study the naval installation's drawings. Lafrate drew caricatures of these men and in time became known for drawing.

As new recruits and the men in charge started to grow, one day a Navy lieutenant, the officer in charge, came in and asked Lafrate if he could draw a 'Disney type' insignia that would identify and represent this new battalion. He explained to Lafrate that this group would be unique, that they would never be on the offensive attacking, but would be trained to defend themselves, their unit and their project without hesitation.

After spending some time deliberating on different ideas and animals, the bee became his choice. Bees are always busy working and won't bother people unless they are bothered first, at which point they retaliate with a sharp sting. He spent about three hours on a Sunday afternoon drawing it, adding the Navy's white sailor hat, made the bee a third class petty officer, added tools of the trade, machinist mate, carpenters mate, gunner's mate, and on each wrist added the C.E.C. insignia for Civil Engineering Corps. He gave the bee a tommy-gun to show its fierce nature. To finish off the new Seabee logo, he encircled it with a Q for Quonset. The next morning, he showed it to the officer in charge, who showed it to the captain, who sent it off to Washington, to Admiral Moreell. The only item the Admiral requested requested be changed was the Q. He asked File Clerk Lafrate to change it to the rope for national recognition of a Naval insignia.


Congratulations to Post 524 member Bill Flynn!

At the 119th New Jersey State Annual Knights of Columbus Convention, Grand Knight Bill Flynn of Council 2560, Ocean City was awarded the NJ STATE KNIGHT OF THE YEAR Award. There are over 63,000 New Jersey Knights of Columbus.

(Pictured with Bill is Deputy Grand Knight Barry Anes)

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