About the NSDA
The intent of the National Seabee Divers Association is to preserve the history of the United States Navy Seabee Divers while at the same time educating the general public about the unique underwater construction and waterfront work that a very select few service members perform in support of national security. Rather than reinventing the wheel, the NSDA has begun working with the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme, CA to further the missions of both organizations.
The NSDA is reaching out to connect with all current and former service members who were either Seabee divers or support personnel stationed at one or the other of the Underwater Contraction Teams located in Port Hueneme and Little Creek, VA in order to help facilitate the donation of individual historical documents and information so they can be preserved in an individual collection by the museum’s archivist.
The NSDA is also working with the Underwater Constructions Teams to set up a protocol whereby unclassified after action reports along with a series of photos depicting a project are provided to the museum for archiving. This effort will be starting with current and future projects and gradually working backwards to past projects.
Additionally, the NSDA is working with the Seabee Museum’s director to create a historical timeline exhibit with photos and objects that document the history of the Seabee divers dating back to World War II, along with an interactive display for museum visitors where they can touch and feel the diving equipment and tools, and a historical video documentary to supplement with stories and testimonies from the various generations of divers dating back to the plank owners of the Underwater Construction Teams commissioned back in the 1974 to modern day Seabee divers.
A Brief History of the NSDA
In the mid-1990s, or perhaps a bit earlier, a number of former Seabee divers decided that an organization of some sort was needed to help preserve the history of the Seabee divers, ensure the collective memory of those who had served as Seabee divers was not lost with the passing of time, and educate newer generations about the valuable work that Seabee divers have done and continue to do today, perhaps even inspiring a few to join the Navy and become Seabee divers themselves.
The founding group was comprised of Seabee divers who had been assigned to Battalions, who had worked on Man in the Sea projects (TEKTITE, SEALAB) and who had been assigned to the Underwater Construction Teams. Over the course of about fifteen years several reunions were held, however, during the 2004 reunion in Port Hueneme, California, a collective desire was expressed to grow the organization into something more than it had thus far been.
Some basic steps were taken to make this a reality, and the organization merrily bumped along for another five years leading up to the 2009 reunion in Port Hueneme celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Seabee diving community. Some of the very first Seabee divers attended the event and shared photos from their missions. It was a great opportunity to share then and now stories, check out how much equipment and gear has changed over the years and build upon initial efforts to preserve and share the history of the Seabee divers.
So here were are in 2013, one year before the 40th anniversary of the commissioning of the Underwater Constructions Teams and as you can see from the welcome page, there is a lot going on with the National Seabee Divers Association and much to be excited about and look forward to.