“Can Do” – Life as a Seabee in WWII

Updated: Apr 11, 2018

C.B. Martin learned about the bombing of Pearl Harbor watching a movie with a buddy in downtown Lubbock on Sunday Dec. 7th, 1941. As C.B. noted, “Neither one of us had ever heard of Pearl Harbor and we had no idea where it was located. I was very aware of its location before the war was over!”


C.B. was drafted in Sep. 1943, and was interviewed by a Navy Seabee recruiter. When he found out C.B. had construction experience, he offered to make him a Third Class Petty Officer. He decided right then to become a Seabee. The Seabees were formed as part of the Navy in spring of 1942, by Admiral Moreall. He came up with the idea of a Construction Battalion which would be called Seabees. Their motto was “We build, we fight." As he noted wryly, “C.B. became a Seabee."