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The enlistment centers throughout the country were opened to volunteers for the Seabee branch in the latter part of December, 1941, just after the Pearl Harbor incident. In order to induce skilled construction workers to give up highly paid civilian jobs and volunteer for Seabee service, Navy rates were offered. From the ranks of some sixty different building trades, men began to answer the call.
The age range was wide, seventeen to fifty years, and the preponderance of older men, many of them veterans of the last war, soon caused the Bees to become known as "grandpops" among the men of the regular Navy.
United States Navy, 8th Construction Battalion, World War 1939-1945, Regimental histories, Pacific Ocean
Powers, William T. and United States Navy, "Pieces of Eight" (1945). World War Regimental Histories. 33.