The Great Fifty-Eight Scholarship
Saving Our Legacy
Forged by the Sea, the U.S. Navy’s combat construction force (Seabees) became famous building the bases for allied forces across the Pacific. Numbering over 300,000, Seabees paved the way to WW II victory.
After WW II Seabee forces were reduced to just over 3,300 active duty by 1949. Fighting in Korea signaled a need for more Seabees. Reduced to a small force after Korea, Seabees struggled to remain relevant. The Vietnam War saw a build-up of Seabees to a sizeable force of over 26,000.
MCB 58 was one of several Battalions commissioned ins 1966. While addressing the Battalion one frosty winter morning, on the Davisville, Rhode Island, grinder, our skipper, Captain Ward deGroot, told his Seabees; “Together we will make MCB 58 truly great.” From that day forward MCB 58 was branded “The Great Fifty-Eight.” The Great Fifty-Eight was not as fortunate as some other Battalions for it was disestablished after three successful combat tours in Vietnam. Every member of The Great Fifty-Eight is a Vietnam veteran.
Unlike many other military units that pass their colors from one generation to the next, NMCB 58 has no follow-on group to preserve the Battalion’s legacy; to that end, a group of MCB 58 Seabees created the NMCB 58 Association. For more than 20 years, the Association has ensured that no Seabee is left alone. Now that our Association members have entered their “golden years,” it is just a matter of time until the Association is dissolved. Without a new generation of Fifty-Eighters to carry the battalion colors forward, our legacy will not be preserved. The Great Fifty-Eight would be relegated to a dusty shelf at the museum. To ensure The Great Fifty-Eight is not forgotten, we have initiated a campaign to fully fund a Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association (SMSA) perpetual scholarship to be named “The Great Fifty-Eight” Scholarship. It will be to be administered by the SMSA.
Now is the time for The Great Fifty-Eight to help ensure our Seabee’s children or grandchildren are not alone. NMCB 58 Association is a 501C19 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible. Each donor will receive a Certificate of Appreciation from the Association.