The vast training camp built at Davisville, Rhode Island, in 1942 provided more than 100,000 men of the U.S. Navy's Construction Battalions, better known as "Seabees," with construction training during World War II. During the Vietnam conflict, eight Naval Mobile Construction Battalions representing some 4,000 Seabees were homeported at Davisville, in addition to 1,200 civilians.
Named in honor of Rear Admiral Mordecai T. Endicott, the first Civil Engineer Corps Officer to be appointed Chief of the former Bureau of Yards and Docks, Camp Endicott (later established as the U.S. Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville) was also the birthplace of the Quonset Hut. These semi-cylindrically shaped, prefabricated, portable buildings were designed and produced at Davisville and shipped to various places throughout the world. Because of its design and worldwide dispersion, the Quonset Hut is considered one of the most universal structures in the world.
The Camp Endicott Historical District at Davisville was established to preserve some of these structures as well as a portion of the former Camp that played a vital role in World War II.
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains items from Camp Endicott Naval Construction Battalion Center in Davisville, Rhode Island. These items are reports from the Camp during its operational years, an instruction on the base's public affairs program, information on Quonset huts, over three decades of the Center's newspaper, the Yardarm, and maps of the Center.
The collection is organized in four series. The first (Series I), Naval Construction Battalion Center contains the Annual Naval Report, the public affairs instruction, and a Bureau of Yards and Docks(BuDocks) conference report from 1956.
Series II holds information on Quonset huts. Included are news clippings and a history of the Quonset hut, compiled by Everett E. McEwen in November 1986.
The third series is made up of publications. It contains almost three decades of the Center's newspaper, the Yardarm, Yankee Homes magazine, and the April/May/June 1976 issue of NMCB 10's Profile newsletter.
Series four, Maps and Plans, contains the Naval Advance Base Depot Davisville, Rhode Island, General Plot Plan; Camp Endicott Diagram; U.S. Naval Advance Base Depot General Plan Showing Land Takings, 6 November 1945; an existing conditions map of Quonset Point Naval Air Station and Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center, 1971; a map produced by the Rhode Island Port Authority and Economic Development Corporation 1991; and a plan of Camp Thomas.
This collection should be cited as Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC.