The bus was taking the sailors to the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, where the carrier is being overhauled, when it crashed into a barrier that separates lanes at one of the base's gates, base spokeswoman Terri Davis said. The barrier is 4-5 feet wide.
The bus had 25 sailors aboard, including the driver, Davis said. They live in barracks on base.
Four of the 17 sailors who were taken to local hospitals had serious injuries, Davis said. She did not have details.
Eight sailors were treated at the scene for cuts and bruises, she said.
The Navy was investigating the cause of the accident.