Carl Brashear By: Eiian Reyes

Who Is Carl Brashear

Carl Brashear was born on January 19, 1931 in Tonieville Kentucky and was the sixth of eight. He was the first African American to become a master sea diver in 1970. He went to diving school in New Jersey. When Carl was 18 he wanted to join the military, he was assigned a role of a cook on a navy ship. What influenced him to become a sea diver was when he was on a navy ship serving food. As he was cooking one of the diving suits with a person in it fell off with no tether. One of the master sea divers whose name was Master Chief Billy Sunday went down to go get him without a diving suit. Billy survived, but the person in the suit didn't. So Carl wanted to become a master sea diver for that could never happen again also to support his country.


Carl Brashear lost his left leg when saving his crew members because of a line that broke when carrying a hydrogen bomb from the coast of Spain. The doctors told him that he could wait several years until the leg recovered, but he said "Go ahead and amputate. I can't be tied up that long. I've got to go back to diving." But the navy refused to amputate so they sent him discharge papers, instead Carl quietly signed his own papers to be transferr back to diving school. If he wanted to go back to diving he had to first prove to the doctors that he could dive,so then maybe he could dive again,so he snuck out of the hospital and photographed himself diving in a deep sea rig. He then showed the doctors the photos, the doctors were impressed but not convinced that he could go return as a navy diver. True to form, Carl would not give up nor give in. It was of his relentless persistence that convinced the doctors to move him to a deep diving school in Washington D.C. Carl was assigned a physical test after the other in order to return to duty as a diver. He was assigned to take a daily jog every morning. As he was running, his scar tissue would get loose so there would be a puddle of blood in his prosthetic leg, he couldn't go to the medical bay because the navy would have a reason to discharge him. So instead he dipped his leg in a bucket of water filled with hydrogen peroxide and betadine. The tests included him climbing a ladder with barbells strapped to his back and as well as him taking 12 steps in a 290 pound Mark 5 helium gear diving suit. He passed all of them and was assigned back to duty as an amputee diver.


Men Of Honor

Created By
Eiian Reyes

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