Navy sea diver Carl Brashear
credit: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons

Carl Brashear was the first African-American Navy sea diver.

He was one of the 16 top graduates from his class at the Naval Academy. His first job was to serve as mate first class for Chief Boatswain. As a diver, Brashear had to retrieve approximately 16,000 rounds of ammunition, to salvage airplanes and to recover multiple dead bodies.

Later in life, Master Chief Petty Officer Carl M. Brashear met President Eisenhower, who awarded him the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the highest navy award for noncombat heroism.

Brashear lost his left leg while serving his country and remained at the medical center in Portsmouth, Virginia, from May 1966 until March 1967.

He recovered from this long struggle and returned to full active duty. He has left an inspiring legacy behind him.