Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Inspiration for 'Men of Honor' dies - Carl Brashear was first black U.S. Navy diver

Navy diver Carl Brashear lost a leg in 1966 helping to recover a lost hydrogen bomb.

Carl M. Brashear,75, the first black U.S. Navy diver died Tuesday at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth of respiratory and heart failure. He was the diver who was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2000 film "Men of Honor". Retired from the Navy in 1979 after more than 30 years of service, he was the first Navy diver to be restored to full active duty as an amputee, the result of a leg injury he sustained during a salvage operation for a nuclear weapon in 1966 in waters off the coast of Spain.

In 1954 he was accepted and graduated from the diving program, and went on to train for advanced diving programs before his 1966 incident.