Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret) Carl Brashear passed
away on July 25 at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital
at 2:35 pm. He was made famous when the movie "Men of Honor" portrayed his Navy career
. Brashear was played by Cuba Good Jr. Brashear died from respiratory and heart failure at the age of 75.
He joined the navy at 17-years-old and was the first African American deep sea diver for the Navy, the first African American Master Diver and the first person in Naval history to be restored to active duty as an amputee. He was at the hospital for less than a week. Family was at his side when he passed, including his son, Phillip Brashear, an Army helicopter pilot who is on emergency leave from Iraq.
Brashear was born on January 19, 1931 in Tonieville, Larue County, Kentucky. On January 17 , 1966 , he suffered an accident while on duty, which left him without a leg. Still, he became the first amputee to be certified as a diver, in April 1968. Brashear retired from the U.S. Navy in 1979 as a Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) and Master Diver. He then served as a civilian employee for the government and retired in 1993 with the grade of GS-11. (Source: www.wtkr.com)