NHHC home Frequently Asked Questions

Master Chief Boatswain's Mate Carl Maxie Brashear, USN (Ret.)

Related Resources: Oral History by the United States Naval Institute

Personal Data

Born: January 19, 1931, Tonieville, Larue County, Kentucky
Parents: McDonald and Gonzella Brashear
Married: Junetta Wilcoxson in 1952; divorced in 1978
Hattie R. Elam in 1980; divorced in 1983
Jeanette A. Brundage in 1985; divorced in 1987
Children: Shazanta Brashear, born on May 17, 1955; died 13 July 1996
DaWayne Brashear, born on January 16, 1957
Phillip M. Brashear, born on July 4, 1962
Patrick S. Brashear, born on July 31, 1964
Education: Sonora Grade School, Sonora, Kentucky, 1937-46
Passed GED test in U.S. Navy, 1960
Charles County Community College, Great Mills, Maryland, 1980-82
Tidewater Community College, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1983
Died: July 26, 2006

Dates of Rates

Seaman Recruit (E-1) through Boatswain's Mate First Class (E-6), 1948-55
Chief Boatswain's Mate (E-7), 1960-66
Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate (E-8), 1966-71
Master Chief Boatswain's Mate (E-9), 1971-79

Dates of Diving Specialties

Salvage Diver, 1953-60
Second Class Diver, 1960-64
First Class Diver, 1964-70
Saturation Diver, 1970-79
Master Diver, 1970-79

Decorations and Medals

Good Conduct Medal (eight awards)
Navy Commendation Medal
Navy Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
China Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
Navy Occupation Service Medal

Transcript of Service

 February 25, 1948 Enlisted in the U.S. Navy
 February-May 1948 Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois--Recruit Training
 May 1948-June 1950 Squadron VX-1, Key West, Florida--Officers' Mess; PBM Beachmaster Unit
 June 1950-November 1951 USS Palau (CVE-122)--Deck Division; Motor Whaleboat Coxswain
 November 1951-March 1955 USS Tripoli (CVE-64)--Second Division Petty Officer; Master-at-Arms; Temporary Additional Duty at Salvage Diving School
 March 1955-June 1956 USS Opportune (ARS-41)--Deck Division; Salvage Diver; Section Leader; Repair Party Leader
 June 1956-June 1958 Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island--Leading Petty Officer; Salvage Diver; Escort for President Dwight D. Eisenhower
June 1958-July 1960  Ship Repair Facility, Guam, Marianas Islands--Salvage Diver; Skipper of Yard Salvage Derrick
 July-September 1960 Deep-Sea Diving School, Washington, D.C.--Student, failed the course
September 1960-March 1961  USS Nereus (AS-17)--Deck Division Chief Boatswain's Mate
 March 1961-April 1962 Fleet Training Center, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii--Chief Master-at-Arms; Requalified as Second Class Diver; Temporary Additional Duty with Joint Task Force Eight 
 April 1962-October 1963   USS Coucal (ASR-8)--Ship's Chief Boatswain's Mate; Second Class Diver; Underway Officer of the Deck; In-Port Duty Chief
October 1963-June 1964 Deep-Sea Diving School, Washington, D.C.--Student, graduated as First Class Diver
June 1964-September 1965 USS Shakori (ATF-162)--Ship's Chief Boatswain's Mate; Leading Diver; Underway Officer of the Deck 
 September 1965-March 1966 USS Hoist (ARS-40)--Ship's Chief Boatswain's Mate; Acting Master Diver; Underway Officer of the Deck; Repair Party Leader; In-Port Duty Chief 
 May 1966-March 1967 Naval Regional Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia--Treatment following the amputation of left leg below the knee
 March 1967-March 1968 Harbor Clearance Unit Two--Under Evaluation at Diving School for return to full active duty and diving
 March 1968-December 1969 Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia--Leading Chief Petty Officer; Leading Diver
 December 1969-June 1970 Experimental Diving Unit, Deep-Sea Diving School, Washington, D.C.--Saturation Diver; Master Diver Evaluation
 June 1970-May 1971 USS Hunley (AS-31)--Master Diver; R-7 Division Officer; In-Port Officer of the Deck; Minority Affairs Officer
 May 1971-June 1975 USS Recovery (ARS-43)--Master Diver; Work Center Supervisor; Command Master Chief; Repair Party Leader; Underway Officer of the Deck; In-Port Command Duty Officer
 June 1975-June 1977 Naval Safety Center, Norfolk, Virginia--Master Diver
 June 1977-October 1978 USS Recovery (ARS-43)--Master Diver; Work Center Supervisor; Command Master Chief; Enlisted Watch Officer; Repair Party Leader; Underway Officer of the Deck; In-Port Command Duty Officer
October 1978-March 1979  Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity, Norfolk, Virginia--Master Diver
 April 1, 1979 Retired from the U.S. Navy as a master chief petty officer and master diver


Civilian Employment

April 1979-August 1980: QED Systems, Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia--Diving Study for the Royal Saudi Navy; USS Forrestal (CV-59) Service Life Extension Program

February-November 1982: CDI Marine Company, Chesapeake, Virginia--Engineering Technician

November 1982-January 1993: Naval Communication Area Master Station Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia--Environmental Protection Specialist; Energy Conservation Specialist

January 1993: Retired from government service in the grade of GS-11


Source: Stillwell, Paul. The Reminiscences of Master Chief Boatswain's Mate Carl Brashear. Annapolis MD: United States Institute, 1998.
1
10 April 2001