Brashear, Carl – African American History


The Carl Brashear mug is part of a biographical series profiling African Americans who shaped the history of the United States of America.  An image of Carl Brashear and a short biography are features of this history mug.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.

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Carl Brashear was the son of a sharecropper from Kentucky.  In 1948, shortly after Truman desegregated the services, Carl Brashear joined the Navy graduating from the U.S. Navy Diving & Salvage School in 1954 as the first African American U.S. diver.  In 1966, aboard the U.S.S. Hoist, he helped recover a nuclear warhead lost after the collision of a bomber and a flying tanker.  Carl Brashear was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his service.  During those operations, an accident caused the amputation of his lower leg.  Despite having only one leg, he went on to become the first African American to be recertified a U.S. Master Diver.  He once said: “Itʼs not a sin to get knocked down.  It’s a sin to stay down.ˮ

The Master US Navy Diver Responsibilities

The most important diving position an enlisted person can attain in the Navy is that of ‟master diver.”  He directs diving and ship repair operations and is responsible to the commanding officer via the diving officer.  The master diver directs every aspect of underwater diving operations as well as training.   As such, he is trained in advanced diving physics and medicine, and he supervises surface and underwater demolition operations for underwater construction.

This Carl Brashear history mug is part of our African American History series which includes many of the unique individuals who played an important part in molding America’s history.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.

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