Radcliff Veterans Center Named for Navy's First African-American Master Diver

Nov 7, 2017

Carl M. Brashear
Credit The Carl Brashear Foundation

The new Radcliff Veterans Center will be named for a U.S. Navy deep sea diver who overcame social and physical challenges during his 30-year military career.

A dedication ceremony will be held Thursday to name the facility the ‘Carl M. Brashear Radcliff Veterans Center.’

Brashear was the son of sharecroppers and grew up on a farm in Sonora in Hardin County. He joined the Navy 1948 and became the first African-American master deep sea diver.

Brashear overcame racial discrimination and the physical challenge of losing half of his left leg in a shipboard accident. He became the Navy’s first amputee diver.

Brashear retired in 1979 with the top enlisted rank of master chief petty officer. He died in 2006 at the age of 75.

The dedication ceremony at the Radcliff Veterans Center is Thursday at 10 a.m.  Brashear’s son, Chief Warrant Officer Four Phillip Brashear, will be the keynote speaker.  He is president of The Carl Brashear Foundation. Also speaking at the dedication are Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton, Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Norman Arflack and Major Marty Pinkston.