Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The First Frogman

John Spence, the first U.S. "Frogman" has passed. I was honored to hear him speak at a diver's conference at the U.S. Naval Academy. The audience was filled with salvage divers, saturation divers, SeaBee divers, deep submergence divers, SEALs, and EOD Techs. The same array of dolphins, crabs, flintlocks, tridents, and MK Vs could only be found in Panama City during a Master Diver Reunion. The crowd included giants in naval diving like Admiral Cathal "Irish" Flynn, and Astronaut/Aquanaut Scott Carpenter (He also passed just a month ago).

Spence told his story of using Dr. Lamberston's diving apparatus at a pool at the Washington Navy Yard, then a few days later making the first open water dive there at the U.S. Naval Academy in the Severn. He allowed that the biggest challenge was how to swim strait - to navigate.

When Spence finished his story - standing ovation.

He will be missed. Fair winds, following seas, frogman.


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