Men of Honor -- what's real, what isn't?

Hopefully this hasn’t been covered … I did a search in GQ back to September and didn’t see it.


Anyway, I just saw it in a second-run theatre last night, and it was pretty damn good. I’m just curious – what was real and what wasn’t?? On the Men of Honor Web site they have a short bio of Carl Brashear, but it just talks about fighting racism, losing his leg, etc.

Actually, it doesn’t go into how he lost his leg. In the movie he actually TELLS them to amputate below the knee rather than let it heal until it gives him a limp. Is that really what happened? Also, was his rough-and-tough first instructor the one who motivated him to come back, or was that dramatic play? And WAS the instructor ordered to fail him at dive school? Last question – the bio doesn’t mention his wife tutoring him either, just that he learned on his own. Is that how they met, or no one knows? Thanks!

Here’s a site with a more detailed biography of Carl Brashear. I didn’t read through to find all your answers, but it does say that Brashear did ask to have his leg amputated rather than spend three years in the hospital. I didn’t see anything about his wife.