Bill Dawson was a determined 17 year old when he joined the Navy. When he got an idea in his mind, he was going to find a way to get it worked out, no matter the details.
He heard about a new program that the Navy was developing called Frogmen. With all the romanticism and determination of a teenager, he wanted in. He had missed a deadline for applications to the program, but that didn’t stop him.
There was a line of men with application forms waiting to go in for interviews. He went around the building, found a bunch of crates and stacked them on top of each other under a window. He climbed up, went into the window, found an application form, filled it out and went back out the same way, then got into the back of the line with his application form.
He got in!
He loved the idea of it all. It was a new thing. These Frogmen would later become known as Navy SEAL Teams, but he was in the first group of men to train and to serve in this new Navy unit.
He says, that they wouldn’t tell them much in the beginning, because it was a Top Secret program, after all. They did tell them that they would learn how to “blow things up” and that sounded great to Dawson.
Dawson, 94, is the last of man standing of that original Frogman group. He is very proud of his service with the Frogmen. He says of them, “There is nothing they can’t do; no place they won’t go.” And we know that this is the truth.
Navy SEAL Teams are among the most elite warfighters in the world.
Bill Dawson and those men who became the first Frogmen for the Navy started a very proud tradition. He served his community after the war in a career as a firefighter as well.
The Veterans Site honors the courage, determination and the service of Bill Dawson and of all the Navy Frogmen and SEALs who have served in that elite group from the beginning. We send Bill Dawson our heart felt birthday greetings as well.
Thank you for your long life of service to the nation and to your community.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.