Legends of Diving Articles


Commander Francis Douglas Fane
One of the Originators of UDT Demolitions

Other areas of his contributions in the 50’s ranged from shark research at the Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands to the first Scuba dives under the Artic Ocean.

In 1956 Fane wrote the history of the UDT with co-author Don Moore, “The Naked Warriors.” The book was a compilation of his personal recollections and re-creations of combat missions from D-day to the battles in the Pacific. Fane downplays himself and his achievements. This is one of the most accurate stories of the UDT and the history that surrounds them today.

In 1957 Ivan Tors, producer of Sea Hunt, heard about Fane through camera man Lamar Boren and made a movie based on his career titled Underwater Warrior. It starred Dan Dailey, Courtney Brown doubled Dan for stunt work and Zale Parry doing the underwater stunt work and playing his wife. Jon Limbergh, a UDT Warrior in his own right also appeared in the film as did Alex Fane, the Commander’s son.

During his leadership he had several individuals under his command who went on to become leaders in there own right within diving. Dick Bonin, co-founder and President of Scubapro, and Jon Lindberg, a renowned deep diver and ocean aquaculture expert. Both of these men served as officers under Commander Fane.

After his retirement in 1960 from the Navy he continued to do consulting and writing. He had become a legend in Navy Special forces, developing advanced diving equipment and diving techniques, as well as laying much of the ground work for the Navy Seals. He was recognized as one of the leaders in the history of UDT. He spent a considerable time in Southeast Asia. He worked and wrote for various publications and had a column published describing in first hand, the problems in Vietnam. He had been reported dead at the Battle of Khe Sahn, but he was far from dead. He influenced governments and his energy level never ceased.

He died November 13, 2002 at his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. He has ten surviving children and a number of grandchildren.

He just missed his 93rd birthday. His awards, medals and achievements could fill a book.

His contributions to Scuba in America are overwhelming…not bad for a guy that could not swim and was afraid of water.

Our special thanks to Edward C. Cargile, personal friend of Commander Fane and Navy Historian.

Big John 007 McLaughlin, personal friend
Discover Diving
Mark Howell, authority on early dive regulators and history
Jack Williams, Union Tribune San Diego
Rocky Rockwell’s personal meeting with Commander Doug Fane
Navy Seal Museum Ft. Pierce, Fla

Members of the Submersible Operations Platoon, Underwater Demolition Teams, U.S. Navy, engaged in removal of wrecks in Norfolk ship channel in 1948.

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