James Davenport

My first interest in diving was watching my father, Tommy Davenport, and his friend pour lead weights in the garage in the early 1960s. His friend Cissel Kennedy, Martinez, California, was an underwater photographer who specialized in 16mm movies. I remember watching these movies and being mesmerized by all of the different adventures. What an influence my father was! I’m still diving today with the same enthusiasm as my first dive.

I started diving with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Department Civil Defense Diving Unit at the age of 17. Involved with search and recovery operations and maintenance projects in the surrounding lakes and rivers. I joined the military right after high school with my first duty station, USS Canopus, Holy Loch, Scotland. This is where I meet up with a Navy diver. I wish I could remember his name. He gave me a full tour of the dive locker, showing me the different diving rigs and equipment. He informed me of the requirements: I needed to be qualified in a source rating and achieve the rank of second class before I could apply to enter the Navy Diving Program.

Second Class Dive School San Clementi, California, starting with scuba (steel doubles), Jack Brown, and the MK 1 band mask lightweight surface supplied diving, and the treasure of all diving was qualifying in the MK V Mod 0, Hard Hat diving system. 14-man dive team to support three divers (red, green, and yellow). I attended First Class Diving School in Panama City, Florida. This advanced salvage and mixed-gas training was the pinnacle of all diving. During the training, we became proficient with underwater salvage, which included welding, cutting, demolition, patching, and ship husbandry.​Duty stations as a diver: USS Proteus in Guam, Keyport, and Bangor Washington and USS Conserver stationed in Hawaii.

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