Navy SEAL artist, Pete Carolan, whose works encompass an impressive international magnitude, including the International Space Station, puts Pete’s art realistically “out of this world”! In 2000, during the UDT-SEAL Muster, Pete dedicated his huge wall mural, that appears on the outer walls of the UDT-SEAL Museum, to Astronaut (SEAL) Bill Shepherd, for all of his accomplishments to mankind, and to his dedication to his country as a Navy SEAL. Captain Shepherd was the first commander of the International Space Station, whose crew of Russian Cosmonauts could see Pete’s museum mural from the space station. Captain Shepherd sent a historic congratulatory communication to the UDT-SEAL Museum via the NASA capsule communicator (CAPCOM).
Pete came to the Naval Special Warfare community with an extensive water background, as he was an ocean lifeguard with the City of Huntington Beach, known today as “SURF CITY”, where Pete began his love of the ocean, and performed hundreds of surf rescues of distressed swimmers. Pete also is a world champion outrigger canoe paddler, having won the prestigious 42 mile Molokai Channel Race from the island of Molokai to Oahu, Hawaii. Pete’s strong water background would pay-off, as he would later graduate in 1968 from BUD/S Class 47, in Coronado, where he was first assigned as a Navy FROGMAN with Underwater Demolition Team 13, and would become the UDT-13 Cartographer for all beach reconnaissance missions when deployed to 2 combat tours of duty in Vietnam. Later he would be chosen as a swim team leader in the recovery of the famous “Splash-Down” of the Apollo-13 astronauts, Lovell, Haise and Swigert in 1970. During that recovery, Pete’s art first became internationally famous, as he hand-painted “Freddie the Frog” on the historic recovery helicopter #66, that was seen all over the world during that historic space recovery operation. This same frog now appears on that helicopter, which is on the deck of the U.S.S. Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, in San Diego Bay.
Pete’s artwork would later pay-off to the Navy, as his former team mate, Admiral Ray Smith had commissioned Pete to create the first “Mission Profile” for the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) for the SECDEF brief & SOCOM, which is in operation today with SDV Team One at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
After Sept. 11th, 2001, Pete became emboldened to a higher degree of patriotism, and his artwork reflects that dedication today in his many works that appear in such places as The Pentagon, our Nation’s Capitol and The White House. During this call to patriotism, Pete was recalled to active duty in a “Presidential Recall” and was shipped overseas during the first of Operation “Enduring Freedom”.
Today, Pete’s art reflects the Naval Special Warfare’s resolve to fight the “Global War on Terrorism”, and his painting presentation for this evening, entitled: “Let Freedom Ring, From Sea to Shining Sea”, demonstrates our strong resolve to that end. It is dedicated to the Honor of our brethren Navy SEALs, who have given their last full measure of devotion to Our Nation’s call to duty. The painting comes with a letter from The White House, addressed to Petty Officer Carolan, from The President of the United States, George Bush, thanking Pete for this painting that once adorned The White House, and for all those who serve Our Great Nation. A copy of this letter will accompany the winning bid of this historic art piece, which is on museum quality canvas, and is personally signed by the artist, Pete Carolan, U.S. Navy SEAL, BUD/S Class 47.