Carl Brashear, born in 1931 to sharecroppers, joins the Navy and, after watching the heroics of Billy Sunday, the White son of a sharecropper, determines to become the Navy’s first African-American diver. At the Bayonne, N.J., divers’ training camp, Sunday is his instructor, and Brasher must endure hazing verging on the murderous. With Sunday and the camp’s commander dead set against Brashear’s graduating, his physical skills and steely determination, which he got from his father, see him through. Carl and Billy’s paths cross again when each needs rehabilitation one from an injury, the other from bitterness. Their wives look on with awe and frustration.