Dec 122017

The Evan’s Prairie Country Club hosted a pre-launch celebration and book signing on December 9, 2017.

  • Tom Hawkins and Norm Olson present Tim Habjan, General Manager of the Evans Prairie Country Club, with a commemorative K-Bar knife to thank his entire team for a truly remarkable day.
  • Captain Olson's family joined in celebrating the launch of Captain Olson's ground-breaking book
  • Captain Olson shared a selection of his collection of rare historical artifacts from the history of innovation of Naval Special Warfare air capabilities
  • Captain Olson signed hundreds of books to launch Air Capabilities of the U.S. Navy SEALs
  • Co-Authors Norm Olson and Tom Hawkins at the question and answer session of the Evans Prairie book launch celebration
  • Phoca Press CEO and Retired SEAL Commander Tom Hawkins joins V. P. of Operations Lisa Merriam in celebrating with retired SEAL Captain Norman Olson the publication of Air Capabilities of the U.S. Navy SEALs--A History of Innovation
Dec 022017

SEAL Norm Olson In AirBook Launch Press Release
About the Book
Launch Events
About Author Norman Olson
About Author Hawkins
Press Photos

Trace the development of “Air” capabilities of Naval Special Warfare units from the earliest experimentations to the exceptional skill and cutting-edge expertise of today. Air Capabilities of the U.S. Navy SEALs  is the first of a three-volume trilogy covering the Sea, Air, and Land capabilities of Navy SEALs and their Underwater Demolition Team precursors. Follow the development of:

  • Static Line and Freefall Parachuting
  • Early Underwater Demolition Team Parachuting
  • High-Altitude, Low-Opening (HALO)
  • High-Altitude, High-Opening (HAHO) Techniques
  • U.S. Navy Parachute Demonstration Teams
    Capabilities with Helicopters, Fixed-Wing, and Tilt-Rotor Aircraft
    Combatant Submersible and Maritime Craft Air Delivery Systems
    Experimentation with the Fulton Skyhook
    Tactical Air-Insertion Techniques and Procedures
    Infiltrating with Tactical Nuclear Weapons
    Navy Frogmen and the Nation’s Spaceflight Program

Air Capabilities of the U.S. Navy SEALs tells the story of individual initiative, personal daring, clever innovation—and a few calamities along the way. Every page is richly illustrated, many with never‑before published images.

Told by the Men Who Lived the History

Author Captain Norman Olson retired from the Navy SEAL Teams with over 30 years commissioned service, spanning the Korean Police Action, Vietnam Conflict, and Cold War. Much of the book includes his first-person accounts as Officer in Charge of the first detachment of Frogmen to attend the U.S. Army’s Basic Airborne Training School, and his actions and activities as founder of the first UDT-SEAL Parachute Demonstration Team. His experiences are expanded with the personal recollections of other frogmen who lived this story. Captain Olson made his 4,000th freefall jump on 14 March 2011, his 80th birthday.

Sep 092016

Author Greg BurhamAuthor Greg Burham in The Missoulian September 6, 2016: There’s no simple reason why Greg Burham walked from Alaska to Mexico in 1974.

People called him crazy for even setting out on the hike that began in Hyder, Alaska, on June 19 and ended five months later, on the nose, at the Mexican border town of Sonoyta.

Maybe he was.

“But it was a different kind of crazy,” Burham writes in his book “One Step At A Time: A Navy SEAL Vietnam Combat Veteran’s Journey Home.” Hot off the press, the memoir by the Missoula man was published by Phoca Press, which specializes in works related to Naval special warfare. >>Read the full article in The Missoulian

Jul 022016

New York, NY (July 2, 2016) – Phoca Press, the Naval Special Warfare publisher, celebrates the launch of One Step at a Time A Navy SEAL Vietnam Combat Veteran’s Journey Home. Author and Montana native Greg Burham came home to an ungrateful nation. Carrying the invisible wounds of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder before the medical profession understood the condition, Greg struggled to take the next steps in his life after leaving the SEAL Teams. The book launches on the 4th of July.
Navy SEAL Vietnam Vet Journey

Seeking answers, a challenge and renewal, he embarked on a journey of discovery and healing almost 4,000 miles from Alaska to Mexico. With every step, he grew stronger in his faith in God, in himself and in others, eventually finding his place in the world helping people deal with trauma, from troubled teens, to combat veterans, to 9/11 first responders.

Phoca Press founder and CEO Tom Hawkins commented on the book’s publication: “Greg Burham went on after his time on the SEAL Teams to become one of the most productive members of our society, despite dealing with the difficulties of PTSD. His work bringing PTSD discussion to the forefront in the Navy SEAL community was ground breaking and essential. His inspiring story is a great narrative, a remarkable journey of life and healing, and every reader will want to grab their hiking boots and hit the road.”
Navy SEAL Vietnam

Read about Greg’s epic hike that put him on a path to his life’s work, helping people deal with PTSD–including veterans of the North Vietnamese Army. His work has played a role in removing the stigma that has prevented SEALs from getting help in the past and that is putting an end to the emotional pain our nation’s hero veterans too often suffer.

More on the book>>

May 312016

Bill Dawson was honored to march in the National Memorial Day Parade May 30, 2016. He was joined by other WWII veterans and the Grand Marshals Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna. The weather called for 100% chance of rain due to Tropical Storm Bonnie, yet the rain held off, making for a perfect parade day. Bill gave Gary and Joe a copy of his book and enjoyed meeting them and the other notables at the event. Click here for more information about the parade and here for the press release.


Lt. Turnell from the Washington, DC Fire Department helped get Bill to the parade and the fire station near the event gave him a nice place to relax before the line up time.


The veterans were given a cool place to sit while waiting for the parade to start where they could meet and talk to other parade participants.


The WWII veterans were lined up on 1940’s era cars.


Parade Grand Marshalls Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna took time to meet and chat with each veteran, including our very special Bill Dawson.


The WWII veterans posed with Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise just before the parade started.


Bill Dawson ensconced in a vintage green Packard at the parade start.


Bill Dawson nearly ready to roll.


Bill Dawson rolling down Constitution Avenue in the 2016 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC.


Bill Dawson with Joe Mantegna.


Bill Dawson with Gary Sinise.


May 182016

We are pleased to announce that Before They Were SEALs author Bill Dawson has been invited to march as a guest of honor at the National Memorial Day Parade, to start at 2:00 PM on May 31, 2016. The parade down Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC, led by Grand Marshals Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, pays tribute to those who have served, are serving, and most importantly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while in service to our country. A timeline of American military history, the parade showcases heroes from the Revolutionary War to the present. More on Bill Dawson below


Phoca Press author Bill Dawson will march in the National Memorial Day Parade with Grand Marshals Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise

More about Bill Dawson in the National Memorial Day Parade

Bill Dawson Memorial Day Parade Press Release_05-23-2016

Download Phoca Press SEAL Author Bill Dawson Bio

Photos of Bill Dawson

Click here for Bill Dawson interview, SEAL reunion July, 2015

May 102016

ABC interviewed Bill Dawson:

And that led to an invitation for Bill Dawson to the Navy Night at Washington Nationals Stadium where he was honored by the crowd and had the opportunity to meet the Chief of Naval Operations ADM John Richardson!
Great picture here:

WASHINGTON, (May 10, 2016) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson talks with Bill Dawson, the last surviving member of the very first Naval Combat Demolition Unit (NCDU) during Navy appreciation night at Nationals Park. NCDUs were the precursor of the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) and today’s Navy SEALs. Richardson administered the oath of enlistment to future Sailors from Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Richmond, met with the Sailors of the Year and took part in a special salute to military members. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Laird/Released)

WASHINGTON, (May 10, 2016) Bill Dawson, the last surviving member of the very first Naval Combat Demolition Unit (NCDU) holds up a copy of his book, Before They Were SEALs, They Were Frogs. NCDUs were the precursor of the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) and today’s Navy SEALs. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Laird/Released)

Nov 092015

American Airlines pulled out all the stops to get Bill Dawson to the Navy SEAL Museum Muster. Bill and Phoca Press CEO Tom Hawkins signed copies of their books. Tom also addressed the annual dinner for WWII NSW veterans with a talk about history and the contributions of the earliest Navy commandos.


American Airlines’ Helen Roman greets Bill for his flight to Florida


American Airlines Capt Hardy and 1st Officer David Hay with Bill Dawson. They read Bill’s resume over the plane PA and the whole plane clapped for him.


Bill didn’t have to wait long to meet Jack Daniels on the flight.


Bill Dawson at the Navy SEAL Museum Muster


Hero Bill Dawson with Navy SEAL dog trainees from Baden-K9 at the Navy SEAL Museum Muster

LCDR Nash, Tom Hawkins, and ADM Pybus at the Navy SEAL Museum Muster.

LCDR Nash, Tom Hawkins, and ADM Pybus at the Navy SEAL Museum Muster.


TSA gave Bill Dawson a warm welcome (and thorough inspection) on the way home.


American Airlines’ David Bergener welcomes Bill to the gate, decorated with the American flag in Bill’s honor.


American Airlines did a great job welcoming Bill aboard.

Phone was off for the flight, so we didn’t catch Bill’s reaction to the surprise applause in the terminal upon his arrival.


American Airlines arranged a warm welcome with applause for Bill Dawson.

US Air Marshall

Can’t say who. Can’t say where. Can’t say how. Bill Dawson and Phoca Press salute this U.S. Air Marshall ————— for keeping us safe. One quiet professional to another: Hooyah!


Jul 232015

Bill Dawson attended the East Coast Navy SEAL Reunion on Little Creek July 18-19, 2015.


Bill Dawson spoke with the young men about to begin BUD/S after the SEAL demonstration


Bill took time out to visit with the men on duty at the Little Creek fire station. After his NCDU service, Bill spent decades with the Washington DC Fire Department.


Bill Dawson is such good company. It is an honor to work with him.

Jun 232015

A few weeks ago, Bill Dawson was the VIP guest of a very special command that we cannot name. He got a great tour, met with some active duty personnel, and shared his stories with them.

While Bill was one of “MacArthur’s Frogmen,” he never operated with fins. The NCDU wore jungle boots on their dives. Now, 73 years after Bill left active service, this special command gave him a stupendous pair of state-of-the-art fins.