“Before They Were SEALs They Were Frogs” by Bill Dawson


Bill Dawson 1944

Bill Dawson NCDU 1943 New Guinea

Author Bill Dawson stands second from the left in this famous picture taken in early in his deployment in the jungles of New Guinea.

Bill Dawson’s Extraordinary Account of Extraordinary Men

Bill Dawson is the last living member of the first class of Naval Special Warfare operators. Then known as Naval Combat Demolition Units, they are a predecessor group that evolved into the modern-day Navy SEALs. In his book, Before They Were SEALs They Were Frogs, Bill Dawson provides a rare first person look into the training, personalities, and non-classified activities of his unit. He served in the Pacific Theater of Operations from 1943 until the Japanese surrender in 1945. Accompanying Bill’s narrative are:

  • Photographs Bill took during his service, including color images
  • Vintage clippings
  • WWII era military post cards
  • Rare examples of Japanese propaganda and manuals
  • Non-classified operation reports

Retired Navy SEAL Commander and noted Naval Special Warfare historian Tom Hawkins adds historical perspective and detail to Bill Dawson’s narrative.

Available Now


Japanese anti-Roosevelt-WWII-propaganda-Bill-Dawson

Bill often found caches of propaganda when he and his team overran Japanese positions.

Click here for a library of press materials on Bill Dawson

Bill Dawson’s Interview at the East Coast Navy SEAL Reunion 2015

Bill’s 91st Birthday interview with ABC and coverage of Bill being honored at Navy Day at Nationals Stadium