Obit of the Weekend: Doctor SCUBA
Four years before Jacques Cousteau introduced his self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), Dr. Christian Lambertsen developed the Lambertsen Amphibious Respirator Unit (LARU, above) to replace the heavy, tethered, underwater explorer suits popular at the time. Although the Navy rejected the LARU, once WWII broke out the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, predecessor to the CIA) recognized its strategic value and had it tested. What made the LARU unique, beyond its mobility was the carbon dioxide filter that made the LARU bubble-free, perfect for clandestine amphibious assaults. It was used successfully in Burma, and after the war Lambertsen was asked to train Navy SEALs (not called that yet) in underwater assault techniques.
Oh, and he was a licensed physician. He served on the medical faculty at UPenn beginning in 1946.
(Image courtesy of sta.rtup.biz)