Karen Davis Nelson was
born Karen Marie Leister to Jonathan and Kelly Leister, at Montgomery County
General Hospital, Blacksburg, Virginia. She is 5’5”, deep brown eyes and
curly dark blonde hair. She met and married Robert Davis while attending
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She entered the US
Navy upon graduation as an ensign due to participation in the Naval ROTC
program. BA in Public Administration. Her daughter, Caitlin Marie, was
born shortly afterward at Norfolk Naval Hospital. Her first assignment was
in the Office of Public Relations for ComSubLant in Norfolk and later, in the
office of the Commanding Officer for ComSubLant as Office Administrator.
She then applied for, was accepted into, and completed the Navy's Deep Sea
Diving school, gaining her the designation and status of a Dive Officer.
Her husband, Robert, died
from injuries sustained in an automobile accident with a drunk driver nine years
after they married.
Seven months after her
husband died, she formally entered the Navy's prestigious fighter pilot training
program, making her one of the oldest beginning pilots in the Navy. After
completion of the program, she opted for flight trainer status rather than being
transferred to an aircraft carrier group.
Six years later, during
her first assignment as a teacher at Miramar, the Navy’s premier fighter
training school, she came in contact with, and subsequently dated, Michael
Coldsmith Briggs III, then assistant director of the CIA. After her
three-month posting had concluded, she then moved to Washington, DC, where she
was posted to the Pentagon. Her relationship with Briggs lasted for
roughly one year, ending just prior to her second posting to Miramar.
One week prior to the end
of that posting at Miramar, she was offered, and accepted, a job as Diving
Officer and Mission Specialist for the SSRN Seaview, as offered to her by
Admiral Harriman Nelson, USN (retired), Director of the Nelson Institute of
Marine Research, Santa Barbara, California. Her assignment was to develop
and head a Deep Water Diving team for the Seaview.
During the DWD's second
assignment in the Azores, she was severely injured in an underwater avalanche.
After six months of recuperation, she returned to the Nelson Institute and
resumed her duties and relationship with Harriman Nelson. Roughly three
months afterward, she participated in a rescue mission to retrieve a kidnapped
Nelson from the hands of the First American Militia, led by retired Marine
General W. A. Judd, Sr. Judd was killed by Davis during the rescue
A little over a year
later, at age 43, she married Harriman Nelson in a large, formal military
wedding at the Mission Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara. Less than two
years after that, Harriman and Karen Nelson's only child, Sean Pearce Nelson, is
born aboard Seaview during a barrage of depth charges under the direction
of a Colombian drug cartel leader, Miguel Rodriguez.
She remains in active
control of the Seaview's DWD teams.