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Captain Karen Davis Nelson

USNR, Active

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 operation.


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.

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