Skip to main content
Late Night History

Late Night History

By Late Night History
The Late Night History podcast is hosted by Matt Fratus and is an extension of his popular micro-blog of the same name on Instagram. On these episodes we mix cool personal stories with history and cover topics such as wars, people, food, sports, crime, and culture.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Episode 10: Joe Downey
Joe Downey, a 36-year firefighter and battalion chief of FDNY's Rescue Battalion in Special Operations Command, joins episode 10 of the Late Night History podcast to discuss the legacy of his father, Ray Downey, a former Marine and one of the most decorated firemen in FDNY history. Ray Downey was a founding father and national representative for 24+ task forces of the Urban Search and Rescue program. Because of his broad experience he earned many nicknames including "Master of Disaster" and "God." He was tragically killed on 9/11 and Joe essentially has followed in his father's footsteps as a leader in technical rescue operations around the country. Every Father's Day, the Deputy Chief Raymond Downey Scholarship Fund hosts a 5K race in his honor. The details can be found here: As promised, an article I had written about how the New York Rangers honored Ray Downey after 9/11 can also be found here: Follow Late Night History on instagram:
December 30, 2021
Episode 9: Kirby Horrell
Kirby Horrell joins the podcast to discuss his 47 year career in the US Navy (1967-1975 active-duty, 1975-1990 reserves, 1990-2014 active-duty). We did this interview outside on a park bench in Coronado, California. The outside noises of wind, voices, and birds can be heard, but don't let this distract from the interview where Kirby discusses his life and exciting tour to Vietnam as a Navy SEAL. Kirby explains his experience going through BUD/S in class 49 and 50, his time with SEAL Team 1, and his involvement in the Phoenix Program.
December 17, 2021
Episode 8: Mike Vining
Retired SGM Mike Vining joins the show to discuss his legendary career as an EOD Vietnam veteran, graduate of the US Army Delta Force's first Operator Training Course (OTC-1), and his role as a master breacher, operator, and consultant for JSOC.  This episode explores his experience working with the US Secret Service and the tragedy that followed. Mike shares some of the historic operations he participated in, including some of Delta Force's first missions. From Operation Eagle Claw (the military option to the Iranian Hostage Crisis), the air assault against Richmond Hill prison in Grenada, and assisting a former Navy SEAL Medal of Honor recipient-turned FBI Hostage Rescue Team commander during a prison riot in Atlanta, Georgia. Towards the end of the episode, we discuss Mike's experiences traveling the world and what he recommends for others feeling a sense of wanderlust. Surprisingly, as much as we cover in this episode, I invited Mike to join me on another episode covering the stories we didn't venture into. So stay tuned for that.  
December 03, 2021
Episode 7: Ben Garwood
Ben Garwood joins the show to discuss his career within elite units of the British military including the Parachute Regiment, the Pathfinders, the REME, and the Special Air Service, otherwise known as the SAS. We dive into the history of these units and discuss how assessment and selection for the SAS served as a blueprint for US special missions units and allied nations. Ben even shares an awesome beer story after completing jungle phase of the arduous training.  We then transition into his life as an entrepreneur. He is the founder and owner of his community lifestyle brand HR4K based in Hereford, England. Make sure to checkout Ben's YouTube TV show called OWN IT — a series I'm declaring a MUST-WATCH. Support Ben's business at, YouTube channel at HR4K TV (, and follow them on Instagram HR4K_ (
November 26, 2021
Episode 6: Joey Nobody
On episode 6 of the Late Night History podcast Joey Nobody joins me to discuss his fascinating career as a world renowned tattoo artist, graphic designer, illustrator, and creative mad scientist! Joey Nobody may be just his tattoo name, however, he has lived 9 lives. We talk about how he started his career in New York City at 13, dodging punches thrown by outlaw bikers to inking rock bands and becoming the official tattoo artist for Naval Special Warfare. Joey and I have collaborated on projects together including the logo for this very podcast. We discuss that story among other things including tattoo culture, the evolution of the tattoo industry, and some of the current projects he is involved with. Follow Joey on Instagram (@warpaintactual) and visit his website ( for some badass stickers, swag, and other gear.
November 19, 2021
Episode 5: Aaron Love
On episode 5 of the Late Night History podcast Aaron Love joins the show to discuss the history of US Air Force Pararescue Jumpers or PJs. Outside of the US military, the general public largely believes the Air Force consists of just pilots, but Aaron and I discuss how the PJs have been instrumental in every military operation since the Vietnam War. Some highlights include how PJs deploy to combat zones, as humanitarian relief, and even in support of NASA; more fascinating food escapades while working with partner units overseas; the history of their beloved mascot "Charlie The PJ"; and much, much more! Aaron also has a podcast called Ones Ready (@onesready) where he and other special operations professionals dispel myths and provide training tips for those young bucks looking to enter the career field. 
November 12, 2021
Episode 4: Annie Ferguson
Episode 4 of the Late Night History podcast, I am joined by Rob Garnett (@rob.garnett), who appeared on Episode 2. We also welcome on Annie Ferguson, the first One More Wave (@1mwave) team rider, the name we attribute to our veteran surfers. Annie is a reservist formerly assigned to SEAL Team 17, one of the two reserve SEAL teams. She is a trailblazer for women in special operations having served as one of the first Female Support Technicians (FSTs) — more popularly known in SOCOM as Cultural Support Teams (CSTs) — in Naval Special Warfare (NSW). She completed three combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan supporting Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces ODAs, and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Annie continues to serve in the reserves in a special operations capacity.
May 14, 2021
Episode 3: Luke Ryan
Episode 3 of the Late Night History podcast, my co-host Alex West (@alexwest_coast) and I (@latenighthistory) welcome on our guest Luke Ryan (@lesgingerables). Luke is perhaps one of the coolest dudes that I work with. He is a former Army Ranger, an author, a poet, and a social media manager for Black Rifle Coffee. We discuss his childhood growing up in Pakistan and Thailand and how he achieved his first byline in a newspaper by the age of 12. We also cover the history of Army Rangers from the real old school days to how Ranger Battalion has evolved during the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) — with a number of rabbit holes in-between. Towards the end of the show, we geek out on war and literature, World War I poetry, and Luke shares the latest news on his upcoming book with publisher Dead Reckoning Collective.
March 12, 2021
Episode 2: Rob Garnett
On episode 2 of the Late Night History podcast, I am joined by my co-host, Alex West, who appeared on the first episode. We also invited on our friend Rob Garnett, the Director of Surf Operations at One More Wave and a former Navy SEAL who spent 23 years at various west coast-based SEAL Teams. We discuss rock climbing history, the OSS Jedburghs and OSS Maritime Unit, how women joining special operations forces was a game changer on the battlefield, the history and culture of post-traumatic stress, and many other interesting topics! 
February 26, 2021
Episode 1: Alex West
For the first episode of the Late Night History podcast I am joined by my friend Alex West, the founder of the non-profit One More Wave and a former Navy SEAL who served 11 years at the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. We mix cool personal stories with history — from climbing pyramids in Egypt to hunting reindeer with the Vikings in Norway. We also discuss BUD/S history, the China Beach Surf Club in Vietnam, the infamous pancake station in Iraq, where the Navy SEALs first got their swagger, and so much more! 
February 13, 2021