NEWPORT BEACH — World War II veteran Bert Melvin served in 10 major battles during his three years in the Pacific.
He shot kamikaze pilots out of the sky, dug mass graves in Okinawa and patrolled Nagasaki only a month after the U.S. dropped its second atomic bomb on Japan. He also helped release 9,000 prisoners of war.
"He's my hero," said Bert's son, Gary Melvin.
That's why Gary, 52, submitted a name in honor of his 88-year-old father in Balboa Boat Rentals' contest to name two of its new 18-foot Duffy boats.
"Honorable Discharge" was chosen out of hundreds of entries submitted, said Balboa Boat Rentals co-owner Penny Rodheim. The other boat will be named "Good Ohmen."
The Melvin family won a free two-hour rental on the eight-person Duffy boat for naming it, Rodheim said.
The call for boat names was sent out via email to all of the company's past customers, Rodheim said.