Dan Huston, a Laguna Beach resident, community advocate and World War II veteran, has died. He was 90.
As an active member of the Freedom Committee of Orange County, a group of veterans from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars, Huston was a frequent and lively speaker at Laguna and Newport-Mesa Unified schools and community events.
He died at Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach on March 15, eight days shy of his 91st birthday and hours before he was scheduled to share his war experiences with students at Corona del Mar high school.
"When he spoke, his whole idea was [to communicate] the cost of freedom," said Jack Hammett, chairman of the Freedom Committee and a former World War II Navy corpsman. "Freedom was not free; it was expensive with the cost of lives."
At Compton Community College, Huston received his civilian pilot training and enlisted in the Naval Air Corps in 1941. At the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, Huston earned his aviator wings and was assigned to the USS Colorado in the Pacific.