December 27, 2010
Ronald A. Smith of Newport Beach, CA passed away Friday, December 24, 2010 after a long illness. He was born in Fresno, CA on April 26, 1927. Ron attended Fresno State University, after which he joined the Navy. Upon discharge from the Navy he became involved in a number of businesses until he found his real passion in the late 50’s in the aviation industry. Ron was instrumental in introducing the farming community in Central California to the use of helicopters for agricultural purposes where he eventually founded Whirl-Wide Helicopters, a pioneer in airlift engineering.
October 23, 2004
Deepa Bharath U.S. Navy combat veteran Norm Loats can share more than the routine war story or sea tale. At the tender age of 20, he experienced one the deadliest attacks and most harrowing survival episodes in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The 82-year-old Corona del Mar resident, also a top administrator for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, was a storekeeper for the Navy in 1944 and one of 768...
May 15, 2004
Jack Hammett was at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, while serving in the Navy. He spent 22 years in the military before running the Bristol Park Medical Group starting in 1960. He became a civic leader, serving in various organizations from the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce, the California Aeronautics Board to being the mayor of the city, which he calls home. Hammett, 84, recently spoke with the Pilot's Luis Pena to chat about his life and public service.
July 13, 2004
ROBERT GARDNER Apparently, our vice president isn't quite the gentleman we thought. Unhappy with what someone said, he used what most people consider the most vulgar of epithets. Now, even gentlemen are known to lose their tempers, but a gentleman is quick to apologize for his transgressions. Not the Veep. When asked if he regretted his slip, he not only declined to apologize, he suggested he felt much better for having uttered the obscenity. Swearing in and around the White House is hardly a novel thing, and it certainly crosses party lines.
December 7, 2003
Deirdre Newman In an instant, Deborah Hammett's life began to mirror that of her father. The 47-year-old was in New York City on a business trip when two planes, commandeered by terrorists, struck the World Trade Center. Surrounded by so much devastation, she felt compelled to help and spent three days at Ground Zero. Sixty years earlier, her father, Jack Hammett, was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese bombed the naval installation on the island of Hawaii, drawing the United States into World War II. As a Navy hospital corps man, he had the gruesome job of identifying the dead, with a break every four hours to perform triage on the wounded.
May 5, 2002
Don Cantrell Rear Adm. Jim Seely, (USN, ret.) and his lovely wife, Gail, were pleased to be visiting Albuquerque, New Mexico, in early May for a reunion with one of Seely's former Navy fighter pilot squadrons. He spent 34 1/2 years in the Navy before returning to a retirement pass. Seely, Class of 1950 at Newport Harbor High, and one of Al Irwin's '50 swimmers, also had golf in mind with his former mates, but was amused at his first day on the University of New Mexico course.
January 3, 2004
Luis Pena Dick Matherly is a 75-year-old retired Navy sailor, a resident of El Nido Mobile Home Park and president of chapter 1817 of the Golden State Manufactured Homeowners Assn. Where did you grow up? I was born in Detroit, Mich., in a basement, so they tell me. I don't remember that. I just remember when I was 3 years old, we lived in a place nicknamed Kelly's suburb. It was pretty well diverse, that neighborhood. One whole block we had Scotch people across from us, Hungarians next to them, Polish next to them.
June 20, 2002
Paul Clinton NEWPORT BEACH -- Groups still holding out hope for an El Toro airport sued the Navy on Wednesday, saying an environmental review of park, business and other uses was done prematurely. The Airport Working Group, Citizens for Jobs and the Economy, and the Orange County Regional Airport Authority signed on to the suit to force a new review. The environmental review in question, which was released April 23, analyzed an earlier, non-aviation project designed well before plans for the "Great Park" approved by voters in March.
August 22, 2003
Ahoy. While passing Point Loma just after sunrise, I immediately woke the crew when a surfaced Navy submarine was starting to appear out of the fog. We were on a 140-degree magnetic heading with numerous targets scattered on the radar, but now we were situated in between the submarine and the San Diego entrance. The entrance to San Diego Bay lies directly north and south, and seaward of Point Loma are the inbound and outbound traffic lanes that extend a few miles to the south and then westerly.
February 21, 2011
The U.S. military was said to be "evaluating the options" regarding a possible rescue of a former Newport Beach couple and two other Americans taken hostage by Somali pirates. A military source told CNN that a U.S. Navy warship and helicopters were trailing a boat believed to be the hijacked yacht. On Friday, a distress signal was sent by a yacht from the middle of the Indian Ocean, according to AFP, the French news agency. The hijacking was first reported by Ecoterra International, which monitors regional maritime activity.