Retired U.S. Navy CAPT Horace “Red” West was born in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 20, 1917, to CDR and Mrs. Marcus West. He had one sibling, Grace West (Hoffman).
West, who went by the nickname Red, entered the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1941 before transferring to and graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Subsequently commissioned an Ensign in the Navy, the service sent West to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston where he earned an advanced degree in aeronautical engineering. Following this, he earned the Naval Aviator’s coveted wings of gold and flew propeller aircraft throughout his 28-year career.
West’s duty stations included Atsugi, Japan, where he was in charge of the overhaul of naval aircraft of the Sixth Fleet; Litchfield Park in Arizona, now Luke Air Force Base; multiple at-sea assignments; several tours on the Navy Staff in Washington, D.C.; and on COMNAVAIRPAC Staff in Coronado where he led aircraft maintenance efforts.
West’s decorations included the Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medals. He and his bride, Margaret Hooker, had two children, Anna and Timothy, and later became the proud grandparents of three grandchildren, Dustin, Joshua, and Dylan.
Upon retirement from the Navy, West worked for a year at Rohr in San Diego prior to serving as Chairman of Security Pacific National Bank in Coronado, a position he held for 10 years. Active in the Rotary Club of Coronado, he was selected as the 1981 Rotarian of the Year. In addition to serving on the board of the Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park, he was an avid golfer and world traveler.
Passing away shortly after the turn of the century, CAPT Red West was buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on March 8, 2001.