June 7, 2015

Paul Jones 

Paul "P. C." Jones, 84, of Thonotosassa, FL, formerly of Lakehurst, NJ / Wheeling, WV, died on Tuesday, 2 June 2015. He was a US  Navy Veteran of Korea and Vietnam. Survived by his wife Agnetta "Mickey" Jones, two sons , Paul "Bernie" Jones, Bend, OR, and Wilbur "Flip" Jones, Midlothian, VA, two daughters, Tina Hettich, Valrico. FL. and Barbara Blackburn, Bemis Point, NY,. 10 Grandchildren, 9 Great-Grandchidildren, No services or Memorial are planned. The family requests memorial contributions be made to LifePath Hospice, Ruskin, FL.




58 years later, a surprise package for Anaheim veteran

When UPS delivers a medal to Ted Lavoot, memory of deed shines through.



Published: Sept. 3, 2014 Updated: Sept. 4, 2014 1:25 p.m.

ANAHEIM – The UPS man rang the doorbell last Thursday, delivering a medium-size, bubble-padded, yellow envelope addressed to Theodore Lavoot.

Terri Lavoot saw the package and figured her husband was getting another book – not something that would send him back nearly 58 years.

The mysterious package required Ted’s signature and, reluctantly, he provided it. He wasn’t expecting anything, certainly not a package from the Naval Support Activity Center/Navy Personnel Command Center in Millington, Tenn.

He had served in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1959 as a petty officer first class on the aviation-sea rescue team. But that was before college, and before his career as an electronics engineer for defense systems in the aerospace industry.

“I didn’t have any idea what this could be,” said the now-retired Ted Lavoot, 77, a tanned, fit, silver-haired man who looks a lot like Sandy Koufax.

Ted spilled the contents of the envelope on his kitchen table. He saw a folded piece of paper and a thin, oblong, navy blue box adorned with a gold decorative stripe and the words “United States of America.”

Inside the box was the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the second-highest decoration the Navy awards for noncombat heroism.

He pulled the medal from its padded nest and examined the gold-plated octagon bearing an open-winged eagle perched atop an anchor emblazoned with the word “Heroism” and dangling from a navy blue- gold-and-red-striped ribbon.

“I knew what this was, but didn’t know why I was getting it now,” Lavoot said Tuesday, still surprised to have received such recognition out of the blue for something he did nearly six decades earlier.

With Terri looking over his shoulder, he unfolded the single sheet of paper that came with the package.

Dated July 14, 2014, it was a “Transmittal of and/or Entitlement to Awards” form. There was a checked-off box next to the statement “A review of our record indicated entitlement to the following awards,” and another one next to the statement “Authorized awards are enclosed.”

It looked official, bureaucratic and completely military. It offered no congratulations or explanation of why Lavoot had earned it or why he was receiving it now.

“But I know what it’s for, I think,” he said.

In October 1956, Lavoot was serving aboard the USS Coral Sea CVA 43 in the Mediterranean Sea.

One day – he can’t recall the exact date – he and a pilot, Lt. Francis Corbin, were in an HU2 helicopter, hovering beside the aircraft carrier. Lavoot described their mission that day:

“We were in the middle of the ocean and assisting with a takeoff of an F2H Banshee.”

They watched the single-seat jet fighter as it was catapult-launched off the carrier’s flight deck. But even as the plane was a mile away, Lavoot noticed that it wasn’t ascending. He told Corbin, “He’s going in, sir!”

The Banshee pancaked on the surface of the ocean. The pilot had thrown open the canopy and jumped into the water, his parachute deploying.

Corbin hovered about 20 feet above the crash site. Lavoot lowered a sling to the pilot in the waves below, but the pilot wasn’t moving.

Lavoot, a former lifeguard while growing up in Quincy, Mass., took off his helmet and, wearing his flight suit, leaped from the helicopter into the water. He swam 20 yards to the pilot, who had injured his back.

Using his long-blade knife, Lavoot cut the pilot free of his parachute. Then he swam him to the sling and motioned for Corbin to lift them both into the helicopter.

“I never knew the name of the pilot we rescued,” Lavoot said, clutching the medal. “But I knew he survived.”

Terri Lavoot heard this story decades ago. She and Ted had met in 1957 at the USO in Norfolk, Va., where Terri worked. They were married in 1959 and will celebrate their 55th anniversary on Nov. 21.

They didn’t know how, or whether, to celebrate the mystery package. “I guess we’ll call the kids,” Terri said.

Ted thought about Corbin, who died years ago. He wondered about the pilot.

He also remembered a friend, Abraham Specter, another sea rescue team member. Specter died while attempting to save a downed pilot. The pilot’s parachute lines tangled with the helicopter’s propeller, killing them both.

“I had a successful rescue,” Ted Lavoot said. “But Abe was a hero, too.”

On Tuesday, he wrote a letter to the naval department that sent him his medal. He asked that Specter posthumously receive the recognition that Lavoot received after 58 years.

He set his medal back in its box and shut the lid; a hero delivered, a hero once again.

Contact the writer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Monday, 11 August 2014

Following received via email:


I just confirmed with Sonie this AM that Jim is in hospice care as per his Living Will.
He is home with Sonie and is very spirited. 
You can call him at 757-463-1966. 
I am sure that many of us who were in Hangar#3 at Lakehurst from the 1968 to 1972 era will have a few "war stories" that will bring joy for both Jim and you.
I have attached a few photos from July 1971 of one of our many Day Fishing Trip "drunks" that Jim organized. Boy, what a hangover they were! 
Sonie's address is --> 504 Pondview Drive, Virginia Beach VA 23452 
The man was a "legacy" for sure!  God Bless!
Dale Sokel
39 Penn Crossing Drive
East Norriton, PA  19041
E-Mail <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >
(E-mailed photos not shown)


8 July 2014


CDR  Don HAYES      ( CO HS-2 )

Don passed about 1600 Saturday   - July 5, 2014. 
Calling hours will be Wednesday at 1600 to 2000 at Humphreys Mortuary on
Broadway, Chula Vista.
Funeral will be Thursday at 1100 same place, burial at La Vista Cemetery, off Sweetwater Rd and reception following at the house, 3726 Sarasona Way , Bonita.
(   Humphreys Mortuary – 753 Broadway, Chula Visa, CA  91912 --  619-425-9111   )



13 May 2014

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
from: Barbara Scacchi Don and I lost a camera with the pictures we
took on Saturday, the night of the banquet.
If anyone has pictures of that night, we
would gladly pay to have copies made and
postage to mail them to us. We would so
much appreciate anyone who would do this
for us. We had a lot of fun seeing and
talking with everyone. Thanks in advance
for any help.


25 February 2014


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