Saturday, November 26, 2022

Avenue of Heroes: David Wood

Written by Lt. Cmdr. David Wood and Margaret Ahmann

Born in Tucson, Arizona, in 1930, Lt. Cmdr. David Wood, U.S. Navy, grew up on a farm in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Graduating from Oregon State University, he was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy and married Leone Van Hine on the same day — June 7, 1954.

David earned his wings of gold the next year in Corpus Christi, Texas, and reported as a naval aviator to his first duty station, VC 11, Early Warning Squadron 11 at Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado. Flying the AD-5 Douglas attack aircraft, he deployed aboard USS Shangri-La before transferring to Miramar Naval Air Station and flying with VA 115.

Other assignments included being a flight instructor in Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida; deployment aboard USS Yorktown, an anti-submarine aircraft carrier; and deployment aboard USS Oriskany. During the Vietnam War, Wood flew the Sky Raider early warning aircraft, nicknamed “The Guppy,” with his navigator, Wayne McCardle.

Wood was stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore from 1967 to 1969 and served as an instructor in the Navy’s newest attack jet aircraft at the time, the A4 Skyhawk. Wood and his wife moved to Coronado in 1969, raised three daughters, and still reside here today. His final naval assignments included Air Control Squadron 13, where he was responsible for aerial bombing and gunfire spotting and FASOTRA Group where he provided flight simulation training to the fleet. By his retirement in 1974, Cmdr. Wood had completed 20 years of service and five WESTPAC deployments.

Returning to his agricultural roots, Wood went to work in the San Joaquin Valley as a supervisor in the almond and walnut industry. He subsequently managed the Crown Motel coffee shop, owned Coronado’s Excel Travel Agency; and was a 20-year member of Kiwanis, serving as president in 1982 and 1983.

Wood has sung in the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church choir for more than 38 years. Most mornings, you will find him walking on the beach and later visiting with friends at the VFW or Senior Center. He enjoys trips in his motor home and snow skiing with the 70’s Club.

The Hometown Banner program is a military service recognition program sponsored by the City of Coronado. Introduced in 2014, the program has honored 206 hometown heroes. On May 21, another 11 will be honored. The City funds all the costs for the program. City staff and volunteers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2422, the Coronado Historical Association and the Third and Fourth Streets Neighborhood Association oversee its operation. The inspiration for the program came spontaneously with the movement of two Navy SEALs to their final resting place. News spread quickly in Coronado. The local Rotary Club passed out American flags. People lined Fourth Street to honor the fallen service members. As the procession approached the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, a lone Navy SEAL stood at attention, saluting as he waited for the passage of his comrades. At that moment, it was clear that Third and Fourth streets were already an Avenue of Heroes. From that spontaneous beginning, the program was launched in May 2015 with 18 banners. Ceremonies are held twice yearly and men and women with ties to the community have been recognized from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Hometown Banner program is a reminder that Coronado has a rich history and legacy of service to country.



Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]