Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Avenue of Heroes: Captain Easton “Jiggs” Noble

Written by: Hometown Banner Committee and Janice Ann Noble Horn (daughter)

Easton “Jiggs” Boville Noble was born in Los Angeles on Oct. 29, 1903, to William and Blanche (Boville) Noble. After graduating from Hollywood High School and the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, he was employed by Bach Aircraft in Van Nuys, California, and Warner Brothers Studio. In 1930, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and in 1931 was designated a naval aviator and commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Following service with Fighting Squadron 6B aboard USS Saratoga (CV 3), he returned to reserve status in 1932. For the next three years, Noble was a commercial pilot flying passengers and cargo across desolate areas of Colombia and Mexico. Returning to the United States in 1936, he performed in an aerial stunt team called the “Hollywood Trio.” Recalled to active duty in 1937, he served as a flight instructor in Long Beach, California, before reassignment as a flight instructor in Naval Air Stations Pensacola and Jacksonville in Florida.

Noble served aboard USS Lexington (CV 2) until the ship sunk in 1942 during the Battle of the Coral Sea. Transferred to Northwest Sea Frontier Command, he assisted in the fitting out of USS Breton (CVE 23) and in 1944 of USS Saginaw Bay (CVE 83). He assumed duties as Saginaw’s air officer and then executive officer.

In 1945, he transferred to Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, followed by former Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst in New Jersey. In 1949, the former stunt pilot, and presumed oldest Navy man to operate the “Windmill” aircraft, assumed command of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 1 “Fleet Angels” at the former Naval Air Station Miramar.

Subsequent assignments included command of the Naval Air Reserve Training Unit Jacksonville, Florida; USS Jupiter (AVS 8); and the former Naval Air Station Midway Island. The latter was cut short when he was transferred to Tripler Army Hospital for treatment of polio. Capt. Noble retired in February 1956.

Upon retirement, CAPT Noble and his family returned to their family home in Coronado. In spite of being stricken with polio, he spent much of his time working at the golf course, driving around in his golf cart and being a friend to all.

The Hometown Banner Program is a military service recognition program sponsored by the City of Coronado. Introduced in 2014, the program has honored 218 hometown heroes. On Nov. 5, 2022, another 12 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. In 2011 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 Schwartz 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]