1931 – 2024

The National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) mourns the passing of one of our founders, Lieutenant Commander Richard C. West, USN (Ret).

LCDR West, born in Hobart, Oklahoma, served with distinction in the Army Reserves and Navy during the Korean War. He faced adversity with courage and emerged as a trailblazer, becoming the fifth African American Naval Aviator in 1956.

His distinguished career spanned eleven aircraft types and numerous deployments. He later served as a mentor and advocate for aspiring Naval Officers through the NNOA and various community organizations.

LCDR West is survived by his wife, Pacita, and daughters, Carolyn and Martha.

A viewing for Navy Lieutenant Commander Pilot Richard will be held Thursday, March 14, 2024, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at New Hope Friendship Baptist Church, 2205 Harrison Ave., San Diego, CA 92113, followed by a celebration of life from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.

Navy Lieutenant Commander Richard will be laid to rest in Miramar National Cemetery, San Diego, CA.