Jay W. Hubbard, 80; Marine Pilot, Builder

Times Staff Writer

Retired Brig. Gen. Jay W. Hubbard, former commanding general of the 4th Marine Air Wing and a custom home builder in Orange County, has died. He was 80.

Hubbard died of cancer Jan. 1 in Laguna Niguel. A memorial service is scheduled next week.

Hubbard served 32 years in the Marine Corps, beginning his career as a private and infantryman and retiring as a commanding general after flying 165 combat missions over Korea and Vietnam.

He grew up in Huntington Park and enlisted in 1940 after attending what was then Compton Junior College. He served aboard the battleship Mississippi as an enlisted man before being commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1942 and assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion. Hubbard fought as an infantryman in several Pacific island battles during World War II.

After the war, he completed flight training and piloted fighters for the next 25 years and in two wars until his retirement. His combat awards include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Combat Action Ribbon and Purple Heart.

Hubbard served as director of police in Memphis until 1975; in 1978, he formed his own company and built custom homes in Orange County for several years. He is perhaps best known locally as the moving force behind the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro Historical Foundation, which created an air museum at the old base.

The Marine Corps named the museum the Jay W. Hubbard Aviation Museum. The museum and its contents were moved to the Miramar Marine air base in San Diego when the El Toro base closed.

Hubbard is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Dorla; children Clint Hubbard of Coto de Caza, Brad Hubbard of Trabuco Canyon, Glenn Hubbard of Irvine and Diana Carr of Fairfax, Va.; and 12 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at the Chapel of the Marine Corps Air Station at the Miramar base. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation, P.O. Box 45316, San Diego, CA 92145-0316.

A private ceremony will be held later at Arlington National Cemetery.

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