Albert Atanacio Castro, 62, AOC USN Retired departed our midst on 13 October 2012, after suffering a fall while hunting near his home in La Plata, MD. His wife Patricia of 28 years, devoted dog Rocky and other family survive him. Albert was born in Gallup, NM, to Atanacio and Lola Castro. He graduated from Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque, NM, and joined the United States Navy in August 1968.
Chief Castro had a distinguished 23-year Naval career. His first operational tour was with VP-4 Skinny Dragons, Barbers Point, HI from 1971 – 1976. Al logged over 500 hours of dedicated combat missions including many searches and refugee operations. Additional Duty Stations included: NAS North Island, San Diego, CA, VP-19 Big Red at NAS Moffett Field, CA, Naval Air Development Center (NADC), Warminster, PA, Oceanographic Development Squadron VXN-8 and Naval Aviation Maintenance Office (NAMO) at NAS Patuxent River, MD. Chief Castro’s awards and decorations include two Strike Flight Air Medals, Navy Achievement, Navy Expeditionary, Armed Forces Expeditionary, two Vietnam Service Medals, and numerous other citations and commendations.
Typical of his devotion to duty, Chief Castro took great pride in his civilian career. He proudly continued to serve the Navy and his country as a DOD contractor supporting Air-to-Air Weapons for Aviation Trainings Systems Command. In 2008 he became Program Manager for Acquisition and Life Cycle Support of the HARM Weapons System for the Naval Air Weapons Center at Patuxent River, MD. Chief Castro was a patriot, an unsung hero, always prepared to serve the Navy and the United States of America. Recently, he and his teammates were on board several naval vessels upgrading equipment as his comrades ventured into harm’s way. Chief Castro’s awards and decorations include two Strike Flight Air Medals, Navy Achievement, Navy Expeditionary, Armed Forces Expeditionary, two Vietnam Service Medals, and numerous other citations and commendations.
He was a life member of the Association of Aviation Ordinancemen, Plankowner of Chapter 22, Patuxent River, and also served on the AAO National Board of Directors. In addition he was a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, prior Post 2632 Senior Vice Commander; the Military Order of the Cooties; the Fleet Reserve Association Branch 093; American Legion; VP-4 Association; the NRA; and the Saint Charles Sportsman’s Club.
Albert is also survived by his brothers Frank Castro of Paige TX, Anthony Castro and Timothy Castro of Albuquerque, NM and sisters Josephine Martinez of Clearfield UT, Marie Baca of Fort Worth TX, Florence Otis, Elizabeth Sumruld, and Dolores Torres of Albuquerque NM, and Kathy Martin of Dalles OR, and many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will be received to celebrate Albert’s Life on Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 4 PM to 7 PM at Brinsfield-Echols Funeral Home, P.A., 30195 Three Notch Road, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622. There will be a funeral service on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 6:30 PM. Deacon Johnny Barnes will officiate. Interment will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the VFW National Home for Children, 3573 South Waverly Road, Eaton Rapids, Michigan 48827-9799 or www.vfwnationalhome.org. The VFW National Home for children provides support for our military and veterans’ families.
A Guest Book is available at http://www.brinsfieldecholsfuneral.com/obituaries/dsp_files/dsp_viewobit.cfm?obit_ID=4635