Peter Wanbaugh


Longtime Malibu resident Peter Wanbaugh died Oct. 12 of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 80.

Wanbaugh was born April 8, 1931 in Lebanon, Pa.

Wanbaugh enlisted in the Naval Air Reserve when he was 17 years old and soon became a midshipman at the Merchant Marine Academy. He then followed his interest in flying and entered flight training at Pensacola, earning his wings in 1955.

Wanbaugh was assigned to an “Airborne Early Warning” squadron in Guam and flew as a navigator/aviator on Navy Super Constellations rigged for surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and typhoon tracking. Wanbaugh was aboard the first Constellation to be successfully ditched into the sea when the engines failed one night. The pilot landed between the waves, and all 18 crew members were rescued after 15 hours at sea.

During his stay at the Navy Air Station Alameda, Wanbaugh met and married Barbara Clark, a former United Airlines stewardess. The pair spent their honeymoon at Wanbaugh’s next station in Iwakuni, Japan. They were married for 53 years.

After being released from active duty, Wanbaugh entered the aerospace industry. He worked as an administrator/manager for G & H Technology in Santa Monica, a manufacturer of components for Navy programs such as Trident and Mohawk Middle systems and F-14 avionics.

Wanbaugh maintained dual affiliation with the Naval Air Reserve for 36 years and rose to the rank of captain. He retired from the Naval Air Reserve at NRTU Point Mugu in October 1985.

Wanbaugh is survived by his wife Barbara, son Jon and his wife Debi, daughter Wendy, and grandchildren James, Brooke, Tea and Tyler.

A memorial service will take place Oct. 29 at St. Aidan’s Church, 28211 Pacific Coast Highway, at 11 a.m.