Paul F. Abel, 76, Navy pilot, engineer

April 28, 2003

Paul F. Abel, who piloted attack jets and submarine-hunting seaplanes for the Navy and later worked as an engineer, died of a brain hemorrhage Tuesday while he was preparing to play golf in Williamsburg, Va. He was 76 and lived in Annapolis.

Born in Bayonne, N.J., he graduated from Bayonne High School in 1944.

Mr. Abel graduated from the Naval Academy in 1948, after which he underwent flight training and served aboard several ships in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Caribbean Sea. Mr. Abel attained centurion status aboard the USS Oriskany for making more than 100 landings in six months with his A4 Skyhawk, a single-engine aircraft.

He also served as navigator of the USS Ranger upon its commissioning, and was stationed at the Pentagon and in Panama.

While in the Navy, he worked as an associate professor in the Naval ROTC program at University of Virginia and taught leadership classes at the Naval Academy.

In the late 1960s, he returned to Annapolis, where he lived for the past 36 years.

He retired from the Navy in 1969 as a commander.

For the next 22 years, he worked as an engineer for Westinghouse Electric Corp. at its plant near Baltimore-Washington International Airport and its Oceanic Division near Annapolis. While at Westinghouse, he became a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Mr. Abel enjoyed golfing and sailing. He was a member of St. John Neumann Roman Catholic Church in Annapolis.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the Naval Academy's main chapel.

Mr. Abel is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Joan Marie Walling; a daughter, Carol A. Francisco of Williamsburg; a son, Army Lt. Col. Paul F. Abel Jr. of Alexandria, Va.; and six grandchildren.

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