Margot Brown Wheelchair Regatta

John Stokes is 87 now, but he clearly remembers his service during World War II. During the bloody battle of Okinawa off Japan, Stokes and the rest of a gun detachment assigned to an ammunition ship survived 32 air attacks by Japanese planes and shot down two of them.

On Saturday, Stokes stood on the dock of the Encinal Yacht Club to assist hundreds of other veterans who were there for a much quieter afternoon on San Francisco Bay. Stokes was one of 300 volunteers who took part in the 16th annual Margot Brown Wheelchair Regatta, an outing for aged vets who are disabled and living in Northern California Veterans Administration hospitals.