Al was born February 7, 1929 in Bonneau, SC. He completed one year of college and graduated as an electronics technician. He joined the U. S. Navy in February, 1946. After completing boot camp, Radio School and Supplementary Radio School, he served at various duty stations that included Guam, Dupont, Adak, AK, Skaggs Island, Yokosuka, Japan, Kami Seya, Wahiawa, Winter Harbor, Karamusel, Sinop, Sidi Yahia and Pensacola. He transferred to the Fleet Reserve in July, 1970. With his move from Yokosuka to Kami Seya, he was the first enlisted man to operate Report Circuit. He mustered out of the Navy after serving 25 years in 1991 as a Master Chief Petty Officer, the highest ranking obtained by an enlisted man. He had three businesses after leaving the Navy, sandwiched between 2 ½ years with Lockheed C130 program in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Upon retiring, he played golf, played and taught billiards including winning local and national tournaments, collected books and E.R. Burroughs collectibles. Additionally, he became a licensed Amateur (Ham) Radio operator in 1949, with call signs of W4AX America, KA2AP Japan, and CN8GB Morocco. He later changed W4AX to N4AQ and held that call sign until he peacefully passed away on January 24, 2017 surrounded by his family.