By Larry Nelson
Veterans History Project 

Vincent Havorka Aviation Metalsmith

1st Class US Navy WWII


February 2, 2022

This story is reprinted in memory of Vincent Havorka who died Jan. 25, 2022, at the age of 99.

“Go west, young man” must have been ringing in the ears of Vincent Havorka (Vince). After graduating from high school in northeastern Nebraska, he made his way to California. It was late in 1940. He looked for jobs and found a good one with Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, CA.

Vince liked his work there where he worked on assembling the P-38 and 414 Hudson Bombers. He developed some metal-smithing skills. He worked all shifts but preferred the overnight shift. After working there more than a y...

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