Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Bernard John Dvorscak grew up in Hazleton, PA, where he attended St. Gabriel’s Catholic School and following graduation from Hazleton High School in 1945, Dvorscak enlisted with the US Navy where he was accepted into the V-5 Flight Training Program in 1946. Upon completion of his initial training, he was stationed aboard the USS Franklin Delano Roosevelt flying the A-1 in a peace-keeping mission over the Mediterranean. During his commission, Dvorscak organized a basketball league for the enlisted men and learned to play contract bridge. He received his Wings of Gold in January 1950 while flying the F4U-4 stationed aboard the USS Cabot.
Returning Stateside to fly the Banshee Fighter with VF-171 NAS Jacksonville, he went on to serve aboard the USS Midway, the USS Coral Sea and the USS Leyte. Following his return from active duty in the Pacific, Dvorscak enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he graduated in the top 2% of his class with a BS in Aerospace Engineering in 1955. He was a member of the first US Navy Operational Jet Fighter Squadron, The Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Georgia Tech Flight Club.
Dvorscak joined Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as an Engineering Test Pilot where he was a pioneer in his industry. Testing most every aircraft that came off the line at Lockheed during his career, he worked together with flight engineers and design engineers to perfect the Lockheed products and pave the way for the United States to lead the aviation industry in the development and production of cutting-edge safe aircraft. Dvorscak was the first pilot to Fly-By-Wire in the Lockheed C130 Hercules and was member of the first team to perfect in-air flight refueling. He qualified to fly more than 35 aircraft during his career including the Hummingbird I and II: a jet-powered VTOL aircraft; the C-130, C-141, C-5A and B, Jetstar.
Graduating from the US Navy Test Pilot School Class XXI 1959, Dvorscak flew the Douglas F4D-1 in the Mach One Era in December 1958 at Patuxent River. He took command over Squadron VR-54 NAS Atlanta and NAS New Orleans in the mid-seventies before retiring from the Navy Reserve in July 1976 as a Captain with a commendation from then sitting President Jimmy Carter; and retired from Lockheed in 1990. Dvorscak co-authored "The C-5 Galaxy History" with Roger Lanius, published in 2001. He maintained his pilot and flight instructor licenses following retirement instructing flight ground school and in order to promote aviation and the United States Navy he continued to work with small groups such as the Civil Air Patrol and the Fraternal Order of Silver Wings of which he was an active member.