The Story of "Captain John" Lavra, U.S.N. (Ret.)

Capt. John Lavra started his career in the U.S. Navy in June 1944 as an enlisted sailor. He retired from active duty in October 1970 with over 26 years of service and many Medals and commendations. During that time he received a commission and became a naval aviator and was recalled to active duty for Korea in 1950.


His experiences as a naval aviator range from flying the U.S. Navy’s N2S (Stearman) biplane to the A4D “Skyhawk” and includes developing improved aerial photo surveillance to being shot down over North Korea in an A1 “Skyraider” while attacking a North Korean hydro-electric plant.


His remarkable skill and training resulted in his escaping Communist forces to be rescued by a Navy helicopter crew. His actions were highly commended by the U.S. Navy and helped to ensure the safety of other aviators. Captain Lavra’s phenomenal story in photographs is below.

Click photographs below  to expand