John Willard Thorp
June 20, 1912 to April 18, 1992
Born in French Camp, California, John Thorp grew up from age four in
the historic Locke family home in Lockeford, California. He was
educated in the Lockeford and Lodi public schools, and the Boeing School
of Aeronautics in Oakland, California.
Mr. Thorp worked on the Boeing 247
final assembly line and then returned to teach at Boeing School. Starting
flying in 1929, he received his private license in 1930 and by 1935 had
flown 30 different types of aircraft in over 200 flying hours. By 1946 he
had over 600 flight hours in 62 different aircraft types.
Mr. Thorp started designing
personal aircraft at Boeing School. As Lockheed Assistant Preliminary
Design Engineer, he was responsible for the preliminary design of the P2V
"Neptune", Naval patrol bomber. In 1946 the famous P2V "Truculent Turtle"
set the unrefueled distance record of 11236 statute miles. This record
stood for more than ten years, until finally broken by a KC-135 Air Force