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Walter S. Gorka

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Walter S. Gorka

For the United States Navy ship, see USS Walter S. Gorka (APD-114).
Walter Stanley Gorka
Born (1922-03-24)March 24, 1922
Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Died November 10, 1942(1942-11-10) (aged 20)
Atlantic Ocean, off Casablanca, French Morocco
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Naval Reserve
Years of service 1940–1942
Rank Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class
Unit Escort Scouting Squadron 27

World War II

Awards Air Medal

Walter S. Gorka (1922–1942) was a United States Navy sailor killed in action during World War II who received the Air Medal posthumously for his actions.


Walter Stanley Gorka was born in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, on 24 March 1922. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve at Hartford, Connecticut, on 15 May 1940 and eventually attained the rate of aviation ordnanceman third class.

During Operation Torch, the Allied amphibious landings in North Africa, Gorka was a bombardier and gunner on a Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber of Escort Scouting Squadron 27 (VGS-27) embarked on auxiliary aircraft carrier (later escort aircraft carrier) USS Suwannee (ACV-27, later CVE-27). On the first day of the landings – 8 November 1942 – Suwannee's air group, including Gorka's aircraft, bombed Vichy French ships and shore installations in the Casablanca area of French Morocco, including the immobile but formidable battleship Jean Bart and the coast defense and shore batteries at Table d'Aukasha.

On 10 November 1942, Gorka went on an attack mission against a French submarine. The French antiaircraft fire proved deadly accurate; Gorka's aircraft was shot down, and Gorka was killed.


For his performance of duty with Escort Scouting Squadron 27 during Operation Torch, Gorka received the Air Medal posthumously.


The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Walter S. Gorka (DE-604) was named for Gorka. She was converted during construction into the high-speed transport USS Walter S. Gorka (APD-114), and was in commission as such from 1945 to 1947.


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