Mr. Lavern G. Soper, President of National Presto Industries, Inc., a major producer of ammunition components for the Defense Department in war and in peacetime, made significant contributions to our country's national defense program.
He was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal by the Department of the Army in recognition of his service to the Army during the period 1952 to 1975 as a member of National Presto. At his direction, National Presto established a new production method for the manufacture of projectiles. This new process, developed in 1953, reduced the amount of steel used in the manufacture of each artillery shell by 10 pounds, thus saving steel, time, money, and other vital national resources in times of national emergency. It is estimated that this process, known as the Hot Cup-Cold Draw Process, has saved the Government more than $200 million in procurement costs for field artillery projectiles.
Mr. Soper contributed significantly to many other Defense-related programs, among which were the redevelopment of the M19B1, 90mm steel cartridge case, and production of 2 million units, eliminating the requirement for the use of more expensive and scarce brass; development of a new type grenade for the Ordnance Department; and development and production of major components and assemblies for aircraft and aerospace vehicles.