David Pokorny Levy was born on June 7, 1923 in the city New Orleans. He attended Edith Aiken’s School, La Salle Elementary, Audubon, and Fortier High School before enrolling at Tulane University in 1940. Hale Boggs appointed Levy to the United States Naval Academy as a Midshipman 4th class, but because of the ongoing war Levy’s program was shortened to three years instead of four. In 1941 he was assigned the USS Meade as a Seaman 2nd class, and he graduated from the academy on his 21st birthday, after which he was assigned to the U.S.S. Miami. During the course of his active duty, Levy received two purple hearts.
After the end of the war Levy return to New Orleans and began working for Equitable Equipment as a designer before founding Balehi Marine in Lacombe, serving as both CEO and Chairman of the Board. In 2003 he moved to Jefferson, Louisiana, where he resided until his death on September 29, 2010 at the age of 87.
Levy was an outspoken critic of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project, primarily opposed to the “barrient plan” aspect of the proposal, which consisted of locks, dams, and barriers intended to control the inward flow of water. Levy and other opponents to the project feared that damming Lake Pontchartrain would negatively impact the pleasure sailing, fishing, and shipbuilding industries, ruin the ecology of the lake, fail to offer any significant increase in protection if a “critical path” storm struck the city, and possibly even cause increased levels of flooding in surrounding areas such as St. Bernard Parish and New Orleans East.
Source: David P. Levy obituary, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 3 October 2010.