During a recent stop at the Pig & Fig in White Rock, the Post bumped into local resident David Williams while he was enjoying his usual cup of cappuccino. Of Welsh heritage, he was born in Watford, just north of London, England, in 1936. His father worked on the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, which served during and after World War II. Constructed almost entirely of wood, it was nicknamed “The Wooden Wonder”, and affectionately known as the “Mossie”.
In 1942, the bombing of London by the Germans Luftwaffe was so bad that the Williams family moved to Christchurch, a town on the south coast of England. At the early age of 15, Williams entered a much-coveted five-year apprenticeship program with de Havilland and ran concurrently with his college classes. When the de Havilland factory closed in 1962, he went to work for Fokker Aircraft in Amsterdam, Holland at Schiphol Airport for two years.
Soon afterward, work became harder to find and Williams set his mind toward emigrating to the United States or Australia. In 1966, when his father told him about an ad in the Sunday Express newspaper, he interviewed for a job with a tool and die engineering company in Detroit, Mich., and was hired on the spot. At that time, Williams said emigration to the United States was a lengthy process, and even though he had a sponsor and a job, it took a year to get through all the hoops.
“I have never seen so much snow in my life as I did in Detroit,” he said. “Jan. 25, 1967 – I will never forget it.”
While in Detroit, Williams met and married his late wife, Judith. He went on to work for General Motors for more than nine years before moving to Los Alamos in 1982 to work at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Sciences and Applications Manufacturing and Engineering Division. He retired in 2002.
These days, Williams devotes much his time to the local Elks Lodge where he serves a chaplain. Although he describes himself as a very private person, he is a wonderful conversationalist and the Los Alamos Daily Post staff were delighted to make his acquaintance.