Author Archives: jenorv

About jenorv

John E. Norvell is a retired Air Force Lt Colonel, decorated air combat veteran of the Vietnam War, and former Assistant Professor of American and Military History at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has written freelance for the Washington Post, the Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, and for several newspapers around the country.

In Search of the Haunted Tombstone

Originally posted on An American Family:
? 50 years ago this October several of my friends and I went in search of a haunted tombstone. It was October 1964 and we were juniors at Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y. The…

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The First Time I flew the F4 – 45 years ago this week

In the fall of 1972, I arrived at Luke AFB to upgrade to the backseat of the F4. I had come to this point late in life, 28 and a captain, having been a ground pounder (non-rated or non-flying officer) … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, Air Force, Alaska, Alaskan Air Command, American History, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Luke AFB, SEA | Tagged , | 3 Comments

September 11 – Some Thoughts

Another September 11th Anniversary; another set of memories. Its funny how each year this anniversary brings to the surface something different about this day and how it affected me. At the time I was serving as the Alumni Director at … Continue reading

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Tomatoes

Its time to write about Tomatoes. We suddenly find ourselves inundated with them. Of course we knew it was coming; tomatoes do not ripen one then another. They ripen en mass. So we picked not one or two, but 67 … Continue reading

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A Three Hour Tour…

45 years ago my wife Bonnie and I were married.  We then went on our honeymoon. She went to Arizona and I….   Well, as I was training to fly F4 combat missions in South East Asia, I went to Florida … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Arizona, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, Fighter Aircraft | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mach 2

Found this little pin in a box recently. Not much to look at from a distance. Small F4 on it, but its the caption that catches the eye: Mach 2 Club, Phantom II.  The first reaction might be: “Is this … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, Air Force, Air Force lingo, Alaska, Alaskan Air Command, American History, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Fighter Aircraft | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

POW training – Getting ready for the Vietnam War

Originally posted on An American Family:
When I selected the F-4 aircraft as my choice to fly, I knew that I had selected SEA  as an assignment.   The F-4 was the workhorse fighter of the Vietnam War and virtually ensured…

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