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.

The Norvell Boys Write to the President

In the 19th century, Americans often wrote to the chief executive asking for jobs or advice on how to conduct their lives. Two such letters were sent to Thomas Jefferson by members of the same family. The first one was … Continue reading

Posted in American History, American Newpapers, John Norvell, Norvell Family History | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Letter Home

Stevens Thompson Norvell (1835 -1911) enlisted in the army on January 23, 1858 as a private in Company A 5th U.S. Infantry. One of his first assignments was as an infantryman in the West; later he would fight with Teddy … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Battlefields, Michigan History, Military history, Norvell Family History | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Faded and cracked

They are all similar – old, cracked and sometimes faded; the newer ones in washed out color.  There is a commonality to them that may not be readily apparent.  They are photos of young American men and women in uniform. … Continue reading

Posted in American History, American holidays, Social History, US Army, US Army Air Corps, US Navy, Veterans, Vietnam Memorial, Vietnam War, World War Ii, WWI | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When Ohio and Michigan Went to war

In 1834, my great-great grandfather John Norvell found himself embroiled in a controversy that involved Michigan with her neighbors. Ohio and Michigan had long claimed a disputed section of land which included the Toledo area. The dispute over this area … Continue reading

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Grandpa’s Home Repairs

My grandfather was a remarkable man.  But he almost met his match and burned down the house when he decided to wire it himself in the 1930s.    I defer to his own words on this: “When I bought the … Continue reading

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A Day in the Life….

Today is Vietnam Veterans Day — March 29, as such I thought about how I would have spent this day during the war. Most days in combat began early. There was what we called an “0 Dark Thirty” wake up. … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, American History, Combat, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, Fighter Aircraft, SEA, Udorn RTAFB, Vietnam War | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Air Force F4 Tech Supplement to High Flight

HIGH FLIGHT Air Force Supplement 1 OH, I HAVE SLIPPED THE SURLY BONDS OF EARTH (Surly bond slipping will be performed only by two ship IP-led flights) AND DANCED THE SKIES ON LAUGHTER-SILVERED WINGS; (Dancing the skies will be performed … Continue reading

Posted in 43 TFS, American History, F-4 Phantom II, F4 emergency, F4 PhantomII | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment