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.

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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Questions never answered

Had a great experience over the weekend. I visited David Garbe who lives about ½ hour away and has reconstructed the front part of an F4 D aircraft which had flown with the famed 555th Triple Nickle at Udorn. It … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, American History, Cambodia bombing 1973, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, SEA, Veterans, Vietnam War | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Mystery Solved

My father never knew what happened to his brother Hamilton Redfield Norvell Jr, — shown below in one of  his only photos. Perhaps not on the scale of what ever happened to Amelia Earhart, but in our family in many … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Buffalo, Family History | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Of Fireworks and other things

There is no way around it. The 4th of July makes me think of fireworks. When we were small there were always fireworks in Fair Haven, a town located on Lake Ontario about 8 miles away. We lived on the … Continue reading

Posted in Alaska, American History, Anchorage, Anchorage Alaska, Cambodia bombing 1973, F-4 Phantom II, Family History, Holidays, U Dorn RTAFB | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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

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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