American History in Real LifeMovies in the past have often shown characters that were touched by historical events. Yet sometimes, the truth is often more fantastic than anything Hollywood can devise. These stories of real people show how the events of the past touched their lives. Some times the stories are dramatic, sometimes simple, but all in all they weave a tapesty of the richness of the American experience.
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© John Norvell
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Author Archives: jenorv
In early November 1971 I, an older captain who had been non rated for nearly four years, arrived at Mather Air Force Base, outside Sacramento, California, for undergraduate Navigator Training (UNT). I settled in the BOQ (bachelor officer quarters) … Continue reading
After weeks of preparation at Navigator school, at Mather Air Force Base, we nav students were set for our first actual airborne mission. Our training aircraft was the twin engine T-29, outfitted with about 12 training stations in the cabin, … Continue reading
Unlike Undergraduate Navigator Training –UNT, the F-4 backseat AKA “The Pit” was a very different world. At nav school, I sat at a table in a classroom, “flew” our practice mission, and did my computations. In the F-4 Sim, I … Continue reading
In May 1973, I checked in, as a new GIB, assigned to the 13 TFS at Udorn RTAFB. I had come to the war late as a non rated officer who entered Nav School in the fall of 1971. Now … Continue reading
When I graduated from Nav School, I moved on to the backseat of the F-4 and discovered I had to speak a whole new language. First of all unlike Nav School, we didn’t turn left, we made a port turn, … Continue reading
70 years ago when I was young we celebrated “Decoration Day.” In those days the term Decoration Day was often used instead of the current term: Memorial Day. This older term has gone out of fashion now. It is a … Continue reading
July 22, 1973 started off like any other bombing mission. We did our preflight, routine, strapped in and taxied to the arming area. For this mission we had 18 Mark 82 – 500 pound bombs loaded, a more or less … Continue reading
Having spent a little more than 1,000 hours as a WSO, I first had no clue what to expect when I left Nav School to upgrade to the backseat of the F4. I actually no clue of what to expect … Continue reading
Care packages are in the news a lot this time of the year. With good reason, the holiday season is one of the worst times for American military men and women serving overseas. It is hard for those who have … Continue reading