Category Archives: Air Force

A Whole New World

2018  is a memorable year for me.    In 1968, after a stint in graduate school, I began my full time Air Force career. My initial duty assignment was to be in Washington, D.C. I had orders to report there … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, American History, Vietnam Protests, Vietnam War, Washington DC | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Chamber of Horrors

OK I lied, it was not that bad– or was it– read and you decide. Periodically as aircrew members we were required to undergo training in the altitude chamber. It was not something that any crewmember relished. The goal was … Continue reading

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

Every year Santa came until 2015

Since 1971, Santa Claus has come to my house.   That was the first year that a 12 inch-tall standup Christmas card of Santa, holding a pipe with a heart applique in the billowing smoke, arrived in the mail. It … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, Alaska, American History, American holidays, Anchorage Alaska, Christmas, Christmas Card traditions, Christmas Cards sent back and forth, Family History, Norvell Family History, Social History | Leave a comment

When Johnny Comes Marching….

Popular music has often served as a useful mirror of our perception of veterans since the founding of the republic. The Civil War resonated with songs that were meant to support the war effort and the Union. As the success … Continue reading

Posted in Air Force, American History, Military history, Union Army, US Army, US Army Air Corps, US Navy, Veterans, Vietnam Memorial, Vietnam War, World War Ii | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Speech Given at the First Annual Veterans Dinner at Finger Lakes Community College

Remarks by  Lt Col John E. Norvell (USAF Ret.)  November 10, 2017 President Nye, Dr. Pierce, ladies and gentleman and members of the College community,  thank you for inviting me to speak tonight. As a former history professor I routinely … Continue reading

Posted in 13 TFS, 43 TFS, Air Force, American History, Bolling AFB, F-4 Phantom II, F4 Phantom II, F4 PhantomII, Family History, Fighter Aircraft, Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, New York State History, Norvell Family History, Ontario Co, Thailand, U Dorn RTAFB, Udorn RTAFB, Veterans, Vietnam War | Tagged , | 2 Comments

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

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 , , , | 2 Comments